It was a pleasure to welcome Bishop Jackie Searle of Crediton to our Parishes and see five people Confirmed in their faith. A wonderful day!
A fundraiser for the Friends of S. Mary’s. Samples of a variety of cocktails and matching food. Learn how to make them at the Vicarage. There are limited spaces available, so to book, please contact Fr. Simon on 07976 802123 or email@example.com
My thanks to Karen Griffiths for these lovely photos of our 6am Easter Vigil at S. Anne’s Glenholt.
This is the most important week of the Christian Year as we walk behind Christ on his way of sorrows: from the triumph of Palm Sunday this Sunday through to the foot of the Cross on Good Friday and the glory of the resurrection of Easter Day. I often liken this week to the reading of a book. You can read the first page of a book, and then skip to the last page and you will know how it ends (spoiler alert: Jesus wins!) but you will have no idea of how you got there. So this week, I invite you to come and be a part of the whole journey and walk with this community of faith on this way of sorrows. The details of all of the acts of worship are below. Some of these may be unfamiliar to you, and I invite you to dive in and experience them. Palm SundayPalms in the shape of crosses are given to the congregation and (if weather permits – we do live on the edge of Dartmoor after all! – we will process with our Palms singing joyous songs to commemorate the triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. We hear the whole of the Passion of Jesus, this year from the Gospel of Luke before Holy Communion. The Stations of the CrossThe Stations of the Cross, or the Way of Sorrows – the via dolorosa enable us to follow the last few events of Jesus’ life, meditating on each stage and its significance both then and […]
VISION – REVELATION – SEEING WHAT GOD IS DOING The temptation in these times of turmoil is to turn inwards, to protect what we have, to lament over what we don’t have, to focus on buildings and maintenance and to fret over the gaps in the pews/seats caused by the passing of much beloved members of the congregation or demographic change. But this does not equate with God’s vision for his Church. God’s vision is not parochial. We are part of a bigger story which only starts local, but speaks beyond the four walls of the building to the whole world. God’s vision is timeless, as his concern is with the whole of history, and not just getting us past the end-of-year financial statement for 2019. God’s vision is inclusive, far beyond those who look like us, or – most challenging for me – think like us. So we must cast off our insecurities and make God’s vision, our vision. Our focus needs to be not just on the maintenance of what we have, but the building of what we most desire: a community that worships God and responds to the world in the light of that love. This is a re-call to confidence. Confidence in our mission, in our place in the world and in the innate goodness of the Good News that we have to share. To provide a place where all ages, genders, orientations and colours can find a home, a place of inclusion around his blessed sacraments and his holy word […]
siLENT: Lent Lunch and Reflection 2019 13th, 20th, 27th March, 3rd and 10th April Each Wednesday in Lent we will gather at the Vicarage (33 Leat Walk, Roborough, PL6 7AT) to share a Lent Lunch of Soup, Bread and Cheese followed by a period of reflection on the Scriptures which will help us to find stillness and strength in silence and reflection. This Lectio Divina will draw us closer to God over this Lent period and encourage us to let go as we delve into silent contemplation. If you are anything like me, you might find silence oppressive and challenging, but for this Lent, we encourage you to take up this prayerful, psalm-focussed discipline. There is no charge for the lunch, but we will be collecting donations for the Children’s Society to support their work with the vulnerable and disadvantaged. It would be most helpful if you were to book a place so we know how much lunch to provide; so please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call him on 07976 802123. What do I need? You will need a Bible, of any translation that you like. If you don’t have one, then there are plenty available to borrow at the Vicarage, and a donation for the lunch. Then just bring yourself, and a friend if you would like. ALL ARE WELCOME and we hope you will benefit from this time of quietness and reflection after a nice soup lunch. I would also suggest reading this recent article about the clutter in our lives, and the #FEAROFMISSINGOUT […]
Most residents of the locality are aware that the Premier Shop and Post Office recently went bust and there is currently no Post Office services in the area. The Woolwell OneStop/Post Office is due to close in April and the nearest is in Southway: an inaccessible distance for many of Glenholt’s Elderly population. At a Public Meeting held a couple of weeks ago, organised by Denise Mills, over 200 people came: a completely packed Church! We heard from local councillors, Maddie Bridgeman, Chris Mavin and Nick Kelly who was also the owner of the site, but is not the landlord. The landlord was present but unwilling to speak in public and so Nick Kelley was forced to speak on his behalf. Charlotte Holloway, the Labour PPC for Moor View was present but the sitting MP, Johnny Mercer was unavailable in Westminster (during Brexit Vote week, so we actually did understand his absence). I had the sense that politics were very much secondary to the issues before us, and the meeting was pretty united: we want and need a local Post Office. The councillors and PPC were especially good in their support and I commend them all for this. There are two strands to this issue: the reestablishment of a permanent Post Office, which requires the appointment of a subpostmaster and a host of other things to come together, in a viable shop. There are traders interested in that, but this will take time, and I do not think can be sorted out this side of […]
Every six years the Electoral Roll is completely revised and all who attend our churches are warmly invited to complete the form which will be distributed shortly. It also gives us a chance to check our records (under GDPR rules) and for you to ensure Gift Aid and other details are up-to-date. Please complete a form available in Church or downloadable below (this is a gatefolded leaflet) . Even if you already on the Electoral Roll, you need to resubmit this form. This includes all those who through infirmity are unable to come regularly to church but who receive care (Home Communion etc) at home – you are still an important part of the Body of Christ.
