The Rector Writes – June – a month of sadness; holidays and attending church

The month of June 2014 will be remembered as the month of tragedies. Nobody could fail to be moved by the loss of 6 young lives and the injuries of 7 others, some life-changing, in Berkeley, California in the early hours of Tuesday 16th. These young students had travelled to the U.S. on J1 visas with high hopes of undertaking summer work and having the adventure of a lifetime. Sadly, this came to an abrupt end with the collapse of a timber balcony which has subsequently been discovered to have been fatally compromised by dry rot. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those who lost their lives and with those who were injured as they recover from their physical and mental traumas.

On Friday 26th June a terrorist attack on a holiday hotel complex in Sousse, Tunisia claimed the lives of 39 people, of which 3 were Irish. At the time of writing, arrangements are still being made to bring the remains of the murdered home and there are still many questions which remain unanswered. For instance, why, if the level of security had been stepped up in other parts of Tunisia, were they not also tightened in their holiday resorts? Did the gunman act alone or were there others actively involved in the shootings? Was the gunman a ‘lone wolf’ or did he have support of a terrorist cell? Tunisian authorities need to find and provide swift answers to these questions as their vital tourism trade, which has already been seriously impacted by this incident may take a very long time indeed to recover.

On the last day of June, a young man, his girlfriend and his father, all lost their lives as they strolled on the seaside rocks by the white Beacon in Baltimore, West Cork. The young man’s sister who witnessed the event , but was unharmed, reported that they were swept off the rocks by a freak wave. This, once again, shows the dangers of what often appears to be a harmless and tranquil seascape and that holiday time can so easily turn to tragedy if all reasonable safety checks and precautions are not properly considered.

As we now head into July and August, we also face into peak holiday season. Most mid-week parochial activities have been put on hold to resume again in the autumn. Families with school-going children are enjoying a welcome break from the frantic round of school runs and after-school activities. For some, thoughts have turned to sea-side visits, picnics and barbecues and for the luckier ones, a holiday further afield may be on the agenda. May this time of rest and relaxation help us to regenerate our batteries and may we return fully refreshed.

As I have mentioned in previous years, although we may be looking forward to taking a break this summer, we are very fortunate that we have a God that never does. If we could but remember this, we would not forget to attend Church Sunday by Sunday. And wherever we may find ourselves this summer, we can be assured of the warmest of welcomes if we join a local worshipping community for their Services. In return, we here in Tullow look forward to welcoming any visitors who may be passing or visiting friends or relatives in our area. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe, pleasant and restful summer, and let us hope we get plenty of seasonal weather.

Every blessing, John.

Rev’d. John Tanner, Rector

Tel: 289 3154 / 086 302 1376

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