August’s Letter 2021
Question: is football artistic?
I’m writing this on Monday 12th July so I write with a heavy heart! But one thing that struck me is football is art. It’s creative and it changes who we are. When I was at theological college we played in some European matches. Don’t imagine exercise and stretches, more a pint and a cigarette (in the days when sadly, many people smoked!) We’d driven all night to get to Bruges in Belgium and we were shattered before we started. But once you’re on the pitch it’s different. It’s a great feeling. (Needless to say we got stuffed by the Germans!) In the past ‘art’ was seen in a narrow fashion. But I think lots of endeavours and hobbies are artistic like sport or walking or dancing or anything that gives you joy and makes you feel like you are flourishing. They use vastly different products. For example Sunday’s products were blood sweat and tears! Someone said, “The process matters more than the product: this is a universal truth in art and creativity, and it transcends every artistic medium, from architecture to YouTube videos.” No matter what form the art takes in the end, no matter what artistic medium you use, the process of making that art changes who you are, as a person. How we’re changed differs from person to person, but we are fundamentally changed by embracing our creativity—no matter our creative outlet. Post Covid 19 we are beginning a new journey, a new process, even a new way of living. I hope and pray we also begin to reflect on how we can be a new church, a new place of safety for people to rest, recollect and recharge. I pray that the church is relevant to you, not simply so the church will survive but also that we can all flourish together. We need to be open to even new ways of living, new ways of caring and serving, even new ways of praying. Can I please ask a favour? Email me and tell me what you’d like the church to do post Covid19. How can we help in not only a spiritual way but also in a way that supports you all, from the youngest to the oldest. To use an artistic image again – in some ways we begin with a blank canvas. Please know that you are all very much in my thoughts and prayers. Can I also take this opportunity to wish our school leavers every blessing and much luck in their next step in education or employment. Finally, may we all take the time to fully immerse in our creative potential, no matter the medium. May we all be reminded that the process matters, the journey matters, not just the final outcome. So, in faith, hope and love let us all journey together.
Revd. Stephen Monk ( Rector of Darley, South Darley and Winster.)