8th January 2020

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Dear Friends

Happy New Year

I can hardly believe that we have reached the year 2020, a new year and a new decade. This year will bring great change. How we manage this change will define this country for years to come. What is clear is that we cannot live with the level of animosity we have recently experienced. It’s important we learn how to move on, to embrace what the future holds for us, be creative and determined. It’s also vitally important that we hold our politicians to account, fine words are one thing, real action, effecting real change are what matter.

These few weeks after Christmas are called the Epiphany Season, not only do we celebrate the wise men visiting the Christ child, but we celebrate Christ’s baptism by John and the great miracle of the wedding feast at Cana. All of these episodes in the life of Christ tell us something of God’s generosity and reconciling love, giving our mortal nature, immortal value. Perhaps a good New Year resolution would be to explore more deeply how we live this reconciling love, to God’s glory and the future of our communities.

“People of God, go out!
Cradle in your hearts
the great mystery
of reconciling love,
that it may take rout and flourish,
within you, among you, and beyond you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

From Liturgies and prayers for public worship  Brian Wren WJK 2008

Simon

P.S Please lend your support to Hayley & Sagar by sponsoring them for their 13 mile walk next week – click here to donate.


Dear Friends

Happy New Year!

Some of you might have seen chalk markings appear recently on the front of some homes and been curious as to their meaning. Their significance was explained in church on Sunday, when we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany. For those of you who were unable to be there I will offer an explanation.

The blessing and distribution of chalks is a custom that probably originated at the end of the Middle Ages. The chalk markings represent the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus.  The tradition has been to mark the door or lintel as follows: 20+C+M+B+20. The initials C,M and B represent the legendary names of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, 2020 is the year, and the crosses in between remind us of the cross of Jesus. The initials also stand for the Latin prayer request ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat’, which means ‘May Christ bless this house.’. As one member of the family writes with the chalk another can say the following prayer: ‘As the three wise men followed the star of God’s Son who became man, may Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the year’.

This Epiphany ceremony is a simple but meaningful act of witness which symbolises Christian willingness to offer hospitality and shelter to the Magi on their journey to Bethlehem and also, by extension in today’s world, to welcome all and sundry who love or are seeking Jesus Christ. It is a valuable link between between church, home and family. It is, moreover, a constant reminder that Christ is incarnate in the love and care we show one another in our daily lives together, and also our relationship with friends and strangers who cross the threshold of our homes during the course of the year. 

With every blessing

Mother Eileen