Talking Point – June 2024


RECENTLY MY sister and I took our 95-year-old mum to see Tim Rice at The Hexagon. The show consisted of Tim Rice telling the story of his career, interspersed with some of his best-known and best-loved songs – Joseph’s Coat; Any dream will do; Another suitcase in another hall; Don’t cry for me Argentina; I don’t know how to love him; I know him so well; Circle of life; A whole new world, and lots more. Of course he wrote the lyrics, not the music, but no-one can doubt his creative genius with words, ‘All these things you saw in your pajamas are a long-range forecast for your farmers’ has to be one of the best lines ever!
As I listened to these old songs I was transported back to my childhood – remembering Joseph and Evita from my school days (I can still recite ALL the lyrics from start to finish), and Aladin and The Lion King from my own children’s school days. Watching Tim Rice sitting on the stage enjoying his work being performed, I was struck by his and others’ amazing creativity, and how much joy they have brought to so many people. The world would be a much poorer and sadder place without the creativity of musicians, lyricists, song writers and choreographers. When so often the daily news is full of sorrow and pain, what a blessing to enjoy the work of people who use their creative gifts to bring joy and laughter, and to move people in poignant and profound ways.
I found myself thinking about God as Creator, creating a world for all of us to enjoy. A world stunningly beautiful and astonishing in its diversity of flora and fauna. A night sky that’s beautiful and which will fascinate physicists and mathematicians forever. Creating human beings ‘in the image of God’ themselves with astonishing gifts of creativity – musicians, dancers, writers and poets, artists, comedians. We’re told in Genesis chapter 1 that ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good’.
The world we now live in may be a fallen world, broken and marred by our own poor choices. But its spectacular beauty and complexity still point us towards an ingenious, imaginative and powerful creator, who made the world for our enjoyment. He made us in his image, each with our own gifts and abilities, imaginations, and creative streaks. Are we using our creative gifts to bring joy to others? Are we encouraging creativity in those around us? Do we value them?
At the Hexagon I found myself thanking God for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John, and all the other talented people who have enriched my life over the years. Who are the people who have enriched your life? Do you thank God for them?
Rev’d Penny Cuthbert, Associate Vicar, St John’s Caversham

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