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Richard on April 20th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 23 April 2017.

Richard on April 13th, 2017

Easter will be celebrated in the Benefice at the following services on Sunday 16 April:

09:15 – Family Communion, Mount Bures

11:00 – Family Communion, Little Horkesley

11:00 – Family Communion, Wormingford

18:30 – Evening Service, Little Horkesley

For readings, prayers and NEWS, click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Easter Sunday.

Richard on April 8th, 2017

To find service times for Holy Week and Easter, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 9 April 2017.

Richard on March 31st, 2017

Potential

Isn’t this a lovely time of year to be walking around the village or driving in the countryside? Daffodils brighten the view and our spirits; green replaces brown, and freshly cut lawns and verges show that humanity joins nature in its annual spring-clean. It happens every year – soon it will be the turn of bluebells, and before long those tidy lanes will be narrowed by cow parsley!

We expect it, but it’s all still a miracle. Science can show how it all happens, and why – but it’s still amazing how an intricate daffodil can grow from a bulb, a whole field or wood can change colour with bloom, whole plants emerge from the tiniest of seeds – and all on cue. May we never lose that sense of awe and wonder as we take in the sights and scents of spring.

Easter, 16th April this year, is a Christian’s happiest day, and that arrives on cue too. Many events in the Bible can’t be tied down to a specific time of year or date, but Easter can – the first Easter Day was the Sunday after the Passover (the night of the full moon after the vernal equinox) and it still is! It’s great to fill the Church at Easter with spring flowers as a reminder of emerging life, and to give & receive Easter eggs too.

Eggs and seeds are so simple to look at, yet they are powerful signs of great potential. Jesus said “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). That was in the context of preparing his followers for his death on the cross, by which He demonstrated the potential for eternal life. You’d remind me that when a seed goes into the ground, it may look dead, but it actually isn’t; the potential is still there. Now Jesus knew that. He was certainly killed – the Romans saw to that – but his point is that nothing can kill the spirit, and by His resurrection proved that our spirits too have the potential for eternal life.

Yes, we are all people of great potential. Just as our intellect, our talents, our energies can be considered dead or dormant until they emerge to brighten the community around us, so also our spiritual lives can be ‘fed and watered’ in a relationship with Jesus for the benefit of those around us now, and for our own lives – on this earth and for eternity.

So as we enjoy the beauty of the natural world, let’s thank the Lord for humanity’s potential too; pray that leaders will realise the potential to bring peace, that we work to realise the potential for a thriving community, and that all the hidden goodness in us will blossom and brighten the spirits of all around us.

Yours in Jesus,

Richard on March 31st, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 2 April 2017.

Richard on March 24th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Mothering Sunday 26 March 2017.

Richard on March 16th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 19 March 2017.

Richard on March 11th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 12 March 2017.

Richard on February 25th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 26 February 2017.

Richard on February 25th, 2017

Oh yes, I truly believe that – but in its original meaning! You see, charity is quite an old word, which like many others in our language has changed its meaning over the centuries. It’s all about our true nature, deep inside (character) becoming our outgoing, attractive nature (charisma) showing everyone that we really do care – it’s a matter of loving deeply from the very heart of our being (cardiac!).

Let me put it another way – love begins with you. And me. You’ve heard of the Biblical phrase ‘faith, hope & charity’? Well, more modern translations go back to the original meaning. ‘Now, these three remain – faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love’ (1 Corinthians 13:13).

March is an interesting month for showing the depth of that love. Firstly, Lent begins on 1st March, and we often talk of giving things up for Lent. Notice how not doing something is described as giving things up, not storing things up! Being charitable (loving to others in many ways, including being generous with money) is a wonderful Lenten discipline, and what better way to respond to God’s sacrificial love for us than by developing and living out our loving nature in the community.

Secondly, March 26th is Mothering Sunday, and there are many traditions surrounding the day. For instance, when people had moved away from home, this was the day they went back to their mother village, and to their mother Church. When girls were away from home in service, as maids or cooks in a large house, they were allowed to go back to their mothers on this day. In the early days of the industrial revolution, young workers had a rare Sunday off to go home, and they picked flowers from the roadside to take to their mothers – the source of their love. The mother Church helped by giving flowers to the children to present to their mums – and we still do!

So why not continue the old tradition – come to Mother Church on Mothering Sunday, honour mothers and all who have sustained us over the years, and show our loving, charitable nature as a matter of course. Yes, charity (love) ‘begins’ at home, not ends there; where love is shared, opportunities are endless!

Yours in Jesus