Bald Statements

St. Martin's, Bude

St. Martin’s, Bude

The congregation of St. Martin’s Bude has played host to an exhibition of sculptures by one of their members, Jean Parker. The collection of eight alabaster figures was born as a reflection of Jean’s own experience of cancer. The exhibition moves through the stages of loss and grief that are familiar to those in pastoral ministry. The models, as the explanatory leaflet says, ‘are intended to stimulate discussion and the understanding of powerful emotions’. The pathway from denial to peace is a way that many are forced to travel and having these stimuli to conversation is a gift that all would gain from.

The sculptures are available on free loan from the Westhill Endowment, Selly Oak, B29 6WE

Alabaster sculpture - Denial

Alabaster sculpture – Denial

The particular journey of one individual will find resonance among many others and it is a journey which the United Reformed Church must also travel. There are those who respond with denial or disbelief to the decline in church attendance and more that question why or grow angry and depressed. The experience of loss is to move beyond the sadness to the reality of the present and to be future orientated rather than captive to the past. We must not be defined by loss rather we become at peace with who we are and dream of a future that we can only imagine with God.

IMG_0558Creating the space for one of their own members to share her gifts and talents is something that many other congregations could copy. We are sometimes so anxious that we miss the opportunities that exist for sharing gifts and honing the art of hospitality. St. Martin’s Bude is a small congregation with a big heart and a ready welcome to all. If you do visit it is as well to remember that Bude is in Cornwall and not Devon so make sure that at the cream tea you get the jam and cream on the scone in the right order!

David Grosch-Miller

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