I’ve always liked October. For one thing, it’s the month of my birthday. But it’s also that month
where, often, Autumn really arrives. It can still be warm, but you get those autumnal mornings. The
quality of the light has changed. The leaves have turned and maybe fallen. And (thanks to a
television quiz for bringing it to my attention) it is also technically the longest month of the year by
one hour. After the transitions of a new school year, staff and students settle into their new routine.
We celebrate harvest. It’s a great month.
This year, I have been particularly looking forward to October because I will be going on a week’s
placement to Norwich Cathedral. Each curate in the diocese is given the opportunity to spend a
week at the cathedral, immersing themselves in the unique ministry of that type of foundation, and
treating it almost as a retreat. It is an excellent chance to find a new pattern of daily prayer,
quietness and reflection in a busy world.
We all need that kind of chance from time to time. Whether it is a week in some kind of retreat
centre, or a break from the normal routine, a day spent out in nature, or a few minutes grabbed in
the middle of the day, we need those times to refocus ourselves. What is it that matters to us? What
things do we unexpectedly find don’t matter to us anymore? What do we need to do, or change, or
stop doing in order to become the person God has called us to be?
Many of the churches in our benefice are open daily if you find that you want to experience some
quiet reflection. This Autumn, why not pause in your day and spend some time in one of our historic
buildings that have known centuries of prayer? They are your parish churches, after all.
Rev’d Richard Turk
Assistant Curate, Reepham and Wensum Valley Team Churches