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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Autumn 2021 issue

From the Vicar, Fr Dr Colin Lawlor

back to the summer, the glorious warmth of the sun, the long days, the vibrant colours of plants and flowers. And, at the same time I look forward, with a sense of foreboding, to the nights’ drawing in, dark mornings, rain, cold weather, and snow. Autumn makes me feel a bit downbeat.

I am not sure whether that makes me a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, or ‘glass half empty’!

Part of me longs for Spring, which I find more hopeful. Perhaps I need to heed Keats’ words in the third stanza of the poem:

‘Where are the songs of Spring? Ay where are they? Think not of them.’

Let me be more positive about Autumn!

Autumn, of course, is a time of thanksgiving, as we praise God for the abundance of the harvest; and show our generosity in giving some of the fruits of the harvest to those in greater need (as so many of you did in your extraordinary generosity, through your giving to the Waterlooville Food Bank at our Harvest Festival).

Autumn is also a time when we give thanks for the lives of the saints on All Saints Day, and in remembrance of the faithful departed at All Souls. At St George’s, On Sunday 31st October at 6pm, we will be celebrating a Requiem Mass, remembering all those who lost their lives during the pandemic. The Mass setting will be that by Gabriel Fauré. Our Director of Music, David Cain, has organised an augmented choir and orchestral accompaniment, and the soloists will be our very own Iain Renfrew and Julia Spurgeon. Please do spread the word, particularly if you know any who might have lost a loved one during these difficult times.

As we look forward to the coming of Christ at Christmas, David Cain is also organising a ‘Come and Sing (or hear) Handel’s Messiah event in the afternoon and early evening of Saturday November 20th. Again – please spread the word.

And then, in the depths of winter, we will have the joy of celebrating the coming of the light of the world, Jesus Christ, in our Epiphany and Christmas celebrations.

And now having read Keats’ Ode to Autumn once more, and written this letter, I am feeling more positive already!

With love and prayers

Fr Colin


Autumn 2021

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, wrote John Keats in his 1819 poem Ode to Autumn. The poem is very much about the power of nature and of the changing seasons: summer to autumn; autumn to winter; winter to spring and spring to summer. But it is also a poem which glorifies Autumn, with its abundance of fruits, nuts and grain.

I have a great love for the poems of John Keats, and have read the Ode to Autumn many times, but I find it hard to share his love of this season of the year.

I know for many people Autumn is their favourite season; with a generally agreeable climate, and the change in colour of the leaves from green to glorious burnt orange. I get all of that, and I remember being awestruck the first time I visited the Lake District one October many years ago. I think autumn is the best time of year to visit the Lake District (even if it does seem to rain most of the time).

But for me, autumn is not my favourite season of the year. I look back to the summer, the glorious warmth of the sun, the long days, the vibrant colours of plants and flowers. And, at the same time I look …….