What we do 

1

Summer last year - visiting National Trust managed coastline in Devon.

The team vicar writes... 

“Quiet spaces”


One of the longest-lasting wedding gifts that John and I received, thirty-plus years ago, was life-time membership of the National Trust.

Of course, this year, during the lockdown, the opportunity to ‘get away’ and spend time in our favourite places has been severely restricted. Many of our personal favourite National Trust stretches of coastline and countryside are in Devon, and we’re hoping that we will be able to have some holiday and re-visit them before too long.

“Our lives are …over-strained.  We all want quiet. We all want beauty... We all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently.”

These are words of Octavia Hill, co-founder of the National Trust which, this year, is celebrating its 125th birthday. By the end of the 19th century, rapid industrialisation was threatening to sweep away the country’s heritage and destroy its remaining natural landscape. Along with Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, Octavia Hill campaigned against this threat, and laid the foundations of an organisation that would protect natural and historic places for future generations. 

As Prince Charles (who has been President of the National Trust for 25 years) puts it, when these three founders established their new organisation in 1895, “it would surely have seemed impossible to them, or indeed anyone else, that a membership of millions of people would one day support 250,000 hectares of farmland, 780 miles of coastline and more than 500 historic properties, together with glorious gardens and spectacular Nature reserves”.

Now, as Europe’s largest conservation charity, the Trust is engaged in working with others to counter the crises of climate change and biodiversity loss - including, for example, by planning to plant 20 million more trees in the next 10 years and to develop ‘green corridors’ that enhance biodiversity and are accessible for residents of crowded towns and cities to enjoy.

What people often forget is how much Christianity influenced and undergirded the foundation of our National Health Service and the National Trust alike, motivating their founders to take action to care for the health and wellbeing of both people and natural places.

Hardwicke Rawnsley, an Anglican priest, passionately believed that as God’s creation the landscape should be open to all. And having herself experienced life in bleak, treeless housing estates, Octavia Hill was inspired by, among others, the pioneering Christian Socialist minister Frederick Denison Maurice. She became convinced of the need for open spaces where nature can thrive and where anyone and everyone can “feel a refreshing air” and “see the sun setting in coloured glory which abounds so in the Earth God made”.

Whether it’s in the gardens, woodlands, countryside or coastline managed by the National Trust, or in some other ‘natural space’ this summer, I hope we’ll all be able to find places and spaces where “whispers of better things come to us gently”.

My prayer for us all this August is based on David’s words in Psalm 23. May the Lord give us rest in green pastures; may He lead us beside still waters and restore our souls…

Every Blessing.

mary  The Revd Mary Barr.
 

Rector pic
The Rector writes... 
I’ve said it before, and, like many others, I’ll say it again… “We live in strange times”, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
1
Prayer of the month - September 
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in September, please read on... More ...
1
Prayer of the month - August
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in August, please read on... More ...
2222hands
Prayer of the month - July
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in July, please read on... More ...
1
The Rector writes...
I’ve always been interested in time travel, and the way time plays tricks on us. But, essentially, things change over time, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
hands
Prayer of the Month - June
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in June, please read on... More ...
image 1.tif2222
The Team Vicar Writes…                                              
Uncertainty. We’re living with it on so many fronts, aren’t we, writes the Revd Mary Barr. To find out more, read on... More ...
pic 1
The Rector Writes...
This time last month weddings in Church were still allowed (just!) and we were looking at opening St Mary’s at particular times on particular days for prayer and reflection. How rapidly things have changed in this past month, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
hands
Prayer of the Month
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in May, please read on... More ...
2222hands
Prayer Of The Month
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in April, please read on... More ...
The Rector Writes... 
As I write this, it’s less than a week since our society has been turned upside down by attempts to halt the spread of Covid-19 and ease pressure on the Health Service, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
Prayer of the month
The latest Prayer of the Month from the Revd Dr Mary Barr. More ...
The rector writes... 
We need to follow the example of Jesus and do what we can to improve the lot of the poor and needy, says the Revd Kevin Ashby. Read on to find out more... More ...
The Rector Writes...
The plea for recycling and care for our planet is not new; yet still there are those who deny that climate change is an issue, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
Prayer of the Month
For a prayer of blessing for us to pray for one another across the Melton Team Parish in February, please read on... More ...
The Rector writes...
For me, Christmas has always been about journeys, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector Writes...
“Overworked and underpaid” is a phrase often used in the work-place, and it’s very true of clergy, as it is of so many others, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector writes... 
Seeing pictures of dust clouds rising from the central crater of Mt Etna, a very live volcano, can be unsettling… but even more unsettling when the pictures online are dated 25th August and you’re due to visit on the 29th, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector Writes...
So, there we sat… on the quay-side at Dartmouth. Alyson and I were both hungry and so we’d bought pork baps for lunch… and what better place to eat them than sitting peacefully on the quay-side soaking up the sun, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Team Vicar writes... 
This year sees the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ordination of women as priests in the Church of England, writes the Revd Dr Mary Barr. More ...
The Rector Writes... 
Two thousand years ago Jesus said to the Jewish people who believed in him: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE”! writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector Writes... 
“There is nothing certain except change” said the ancient philosopher Heraclitus… and that has certainly been true of life in Melton Mowbray Team Parish this past year, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Team Vicar Writes…
Team Vicar, the Revd Dr Mary Barr, explains why she keeps a diary, not just to note up-coming appointments, but a journal in which to reflect on the past day’s highs and lows. More ...
The Rector Writes... 
Life is full of its highs and lows, and the theme of “journeys” has been exercising my mind throughout Lent, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector Writes...
We’re still in the period when we’re focussing on “Give Because You Can!” and I’d like to say a thank you to members of the Ministry Team and others who have “gone the extra mile” in helping over the last couple of months, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...
The Rector Writes 
In February, as a Team Parish, we’re focussing on the theme of “GIVE BECAUSE YOU CAN!” To find out more, read on... More ...
The Rector writes...  
Folk visit our Church for a variety of reasons… and how disappointing it is for them if the door is closed and locked, writes the Revd Kevin Ashby. More ...