25th November 2021
It’s been a long time since we have enjoyed such an incredibly successful weekend. It began on Thursday evening with the Friends wonderful lecture on Christopher Wren and the rebuilding of London. Then our fair on Saturday welcomed so many people and so many new faces, we raised over £3,300 – that’s an amazing achievement. It was wonderful to see the church so full on Sunday morning for our baptism and confirmation with Bishop Michael Colclough, then to see so many people in church for our Sunday afternoon concert. Events like this take time, organisation and commitment. I am so very grateful, as I’m sure we all are, for all those who arranged and delivered these wonderful events. For all your hard work and dedication – thank you! After all that we have experienced as a church and as individuals over the last 20 months it is a delight to be able to welcome people and events back at St Nicholas.
As you will all know Sunday is Advent Sunday and we begin a new Church year. It is often said that faith communities do their theology as a result of crisis. I’m thinking about the children of Israel who escaped persecution in Egypt. Or the Jerusalem community defeated and deported by King Nebuchadnezzar to captivity in Babylon. Post Easter the young Church embarked on an amazing journey of theological discovery. Questions such as ‘Where is God in all of this’ , ‘Who will accompany us on our journey?’ are the bedrock of our theological enquiry. On every occasion, people found answers – not always the ones they were expecting, or hoping for, in retrospect they realised that they were encouraged to travel forward to a new adventure. There have been times in the last 20 months when the way forward has not always been clear, accompanied by a fear that we were travelling alone. We are not, God is with us in all our journeying, we just need to be responsive to his call and challenge. Last Sunday was a great sign that our future as a church and a community with God is more hopeful than perhaps any of us thought possible.
Please be assured of my prayers for all of you this Advent. To help us journey on our Advent pilgrimage I will be offering a short Advent meditation on Facebook every Wednesday at 12.00 noon, I hope you will be able to join me.
Remember there are only 29 shopping days to Christmas!!
18th November 2021
November is traditionally called the month of remembrance, we remember so many things, the saints who going before us have given us all a vision of what it is like to live and love in God’s light. Our loved ones who we see no more but love no less and finally those fallen in the service of their country in war. What is the common thread here? They all gave their lives that we might grow as human beings made in the image of God. They gave something of themselves that we might live, and live more fully. November is therefore an important precursor to the great feast of Christmas. God gives his only son, the Word made flesh, that we might grow so close to God that in confidence we are able to call him ‘Abba’ father.
November is also an incredibly busy month. Here is a taster of all that is happening this weekend.
Tonight the Friends are hosting a lecture on Wren and the rebuilding of London, this begins at 7.00pm
On Saturday we have our Christmas fair, this begins at 11.00am till 3.00pm.
On Sunday at 10.30am we welcome Bishop Michael Colclough as he visits to baptise and confirm Claire and to confirm Jerome. It would be wonderful if you could be there to support these two people as they make public their commitment of faith.
Finally at 3pm on Sunday we welcome three talented young musicians for the second in our third Sunday concert series. It will be a wonderful occasion.
Don’t forget that next weekend is Advent Sunday and that at 6.00pm we will be holding our Advent carol service of readings and carols, a wonderful preparation for the great feast of Christmas!
I look forward to see you this weekend.
11th November 2021
As I write this e-bulletin piece I am preparing to lead an act of remembrance at Chiswick War Memorial Homes on Burlington Lane. Acts of remembrance like these, although small, are such an important event, because they not only honour those who have paid the ultimate price, but they remind us that we are part of something bigger, a country, a community of people. We live our lives on so many levels and occasionally we can operate in the most self-centered ways, however, ultimately we are all citizens and we have a responsibility beyond the narrow confines of our own individual worlds. This is why I exist in the catholic wing of the Church, because I believe passionately that we are all citizens of this eternal community and we each have a responsibility towards each other. It’s not just a matter of my own relationship with God the Father, but my relationship is formed and sustained in community.
I hope to be able to meet with you on Sunday in church at 10.30am as we remember…
As we approach Remembrance Sunday I am posting, with his consent, a poem by the priest/poet Malcolm Guite, from his book ‘Sounding the Seasons’ for reflection this week.
Silence: A sonnet for Remembrance Day
November pierces with its bleak remembrance
Of all the bitterness and waste of war.
Our silence tries but fails to make a semblance
Of that lost peace they thought worth fighting for.
Our silence seethes instead with wraiths and whispers,
And all the restless rumour of new wars,
The shells are falling all around our vespers,
No moment is unscarred, there is no pause,
In every instant bloodied innocence
Falls to the weary earth ,and whilst we stand
Quiescence ends again in acquiescence,
And Abel’s blood still cries in every land
One silence only might redeem that blood
Only the silence of a dying God.
With every blessing