Being Remembered

This morning I managed to phone someone I hadn’t intended to ring. Having whizzed through the addresses in my phone, I dialled a different person to the one I expected. You can imagine the surprise when I heard a very different voice answer my call. I bluffed my way through the early part of the call giving the impression I had phoned to see how they were when the truth was anything but. They thanked me for remembering them. I hadn’t, but I was so glad to have made that mistaken call. Being remembered is very important isn’t it?

Churches are very special places for many reasons and remembering and being remembered is certainly one of them. I know many of you inside and outside the church care and support one another by visiting and keeping in touch. This is an often unrecognised ministry, but I want to encourage you to keep on remembering and caring. However, it is possible for some people to be missed when the remembering is most needed. With this in mind, St. Mary’s are setting up a ‘Visiting Team’. This small team will be tasked with the ‘remembering’ of our church family and wider community, that no one need feel uncared for or forgotten. The team will be co-led by trusted people in the church; Gwen Duckitt a Reader in the Benefice, and Jacqui Plummer the wife of one of our Churchwardens. The one distinctive of these visits will be a short prayer at the end to invite God to be with those being visited. I do hope you will be encouraged as you read this, and if you know of anyone who would benefit from a visit, or you yourself would value someone coming to see you, please contact or 01920 318864. This small team will be commissioned at St. Mary’s on Sunday 25th October at our 10.45am Service.

Perhaps I can continue with the theme of remembering for a moment longer. Losing a loved one is a devastating life event that changes us forever. We as a church realise we have an important part to play in helping those who grieve and one of the ways we do this is by holding an annual Service of Memories taking place this year at St. Mary’s on Sunday 1st November at 3pm. May I invite anyone who has lost a loved one to come, and confirm we will remember your loved one by name during this special service. Beyond this service, we have also invited Stephne Whittles on behalf of the church, to offer bereavement support to those who have recently lost loved ones. Stephne has had many years experience in this work with Isabel Hospice and will also be commissioned for this role on 25th October.

Alan Comfort, Rector

Summer and the Future

I’ve had an unusually good summer break, wonderfully relaxed, with precious thinking space to look back over our first year in the benefice and ask ‘what’s next’. Are you the kind of person who thinks about the ‘what next’ in life? In our last parish we had a lovely couple who would carefully plan their ‘what next’ each year. Last year they learnt a new language, and took dance lessons together. Jill would certainly be shocked if I told her we’re starting Salsa dancing on Wednesday nights this coming September! Well, I’m not encouraging you to take up dance but I am encouraging you to think about your faith in God. If you’re not sure what a faith in God is all about then why not join our Alpha Course that starts on Tuesday 22nd September. Ten weeks to ask your questions as we look at the central beliefs of the Christian faith. These are always excellent groups and often life changing for some people. (contact to find out more or book a place)

As a benefice we have an extraordinarily rich program of services and concerts. We believe our church worship offers the broadest range of styles to cater for everyone. Why not come and try a Sunday morning at St. Mary’s with our main services at 10.45am on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th Sundays? If you have smaller children we now run something called Messy Church at Roger de Clare School on Sundays at 4.45-6pm. This is great fun, starting with tea for all, crafts and games to work our theme through, and a short time of family worship to finish. We have games Sundays with rounders and football and Party Sundays with lots of party games. This is the best fun ever and a great introduction to church and the christian faith if you have children. Why not join us on Sunday 6th September or when you can?

Our newest benefice venture starts on Sunday 20th September in the Community Centre. The VYC (Village Youth Club) is a very important addition to our area. We believe the young people in our villages are very fortunate to grow up in this area, but they still need opportunities to mature in safe and exciting ways. We have an experienced youth worker (Luke Lowrie) heading this up for us, with a really exciting programme plus a weekend away. This will be brilliant, so if you have a 10-16 year old in your house tell them about it and give it a go. There will be the option each week for the young people to think about the christian faith in relevant ways. We think this could make a huge difference to them which sounds like a great September plan.

Alan Comfort, Rector