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Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 14th April 2024

Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 14th April 2024
April 14, 2024 Ruth Parrott

Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 14th April 2024


Maggie and I have been making final preparations for Swanwick this week so I have spent most of my time in my study. As I look out from my study window, I can’t help but notice the trees springing to life. There are two magnificent Silver Birch trees with millions of tiny green leaves on branches swaying in the wind, a tall slender Pine tree with floppy branches and dark green foliage, a Hawthorn tree just beginning to show crimson buds and our own Cherry trees with white, pink and deep red blossom. All the trees have been battered by the recent rains and wind but somehow, they have survived!

Yesterday we visited Shugborough,  a National Trust Property in Staffordshire. Some of the oldest trees there, date from the seventeenth century, having been planted when the hall was first established. They tower over the gardens, giving shade to the gardens and homes for the wildlife. A number of trees had succumbed to the gales and were lying on the forest floor, left to decay, gnawed by bugs, insects and fungi and to eventually add to the nutrients of the forest to regenerate life.

It is our annual conference at Swanwick next weekend and there are some  beautiful trees in the grounds. Trees are important to us too, to our well being  so take time to enjoy them and their restorative nature, to sit in their shade and wonder at God’s wonderful creation: the blossom , the many shades of green, their freshness and their movement in the gentle breeze. I am reminded of the hymn by Doreen Newport,  StF 92:

‘Think of a world without any flowers,

Think of a wood without any trees,

Think of a world without any sunshine,

Think of the air without any breeze:

We thank you, Lord, for flowers and trees and sunshine,

We thank you, Lord, and praise your holy name.


I hope to see some of you at Swanwick so I hope you have safe journeys and I will see you on Friday.