Pew News February 2021
February is a special month for my wife Joy and me as it contains the birthdays of our children, Malcolm and Carolyn. Malcolm, with a sense of style, arrived on St. Valentine’s Day, the 14th, but unfortunately Carolyn just failed to emulate him four years later being born early on the 15th.
St. Valentine’s Day conjures up images of love-struck couples gazing into one another’s eyes as they drink pink champagne and consume Belgian chocolates, but this commercialisation is far removed from the reason for Valentine’s commemoration.
Like many of our early saints, the events in Valentine’s life are sketchy and, in this case, confused by the fact that there were two Valentines – Valentine of Terni, a bishop who was martyred in Rome in 273 AD and Valentine of Rome , a priest who was also martyred but on an unknown date in the third century.
The ‘commercialisation’ of February 14th is not, like Halloween, an American invention but dates back to John Donne a 17th century priest and poet who wrote both sacred and secular poems. In 1632 he wrote a marriage song for Princess Lizabeth, the daughter of James 1 who married Frederick V on February 14th that year. The song merged the religious commemoration of Valentine with fertility symbols including the spring mating rituals of birds. As in today’s world, royal weddings often set a fashion trend among couples about to marry and this one has survived for 4 centuries, albeit rather more secular and less religious for most people.
At the time of writing, the chances of couples being able to book a romantic meal at an upmarket restaurant or gastropub look remote. However, the broader concept of love given and received seems to me to be alive and well in our communities. Joy and I, being of a ‘shielding’ age, have benefited from countless acts of kindness ranging from letters and phone calls of good wishes and concern, to practical help with shopping, hospital visits and even cooking. I know our experience is not unique and the manifestation of Christian love in action is just what our Saviour expects of his disciples when he commands them to, “love your neighbour as yourself”. Moreover, the fact that Valentine’s Day is a blend of the secular and religious means, I hope, that people of all faiths and none will embrace the concept of humanity as we support one another in good times and bad.
With every blessing,
Our new term has started with meetings still on Zoom. We are trying our hardest to keep scouting going locally. It is particularly difficult when schooling is largely on line and we are all desperate to get outside again.
This february half term we are going on camp! It will be a virtual camp with everyone at home. The older ones will camp in their back gardens and most of the younger ones will build camp dens inside. We will all get together for a Zoom campfire. We are collecting money for a local young people's charity so if you are approached asking for sponsorship for the camp that is the reason.
Group Scout Leader
1st Charing Scout Group
Tutt Hill Farm Cottage
Kevin Alexander HART (Pluckley)
Kevin died on Saturday 28th November 2020 aged 92. His funeral took place at Charing Crematorium
on Friday 15th January 2021.
Andrew Colin LESTER (Westwell)
Andrew died on Thursday 3rd December 2020 aged 48. His funeral took place at Charing Crematorium
on Tuesday 22nd December 2020.
Joan Margaret GWILLIM
Joan died on Thursday 24th December 2020 aged 86. Her funeral took place at St. Nicholas, Pluckley,
followed by burial in the churchyard,
on Friday 22nd January 2021.
Paula Joan KINGE
Paula died on Monday 28th December 2020 aged 71.
Her funeral took place at St. Mary, Westwell,
followed by burial in Westwell Cemetery,
on Tuesday 19th January 2021.
May God enfold Kevin, Andrew, Joan and Paula in his tender love and care.
Readings for FEBRUARY 2021
Psalm 104. 26 - end
7th FEBRUARY 2nd before Lent Proverbs 8. 1, 22 – 31 Colossians 1. 15 - 20 John 1. 1 - 14
Psalm 50. 1 - 6
14th FEBRUARY Sunday next before Lent 2 Kings 2. 1 - 12 2 Corinthians 4. 3 - 6 Mark 9. 2 – 9
Psalm 51. 1 - 18
17th FEBRUARY Ash Wednesday Joel 2. 1 – 2, 12 – 17 2 Cor. 5. 20b, 6 – 10 Matt. 6. 1 – 6, 16 – 21 (or Isaiah 58. 1 – 12) (or John 8. 1 – 11)
Psalm 25. 1 - 9
21st FEBRUARY 1st Sunday of Lent Genesis 9. 8 - 17 1 Peter 3. 18 - end Mark 1. 9 - 15
Psalm 22. 23 - end
28th FEBRUARY 2nd Sunday of Lent Genesis 17. 1 – 7, 15 - 16 Romans 4. 13 - end Mark 8. 31 - end