The Parish of Burchetts Green

This month Rev Keith looks at

The wonders of the ordinary


'REVEALED: Britain really is a nation of complainers'. So reads the headline of an article on the Ombudsman website. 'There were more than 66 million complaints about products and services last year, with British consumers complaining more than Americans', the article reports, before announcing a new service to enable us to complain more easily! 'Official: Britain is a nation of moaners': The Mail headlined. 'Britain has become a nation of online whingers': says The Mirror.

We are being encouraged to complain as never before - and we are responding! "In fact, Brits complain so much that more than three quarters admit to having a moan about other people moaning or complaining," another newspaper claims.

Taking things for granted

It is not my intention to suggest that we should roll over and accept poor products or services, but it is undoubtedly true that, in our day and in this country, we simply take for granted many things that our predecessors and many around the world long for.

We do not wonder at the huge variety of entertainment available to us at the touch of a switch, but rather swear under our breath when we find that the TV programme we want to see has been taken off to accommodate some sports event wc arc not interested in.

We're no longer amazed that we can reach a Mediterranean beach within a few hours. Rather, we complain bitterly when the fight is an hour or two late. Most of us, for most of the time, enjoy wholesome food, clean water, shelter, warmth, clothing, peace and security, but how often do we stop and really appreciate what we have?

They say that ' familiarity breeds contempt.' The phrase normally refers to relationships between people, but the same thought could be applied to the many wonderful things we experience every day.. .familiarity has breed indifference.. .we are no longer thankful.

A chance to redress the balance

This deep-seated negative attitude is not healthy for us. 'Give thanks at all times,' writes St Paul. 'It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks:' says the old Book of Common Prayer communion service.

At the end of this month, we have a chance to redress the balance as we gather together to celebrate Harvest Festival and give thanks for bountiful produce and the skill and hard work of our farmers. Service times and details of Harvest Suppers are provided here>>. Please do come and join us.