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From the Vicar - June 2023

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Did you enjoy the Coronation weekend?  I certainly did!

I took part in an enactment of the Coronation in Horspath C of E Primary School.  I thoroughly enjoyed dressing up as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had a lovely time crowning and enthroning ‘King Charles’ and ‘Queen Camilla’. I enjoyed the privilege of being Archbishop for an hour, without any of the many responsibilities and challenges which must surely go with the job. I also enjoyed the lighting of the large beacon, or fire, here in Cuddesdon, with drinks in the Village Hall beforehand – thanks to Chris and the Parish Council for the drinks, and to Salt for the fire!  I ate lots of cake over the weekend – with St Giles’ Church, in Horspath, transformed into Highgrove Gardens; and an afternoon tea in the Horspath Hub.  In Garsington, I really enjoyed a Coronation Songs of Praise, followed by prosecco and cake, in St Mary’s Church.

In last month’s newsletter I wrote a little about the oil of Chrism which would be used to anoint King Charles at his Coronation and, watching the Coronation on TV, the anointing was – for me - one of the highlights, as we saw King Charles, standing humbly and vulnerable, stripped of all his finery, wearing a simple linen tunic and trousers, after the special anointing screen had been removed.  Another highlight, and reminder for me of Charles’ humanity, was seeing William, Prince of Wales, giving his father a tender kiss on the cheek, after swearing an oath of allegiance to him as King.

Shortly after the Coronation, we celebrated Ascension Day with a Eucharist in All Saints’ Church, on 18th May, when the risen Jesus was taken up into heaven to be seated on his heavenly throne.  I couldn’t help reflecting upon the similarities and differences between Charles’ coronation, and Jesus’ enthronement.  Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II spoke often of her desire to imitate the servant ministry of Jesus Christ, the Servant King; and Charles’ coronation had a strong theme of servant leadership, service and volunteering.

I know that many villagers already volunteer: at the monthly coffee morning; in church and in the churchyard; on the Parish Council; on the fete committee (many thanks to all who helped at, and supported this year’s fete); on the village hall committee; and in many other voluntary roles around the village and local area – but let’s all try to learn from King Charles, and from Jesus Christ, the art of humility and humble service.  Let’s seek not to be served, but to serve.

Thanks and God bless