Viewpoint from Revd Canon Nick Garrard 23/02/2018

NICK GARRARDRevd Canon Nick Garrard
Rector of the Broadside Benefice (Ranworth with Panxworth, South Walsham and Upton and Fishley, Woodbastwick)


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


Crossing the swing bridge over Breydon Water offers an experience of one of the great sights of winter. Thousands of birds feed and roost there, spread across the mudflats at low tide, clustered together on the fringes at high water. They swirl and twist in great flocks, making incredible aerobatic displays
dove leftGeese are among my favourites. Every year large numbers of greylag, white fronted and pink footed geese migrate to Breydon Water from Scandinavia and Russia. Wild geese were a source of great wonder for our Celtic ancestors. Every autumn they would arrive in this country in big groups, returning to the same places around the same time. No one knew where they had come from, or where they raised their young. The Barnacle goose gets it name from the medieval belief that it was formed in a barnacle, rather than hatched from an egg.  Then, as spring approached, they would fly away to an unknown destination, only to return when they chose to, months later

Dove right

The lives of wild geese were a mystery to our ancestors. For the Celts, they came to re

present the Holy Spirit. In the Gospels, we are told that the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus when he was baptised in the form of a dove. Representing the Holy Spirit as a goose, however, gives us a different perspective. Like God’s Spirit, wild geese seemed to be as free as the wind. When they were close by, no one could miss their sight and sound. No one knew where they came from or could tame them. ‘A wild goose chase’ means a hopeless quest
Today, ringing birds and satellite tracking has taught us how geese travel around the world, and they really do hatch out of eggs. Soon they will leave us again to begin the journey to their nesting grounds. Even now, I still share my forebears’ sense of wonder as I watch geese leading their very different lives alongside ours. In their freedom, strength and beauty I am reminded of God’s Spirit, moving across the face of the waters, bringing life and light to the world.  Perhaps there are other things that we can find in nature that remind us of our Creator, his goodness and his ongoing life among us

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