|Holy Communion Service at Austwick every Wednesday at 10.30.
Visitors to our villages are most welcome at our Church services. Do come along and join us.
Last time I wrote this article I talked about the Harvest and new beginnings, we now look towards Easter and the induction of Rev John Davies as Priest in Charge on the 19th April this has been discussed and arrangements are now being put into place thanks to Sue Mann for being the main organiser.
I have not attended many of the Easter services due to lambing commitments, the lambs should start to appear around the 10th March and continue through to about the end of April, probably the last week of March and the first week of April will be the busiest. We have just had the ewes scanned and the results looked quite promising. I never count my chickens at this point (or lambs) as we will get losses of various kinds which can range from still births, difficult lambings, illnesses, diseases or those that just do not want to live.
We have a few more geld (barren) ewes than some years, we are putting this down to the ewes not being in as good a condition therefore not cycling and producing as many eggs when the tups went out with them, this is probably due to the poor summer and autumn weather last year. Also ewes can reabsorb the foetus if under stress from poor weather or lack of grazing this will happen in the early stages of pregnancy, there would be no sign of abortion or anything. It still amazes me how many times I must have seen lambs being born how quickly they want to stand and then look for the ewes teat, this can happen in the worst possible weather, but thankfully we have shelter in the shape of drystone walls, hedges, the lye of the land and even the odd rush bob or two can provide shelter for a young lamb, once the lamb gets its belly full of milk it can withstand what nature has to offer. We must think about Jesus being the Good Shepherd, Psalm 23 The Lords my shepherd, at the lambing service I usually read the parable of the good shepherd, this does stick in my gullet a little bit as it talks about the hired lad not taking care of the sheep because they are not his own. Being a hired lad for quite a number of years myself, I always tried to look after the sheep as if they were my own, but I do get the gist of the parable.
When I was younger I attended the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tatham Fells both my parents and other relatives are now buried in the church yard there, well worth a visit if you are ever in that area, not as exposed as St Matthews but still among the sheep and the fells, which makes me think of Psalm 121 I lift my eyes up unto the hills. This is very dear to me as I have read this psalm at three funerals of people very close to me. I think it is little wonder as to where and how I was brought up that my heart and my base for religion comes from the fells and the sheep and other livestock that graze them.
Graham Taylor, Churchwarden, Keasden