Living here in the countryside enables me to appreciate God’s creation in a way that I found difficult when living in the London. God’s creation is, of course, not absent in the metropolis, but it tends to get overwhelmed and drowned out by concrete, tarmac and noise. On a recent trip to our wonderful capital I witnessed some wildlife in the form of a very clever rat who was rescuing a half eaten and discarded ‘Happy Meal’ by dragging it to her den behind some building site boards. Although I enjoyed watching this happy rat with her prized McDonald’s feast, it wasn’t a patch on following the flight of two equally opportunist buzzards soaring over Stansted Hill.
Despite being educated in a strident form of dogmatically atheistic evolutionary biology, I find myself now as a believer in a creator God. I now enjoy the pre-critical declarations of the old hymns. Like this one:
‘All things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all!’
I am constantly amazed and in wonder as I reflect on God’s creative genius in nature. Stansted churchyard provides not only a resting place for our loved ones but also a haven for a significant amount of wildlife such as owls, bats, swifts and moles – to mention just a few. Sitting on the bench by the church path, even for just a few minutes, brings a great reward in the form of a butterfly, dragon fly, or maybe some birdsong followed by precious silence.
I am very grateful to God and count myself blessed to live in such a wonderful place where, in the words of Psalm 19:
‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.’
Rev. Dr. Christopher Noble – Rector
St Mary’s Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo