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Welcome to the website of
The Lambfold Benefice

A group of five Anglican rural parishes

in the geographical centre of England

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AUGUST 2019

RECTOR’S RAMBLINGS

"When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the Moon and the stars, which
Thou hast ordained” (Psalm 8)

Fifty years ago today, (20th July) Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon
and uttering those now famous word, ‘This is one small step for [a] man, one giant leap
for mankind’ entered into the annals of human history as the first person to stand upon the
surface of the moon. As he did so pictures of this momentous event were beamed across the
world. As a young boy just home for the summer holidays I can remember staying up to
watch the grainy flickering black and white images on the ancient television set in our lounge
and being totally fascinated by what I saw.

Yesterday I was asked to give a talk at the School Leavers service, a service written by the
pupils and based around three of the core values of the school; Courage Wisdom and
Fellowship. Looking for a ‘peg’ on which to hang my talk I went back to those momentous
events fifty years ago. For all the pupils leaving the school, next September will mark a step,
even a giant leap for some of them in their educational careers, as they face new places and
routines, new challenges, new friendships and new opportunities. Rather like the three
astronauts who crewed Apollo 11 and brought the mission to a successful conclusion, such
challenges need courage to face what lies ahead, the quality of fellowship to form effective
teams and get the job done, and above all the use of wisdom to bring things to a successful
conclusion. I reminded the pupils that in order for the two astronauts to set foot on the moon,
they had to display courage, trust each other, and perhaps more importantly to trust in the
team of many hundreds who had worked behind the scenes to make the mission possible. It
is said that the team had to solve over 10,000 problems in order for just two men to set foot
on the surface of the moon, and they did not know what the second 5,000+ problems were
until they had solved the first 5,000. Like all events, big all small, any new challenge, any
new discovery needs courage to venture into the unknown or unfamiliar, the quality of
fellowship to work together supporting one another, and the quality of wisdom.
Researching and thinking about the Apollo 11 mission, one begins to realise more and more
what a momentous event it was, and how it has directly and indirectly affected human
existence over those past fifty years. Some of the things we take almost for granted today;
computers, electronic gadgets, etc and some which we are now only beginning to develop
like hydrogen fuel cells etc. can to a degree trace their initial development back to the race to
put man on the moon. Perhaps some of the lesser-known facts of the mission are worthy of
note too. For example, did you know that Buzz Aldrin (who was not only a gifted astronaut
but also an Elder of the Presbyterian Church) actually celebrated Holy Communion on the
surface moon? Or that in a live television broadcast three days later on the eve of
splashdown Aldrin reflected on all that they had achieved and quoting form Psalm 8 in the
Old Testament remarked: "When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the
Moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of
him?”

I rather like those facts – why? because it shows to a small but important degree that
although some may argue that Religion and Science do not mix, they do! Left on the surface
of the moon is a plaque that reads: ‘Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon
the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.’ A lasting reminder of a
momentous mission successfully completed through Courage, Fellowship and Wisdomunder
the guidance of God.

Father Tim





Filling the Christ shaped hole in the heart of England

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