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Reform Magazine | May 19, 2024

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On the pilgrim way: ‘We stood quietly, craning our necks’ - Reform Magazine

Sheila Maxey learns lessons from the birds

As 8 July – the date of the closing service for Brentwood United Reformed Church – approaches I seem to become more and more detached, at least on the surface. Last Sunday, my friend and duty elder said: ‘I am going to miss this place so very much. You and I have been here for 60 years.’ I was quite unable to respond, just blocked her off. I avoid saying, and even thinking, ‘This is the last time we will do this… and that’ and hope no one else is going to say it either.

The practical preparations for the service are quite exciting and seem to inhabit a different compartment in my head. There will be 17 musicians and some singers – all from our past – and a special little musical piece will be written for the occasion. I know it will be a great celebration.

Recently I spent three days at the Othona Community on the Essex marshes, walking and bird-watching. Experiences in those few days offered me much needed consolation and hope…


This is an extract from an article published in the July/August 2023 edition of Reform

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