A letter from the Vicarage – Rev’d Andy Stand


Hi Everyone,

How are you doing? I hope and pray that you have been able to keep fit and well and are enjoying the beauty of the warmer temperatures and longer days (a sentence I hesitate to write, knowing that later this month we will reach the solstice and the nights will start drawing in again), but despite all that of course we still have the good old British Summer to look forward to as the days of Spring give way to the days of Summer – and I keep hearing reports that we are in for a heatwave or two!

Since writing, last month’s magazine letter (about Ascension Day), I have been thinking (and inviting others to join me in thinking) about Heaven – Indeed as some of you will have heard I have invited congregations in at least two of the team churches to reflect upon their images of heaven (and asked any children present to draw their pictures of heaven), and have done so again recently in Collective Worship in Whittington School.

How I wonder do you envisage heaven? If I were to ask you to draw a picture of heaven what would it look like; who would be there; and what do you think you would be doing? Most important of course (from my perspective, if not yours) is where do you see God in your picture?

Which may bring us back to the theme of Ascension, and Jesus Christ in all His risen, glory and kingship, seated on a throne at the right hand of the Father, an image which may well be influenced by the images of our own Queen, seated on thrones and surrounded by all the pageantry of state – images we will see in greater number as we celebrate this month the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

I wonder have you got the bunting out yet? Are you planning a street party? Or will you just quietly enjoy having the extra bank holiday? Recently, I have been involved (well, watched from a slight distance) as Union Jack Bunting was being made from children’s painted hand and foot prints (far too creative for my talents)! Similarly, at the Deanery Celebration of Ministry service last week, many people were partaking of the Platinum Pudding, which again somebody (with far more creative talents than I possess) had made for us to enjoy.

The Queen has been a wonderful servant to our nation for many years, service that is borne out of (in no small degree) her Christian faith. She is an example to us all.

So we give thanks this month for Her Majesty; and we give thanks too for the opening at Whittington of our new room that will bear her name – our Elizabethan Room – we give thanks for those whose hard work has brought that to fruition and we give thanks to God for his provision.

However, you intend to celebrate this month, may God bless us all, now and into the future together.

Stay safe everyone.


Every blessing,

Revd. Andy Stand

St. Philip & St. James Parish Church Whittington, Worcs. WR5 2RQ