To the Unsung

In this Jubilee Year, and as the worst of the Covid19 pandemic seems to be over, our thoughts are turning to community celebrations.  One of the things we have undoubtedly learned over the last couple of years is that human beings are designed for social living – isolation is not good for us; we need one another to thrive.  Therefore, I thought it would be a good moment to write a public message of gratitude to the people from whose generosity and energy we routinely benefit in our villages.  There are all kinds of folk who make our lives more pleasant than they would otherwise be, and my guess is that many of them rarely receive the thanks they deserve.

This will obviously not be an exhaustive list; you will know people who bring a blessing to you and others that are unknown to me.  However, as I list some of the folk who quietly get on with keeping the wheels of our communities turning, I hope you will each add to this list, give thanks to God for them and offer an expression of gratitude to them in person.

Perhaps a good place to start is with our elected local government Councillors.  Serving the villages in this way is not an easy task.  It’s a voluntary role, resources are limited and sometimes people’s expectations are unreasonable, yet they meet regularly to hear, discuss and make decisions upon the issues that affect our day-to-day life.  Maybe you could write to one of your Parish Councillors today to thank them for their efforts and to encourage them in their labours.

Then there are others who coordinate activities in the villages to improve the lives of their neighbours.  Our village halls are fabulous resources which provide hospitality for all sorts of events and groups where people can come together.  But these important village assets do not run themselves.  Indeed, quite apart from the work that is necessary to ensure that the buildings themselves are fit for purpose, a significant amount of effort needs to be expended in relation to hall bookings, event management and advertising.  Once again, much of the work that is done in relation to this is carried out by volunteers (just a few of them) and resources are tight, making the job challenging at the best of times.  These people deserve our gratitude.  If you know who they are, maybe you could express that.

A third group of people who are extremely busy, but whose work is almost completely hidden are the school governors.  Governance requirements have changed enormously over the last twenty years, and to be a governor now is to hold a position of great responsibility.  Once again, they do this work voluntarily out of a desire to ensure that the next generation get the best possible education.  They do not expect thanks, but in light of the stress they sometimes experience, a word of appreciation would surely not go amiss.

The willingness of these people to give of their time, talents and energy extends way beyond what many of us might imagine.  Therefore, on behalf of us all, I would like to thank them very much indeed.

May you know the joy of the God from whom all good things come and be rightly grateful.