The world is going through great
changes at this time which affect us all. We
cannot ignore the circumstances in the world -
indeed we are called to consider them in our
prayers, and to hold on to what God has to offer
us in these times.
We believe that life has a meaning
and purpose as portrayed in the Scriptures and
that there is a means of living set out there
which we should try to follow.
We believe that Jesus Christ, born
some 2000 years ago, died for our good and that
as a result we are able to live a future life in
His presence through Faith. We do not profess to
understand it all, but we believe it and we see
God at work in His world now through the actions
of the Holy Spirit influencing lives everywhere.
I want to thank you
Lord for being close to me so far this
With your help, I
haven't been impatient, lost my temper,
been grumpy, judgmental, or envious of
But I will be
getting up in a few minutes and I think I
will really need your help then. Amen.
out more - Alpha
The way to
find out in some detail and in a friendly
atmosphere what our beliefs are all about.
find a course near you or for more information
about Alpha - see the Alpha
* * * * * * * * * *
How can God allow such
things to happen?
Don't we all hear this cry from time
to time about events in the world. The
catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 stand
out as an example. But there are many things that
happen to people in their personal lives and we
ask sometimes in our anguish:
Why does God allow
don't have a ready answer but it is worth
examining what would really happen if God did
intervene at such times. Perhaps we would
gradually realise that we could take risks with
our lives and the lives of others, knowing that
there is a safety net which will prevent the
worst from happening. Ultimately we could become
totally irresponsible and do what we felt like.
In fact our lives would be far from free; we
would become robots.
Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but
mosquitoes come close.
you get to your wit's end,
you'll find God lives there.
Thoughts of a seeker
I'm thinking of trying the Church.
My life is in a mess and I don't know whether I
am coming or going; but I am scared stiff what
will happen when I first set foot inside the
What should I wear? In Mum's day
they wore hats and Dad wore a suit and tie.
Do they sing hymns or is it all
guitars and do they sway to the music? Will I be
ignored or will the welcome be so effusive that I
will feel instantly trapped into something when I
only want to test the water? How will I know when
to sit, stand, kneel - do they still kneel?
Will I be expected to say something?
anything? - on my own even? And since I haven't
been consummated, or whatever, what happens when
they all go up to the front?
I'm not sure I can cope with this -
I think I'll leave it another day...
And another month, or a year or more
You will get
a welcome! But don't worry - you won't be
press-ganged into anything! You will be handed a
service leaflet, a sheet giving information about
today's specific readings and notices and some
other information, and you will be given a book
of hymns or songs that we will sing during the
Come smart but relaxed, hats, ties
and suits are optional; everyone wears what they
feel comfortable in and in winter the church is usually quite
Yes we sing, and quite well too, but
no particular actions go with it. If we introduce
movement or dance in any form it will be for
those who want to do it and only for particular
events under careful direction.
You will know when to sit or stand
from the service leaflet and it will probably be
If it is a Communion Service you may
come up to the altar rail even if you have NOT
been confirmed where you will be blessed. (Nice
that one - I wish it had happened when I was
After any morning service you will
be invited to stay for a little while for a cup
of coffee or other light refreshment which will
give you a chance to meet people informally. We
will want to get to know you better but whether
you stay is entirely up to you.
* * * * *
Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart and my
Remove the have nots, can nots and the do nots.
Erase the will not, may not, might not that may find a home in
Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that
obstruct my life.
And most of all, dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life
all of the "am nots" that I have allowed to hold me
Especially that thought that I am not good enough. Amen.
Order or Re-order?
We sometimes like to have an
informal service in church; perhaps where we
could gather round in a circle for teaching,
occasional singing, readings, music or whatever
comes to mind at the time.
The Anglican churches in particular
in the UK have struggled with trying to make
their buildings more user-friendly, warmer in
winter and effective for modern worship. But
these buildings are often of great historic
interest and significance in the community and
are regarded as "sacrosanct" especially
so far as their fabric is concerned.
Did you hear of the vicar who met
opposition to his proposed relocation of the
piano? He moved it just one inch every day until
it eventually arrived where he wanted it! We
should not forget that much of the internal
fabric of our churches was substantially altered
relatively recently by the Victorians to suit
their styles of worship, so we should bear in
mind that our present needs may not be met in
today's historic buildings. If anyone is worried
by this they should consider the amount of
alteration carried out in the cathedrals: York,
Canterbury and Exeter have all seen major
internal alterations in recent years to the great
benefit of congregations and visitors.
So we should not be surprised if, as
a result of review or some other need, one or
more of us identifies a weakness affecting us
within the church building pointing towards some
possible alteration. Let us not look on this as a
threat, rather an opportunity for careful and
|May God grant that
our hearts, our eyes and our hands may
receive this His inspiration enabling us
to glorify His house with the beauty of
the leaves and blossoms which He has
Advent and Lent, the seasons of preparation, the
church is rather bare, the altar frontal is
purple, and there are few flowers in church. But
Christmas and Easter change all that!
But why do we forgo flowers during
Lent? Surely this is the season of new life and
the church would do well to recognise this.
Remember Christ spent much time in the Garden of
thought of going on a retreat or Christian holiday? The Brochure
for Lee Abbey in North Devon is now out and available, there's a copy
among the mission Magazines in the entrance corridor at St Paul's -
it's worth a read! Church Urban Fund Poverty Sunday is on 13th June,
please do remember those living in hardship in the towns of our
country and pray for our Church's ministry of care to them, for more
details why not visit the CUF website:
|God doesn't call the
qualified, He qualifies the called.