Clergy Letter   
from The Rev'd Graham Smith



I am sitting perched on an old arm chair with my laptop actually on my lap, and aware that as Catherine and I finally reach the end of a seemingly interminable building project that has involved emptying the loft, garage and the ‘box room’, all that ‘stuff’ now needs a new home (I am a hoarder of ‘come in handy’ items).

It is also getting late in the week, and I must write a sermon for the Harvest Festival on Sunday. Then an e-mail arrived from your editor asking for my contribution to the magazine by Friday. So, my quick ‘arrow prayer’ is for inspiration - and yet not just for inspiration, because I think I would like to have some Wisdom too. As I write this Wisdom is a much needed commodity.  Locally it has been needed by those involved in choosing a new Vicar here at Holy Trinity.  In the news there are calls for some wise person to guide our political processes back on to an even keel (who knows what our status with EU will be when this is printed?). Wisdom is still needed with the Near and Middle East peace processes.  But what is true wisdom?

Cleverness, we are told in the dictionary, is knowing about things; wisdom on the other hand, is being able to discern the true values of life - a  deep and important distinction.  There are plenty of clever people who are very far from being wise. Most of us will have known well-educated, clever people; people as they say, with the world at their feet. And yet because they lack wisdom (common sense) these clever people have often made the most appalling mess of their lives, and all too often a mess of the lives of others too.  Our political, our business, and even our religious worlds, suffer from people who are very clever but who lack real wisdom. When he became King over Israel, we are told that King Solomon prayed for true wisdom - the ability to discern the true value of things. That is what we should likewise be praying for now.

Jesus told his friends that ‘The Father will give you anything you ask him in my name’(John 15 v16). The point being that it is not enough to mechanically finish our prayers ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord’ but to finish them with our minds attuned to his mind, our desires and our thoughts wholly ranged with his. If we can accomplish this— really another way of saying, ‘attain to wisdom’ — then we may find that we receive what we ask for because we will have asked for the right things.  The things that, in the words of the Book of Common Prayer, are ‘requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul’.  We might also add ‘and for the good of each and every part of God's creation’.

So returning to my trivial problems of where to store things or what to preach about on Sunday, perhaps what I really need to think about is how attuned to God's wisdom am I?  Am I really living in tune with God's Holy Spirit and am I really open to the things that God wants us all to think about, pray about and act upon? But there again I am sure that you have already thought about that.

Your friend and parish priest






Father God

During this vacancy,

guard and grow the people of this benefice as we serve you together

in this period without an incumbent.

Lord Jesus, teacher and friend

We know that you have plans for us

and that these plans are good.

We ask now that you will help us to share responsibility,

grow in faith, love one another, care for those in need,

reach out to others, and welcome newcomers.

Holy Spirit, gentle guide,

Please inspire those who are seeking the right person for us,

and those who are seeking the right place for their ministry,

That together we may discover your way for the future

and see your kingdom grow.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen