Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Donkey's return

Paul returned from University and so did the Donkey.
He made his first return in the advent crib. Many saw the crib in church but not the three wise donkeys making there way across the church.
The crib was just 24hrs old when it was displayed

 Paul was very kind to Jenny at the Donkeys second appearance at the Nativity service. Paul thoughtfully put out a copy of the Nativity sheet on the pulpit for Jenny.
This was not quite the same as the copies held by the rest of the congregation. All the music was changed to Jenny's favourite Little Donkey with a few little known versions of other traditional carols such as Silent Donkey Holy Donkey.
There were many such changes to Jenny's sheet. Fortunately Jenny spotted Pauls name on the sheet in time.

The Donkey made his last appearance on  Christmas day in the Sermon slot starring as himself in the form this time of a glove puppet in the crossing.
We we very proud to see that one of the other little girls in the sermon slot came dressed as a Donkey. Such is the effect of the Donkey.

Thought for the week First week of Christmas

Lovely in your littleness,
longing for our lowliness,
searching for our meekness…..
Held in Mary's tenderness,
tiny hands are raised to bless,
touching us with God's caress.
Joy then in God's graciousness,
peace comes with gentleness,
filling hearts with gladness.
Margaret Rizza

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Thought for the Week Christmas Eve

At this time of the year I am often reminded of the words from the sermon given at the end of that wonderful 1940’s Hollywood movie called The Bishop’s Wife. 
Dudley, who is played by Cary Grant is an Angel who has been assigned to Bishop Henry Brougham, played by David Niven. His task is to assist Henry by answering his prayer for help. Amongst the many things that he does, including using a wonderful word processor is that Dudley re-writes the Bishop’s Christmas Eve sermon. 
“Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and with gifts. But especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled -- all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It's his birthday we are celebrating. Don't ever let us forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most, and then let each put in his share. Loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.”
A Happy Christmas to one and all.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Thought for the Week Fourth Sunday of Advent

Once again, we welcome you bending so low to creep among us, not forcing, not shouting, too gentle to even flicker our candle flames. Make your home among us again, we pray; be our guest, in heart and home and city, in the empty, howling wastelands of our times, and light up your world once again with the new hope and the new life that faith in you still brings.
John Harvey,
from Going Home Another Way.

Thought for the week Third Sunday of Advent

Maybe it is in the waiting for God,
not in the wandering from store to store,
that we find our way.
Maybe it is in the friendship of God,
not in the frenzy of the crowds,
that we are led to the manger.
Maybe it is in the steadfast love of God,
and not in the pile of stuff under the tree,
that we find what we have been
searching for all our lives.
Maybe, just maybe, God of Advent,
this year will be different.
Maybe, just maybe,
we will let you lead us to Bethlehem.
Thom Shuman

Friday, 6 December 2013

Thought for the week Second Sunday in Advent

God help us to hear your voice
through the babble of this world
where words are used to confuse,
distract, manipulate, sell illusion,
buy power;
help us to be still and receptive
to your healing,
life giving
Neil Paynter

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thought for the week Advent Sunday

Bright Star-Maker God,
travel with us
through Advent,
shine into our
dark corners,
lead us into
ways of justice,
warm us
with joy and wonder,
bring us
to new birth.
Ruth Burgess

John 8:12; 12; 35-36

Jesus said, “I am the world’s Light.
No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness.
I provide plenty of light to live in.”

“ For a brief time still, the light is among you.

Walk by the light you have, so darkness does not destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going.

As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you and shining through your lives.

You’ll be children of light.”

