7th August 2020

Do you know the village of Rodney Stoke on the main road from Axbridge to Cheddar? At the entrance to the village the sign says ‘RODNEY STOKE a Thankful Village’.  Not a ‘Fair Trade’ village or ‘Winner of Britain in Bloom’, but what is a ‘Thankful Village’?

It is one which lost no men in the 1914–18 war because all who left to serve came home. Rodney Stoke is one of only 50 such villages in England. (Nine in Somerset, the county with most. Many counties have none.)

These villages have no 1914–18 memorial but many have a plaque in the church giving thanks for God’s mercy. They are not gloating that God favoured them over their neighbours but they are giving thanks.

Being thankful is usually a quiet emotion. You are thankful that something you feared has not happened or was not as bad as you feared.

Both the Psalms and Paul’s epistles make frequent mention of giving thanks to God at all times. You are not to wait until everything for you, for your family, for the world, is all good. You are to give thanks today and every day.

The pandemic has been, and still is, difficult but we should give thanks for things we feared might happen and which did not happen. For all of us, food supplies were maintained, electricity, gas, water, sewerage and waste collection continued. My own list of thankfulness includes having no dental trouble while the dentists were all closed!

What are you thankful for today?

Margaret Clements