St Mary's Church Speldhurst, Kent in the Garden of England Our Church aims; to grow closer to God, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ andto express God's love in action
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October 2019

Dear Friends,

Let me start by thanking everyone who sent me supportive comments following last month’s article about housing.

I wonder what will be happening on 31st October? Since I have little idea what will be happening in politics at the end of each day I will take this opportunity to write about Halloween. We may think of this as something cooked up by American commercialism but it actually has its roots in a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain from where a lot of the modern traditions originate including a focus on the dead and on people able to manipulate forces of evil (witches and wizards). At the risk of sounding a killjoy, I confess that I’m not overly keen on it. Children dressing up and being given sweets is lovely; it’s the emphasis on evil, even in a £12 costume from Sainsbury’s that just leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I suppose it’s because I come across people who have experienced real life changing evil (and also life giving rescue from it) that makes me wonder whether it really is appropriate for a children’s game.

Some very positive things can come out of Halloween. If it starts a conversation for people of any age about the nature of good and evil that can be good. It can also be a time to celebrate light and life in contrast to darkness and death. So I would encourage families to plan lots of opportunities to have fun together, to find ways to celebrate good things (what other shapes can be cut out of a pumpkin?), to practice being kind to others and to talk about what good and evil are.


PS I can be contacted at or on 01892 862821 or at The Rectory, Southfields, Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0PD.