Diocese of Canterbury

Saint Martin of Tours – Guston Parish Church

 

News from Guston

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News from Guston

 Good news is hard to come by at the moment with news headlines providing a litany of unhappy events ranging from homeless people in this country dying on the streets during the recent cold weather, the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter through to the terrible continuation of the war in Syria, now in it's eighth year and having driven 12 million Syrians from their homes, with many other sad and unhappy stories in between.

 

It has been estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 civilians have fled the Eastern Ghouta region during one week as the war in Syria continues, with nearly half a million killed or missing overall.  Some children have never known peace in their lifetime and they will carry with them the physical and mental scars that this war has inflicted on them.  Even when these refugees finally manage to reach a less troubled part of the world, they are often greeted with animosity and suspicion.

 

However, for some people, difficulties or disaster gives them an opportunity to offer help.  During the heavy snow falls in February someone paid for a homeless person to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights;  local residents took food, water and blankets to those who were stuck in deep snow on motorways and there were many other acts of kindness being carried out all over the country. 

 

In the Eastern Ghouta region, a trauma doctor has been working tirelessly, with diminishing equipment and medication, to treat the local people.  Dr Hamid lives with his wife and five children in a dimly lit garage attached to their former home.  He travels to the local hospital on his bicycle to tend the sick, injured and dying.  He says that successful treatment has become a binary calculation:  life or death.  "When we are dealing with children, we hope God will look to them."  Letting out a long deep sigh, he continues, "I'm sorry, words cannot express this."

 

Dr Hamid, and others alongside him, work long hours amidst constant bombing and shelling, which is physically and emotionally exhausting, with the added worry that the family they left behind earlier may not be there on their return.  This work is selfless giving of the utmost kind:  "The patients are also our family," Dr Hamid says. "We will carry on treating them until all the medication is gone.  Until we stand with nothing.  Until the last minutes .... We will stay until the end."

 

 

Lord,

remember not only the men and the women

of good will but also all those of ill will.

 

Do not remember only the suffering

that they have inflicted on us,

but remember also the fruits we have brought,

thanks to this suffering:

 

our comradeship and our loyalty,

our humility and our courage,

the generosity and greatness of heart

which has grown out of all this.

 

And when those people come to judgement,

let all the fruits we have borne

be their forgiveness.

 

This timeless prayer, scrawled on wrapping paper, was found near the body of a dead child in Ravensbrück, which was the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich. 

 

 

*****

 

 

Sunday School made Mothering Sunday presents of a flower arrangement in a china tea cup.

 

 

Services for April:

 

Sunday 1 April 6pm Easter Day 9.30 am Family Service with Holy Communion (BCP)

Sunday 8 April 10-11 am Sunday School

Sunday 15 April Sung Evensong

 

The APCM will be held in the church following Holy Communion on Sunday 15 April at 6.45 pm.

 

Services for May:

 

Sunday 6 May 6pm Sung Evensong

Sunday 13 May 10-11 am Sunday School

Sunday 20 May 6pm Holy Communion (BCP)

 

 

 

 

 

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