As the hours tick down to the Opening of our grand new home at the Rectory in Collingwood, we wanted to reflect a little on what we hope that the Rectory comes to mean to you, or at least to symbolize to you if you happen to live too far away to come to visit us in person.
In a world where life seems to be lived more and more
through the medium of the screen,
So that that the very essence of our lives
Threatens to become that of plastic...
In a world where things seem to move a little faster every day...
where, instead of hearing the little bell ring
on the door of the Ole Book Shop on Charing Cross Road,
where we were always greeted by the smile
of that decent old chap Harvey Cramp,
we shop all alone by the click of a button
in the glow of our screened existence...
In a world in which our life seems too often to transpire on our phones
- little beacons of light glowing softly in the darkness of the night,
Neither we nor they ever completely at rest...
We hope that the Rectory will become a place
which honours the beauty of living in the real world,
one circling around our nearest star,
as opposed to a virtual one,
at once everywhere and nowhere.
The Virtual does have its place, no doubt.
But it can never truly replace the bright moon
lighting the way of harvesters working late
in the coolness of an autumn night,
However many times we are sold that it might.
We thus hope that the Rectory becomes much more than a place to shop,
That it becomes a place where people gather
to greet each other face to face,
To know each other’s names,
A place where readings sound words from great books into its halls,
A place where friends meet to exchange ideas about those same great books.
We hope, too, that the Rectory becomes a place where couples promise eternal love,
Where anniversaries are celebrated,
We hope that the Rectory becomes a place where children are entranced
with toy trains and Christmas villages,
and with the magic of an old, stately building,
built in the hard-to-imagine time of their great, great, great.... grandparents.
The Rectory we hope will be a place where there is pause,
And dreams are dreamt of possibilities
that lie outside of its walls and gardens,
and that promise, in the crux of the matter,
Possibilities for a better world.