12th May 2015

Dear All

As many of you know we will be launching our Development Campaign on Sunday 24th May at our 10.30am Parish Mass. Sunday 24th is the feast of Pentecost, forty days after Easter, celebrating the birth of the Church. Pentecost is a celebration of what God can do in Christ and among his people. It is a celebration that all things are possible, if God’s Spirit moves among us. We therefore offer this Development Campaign to God, for his inspiration and guidance. We will need your prayerful support, please pray for us and the whole team who are working so hard to make this campaign a success.  You might like to pray our campaign prayer which I include here:

Almighty God, as the people of St Nicholas Chiswick, we give thanks for your many blessings.
As we prepare to restore and renew our church we know that we cannot accomplish this ambitious task on our own but only with the support of your love and your inspiration.

Guide us along the way; give us wisdom, give us strength and form us in your love; help us to persevere, giving thanks for the past and looking forward to the future, as we strive to do your will.
In Jesus’ name we pray.

Simon


Dear Friends,

The recruitment pages of The Church Times make interesting reading. I always find it amusing when parishes specify that they would like their new priest to be “a prayerful person” – aren’t all Christians (not to mention priests) supposed to say their prayers? And then there is the old favourite “Dynamic priest required” – who judges if someone is dynamic? Increasingly the person specification for a priest includes the old line “Sense of humour required” and here the recruiters could well be onto something because ministering in the Church of England often requires a sense of humour.

Just months after we joyfully celebrated the consecration of Bishop Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, and the elevation of our own lovely Archdeacon Rachel to Gloucester, last week the church appointed a conservative evangelical – The Rev’d Prebendary Rod Thomas  – as Bishop of Maidstone. His new job is to minister to those churches that don’t recognise women’s episcopal ministry. He claims that he wants to see “mutual flourishing” in the church although how his appointment will support this is beyond me. The See of Maidstone was revived as part of synodical negotiations during the women’s bishops’ debate and is designed to give a voice to those evangelicals who take a traditional view of headship. Have a look sometime at 1 Timothy 2 9-12 to give you an idea of the theology of the Bishop of Maidstone and his ilk. It’s no laughing matter.

With every blessing,
Fr Andrew