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The Minister of Evesham Baptist Church, Edward Pillar, has been on sabbatical leave for three months, from June–August 2021. This is normal practice for Baptist ministers to take sabbatical leave every seven years and the last time Edward took his was in 2014. We asked him to write a few lines about what he has been doing during these three months and he writes as follows:
Today, 1st September 2021, I return from my Sabbatical break. The Sabbatical has its basis in the idea of the Sabbath rest, taking one day in seven to rest from work and seek to nourish the soul. And so that’s what I’ve tried to do.
My Sabbatical has involved a little bit of a whole number of things. I have tried to rest. I’ve deflected emails, passed on calls, forwarded messages. I’ve walked, drunk coffee, read books, reflected, played the guitar, listened to music, and walked some more. I enjoyed writing and delivering two papers at the European Association of Biblical Studies Conference – by Zoom, of course! Ordinarily I would have spend a week in Germany at the conference, but virtual reality was necessary under the circumstances.
Sarah and I spent a week in North Cumbria, which was a relaxing break away. We’ve attended two weddings, and I attended a funeral. We’ve had to deal with elderly mothers being in hospital for a few days each. And we adopted a dog! A beautiful Saluki cross named Grace.
Edward will be back at the church, leading our service and preaching again from Sunday 5th September.
For eight weeks in the summer of 2021, the city of Worcester played host to a series of sixty-seven elephants as part of Worcester’s Big Parade. Each sculpture is sponsored by a business and individually designed by an artist – either well-known or just starting out, from the Worcestershire area or further afield. They marched into the city on Tuesday, 13th July – and are due to leave again from 5pm on Sunday, 5th September 2021. After this, all the elephants, big and small, will be auctioned to raise funds for St. Richards Hospice.
While walking around Worcester and enjoying so many of the elephants and the wonderful painting and decoration, we found one entitled “We are the Music Makers”. As this is a well-known song that all the children love to sing at Music Makers at Evesham Baptist Church, we thought it was only appropriate to take a picture of the elephant itself and the descriptive plaque that went with it and to show it here.
Music Makers should be back up and running in October 2021, so here is the elephant to encourage you! The decoration is just wonderful, so much care and detail and such a bright, sparkly finish; it’s a cheerful, happy animal!
The detail in the elephant is amazing and the thought and skill that has gone into the design and cutting out the individual shapes is just wonderful.
The artist’s name is Sophie Handy and she has more artwork on display on her web site at sophiehandy.com.