Notes from the Vicarage!

Notes from The Vicarage Welcome to an edition of the Parish Magazine which takes us from Eastertide virtually to Pentecost. Those reading their copy hot from the press at the end of April will include visitors to St. John’s Tideswell for the village Food Festival; a special welcome to you!

The annual cycle of the church’s calendar tells the bible story afresh each year, starting with  Advent as we wait for Jesus’ coming, his birth at Christmas, and showing of God’s glory during Epiphany. A few weeks of ‘ordinary time,’ and Lent helps us prepare for the events of Easter; moving into Ascension and the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost (Whitsun), sometimes called birthday of the church. Then we’re into a long stretch of the wonderfully named ordinary time, during which we find festival days like Wakes (around St John the Baptist’s day), well dressings, as well as harvest before coming to All Saints, Remembrance and the start of the cycle again.

Through most of history, holy days have been the equivalent of holidays, community celebrations, and a rare and special day off the normal round of work.  Not surprisingly, they are often marked by special foods: the richer the better for feast days; plain and simple for times of fasting or preparation. We’re celebrating this connection at the Food Festival this year, with the theme of “Tasting Times.“

Different colours were connected with the different seasons, and still are connected with the church hangings, again a feature of the Food Festival. White for high holy days, especially Christmas and Easter; Purple for preparation and fasting, such as Lent and Advent; Red for the flames of Pentecost and for martyrdom, including Remembrance; Green for good old ordinary time, a sign of growing in faith and experience as well as the green of the earth at harvest. So these are the colours around which we’ve planned the “Tasting Times” exhibition and recipe book.

We’re very thankful for the riches of the church tradition we inherit and try continually to present afresh to succeeding generations, and to church visitors; a tradition which involves our senses, hearing word, teaching, music and story; but also scent, taste, sight and touch, honouring as fully as possible the Christ who became fully human, as the church year celebrates. We’re thankful, too for the ways in which these riches are still enjoyed in the wider parish community, from mince pies, to simnel cake, to Thar cakes, and all the rest! If the exhibition helps to re-make the connection between the Christian story and the food, it will have succeeded.

Yours, Gillian and Simon