Those who thought the flowers at the back of chapel this year were looking rather fine were quite correct. As well as due credit to she who planted them, they also received regular helpings of mucky water. A church member supplied me with a couple of bags of horse muck, and another a bag of comfrey, the pretty flower whose soaked leaves, though smelly, enrich the soil. Neither substance is particularly pleasant to touch, see or smell, but much good was done by their judicial application to those flowers’ roots.

It is not just sunshine that makes plants grow, and not just the bursts of pure rainwater for which our county is well acquainted. Muck, manure, waste, filth, dung - call it what you will - plays a vital part. Remember this, when you ask why God ‘allows’ you to go through difficulty. He did not promise you a life of ease, but He did promise that His people will grow and bear fruit.

Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:17, NKJV