What we do 

ospreys

The Rector Writes... 

What an experience! Alyson and I visited the Rutland Water Nature Reserve recently and saw the Ospreys and their offspring. What an amazing sight, watching them close-up on the nest-cam, through telescopes and through my camera lens.

Spectacular! But, what struck me most of all wasn’t the birds themselves, but the enthusiasm of the “twitchers” in “Waderscrape” hide as we arrived. Within a few minutes we heard about a fight between a water-vole and a moorhen that very morning (!), were experts in (and had seen through the telescope!) “Broad-Bodied Chasers” (a species of dragon-fly) and the behaviour of Osprey “intruders”, young males who return to the nest three years after leaving for pastures new (the females are less homely!).

We’d even watched the “intruders” “dive-bombing” the nest and heard the whole thing described “energetically” by the twitchers, who jotted it all down in a book and phoned the Visitors’ Centre animatedly to let them know what was going on! And when a World War II Dakota flew over, one of the twichers became positively apoplectic! It was a wonderful way to spend an hour in the company of such ardent and enthusiastic bird-watchers, and learn so much from them. We’re looking at taking the family on a boat-trip to get a closer look at the birds… I was hooked!
 
Do you ever get enthusiastic about anything? The World Cup? The rugby or the cricket? Wimbledon (the tennis, not the place… or maybe the place!)? A particular restaurant or type of food? A pop star or other celebrity? But I also wonder when was the last time you were enthusiastic about your faith and what it means to you, or, if you go to Church, when was the last time you were effulgent about what the Church family means to you?   
 
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, was criticised by the Church of England for the “sin” of “enthusiasm”! As I listened to those “twitchers” enthusing about the ospreys I found myself thinking… if only we could be so enthusiastic about our God and his love for us, how contagious (in a good and positive sense!) that would be.
 
In my last parish someone once said to me how sorry she was that her now grown-up children didn’t go to Church as she did. Yet I knew that the reason was that for years all the children had heard was her bad-mouthing the vicar and congregation members in her church and complaining about the services, the hymns, the flower arrangements… you name it, she complained about it! No wonder her family didn’t want to join her!
 
We have an amazing God who loves us and does wonderful things through us and for us, a loving and supportive Church family which cares about us and in which we can play our part. We even have a Ministry Team who do their best to provide encouraging and challenging worship!
 
Let’s try to be “Holy Twitchers” enthusiastically sharing our faith with others.
 

 kevin 2 The Revd Kevin Ashby
 

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