All the leaves are brown … (November 2017 article)

Reverend Lydia Smith writes …
I love the song that begins with these words… It’s called California Dreamin’. I even loved it when, as a student, the people living in the flat below played it over and over again at full volume. The songwriter, wandering the streets of a chilly, wintry New York, dreams of the California sun, torn between the life he has in the city and the brightness and warmth of the West Coast that he’s left behind.
A hit in 1965 for the Mamas and the Papas, who sang backing vocals on the original release by Barry McGuire, California Dreamin’ ranks at number 89 in Rolling Stone’s top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. And of course it’s been covered by a wide range of other artists from Meat Loaf to the Japanese punk band Hi Standard by way of jazz singer Diana Krall.
There’s a sweet melancholy about it that that speaks to a far wider audience than those who miss the California sunshine… and to a deeper longing. Now that the leaves really are brown here and the mornings darker, our thoughts can often turn to the past and to those we have lost.
On November 5th this year (the nearest Sunday to All Souls’ Day in 2017), the church remembers all those we know who have died. At St John’s Church in Layer de la Haye, we’re inviting everyone in the five parishes of Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch, Layer Marney, Copford and Easthorpe to a special service where we recall by name those we love who are no longer with us. After we’ve heard the names read out we also light a candle to give thanks for their lives.
If there’s someone you’d like remembered at this service, please get in touch with Lydia on 01206 738759 or by email at revlydiasmith@gmail.com. The All Souls Service of Remembrance, to which you are warmly invited, takes place at St John’s Church Layer de la Haye at 4pm. The service will last about 45 minutes and there will be a chance to chat over a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.
Best wishes
Lydia Smith
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