‘A Tale of Two Books’ In Keynsham Bristol

It was such a privilege to speak recently on Trinity Sunday at St John’s Church in Keynsham- the church where I was baptized as a baby. As a child growing up in Keynsham, I attended Sunday school at St John’s with vivid memories of sitting in Church, fascinated by the umbrella stands and little doors at the end of each pew, before being taken out for our ‘lessons’. Those lessons were clearly so important to my early grounding in faith – so although I can’t remember specific ‘teachers’ I want to honour them and indeed all children’s workers for their commitment that shapes all children’s early experiences of faith and church.

While preparing for my talk on Trinity Sunday I checked, just on an off chance, and found that same Sunday schoolwork book tucked away in my ‘treasures box’ under the bed! Fifty years disappeared in an instant as I looked at those familiar pages with my colouring and filling in, and even a plan of the church where all the pews and altar and font were, and still are. How amazing to see those early seeds of faith and recognise how they later germinated to shape so much of who I am today

So it seemed fitting to return to Keynsham with both that foundational Sunday School book as well as my newly published book The Sound of Musings. I’ve been musing how we might never know the impact we have on other people, but impact we do! So what a privilege to be reminded that we can have a positive impact even if it takes many years to be fully fruitful.

And there was an extra special moment too when I found my photo on the iconic Keynsham Clocktower standing in the middle of the precinct. There, among other photos selected to represent Keynsham’s history and heritage, was our family photo, taken at my baby brother’s christening when I was a grumpy two-year-old-probably wanting my lunch! I might have moved away from Keynsham, but I do return to see my mum who still lives in the town. Its a place known by so many people, not least for how its spelt (KEYNSHAM!) and intrinsic to my early years while still holding a precious place in my heart and life today.

The photo at the top is me at that Clocktower with those ‘two books’, yesterday’s Sunday School workbook and today’s ‘Sound of Musings’ just published book. Special thanks to Revd Stephen McCaw, Rector at St John’s for making me so welcome – and to Ric Davison of KTCRfm- Keynsham’s Community Radio Station for inviting me to share my story on air.

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