1970-09-The Beacon




From the Minister

Gruss Gott!

HAVING, in two previous Beacons, wished you Happy Holidays, perhaps in this issue I may welcome you home – hoping that you fell refreshed!

Greeting you like this recalls something that struck me during our Oberammergau tour last month.  At the moment I just cannot seem to gather together this multitude of memories that have turned my dull mind into a sort of mental picture gallery so that, closing my eyes, I can see again the early mist with the sun shining through, a blue lake at the foot of a towering mountain whose upper glaciers are softened by the dark green foliage of hosts of fir trees …


Healing Silence

… or amid the clatter of Ilford Broadway I remember the day when I was carried up by a mountain ‘chair-lift’ into the still air above, a healing of silence that recalled a verse in the Book of Job (chapter 4, verse 16):

And of course, there is also the after-glow of the Passion Play with its moving portrayal of our Lord going to His Cross with all that this meant to those about Him then, and all that it means for us still.


Traditional Greeting

But, as I say, greeting you again like this recalls the happy experience of being greeted by all sorts of people in Austria and in Germany, on mountain slopes and in friendly cafes and shops.

‘Gruss Gott’ they used to say to us as they passed, and we came to realise that this was the traditional greeting for both


Good Morning Lord!

One genial German youth touring Austria told me that it meant ‘Hallo God!’ or ‘Good morning God’ – and although this, as I heard later, was not an accurate translation, it seemed so right and not irreverent when turning a corner on a mountain path and seeing a mass of little yellow flowers in the grass, to say just that, ‘Gruss Gott’ – ‘Good morning Lord!’

But I have since been told by my friend Mr. Schubert that originally the greeting was ‘Gruss dich Gett’ which would mean ‘God should greet you’ or ‘May God greet you’.  So though the Bavarian dialect word ‘dich’ is now left out, the familiar greeting still carries a wish like the English ‘God bless you’.


Hatred and Love

I found it very touching when passing through Berchtes gaden to be greeted with a ‘Gruss Gott’.  The road there had recalled the figure of Adolf Hitler, his right hand raised in a Nazi salute, shouting defiance and hostility, symbolising hatred and violence.  But a friendly ‘Gruss Gott’ recalled Another whose hands were lifted only in love, in costly love on a cross, and in blessing on all men, Jews and Gentiles, German and British alike.  Would it be too far-fetched to re-translate the greeting as:

‘May only the love of God be between us both’?






56th Church Anniversary SAT – SUN OCTOBER 3 – 4 [1970]

Will you all bear these dates in mind …

We shall be glad to see you all that weekend


This is to be a real Family Church Anniversary and, as on all Family Occasions, we should like to keep ‘Open House’ and welcome as many friends as possible


Here are the details …

  1. Saturday Oct 3 at 7 p.m.    ANNIVERSARY HAPPENING


    Including ‘Anniversary Scrapbook’ … solos by Miss AUDREY WARD (Camden Road Church) … refreshments .. plenty of friendly informality … and a surprise Guest!



  2. Sunday Oct 4 at 11 a.m.   FAMILY SERVICE


    With all departments of the Family Church participating, and at 6.30 p.m.  EVENING WORSHIP

This year we have no ‘special’ preaching this will be the Family Church of Worship with special singing.  Would you like to help with the choir?  Please see Mr. Parkhurst.

Remember Sat – Sun Oct 3 and 4 [1970]

Page last updated: 23rd February 2018 10:42 AM