Consider the butterflies

Author: The Revd Canon Dr Nick Garrard

Published on: 5 September 2022

Have you noticed this year’s butterflies? Since we rewilded part of our garden Helen and I have been struck by the number and variety of butterflies that visit.

As each species emerges in succession, they lift our spirits. Across the world, butterflies have represented spiritual rebirth, comfort and hope since ancient times.

This year we organised Easter discovery events for the two primary schools that serve part of our benefice. Pupils experienced the story of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection in different ways before making their own response in the form of cardboard butterflies that they decorated, adding prayers or messages of love and hope. The butterfly’s life journey from tiny egg to a hungry caterpillar that becomes sealed in a hard, seemingly lifeless cocoon before emerging to spread its wings offers a powerful metaphor for Christ’s resurrection that can be easily understood and shared.

It also offers a wonderful image of being prayerfully Transformed by Christ. The word “transform” means to cross over, go beyond and be formed anew. By fulfilling its life cycle, a butterfly’s metamorphosis becomes complete. As Christians we are called to grow from the small egg that we once were, before entering the place of greatest trust in God, the still, dark cocoon. Jesus said, “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (Matthew 6.6) The caterpillar doesn’t know from experience what will happen inside the cocoon. It must trust its instinct. It becomes a pupa, its caterpillar cells slowly dissolving to nourish forming legs, wings and eyes. It emerges in an unfamiliar body, able to travel vast distances, to be warmed by the sun and borne up by the wind.

This year focusses on the prayerful beginning of the Diocesan Vision. But like the essence that runs through the butterfly’s life stages, the next two years will also be deeply prayerful. Living prayerfully is to enter that still, quiet space with Jesus, not to bombard him with our hopes, needs and worries but open to the transformation he intends.

The author...

No Image Found

The Revd Canon Dr Nick Garrard

Licensed clergy - Incumbent: Priest in Charge, Bramerton Group Ministry (Rockland) (Benefice)

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

Prayer, presence, proclamation and persuasion

Bacon sandwiches, time together and great input was a recipe for success as far as our PCC was concerned!


Eyes fixed on Jesus

A large group of us gathered from the Trunch Benefice during March in our Mundesley Community rooms to join others on Zoom for the Diocese: Leading Your Church into Growth (LYCiG) conference.


One Big Day 2022

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10: 23-25


PCC News survey follow up

One of the outcomes of the PCC News survey was that a few people asked for reports from parishes already using The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) in our Diocese.


Avoid bank charges

I am treasurer of Cromer and also Sheringham PCCs and I became aware that at Cromer we are being charged over £100 a month in bank charges.


The legacy lives on

Legacies are a lifeline for our parishes. Church of England parishes receive over 4,000 legacies each year – gifts to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings and grow faithful and faith filled communities.


Bergh Apton Church thanks Keys Auctioneers

It was an item in the summer 2021 issue of PCC news that first sparked the idea.


‘Being prayerful’

As many readers will be aware, the new Diocesan vision embraces the threefold invitation to be “Prayerful, Pastoral, Prophetic”, and this year the emphasis has been on the first of those.


Maintenance matters

When the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded, William Morris wrote of the need to “stave off decay by daily care, to prop a perilous wall or mend a leaky roof.”


Safeguarding training update – August 2022

Where has this year gone? Here we are entering the Autumn, and what this time last year felt like a new Training Plan to be delivered, is now well very well established, and planning for next year already well underway!


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter