Welcome to The Glaven Valley Benefice

Thoughts from the Rectory

 for April 2024

Rev Richard Lawry

Dear Friends,

This month begins with April Fools’ Day, when the tradition is, of course, to play a trick at someone else’s expense. Apparently, this tradition has been going on for centuries in many countries, but no one actually seems to know how it started. Some of you (the middle-aged and upwards?!) mayremember the April Fools’ Day joke which the BBC ran one year, when the supposedly serious investigative programme ‘Panorama’ broadcast a report on the disastrous spaghetti harvest that year (from spaghetti trees) in Italy. Some extraordinary hoaxes have been perpetrated in the media overthe years. When HG Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” was broadcast on the radio in the USA in 1938, huge numbers of people were convinced it was really happening and that the country was being invaded by Martians – wide-spread panic ensued! I hope that when the furor had died down, people had a good laugh about it instead.

We should be grateful for all fools and jokers and comedians. Medical research has proved that laughter is good for you. Evidently laughing opens up the arteries and increases the blood flow, strengthening the heart and thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. You see, laughter really is “the best medicine.”

It’s interesting that quite a few big-name comedians around today are Christians – Milton Jones, Frank Skinner, Miranda Hart among them. What a wonderful ministry it must be to spend your time making people laugh! St Paul talked about being “fools for Christ,” and about the wisdom of God seeming foolish to others. The fact that the Christian faith is actually all about love and joy is quite a surprise to some people who have never had the chance to hear about it, or whose experience of Christianity has been marred by people without a sense of humour!

Perhaps we should all make a special effort to make each other laugh as often as possible – wherever we may be. It seems there’s real healing in laughter, too!

Wishing you a happy and “foolish” month!