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Letter from the Elders – June 2024

Dear Friends

I am writing this letter to you all a couple of days after the parade service which marked the start of
Christian Aid week. As many of you will know, I was ably assisted by our Cubs on this occasion and it
was a real pleasure to visit them on their meeting nights to discuss the issues we would be exploring
in the service. They came up with some excellent ideas which I subsequently included. As I was
about to leave one time, two of the Cubs had a conversation which has stayed with me and got me
thinking. We had been talking about the unfair distribution of food globally and one Cub said, “It’s
hopeless. We will never be able to make it fair.” His friend replied, “Even if we only help one person
it’s better than doing nothing.”

This reminded me of a story I once heard about two men walking along a beach which was littered
with hundreds of stranded starfish. One of the men said “Oh, this is awful,” but the other man
started picking up starfish and putting them back into the sea. The first man said, “What’s the point
of that? You’ll never manage to throw them all back, it will make no difference.” The other man
then picked up a starfish and, before putting it into the water, said, “It will make a difference to this
one.” He was doing what he could do, whereas his companion was overwhelmed by the size of the

It is easy to become overwhelmed by world poverty and by the climate crisis but we must try to do
what we can. Every act of kindness to others or to our planet, every gesture of love, seen or unseen,
however small, can change the world.

Thank you so much to all who have made donations towards the work of Christian Aid to help
people in countries like Burundi transform their lives and build a brighter future for themselves, their
families and their neighbours.

God our Father made a wonderful world for us to live in and it is up to us to look after it. Scientists
tell us that the flapping of the wings of a single butterfly in South America can make its contribution
to the weather conditions on the other side of the world. So everything we do, big or small, affects
others and can make a difference.

So let’s try to make a conscious effort this Summer to cut down on waste, to conserve water, to
reduce energy consumption and to recycle as much as possible. Even small changes in our
behaviours can make a big difference.

In a world that often feels overwhelming, the concept of making a difference can seem like a
daunting task but God is always with us, and we should not be afraid. In Isaiah 41 v10 we read, “Do
not fear, for I am with you; I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand.”

With love and best wishes to you all
Lesley Clare
Church and World Elder