Friday, 22 November 2013

Thought for the week Christ the King

Most references to Jesus as king occur during the Passion story. The symbol of Christ’s kingship is not a crown but a cross. The Son of God became human and died a horrible death on the cross to release his subjects from captivity. The One who is the true king of our world made this ultimate sacrifice out of his deep and abiding love for the world, a world constantly in rebellion against him. Christ’s kingship is not like a king with a jewel-encrusted crown in purple finery on a gold throne wielding an oppressive rod of iron. Rather, he is the crucified God with a crown of thorns hanging half naked on a cross of shame to set us free from our bondage. Jesus’ comes to us not as a great conquering military leader who oppresses and abuses the conquered. Rather, he comes as the Prince of Peace, the One whose reign proclaims peace, justice, liberation, and above all, service. Jesus turns the whole concept of lordship and kingship on its head.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Thought for the Week Remembrance Sunday

The Parable Of The Old Man and The Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth
with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
Wilfred Owen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Thought for the Week All Saints

The forms and individual characters of living and growing things, of inanimate beings, of animals and flowers and all nature, constitute their holiness in the sight of God. Their inscape is their sanctity. It is the imprint of his wisdom and his reality in them. But what about you? What about me? Unlike the animals and the trees, it is not enough to be what our nature intends. It is not enough for us to be individuals. For us, holiness is more than humanity. If we are never anything but people, we will not be saints and we will not be able to offer to God the worship of our imitation, which is sanctity. For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and discovering my true self. Trees and animals have no problem. With us it is different. God leaves us free to be whatever we like. Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny.
Excerpts adapted from New Contemplation by Thomas Merton

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thought for the Week Bible Study 27th Oct 2013

The Bible is not the word of God. It may contain the word of God, in the way that a womb may contain a baby. But the womb is not the baby. Scripture may become the word of God under the inspiration of the Spirit, and often does. But it is heretical and idolatrous to imagine that the word of the living God can be objectified in such a way that it exists within and is limited by a set of printed words on a page. The word of God cannot be separated from the relational presence of God. The word of God is the self-communication of God, and therefore is dynamically connected to the person of God. One cannot know the word of God without knowing God.
Michael Riddell The threshold of the future (SPCK, 1998)

Luke   (4.16-24)
When Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom.  He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.  He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:  ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.
The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.  They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’
He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.”’  And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town.’

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thought for the Week Twentieth Sunday after Trinity

Loving God,
out of our homelessness
we turn to you;
out of our helplessness
we come to you;
out of our hunger,
out of our pain
we return to you.
In love,
deep love
we come.
Stand beside us,
comfort our helplessness,
feed our hunger,
tend out pain,
hear our cry
and welcome us home.
Kate McIIlhagga

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Thought for the week Harvest Festival

For farmers and for fishermen
Lord, bless the holy seed
Outshine the fresh fruit from your plot
Unearth the good things you have got
Rejoice in heart and deed
Love’s labour lasts however long
And will show signs but heed
Toil for the foods that fail to rot
Eat of the bread from heaven’s plot
Rejoice in souls you feed

John.            (6: 25-35)
When they found Jesus on the other side of the sea, the crowd said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’
Then they said to Jesus, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’  They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

Friday, 27 September 2013

Thought for the Week 29th September Michael and All Angels


Angels in Bible stories.
Angels in and out of our lives.
Michael: defeater of dragons, destroyer of evil.
Raphael: matchmaker, healer, traveller.
Gabriel: messenger, teller of truth.
And another name, Lucifer,
the brilliant one, who fell from the heavens,
the son of the morning,
the star of the dawn.
Angels whose names are not known to us:
making Sarah laugh, and Jacob limp,
and Balaam tremble;
letting Peter out of prison,
advising Paul.
Questioning angels and challenging angels,
guardian angels who cradle little ones,
angels who see travellers safely home
and safeguard stumbling feet.
Angels all around us.
God’s confidantes,
God’s messengers.
full of truth
and full of glory,
bright with joy.
Ruth Burgess

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Thought for the week Seventeenth Sunday After Trinity

At the Hermit's Cell
A prayer used on pilgrimage at the site of the Hermit's Cell on Iona.
Now, O Lord, calm me into a quietness
that heals and listens,
that moulds my longings and passions,
my wounds and wonderings
into a more holy, human shape.
In the silence let me listen
and hear the truth you have put in me;
trust the love you have for me
which you call me to live out
with all my sisters and brothers
in your human family.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Thought for the week Fourteenth Sunday After Trinity

A spirituality of politics means walking humbly with God. It is not closeted, albeit pious, immobility. It is a walk, a way of life guided by strategy, but sustained by faith, made possible by policy, but nurtured by prayer. It is a private and public acknowledgement of our utter dependence upon God, of our openness to be called upon by the authority of the poor. We are engaged in politics, not simply to ‘help’ others, but because we are compelled by justice. For us justice is not a philosophic concept or a legal definition or an ideologically adapted and approved slogan. It is, as the prophet Micah has taught us, the act of humbly walking with God.

Allan Boesak
from The Tenderness of Conscience

Luke         (14.1, 7–14)

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable.

‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you,
“Give this person your place,” and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.

But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.  For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

Friday, 23 August 2013

Thought for the week Thirteenth Week after Trinity

Bent over a fist full of twigs
twice daily, sweeping.
Bent beneath a load
of wood or care.
Keeping the rules that keep
a woman bent by burdens,
spent with weeping.
A woman is bent.
Surely you meant
when you lifted her up
long ago to your praise,
Compassionate One,
not one woman only,
but all women bent
by unbending ways.
Miriam Therese Winter

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.’
But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’
When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thought for the week Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

How we are able to put skin on the
good things like love, honesty,
truthfulness, caring, etc? No one
would ever see these words unless we
"DID" them. In the same way the only
reasons we know the words hate, hurt,
cheat, lie, etc. is because some one
did them to us, someone put skin on
them. Sound funny?
Well, that's what Jesus did. God sent
Jesus to us so we could see how great
a human being can be. Jesus loved like
no one ever loved before. Now we do
a lot of the things Jesus did like love,
serve, give, and care because Jesus put
clothes on those words for us. That's
what we mean when we say, "the
word made flesh'.
The Rev Lindy Black

Luke 12.49–56

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens.

You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?’

Friday, 9 August 2013

Thought for the Week 11th Sunday after Trinity

Life in all its fullness
our gift to be received,
life blessed with joy and wholeness,
too complete to be perceived.
Yet, this was won through suffering,
with pain and blood and tears,
through anger and with hatred,
with jealousy and with fear.
The evil of the cross
through his Word transformed us all,
and now we hear his voice
and his quiet persistent call.
'Come follow me, and trust me,
just put your hand in mine;
don't worry about the journey,
I will give to you all the signs...
You will not journey on your own,
I'll guide you where to go.
Just listen to me calling,
trust me and you will know.'

Luke.    (12.32-40)
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. 
Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

Friday, 2 August 2013

Thought for the week Trinity 10 The Transfiguration

Early in the morning, together we went
to a quiet place to think and pray,
striding out to find where we could just 'be';
a good way for us all to begin a day.
The blue of the sky, the dew on the grass,
the calm of a mountain, quiet and still;
it beckoned us up and into the mist,
the air around was clear and chill.
A place to stop to stretch the eye,
the scrub below just dots of grey;
our friend moved away to be alone,
we settled to rest as best we may.
The mist swirled round, a clammy coat,
as sleep touches our lids - a peaceful doze,
But reality called and we woke to see
our friend shining white, even his clothes!
And he wasn't alone, two men were there;
we should shelter them- the mist is cold;
Unknown were they, yet known deep in our souls,
the men looked so young, but also so old.
Then a blink of an eye and they slipped from view.
Did we dream it, or see it? We couldn't be sure.
Our friend turned round, his face serene.
He'd been touched by God and that's for sure!
Then down we went, back to the world,
to the people, the rush, the heat and the pain.
An image of heaven, all shining and bright,
to return to again, and again and again….

(Luke 9.28b–36) 
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.  Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ Peter did not know what he said.

