Message from your Rector

Have you heard about the Church of England’s ‘Daily Hope’ phone line?

Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
More details on the CofE website:
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-parishes/daily-hope-phone-line
Do please pass this information on to anyone who you think may be interested

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If I lose my glasses I have a problem because I am very short sighted and it’s difficult to look for them when I’m not wearing them!!
My Mum used to have a saying which I’m sure you know of – ‘you can’t see the wood for the trees’.
It reminds us that sometimes we are so concerned with all the small details that we can’t see the full picture.
Do you feel like that with life as it is today? That sometimes you think you are losing the plot. Sometimes it feels as though the negative has overtaken the positive and instead of noticing the special moments, the kind words, the thoughtful acts we find ourselves complaining – mainly over the things that involve us!
I wonder if you have come across the optical illusions where a word or a picture is hidden from plain sight.
What you can see in the picture here.
Can you just see a jumble of lines and shapes or does Jesus stand out?
However confused and concerned you might be feeling about the present situation never lose sight of the fact that Jesus is here with us and wants to help us through. God can see the ‘big picture’ and will help through the uncertainty in our world today. It’s easy to feel helpless and out of control. But we can turn to a God who wants to meet with us, who takes this material world so seriously that he became a part of it. Let’s ask God to help us to see the wood AND the trees – the gift and wonder of God in the mess of these uncertain times.

Rev Kathryn 01785822820 rev.kathrynh@gmail.com


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Matthew 5
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
He said:
3 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets.
13 ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Being a saint is a journey of learning and following Christ’s teaching and the Beatitudes are the key to understanding the Christian life
The Beatitudes are described in our reading today.
Blessed are
v3. The Poor in Spirit- Those who have a humble opinion of themselves.
v4. Those who Mourn – Not just to mourn over the loss of a person, but to mourn over our sins and realise we need God’s forgiveness
v5. The Meek-we’re blessed when we’re content with just who we are – no more, no less. Meek doesn’t mean weak. Meek means gentle and full of humility
v6. Those who Hunger and thirst for righteousness Food and drink bless us when we’re hungry and thirsty but the things of God will bless us even more. We’re blessed when we’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
v7. Those who are Merciful You are blessed when you care. At the moment of being filled with care for others we find ourselves cared for. If, instead of resenting injury, we are ready to forgive, we will find mercy ourselves.
v8. The Pure in heart We’re blessed when we get our inside world, our mind and heart, put right. Then we can see God in the outside world.
v9. The Peacemakers We’re blessed when we can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when we discover who we really are, and where we fit in to God’s family
v10. Those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. We are blessed when our commitment to God provokes a reaction, even if it’s negative and hurtful. The opposition can bring us closer to God.
11-12: Those who are insulted because of Christ.- count yourself blessed every time people put you down or twist what you say abut your faith – it probably means that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.
These are nine attitudes that reflect the character of God himself and as we are made in the image of God, it isn’t surprising that Jesus encourages us to develop that sort of character that will reflect God’s character.
The Sermon on the Mount tells us to love our enemies. That’s a really lovely idea, but not an easy one.”
But then being a Christian isn’t easy.
After all it was Jesus who himself said:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Lk 9:23).
It is interesting that when Jesus summed up the Law of God, he didn’t refer to outward signs of religion but inward attitudes of heart.
And it’s these attitudes that control our lives:
He agreed with the Pharisee who said that the Law was all about loving God and our neighbour
When we take that on, we can see that a person has to have a change of heart because we live in a very selfish society and the two Great Commandments which sum up all the law -to love God and to love our neighbour – are anything but selfish
Becoming a Christian for the first time is a process which we call salvation and we have seen this week that allowing Jesus to mould our lives into the way he wants them to be is a process called sanctification.
We can’t say we are seeking to be righteous in God’s sight when we don’t work on very obvious weaknesses of character.
As a prominent atheist once said, “I’d be a Christian if it wasn’t for the Christians.”
Or as someone else put it,
“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.”
God is interested in our inner being and not in externals.
Jesus said: What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that makes him unclean.
In the beatitudes God is asking : Where is your heart?
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Actually the more we examine the Beatitudes, the more we realise that they all fit together because they all have to do with character formation in a Christian
I wonder how many of us could really say to God just as King David did in Psalm 26:2:
Examine my heart and my mind.
Would God be pleased with the progress we are making?
Paul in Romans 7: 18-20 tells us of the war in us:
“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do, no the evil that I do not want to do, this I keep on doing”

But Jesus also said ‘ Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.’
And that’s what BEING a saint is all about.

Church services will resume In Church on Sunday 13 September 2020 at 10.30 a.m.

Zoom services will be available once a month on a Sunday and every evening for Compline Service at 9.30 p.m,
Morning prayer will be held by Zoom on Tuesday mornings at 9.30 a.m.

For details to access Zoom services please contact Rev Kathryn

With effect from 15 June 2020 the Church will be open for private prayer.

It will be open on Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Only the Lady Chapel will be available. The toilet will be closed
Sanitizers will be available

On Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 12:41 Kathryn Hammond, <rev.kathrynh@gmail.com> wrote:
It is with real regret that we have today had to close our church building to keep people safe.
Remember though that the Church is not the building it is the people.
God is with us through this very testing time and He hurts when we hurt and He understands how we feel.
Please keep in touch with me or with Rev Cathy with any concerns. We will be very happy to pray with you over the telephone or just talk with you.
I send my love and prayers for you to keep safe and well.
Rev Kathryn</rev.kathrynh@gmail.com>

CORONAVIRUS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OUR CHURCHES

We will be suspending public worship in all of our churches for the time being.
We want all our church buildings to be open for people to come and pray and find sanctuary.

Our clergy will be offering worship through daily prayer and the eucharist in our churches and some of these acts of worship will be recorded and sent to those able to access them.

Funerals will still take place in church with close family present and without organists or vergers.
We will offer services of thanksgiving at a later date for those who wish to do that.

Weddings and baptisms may still take place with very close family only.

Our church is still here – our clergy and church leaders are still here but most of all Since God is in her midst, she will not be shaken.

“Every hand we don’t shake must become a phone call we make,”

Every inch and every foot of distance we put between ourselves and another must become a thought about how we could help that other should the need arise.”

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