Vicar's Letter

September 2015

[Our September Article has been written by Ann Collier]

 

Dear Friends

SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS

This month sees the start of the new academic year for schools and most colleges and universities. For some, not only will it be a new year, but also a new location. We pray for all who are facing these new challenges that God’s peace and strength may abide with them. We particularly pray for our own Church of England school here in Wentworth at the start of a new school year, for all the staff and the pupils.

As regards the church’s year, our attention is also drawn towards new things at this time. The reading for Trinity XII, the first Sunday of September, speaks of God’s New Covenant with his people (2 Corinthians ch.3 v.4) “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”, (1 Corinthians, ch.15 v.22) and at the sound of those words the music of Handel’s Messiah thunders in our ears giving them the dramatic emphasis they deserve (some things, one can argue, are definitely better expressed in music!) This reminder of God’s wonderful and enduring promise to us is very reassuring as summer wanes, autumn approaches and winter looms ahead. It is also good to contemplate God’s New Covenant wit his people prior to Advent, which heralds the coming of Christ through who the New Covenant was enacted.

In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3, Paul emphasises that God “has qualified us to be ministers of a New Covenant, not in a written code but in the spirit, for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life”. How well that sums it up! Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to try to lay down rules of “do’s and don’ts” that cover absolutely every eventuality so as to be just and fair? Moses tried and

August 2015

[This article first appeared in the July 2015 issue of ‘Connection’ – the magazine of Christ Church, Virginia Water, Surrey]

Dear Friends

Whilst looking for an article for our magazine I came upon this piece which seemed to me to be rather apt for the time of year

“80 years ago this month, on 21st Aug 1935, the Rev John Hartley, the British tennis champion, died. He was the world’s number one player in 1879 and 1880, when he won Wimbledon both years. He was the only clergyman to ever win Wimbledon. Here Richard Bewes, a keen tennis man, looks back on Hartley’s life…

“Lawn Tennis,” wrote J.B. Priestley, “is a name with the mildest associations. It suggests a companion pastime to croquet, a late-Victorian thing, bright with petticoats and delicately clouded

July 2015

[Our editorial this month is written by Barbara Sabin]

 

Dear Friends

Do you ever give thanks for the kindness of God? You can read in the Old Testament ‘God chose you not because you were big and important, the fact is there was almost nothing to you, He did it out of sheer love….’

Have you heard of Eddie Rickenbacker?

"Thousands of Americans laid aside their newspapers on Oct. 22, 1942, and abandoned hope for Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his seven companions after reading the last message, radioed from their Flying Fortress...."

They were eight men adrift in the Pacific with four oranges, no water, one working watch, life jackets, a Bible, and a few flares. Could they survive the weeks between disaster and rescue? Seven did. This is their story reconstructed from the salt-encrusted diary of

June 2015

[Our June Article is written by John Barrett

 

Dear Friends

In my last Parish, almost ever day, my wife and I would walk our dogs in a very well known area of Birmingham known as the Lickey Hills. Being creatures of habit we followed an almost identical track through the trees and then out onto the open space to look down on Rubery (our Parish). We would walk in the wind, the rain, the snow and even the sunshine. It was one of the glorious privileges of living in that part of the county.

Usually Mary and I walked together and so kept each other company. However on rare occasions I had to walk the dogs alone. Our dogs may have been pretty but they were not great conversationalist. So as I walked I tended to find myself deep in thought and miles away and walking on automatic pilot. My feet knew the way!

However I recall one particular occasion when walking by myself. I suddenly I looked up and saw what I thought was a new wooden memorial erected on the green. I thought that’s strange. That wasn't there yesterday! I went forward a few paces to examine this new memorial more closely. Then I saw it wasn’t a new memorial but the same broken down seat, which had stood in that spot for ever! It wasn’t that my eyes had deceived me. Rather that my first look at it had been from a different position. For some reason I had cut the corner and. so approached the seat from a new and for me, unusual angle!

Because of this I saw things very differently. My eyes and then my mind had taken in the information. A quick analysis and I had drawn the conclusion that before me was a new object. From that angle the old seat the old bench became a brand new wooden

May 2015

[Our Article for May is written by Matthew Wiles]

The Church Journey

The sense of history that places of worship convey can inspire us.


Not only are they used for religious services, but they provide a place where we can spend time and where we can quietly reflect: a place for private prayer, a place to collect and contemplate our thoughts and a place to be among our friends and loved ones.

As well as this, they provide a place where we can learn.

Predominantly, this is about God, His word and His love. Most of the stained glass and imagery we see in our churches help to show and explain this. In past times, when very few people could read or write this was a particularity important feature for spreading God's word and teaching the stories of the bible.

Moreover, these places can often help us develop a sense of community, trust and citizenship too: through the new friends we make, the old friendships we cherish, the committees we join and the events we hold.

They allow us connect with our heritage and learn about people that were here before us; the decisions they made, the lives they led and the traditions they had. Much of this is in the form of memorials to various people and plaques erected to mark special occasions, but a lot of these are through the records that

April 2015

GOOD FRIDAY HOW COULD IT BE GOOD?

On the first Good Friday at the Place of the Skull—Golgatha—nails were smashed through the wrists and feet of Jesus - the teacher from Nazareth. He was betrayed by friends, made fun of by soldiers, was a source of amusement and entertainment as he provided a spectacle for the crowds following him. The soldiers with indifference to his pain drew lots and divided up his meagre clothes. All the time his mother and a small knot of women friends helplessly looked on and watched in agony,

Always Good Friday continues. It happens again and again in terms of innocent suffering, of cruel tyrants with an indifferent public ready to enjoy the anguish and hurt of

March 2015

[This month, there is no 'Vicars Letter', instead a poem about Lent by Ann Weems]

 

Lent is a time to take time to let the power
of our faith story take hold of us,
a time to let the events get up
and walk around in us,
a time to intensify our living unto Christ,
a time to hover over the thoughts of our hearts,
a time to place

February 2015

[Many thanks to our very good friend Richard for taking the time to write our leading article for the month]

Dear Friends


The nearest thing the clergy have to a trade’s union paper is the Church Times. Over the past century it has changed greatly. In January 1914 they printed a piece about the Germans arresting Cardinal Mercier of Belgium. He had written a pastoral letter counselling people to obey the invader whilst retaining an inward loyalty to their king and government. Clearly, the German army felt this was encouragement to resistance and put the Cardinal in irons. This showed, the paper wrote, the Germans' “entire lack of the finer feelings of gentleman”. One feels that the editors might have noticed the far wider atrocities committed by the enemy, but no, it was only the effect upon a Prince of the Church.

From being 'the Conservative Party at prayer' the Church of England has moved towards something more akin to a recruiting sergeant for the Labour Party (except at


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