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’

When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Thought for the week Ninth Sunday after Trinity

In the wilderness of our longing
Good and generous God,
here we are again,
still stumbling
in the deep of our anxieties,
still shaking
in the face of life’s tragedies,
still doubting
in the midst of our uncertainties….
And, yes, here we are again,
still hoping
to know you as the peace
that surpasses understanding.
For you are
the seed of hope
in the wilderness of our longing.
Mark Burrows

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thought for the Week Eighth Sunday After Trinity

When light creeps in through the chinks of the door
When the mist ascends from the mountain floor,
When the ocean shimmers like burnished ore,
Let me give the praise.
O God of the morning, Christ of the hills,
O Spirit who all the firmament fills,
O Trinity blest who all goodness wills,
Keep us all our days.
From ‘Morning’, an ancient Celtic poem

Friday, 12 July 2013

Teddy Bears Picnic

Just a few photos of the Teddy Bears Picnic
We played a few games like

Find the Donkeys

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Beating the Donkey

The bears seemed to sit and watch whilst we enjoyed the bring and share lunch in the Rectory garden in the glorious Sunshine.

The afternoon finished with me exercising Daisy the Vicars dog.

Summer at its best.

Thought for the week Seventh Sunday After Trinity

"Do what you would wish them to do unto you" a voice whispered and she responded with hospitality with soup and benches and bags of clothing yes-clothing and feeding and housing the homeless, the rejected, the unwanted the absurd Christs who fit not in churches nor prisons nor hospitals the absurd Christs who slip through every mental grid and rational sieve those to whom no law or structure can apply the Christs walking on water instead of using boats or bridges the Christs reaching their purpose to live to love and embracing it
J. Janda

Deuteronomy (30.9–14)
Moses spoke to the people, saying, The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil.
For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, when you obey the LORD your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Thought for the Week Sixth Sunday after Trinity Teddy Bears Picnic

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh...
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
"Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.
So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said... "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.
"That's how it is," says Pooh.
from Now We Are Six
by A.A. Milne (1882-1956)

Teddy bears are a part of life. People grow up but they nearly always seem to keep a friend with them. I talked to my Dad about this and he told me that he had just talked to a young girl next door to him. She was dress in black in a Goth style. Her boyfriend looked the same. But to complement his tough character he carried a rag tag torn bear with much of its stuffing missing. It goes everywhere with me he said.
My sons have reached maturity but somewhere nearby is a teddy a reminder of the past and a friend to be with when you are all alone.
Perhaps God is like the teddy bear. Always near us watching what we do, not interfering but always there when we need a friend.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Thought for the week Petertide

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in the Church: look with mercy on your servants called to give themselves as Lay Ministers, Deacons or Priests; maintain them in truth and renew them in holiness, that by their word and good example they may faithfully serve you to the glory of your name and the benefit of your whole Church; this we ask through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Thought for the week Fourth Sunday after Trinity

O God our mystery,
You bring us to life,
Call us to freedom,
And move between us with love.
May we so participate
In the dance of your trinity
That our lives may resonate with you
Now and forever.
Janet Morley

Luke. (8.26–39)

Jesus and his disciples arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.

When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me’ – for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.)

Jesus then asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Legion’; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Thought for the week Third Sunday after Trinity

We are afraid of your love, your intimacy. We are used to being judged, but we are not used to being loved, totally. We would rather hold on to our self-hatred than believe in your total acceptance of us. Give us the courage to let go and embrace you; may we learn how to want you to touch us, to know us, that we in our turn may love generously those who cannot believe they are loved. Amen.
Janet Morley
Luke 7 (7.36 - 8.3)

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him - that she is a sinner.' Jesus spoke up and said to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' 'Teacher,' he replied, 'Speak.' 'A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?' Simon answered, 'I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.' And Jesus said to him, 'You have judged rightly.'

Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.' Then he said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'

But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' And he said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace. Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources

Friday, 7 June 2013

Thought for the week Second Sunday after Trinity

Stewardship Prayer
O Lord, giver of life and source of our freedom, we are reminded that Yours is “the earth in its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it.” We know that it is from your hand that we have received all we have and are and will be. Gracious and loving God, we understand that you call us to be the stewards of Your abundance, the caretakers of all you have entrusted to us. Help us always to use your gifts wisely and teach us to share them generously. May our faithful stewardship bear witness to the love of Christ in our lives. We pray this with grateful hearts in Jesus’ name.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Thought for the Week First Sunday after Trinity

Anyone could have seen the first two just behind the fabric of the world. The third is in an unlooked-for ray of brilliance. Power lifts over us abundantly in sunlight, ocean, lightning; matchless design in a bird’s wing. Only a mind sealed shut could see and not stir to the presence of a creating majesty. Voices speak suddenly with different clarity sing in a key nobody taught. For those it touches this empowerment is undeniable as the wild wind. But power given utterly to the task of mending, healing, cleansing, at its own cost; making whole what was broken; pouring itself out endlessly to be a light to the soul lost in the dark rocks; spending itself as salt to fend off decay this is a new song, a gift beyond imagining, and surpassing strange.
Roddie Cowie

Luke (7.1b–10)

Jesus entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.’

And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, ‘Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you.

But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this,” and the slave does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’ When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The vicars Donkeys Dilema

Trinity Sunday brought the donkey again, this time with friends in the continuing saga of the Donkey, in Attack of the Donkey clones. 21 donkeys in various guises were found around the church which gave the choir an exciting job of seeking out and finding each and every one.
Jenny is awaiting the donkeys return or possible hi-jack of the soon to come teddy bears picnic, the churches annual picnic in the park day. Hopefully better weather might actually see this event in the sun this year.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Thought for the Week Trinity

Thank you God for my family, friends and people at church.
Also, thank you for my new friends Leoni and Naomi
and please look after everyone in the world and the animals.
Thank you also for the world.
By Tijana Catchpol

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most holy sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
and unite myself wholly to you.
Never let me be separated from you.
By Leoni Appiah

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Phantom Donkey

The Vicars' nemesis, the Donkey returned again this week to the service. In his fourth appearance the Donkey, with tails of Pentecostal fire zip lined into the crossing from the organ loft during the notices. The donkey also told the story of how he had met the vicar at the local cinema, watching the film because he liked the book so much.
In other weeks the donkey had appeared on Christmas day because the vicar seemed to have forgotten the most important part of the Christmas message -  the New Hope - how Mary got to Bethlehem, Paul took part in the nativity scene in the role of the Donkey.
Later he appeared at Epiphany because he had been forgotten and so came dressed in Camelflage in the Donkey Strikes Back. In his third appearance the Donkey appeared on Palm Sunday in Return of the Donkey, as a high speed Radio Controlled donkey designed to carry Christ into Jerusalem. The Donkey also explained how he had returned the Vicars' bible.
There are rumours that the Donkey will soon return in ... now I get ahead of myself. Perhaps the return will be sooner than you think.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Thought for the Week Pentecost

Life in all its fullness
our gift to be received,
life blessed with joy and wholeness,
too complete to be perceived.
Yet, this was won through suffering,
with pain and blood and tears,
through anger and with hatred,
with jealousy and with fear.
The evil of the cross
through his Word transformed us all,
and now we hear his voice
and his quiet persistent call.
‘Come follow me, and trust me,
just put your hand in mine;
don’t worry about the journey,
I will give to you all the signs...
You will not journey on your own,
I’ll guide you where to go.
Just listen to me calling,
trust me and you will know.’

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Thought for the week 6th Week of Easter

Would he would vanish from their lives?
He knew they were wondering.
So very sad they were.
So sad was he.
he had to
go away from earth.
But his love for them was so keen
that he would place his Spirit deep
within them.
And within us.
Spirit of Jesus,
be our constant guest.
Teacher of all good, remind us
what Jesus said and did and is and how
he has loved us.
Anne Osdieck

