FROM THE MINISTER

Autumn/Winter 2019

Dear Friends,

Do you ever frequent Charity Shops?

These days the High Street is full of them: an unhealthy economic sign. But the actual shops themselves are undoubt-edly worthwhile in a charitable sense.

These days the High Street is full of them: an unhealthy economic sign. But the actual shops themselves are undoubt-edly worthwhile in a charitable sense.

They have largely replaced the old idea of junk shop “Antiques” (somewhere you might have gone to pick up a forgotten masterpiece in oils or priceless ceramic), and they have also replaced the second-hand clothes shop. They are extremely useful in addition for disposing of all those unwanted but resalable items.

 

I have to confess I am an inveterate visitor to charity shops. I can’t pass one without popping in to check out the stock. I habitually look for books and some clothing.

One of my better book buys was a paperback of the Mersey Poets, signed by the authors, which cost me £1.35p.Clothes-wise I have found shirts, a couple of suits and a tweed jacket.

Autumn is tweeds, corduroys and sensible shoes. The “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” not only keeps the memory of John Keats alive, but encourages us to be outdoors preparing for harvest festival, and enjoying the last of the clement weather before the inhospitable days set in.

I am also on the look out for winter reading. Charity shop shelves always have copies of those classics we ought to devour by the fireside on long winter evenings.

By supporting the charities the shops represent, and by donating items no longer either beautiful or useful, we make a contribution towards the sustainable world.

In America charity shops are also known as thrift stores. Thrift is often regarded as a virtue, being frugal, sparing and economical in our use of resources such as food, money or time, avoiding waste or extravagance. One of the minor virtues, it nevertheless resonates in today’s world on account of our concern to conserve and renew.

As we gather in the fruits of the natural world and celebrate them at Harvest, giving thanks for the prodigality of the earth, let us not forget our duty to be responsible custodians of “all good gifts around us”, and live thriftily and charitably too.

With good wishes to all chapel members and friends,

.

 

From The Minister Archives
.