The feast of Epiphany begins with the traditional proclamation which sets the dates for Easter and the rest of the Church year. In an age without watches or calendars it was a useful marker of the year, and is a tradition which should, I believe, be maintained… Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation. Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising celebrated between the evening of the eighteenth day of April and the evening of the twentieth day of April, Easter Day being on the twenty-first day of April. Each Easter — as on each Sunday — the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death. From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the sixth day of March. The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the thirtieth day of May. Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the ninth day of June. And, this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on the first day of December. Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the Passover of Christ in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in […]
Today, the Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their coursefrom the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,and formed man in his own likeness; when century upon century had passedsince the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood,as a sign of covenant and peace; in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith,came out of Ur of the Chaldees; in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Mosesin the Exodus from Egypt; around the thousandth year since David was anointed King; in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-twosince the foundation of the City of Rome; in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,the whole world being at peace, JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Stephen Tomkins Where does biblical literalism come from? What is the genesis, if you will, of the habit of mind that makes many Christians read the Bible with a different brain to the one they’d use with any other writing? It is by no means an essential Christian tenet. No creed says anything about how to read the scriptures. The highest claim the Bible makes for itself is when the writer of Paul’s letter to Timothy says the Hebrew scriptures were “God-breathed”, which is wonderfully suggestive but hardly precise or dogmatic. I mean, Adam was God-breathed, and look what happened to him. The Bible is the word of God, Christians believe, but why should the fact it’s God’s mean it has to be read with naive absolutism? Many Christians call the church “the body of Christ” without considering it anything like infallible, or refusing to see its rites as symbolic. Part of the problem is historical. The deification of the Bible is a result of the Protestant reformation. Before then, the final authority, the ultimate arbiter and source of information in religious matters was the church, with its ancient traditions and living experts. When Luther and friends opposed the teaching of the Catholic hierarchy, they needed a superior authority to appeal to, which was provided by the Bible. Fair enough. But in defending or reclaiming the Bible from papists and then liberals, evangelical Protestants made it the very heart of the faith. Hence the ludicrous situation where many evangelical organisations, such as the Southern Baptist […]
Well, apart from the Birth narratives in Matthew and Luke, and after the return from Egypt we hear little more: the story of the finding in the Temple aged 12ish in Luke 2:41-52 and then… Tradition says Joseph was a much older man (and some claim previously married in order to keep the perpetual virginity of Our Blessed Lady, but I think that is rubbish, because unlike us, the Jewish faith has a healthly view on sex, and it would be unthinkable that when it mentions “brothers and sisters” they are step-brothers etc. (There is a looong discussion to be had on Mary, who isimportant, but essentially all the ever-virgin stuff is more about God’s gracethan the condition of Mary’s hymen). In Luke 2:19 and 2:51 it says both times that Mary “pondered these things in her heart” and so they key question which is still being fully worked out is “Who is this Jesus?” – If you grew up next to him you might mainly think of him as the Carpenter-guy. I often find it amazing when I see members of my Youth Group or my kids doing great,successful, important things, because I changed my children’s nappies and remember Youth Group kids as gawky teenagers, but Jesus did not fully enter into his ministry until he was about 30 (which is where Mark jumps right in). I shouldn’t be surprised that they do such great things, but as with everybody I and presumably the people of Nazareth, Aunties and Cousins found making the jump […]
…Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’ MARK 2.9 As the Scribes recognised “Only God has the power to forgive sins” – so Jesus is effectively hinting about his true nature. When I pronounce the absolution of sins, it is not me doing it,but Christ, who has called me to make this known to people. Very few people Jesus met at the time truly understood who he truly was, and even then oftengot the wrong end of the stick (Peter would be a good example) and especially what the true meaning and purpose of the Messiah would be – not (as many in Israel believed) a great warrior king from God, but a humble suffering servant of the people. The OT speaks of the Messiah being both but when you are under Roman rule, it’s easier to hope for the former to free you, rather than to truly ‘free’you from your sin.
FIRST OF A NEW SERIES: Fr Simon tries to explain some common and key questions about the faith in “There is no such thing as a dumb question” The first thing to say is that there are a lot of different perspectives on this, which is at its heart an almost unfathomable mystery: all theology and faith is grasping the edge of something quite beyond our human understanding, but we can see glimpses, and the best clue we have to getting a grip on what God is, and what he wants, was when he stepped into this world as a human in the form of Jesus Christ. This mystery is call the atonement and is about the reconciliation of God with us. We broke the system because we do the bad things: ‘sin’. Metaphorically this is described as the Fall in Genesis (eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – not an apple!) but that is just an ancient way of trying to describe why we as humans mess up. God is constantly trying to win us back (sending prophets etc) but we still didn’t listen and went our own way. Finally he comes himself in the form of Jesus (understand that ‘Son of God’ means the same as ‘God’ himself). That was a bit of a threat, so they had him killed. He foretold this in the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matthew 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19). The purpose of the Incarnation (God born in human form) anyway was […]
The Parishes of Bickleigh & Shaugh Prior are planning on holding it on Dec 25th this year, if that’s okay with you…
Each year I produce a custom handbook for our weekend Pilgrimage to run alongside the Shrine one.