Friday, 26 April 2013

Thought for the Week 5th Sunday of Easter

Down came the blanket with those creepy, crawling snakes and vultures and other weird animals on it. In fact, the heavenly blanket came down three times. And each time the blanket descended, Peter said, "No, not me!" Peter's response to God's picnic invitation was not mere squeamishness. Peter found the menu repulsing. None of those animals was acceptable food. Peter's "no" welled up from deep within him. An observant Jew, Peter had spent a lifetime trying to remain ritually clean. His "no" to the heavenly invitation was the visceral, reactive, reflexive result of years of religious conditioning.
In our passage from Acts, the blanket from heaven carried with it the promise of God's unimaginable generosity for all humankind. God's blanket was blotting out the boundary between Jew and Gentile, a boundary that God found unnecessary. What God had made clean was clean indeed.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Thought for the week 4th Sunday of Easter

The Protection of Christ

Christ as a light,
illuminate and guide me!
Christ as a shield,
overshadow and cover me!
Christ be under me!
Christ be over me!
Christ be beside me,
on left hand and right!
Christ be before me,
behind me, about me!
Christ, this day,
be within and without me!
St Patrick

Friday, 12 April 2013

Thought for the week Third week of Easter

Master, don't tease. You know
I am your friend. Yet still you ask,
and how can I reply?
I swore unending loyalty and then
three times denied, but Lord,
I am your friend. And still you press,
You are my friend then? Lord it hurts,
but in the hurting heals:
three times I say it, Yes I am your friend.
And gladly I will serve as you command.
Ann Lewin

Friday, 5 April 2013

Thought for the Week Second Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ,
as ice melts and rivers flow
when spring comes,
breathe your life-giving Spirit
into our frozen hearts.
Set our minds on fire
and our feet running,
to seek and to serve your truth.
Free us from all that captivates us.
Give us a deeper understanding of your truth.
Increase our wisdom.
Remind us that you have written our names
on the palms of your crucified hands
and help us to know that you call us by name.
Kate McIlhagga

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Thought for the Week Easter Sunday


O heavenly powers,
Exult, all creation!
Sound the trumpet
of salvation.
O splendorous Earth,
Exult in glory.
Let this place resound with joy
Jesus Christ our King is risen!
Easter Vigil Exsultet.

 Luke     (24. 1-12)

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had accompanied Jesus came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.

While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered Jesus’ words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.

Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Monday, 25 March 2013

New Cross for St Mary's

St Mary's has a new cross. The cross will be used for the first time during Holy week 2013. Earlier this year we removed parts of four pews to make space in the centre of the nave for disabled seating.

The wood from these pews was put to good us by Simon Lambert to make us this new cross which will be used in our veneration of the cross on Good Friday.

The wood from the oak pews was recycled and turned into this wonderful new cross and stand.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Thought for the week Palm Sunday

Partisan God, taking sides with life against death; conqueror on the back of a donkey, you carry with you the expectations of the centuries. You are shoot of Jesse, descendent of David, offspring of Moabite Ruth gleaning in alien corn. You are master carpenter, compassionate healer. You are the one we are waiting for. Christ of vinegar and gall, Help us to learn to die in free from fear. Show us the lengths to which God's love will go. Save us from our godless self-contempt. Reawaken in us the song of protest. Remind us that our sisters and brothers starve. Enable us to comfort the empty and feed the hungry. Call us to release the captives waiting in hope, and through your costly love bring us to a deeper understanding of the meaning of suffering. Holy Spirit of struggle, As we grapple with your struggle and ours, 'as blind we sit in the tomb you raised us from' grant us your blessing.
Kate McIlhagga
quote Gerard Manley Hopkins

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Thought for the Week Passion Sunday

The Quiet Insistence of your Word

What I notice most about this place is the wind, veering and backing into my corner, eddying, gusting, niggling, tangling hair, finding the contours of my face with icy fingers. Yesterday I had a place on the sun. It’s easy to pray with silences, warm light, and sea birds calling. Today is hard. I pull my collar up, and draw my fingers, monk like, into my sleeves. The wind buffets my ears, so I no longer hear your voice in the song of the lark, the flutter of small birds. Lord, do not let this northeast wind, or any other, deafen me to the still, small voice, the quiet insistence of your Word.
Alma Hamilton