Monthly Talking Point – September 2018

This month’s edition is provided by
Rev David Jenkins

Caversham’s Unique Perspective

In a previous incarnation I lived in Tilehurst as the Methodist Minister there. Although I was aware of the River Thames, that awareness is much greater now that I live in Caversham. To get from Reading into Caversham you have to cross the river. There are plenty of other parts of Reading and its suburban villages which you can drive through without even having to go in sight of the river, let alone cross it.

So possibly awareness of the River Thames has greater resonance for us than it has for many of our other Reading neighbours.

I am reading an outstandingly good book at the moment called ‘Listening’ by Robin Daniels. It is full of very helpful insights about the practice of listening to each other. One of the areas he explores is what he calls ‘The Hesitant Journey’. Journey is a frequently examined and richly evocative metaphor for our lives and for our faith. It is a metaphor about discovery, exploration, movement, direction, development. There is one particular sentence in the book where he describes the process of listening and uses the phrase ‘different types of terrain’: jungle (confusion), desert (loneliness), mountains (major life events) and river crossing (change).

Each of those areas are suggestive for further thinking, but it is the final one that may have special appeal for the people of Caversham – river crossing (change).

We, who may cross the river often, how open are we to possibilities of change in our own lives? How prepared are we to be the initiators of change?

Cardinal Newman once said, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to change often”. Perhaps the people of Caversham have a greater potential to be perfect because we make use of the river crossing (changes) more than most!

Being prepared to change our ways and being catalysts of change in the world are vital areas to follow wherever we live.

Rev’d David Jenkins is a member of the Methodist Team Ministry
and Co-Chair of Churches Together in Caversham