Fr. Jeremy Tayler has been the Rector of S. Mary’s Henley with S. Nicholas Remenham since September 2018. He was previously the curate at St John’s Wood Church in London. He was born in Lincolnshire and brought up in and around Bristol, but has lived most of his adult life in London. He studied International Relations and History at LSE before building a career in research administration. He has also worked briefly as both a religious studies teacher and nursery nurse in Finland, and spent two years as a full-time parent, picking up an MA in History and Politics from Birkbeck along the way. He then trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge. Fr Jeremy can often be seen out and about on his bicycle, and in his spare time he enjoys gardening, walks in the countryside and outdoor swimming. ************************************************************************
MONTHLY MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR – MARCH 2020
The Old Testament reading for the first Sunday of Lent this year is a part of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, describing God’s provision for humanity in the Garden of Eden, and the sin of Adam and Eve in taking the fruit that they had been forbidden to eat. Later on in the story, God says the words to Adam that are used in our Ash Wednesday liturgies: “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3.19). Many Christians have sadly become embarrassed about the story of Adam and Eve because of the apparent conflict with evolutionary biology. But we do not need to be creationists to recognise that this a story which has something profound to say about the human condition, about the relationships between God, human beings and creation. I would commend the first three chapters of Genesis to you if you are looking for something to reflect on during the season of Lent. In the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, humanity chooses taking over receiving, and knowing pleasure over innocent delight. And humanity continues to walk down this same path, the path of grasping, the path of exploitation, the path of complexity. The story of the Garden of Eden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil finds its answer in the story of the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tree of Calvary; it finds its answer in the life and death and life of the one who takes a radically different path, the one “who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2.6-8). This path of humility, simplicity and self-emptying is the path to which we too are called, and it is the path to which we are particularly recalled during this holy season of Lent. So let us pray for the grace to live lightly, humbly and simply in relation to God, each other and the whole of creation, that, in the words of the Prayerbook, “we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal”.
With my prayers,