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The Rector: Joy in the Morning

The Rector

Bolton Abbey Parish Magazine

October 2017

Joy in the Morning

I regard each day as an orange that has to have as much juice squeezed out of it as possible, and when I finish squeezing one day’s
orange I go to bed and wait for the next day’s orange.

I have been listening to Henry Blofeld commentating on Test Match Special since my very early teens. His stints at the microphone,
punctuated by remarks about the fielding position of pigeons at the Oval or the progress of buses down Manchester’s Warwick Road,
have been a soundtrack to my summers for over four decades. England’s cricketers may not always have brought untrammelled joy
to the listener, but Henry Blofeld certainly has through his infectious enthusiasm each morning at the prospect of a good day’s cricket. I
have absolutely no idea what, if any, religious convictions Henry Blofeld holds, but his vivid image of each day as an orange to be
squeezed is surely indicative of an attitude to life that is deeply appreciative of its many blessings.

Henry Blofeld’s palpable joy for life’s blessings fits well with the season of harvest which we shall be marking this month at the
Priory. The tradition of holding a church celebration for the end of the Harvest is a comparatively modern one, dating from 1843 when
the first such service was held in Cornwall; but this particular tradition simply builds on many earlier traditions – both Christian
and Jewish – through which God’s people have given thanks for the abundant blessings of God’s creation. Such blessings are to be found
not only in the material goodness of the fruits of the earth, but also in the joys that human beings, made in God’s image, share with one
another. Henry Blofeld seems instinctively to have understood this, and we will all have to work a little bit harder at spreading the joys
of summer’s blessings now that he has retired.

With prayers and best wishes,

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