Basically our commitment to sourcing trees for the planters outside Asda is expected to trigger work on the grounds around the church, including the sadly neglected parkland outside our boundaries which provides cover for anti-social behaviour and obscures sight lines to the church. There's going to be a meeting about regenerating the hill top really soon!
The article appeared in the Advertiser recently too, in the Living Faith column.
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Plant a little love...
Walsall tree wardens never give up – not for wind, not for weather, certainly not for whingeing vicars! So there we were in a blizzard – do you remember the one that fell on 18 January with all those severe weather warnings? Our heroic mayor Dennis Anson and me, planting trees in those big tubs outside Asda. "Stop moaning," said Mac as we stood around looking like extras from Doctor Zhivago, "It was ten degrees colder at the last one, and there was ten inches more snow!" At least the digging kept us warm...
The trees the mayor and I were planting were yews. They are our longest living native tree. Some British yews are 2,000 years old. Just think of that – they were already alive when Jesus walked the hills of Galilee. Planting trees is long term! There is no better way to commit to a place than planting a tree. Our yews will still be here for hundreds of years, long after we're gone.
So it was good to be planting these yews in front of St Matthew's. We've been here a long time too, sharing God's love with the community for about 800 years. We want to make a fuss about it. From St Matthew's Day (21 September) 2013 to St Matthew's Day 2014 we will celebrate our Jubilee Year with all sorts of amazing events. Watch this space!
Did you know that trees are big in the Bible? From the Tree of Knowledge at the beginning through to the Tree of Life right at the end. Even the Cross where Jesus died for us – for Christians the turning point of all history – is referred to as a tree in several places. The Cross is both a Tree of Knowledge, bearing the bitter wisdom that we are sinners who need mercy, and a Tree of Life where that mercy is freely given to all who seek it.
So here's some Bible promises for tree planters: "They shall be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendour…" "They are like trees, planted by streams of water, that yield their fruit in season, and whose leaves do not wither." What does God want to plant in your life today? Are you willing to let it take root and grow?