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Welcome to our website. Whether you want Weddings or Word from Wormingford, to find out about or services or to take a tour of our Churches, we hope you enjoy touring our website - and we look forward to meeting you in person.

Richard on October 12th, 2017

Join us for our service at St. Andrew’s Church, Wormingford on Sunday 29 October at 11 a.m., which will be led by Kingsland Community Gospel Choir, making a welcome return after their barnstorming appearance at our Celebration Evening last February.

Come along with friends and neighbours, and have a great hour with us, including refreshments afterwards!

Richard on October 12th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 15 October 2017.

Richard on October 6th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 8 October 2017.

Richard on September 28th, 2017

Flying away on holiday recently, we heard the usual safety announcement, including the words: “…and if oxygen masks are presented, fit your own mask before helping others, including children”. We know the reason, of course – we won’t be able to help anyone if we aren’t even breathing. But each time I fly, those words remind me of the need to be strong in myself and have all I need, if I’m going to be any use to other people.

Doing things for ourselves (meaning being internally resourceful) is good; doing things for ourselves (meaning for a selfish purpose) is less so! But in our modern world, advertisers seek to cash in on what they call the ‘me generation’ of people who seem to look only to their own wants and needs. And the question so often asked isn’t ‘what good would it do?’ but ‘what’s in it for me?’.

A self-service store used to mean we choose from the shelves, rather than having the proprietor serve us. Now it means we even operate the till – and the store gains most from that! Do-it-yourself can be very affirming, building our abilities as well as saving money, and there are many skills we can’t acquire without actually doing them: but even using ‘Teach Yourself’ books means we’re learning from the experience of others. Even self-help groups are facilitated so that we learn from the experience of those in a similar position. The fact is that we develop best as a community when we learn from others and share our skills with others.

Key to this approach is Jesus’ summary of the Ten Commandments – love God, and love our neighbour as we also love ourselves (Matthew 22:38-39). Jesus often had ‘me time’, going to a solitary place to pray, to build up Spiritual strength for times ahead – and he encourages us to do the same: ‘When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your heavenly Father’ (Matthew 6:6). Prayer like that strengthens us as individuals; prayer together strengthens the community. And being Spiritually strong is as important as being emotionally and physically strong, if we are to be fully effective as whole people.

I think we all know that, but perhaps it’s good to be reminded sometimes, so that we can take the initiative, build ourselves up and use our skills and energies to best effect.

Go on – help yourself!

Yours in Jesus,

Richard on September 28th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for      Sunday 1 October 2017.

Richard on September 21st, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 24 September 2017.

Richard on September 14th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 17 September 2017.

Richard on September 8th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 10 September 2017.

Richard on August 30th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 3 September 2017.

Richard on August 30th, 2017

Back to school

Why do we need school? For writing? MS Word has a spell-checker. Maths? I have a calculator. Geography? Google Earth. History? There’s no future in it. Experience? It’s all on YouTube.

We can’t allow our children to think like that, of course – though I’m sure they do, at times! Perhaps we all do…. OK, yes, I do. It’s so easy to benefit from the published learning of others, saving time and energy. And why not? Even the most diligent bookworm learns from others’ research. Which means I’m pleased you’re reading this, especially if you learn anything from it!

The Web and social media are great for helping us get our work done by the end of the day, but not for helping us stop and think. And when I do that, I realise that my focus is often on deadlines and demands rather than on discovery and development. Like a schoolchild, I’ve often taken a holiday from learning, and really should get back to school; be willing to be taught, and to re-learn the skill of learning. The whole point of schooling is to prepare us for life, but school can’t teach us everything, and anyway the world keeps changing! The best skill we can learn is how to keep on learning.

Having said that, I think that the Christian Church has for centuries placed far too much emphasis on teaching and learning. Don’t misunderstand me, the more I learn about Jesus, the more I realise there is to know, and the more I want to learn. But I believe one important thing – what we know in our heads is secondary; what we know in our hearts is vital. This view is reinforced when I read the Bible: the word ‘teach’ appears 192 times; ‘learn’ 152; but the word ‘know’ over 1500 times – exactly 500 in the New Testament!

St. John in his Gospel says that Jesus has made God known to us; the disciples told Jesus: “We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”; Job famously declared “I know that my Redeemer lives”. And my favourite quotation on the subject? ‘By this will all people know that you are my disciples – that you love one another’. So may all the facts and experiences of our lives do far more than fill our heads with knowledge, but fill our hearts with a deep-down awareness of the love of God. Then we’ll be fit to face the world, prepared for this life… and the next.

Yours in Jesus