What we leave behind?

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From the Manse....

This summer, our National Trust membership card was used numerous times as together we explored old familiar properties along with discovering new, previously unvisited ones.

From the interiors of grand houses with their trappings of power, influence and wealth to gardens and parklands with incredible views and vistas, we caught a glimpse of bygone ages and lifestyles very different from our own.

The National Trust was founded as a charity in 1895 by just three people. They recognised the importance of the nation's heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. Those very same values are still to be found at the heart of everything the National Trust does.

Coastlines, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, gardens, mills and pubs and one of the world's largest art collections are all taken care of and looked after by the charity.

We met knowledgeable volunteers who helped to explain and bring to life exhibits and artefacts, each of which told stories of the past

All this got me thinking and poses the question what do we leave behind and what is our legacy? Of course this is not just a personal question that we all have to answer, but also one for the church.

As a new Methodist year begins on 1st September, we are reminded that we will soon be entering the 175th anniversary year of Wantage Methodist Church, the 130th of Grove Methodist Church, the 25th year of the new church at Childrey as well as celebrating 200 years of Methodist witness in the vale of the White Horse.

We give thanks to all those whose legacy lives on in and through us — to all those who have gone before us whose faces we still see and whose names we still know.

We remember with gratitude those who have helped to shape not only our churches but our lives as well.

Of course the work of the National Trust is not just about the past and what was, it is also about the present and the future. Enabling visitors today to enjoy the legacy of what has been with a commitment to what is yet to come.

Likewise, as we give thanks for God's blessings in the past, we commit ourselves anew and afresh to work with Him in all that he is doing now and all that He will continue to do.

With love and God Bless

Keith

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