Lighting the beacon in Corby Glen for HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday

On 21st April, Corby Glen marked the Queen’s 90th birthday with a beacon lighting ceremony on the village green. Residents gathered at the Church Street Rooms for sparkling wine and birthday cake, before processing up to the beacon. Reverend Stephen Buckman addressed the crowd, including a message from Clarence House, regarding the Queen’s birthday. This was followed by the beacon being lit, assisted by two members of the 1st Corby Glen Beavers, Cubs & Scouts Group. It was good to have the Corby fire crew there who are looking for new recruits to join the team.

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Clarence House - birthday announcement

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HM Queen’s 90th Birthday Beacon Lighting – Corby Glen

You will probably have seen coverage of plans to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday on 21st April, with over 1,000 beacons being lit across the country. Corby Glen will be part of that chain – see attached poster.

This will be the third time the beacon has been lit – it will be great to see as many people there as possible to join in with this national chain of beacons!

 

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Stella’s April

April with its sunshine and showers
Gives us rainbows and many wild flowers.

This morning early the house was lit up by the beautiful red eastern sky, but not a good sign, for rain was sure to follow – and it did.

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight,
Red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning.

The Bible version, St. Matthew chapter sixteen – When it is evening, you say “it will be fine weather, for the sky is red.” And in the morning “it will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.

‘Rain before seven, stop before eleven.’
‘April weather, rain and sunshine together.’

Sometimes a prolonged winter seems to turn into summer overnight – ‘When winter meets summer it foretells a hot, dry summer.’ ‘The weather in the second half of April foretells the summer.’

Flowers on some trees often go unnoticed, but the flowers on the blackthorn which dominates April, tiny white flowers, cover the hedges like snow. Later they are scattered like confetti in the grass below.

If it blossoms before the leaves appear it will be bitterly cold, possibly with snow – Yes, SNOW! But whenever it flowers expect a cold spell – Blackthorn Winter.

Alexander Buchan forecasts a cold spell
11th – 14th April.

Bluebells are at their peak by the end of April in most regions. A member of the lily family, they are sometimes called wild hyacinths. Enjoy them while you can and reflect on the fact that the sight is unique to the British Isles.

Nowhere else do they form such bold swathes of misty blue, the long dangling bells are a bright, shiny blue.

When they are all in bloom, the trees will look for a few weeks as if they are growing out of blue lakes. Bluebells are found on railway embankments, under hedges and on patches of waste ground – usually where these places were once woodland.

Spanish bluebells, which are a different species, have been introduced in this country and in many places now grow wild. They have more violet-coloured flowers and a straight stalk.

They also cross easily with our native bluebells and gardeners are being discouraged from planting Spanish bluebells. We want to keep our own distinct flower.

There is so much to see and hear in April.

Look out for the first swallow – it is said to be good news if you see one before April 16th. Aristotle said “One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day” but both are very welcome.

The house martin too returns to our villages, the nightingale to woodlands and the cuckoo to fields and woods. More colour is added to our gardens by the butterflies – the orange tip is a common April butterfly.

The bumble bees are also very active collecting nectar and pollen from spring flowers. They are all queens at this time of the year and rear their first broods in their nests underground.

We have a New Moon 7th April and a Full Moon 22nd April.

April 23rd is St. George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birthday. St. George is the patron saint of England – so often forgotten unlike St. Andrew, St. Patrick and St. David, patron saints of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

April 21st is the 90th birthday of our Queen;
April 21st – 24th is the Harrogate Spring Flower Show and April 24th is the London Marathon.

Peter Harrison R.I.P. once sent me this poem he called ‘Spring’ to cheer us up:

An April sky o’er violets blue,
Bright kingcups of a golden hue,
Shining beside a shady brook,
That murmurs through a mossy nook.

A hedge pale green with budding may,
A willow wren, who at his play
Takes music from the joyful stream
To put to song a fairy’s dream.

A curlew’s cry at early dawn,

A blackbird on a dewy lawn,
The speckled jewels in a thrush’s nest,
The fresh spring breeze that blows from the west,
Oh the beauty and joy of the world at its best.

Jesus himself came near and went with them …

Having journeyed through the forty days of Lent, and having celebrated the moment of Jesus’ resurrection, we now find ourselves in the fifty day season of Easter. During these days the Church is bedecked in white and worshippers are invited to revel in the joy of that greatest moment in the history of humanity – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

One of the great joys of this season is the opportunity we are given, through the Church’s cycle of readings, to share in the sheer joy of the disciples at finding all of their despair turned into unimaginable and indescribable happiness. Of course, as with anything that seems too good to be true, the time immediately following the events of Good Friday are met with uncertainty, even doubt. However all of that apprehension is set aside as it becomes obvious that Jesus really has risen from the dead. Those who found the empty tomb wondered, quite naturally, what had been happened to Jesus’ body. Thomas, having missed the disciples’ first meeting with the risen Jesus, doubted that it could possibly be true. Indeed, it took Jesus himself standing before Thomas and inviting him to inspect his wounds to convince the doubter that he was the one who had got it wrong. The whole post-crucifixion narrative in the gospels is one of people coming to see that Jesus is indeed risen.

The Church’s pattern of readings is planned on a three year cycle. I mention this merely as an aside to explain why this year we will not be hearing one of my favourite readings from Luke’s gospel. In Years A and B of the cycle we hear the account of two people walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. They had not heard of Jesus’ resurrection and were still desperately sad that the authorities had executed the man who they had seen as their Lord and their Saviour. As they were walking along and discussing the tragic events of the previous couple of days, the gospel tells us that: ‘Jesus himself came near and went with them.’ It is those wonderful words that have always resonated with me in this post-resurrection story. In those few words, contained within this simple account, is the heart of the Easter message. Jesus did share in the harsh reality of our earthly lives two thousand years ago, but he also transcended the cruelty of our human frailty in order that he might give us the hope, comfort and joy of his presence in our lives for all time.

The disciples were scattered and in despair, the travellers on the road to Emmaus were disconsolate and puzzled by what had happened, and Thomas doubted. And yet, all of that unhappiness and misery was turned to inexpressible joy when Jesus conquered the powers of this world and rose from the dead – for each and every one of us!

Wherever you find yourself on your pilgrimage through life, remember that Jesus himself has drawn near, and is waiting to walk with you. Jesus is waiting to hold your hand and lead you into the joy of his resurrection. And, if you find it difficult to walk with him, then let him carry you through those dark times – his loving arms are strong and accepting of all.

I pray that as we journey together through this joyous season of Easter you may be able to say, with Thomas (who once doubted): ‘My Lord and my God’ as you experience Jesus himself drawing near to, and travelling, with you.

Revd Stephen Buckman