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© Katy Bell

Notes from The Orchard for June 2019


I don’t want to talk, write whatever. . . I shall choose another option rather than the weather or politics. I shall choose faith – rather than religion. The latter causes too many arguments, rows and go straight to the nitty-gritty, to the God who loves us, the God described by his son Jesus, who also loves us and the gift He sent us, the Holy Spirit.


In Corinthians I, St. Paul talks about Faith, Hope and Charity. If you look up those three together on Google, the word Charity nowadays is mostly referred to as Love. It seems it is in the St. James’s version we can see the first use of the English word Charity.  In today’s language, there are quite different meanings between ‘love’ and ‘charity’. There is that nuance which adds a certain patronising sense to ‘charity’, a nuance that doesn’t exist in the word ‘love’, which comes straight from the heart. Somehow ‘charity’ goes via the banking system. . . Such a pity! It seems to devalue our gift when we give to those who need them but that’s how we live these days. Can’t be helped because obviously there is no way we can go directly from where we live in comfort to those in need on the other side of the world. We ourselves need to remember why we are giving help: with love and not feel we are  just going through the motions. Maybe say a special prayer for the people who eventually benefit – God, who knows everything, will know exactly who they are.


Let’s have a look at Hope. Where would we be without it? The Greeks did well with their legend of Pandora – a most intriguing story! If you look it up on Google it will probably confuse you there is so much information.  However, the story is roughly that Pandora was given a gift, a beautiful box – originally a jar but translators in the 16th century made a mistake. It happens! The person who gave it to her knew that Pandora was a very curious young person so when he forbade her to open it, she would disobey. When she was tempted to the point of no return, she opened the jar/box and let fly out all the horrid things in the world that damage and injure mankind. When they had all gone, Pandora noticed one little creature remaining in the bottom of the box, who was compelled to stay in the jar/box. Its name was Hope and it is hope that keeps us going when everything seems a total disaster.


Finally, although it is first word on the original saying in Corinthians I, we find Faith. Faith, with a capital F, is generally taken to mean belief in God, gods or at any rate someone or something supernatural. I shall adapt Sir Christopher Wren’s memorial to describe something of the God in whom I have Faith:


If you seek his memorial, look around you, below and above you,


look beneath the earth, in the oceans and in the skies


all the way to infinity. . .


Now do make the most of friends, family, new people you meet and those who are lonely. If the clouds get stuck in the wrong place for us, invite them – the people, not the clouds – under your roof and out of the rain if it’s only for a modest cup or glass and a chat.


May God bless us all!




Sarah Bell