February 2017

 

1st 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

2nd 10.00am Candlemas Communion

2.00pm Longmeadow Service

5th 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

6th 1.30pm Pilgrim 3 (Meeting Room)

7th 7.30pm Transforming Faith 4 (Meeting Room)

8th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

9th 7.30pm Matlock Churches Together (Lady Chapel)

12th 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

4.00pm Bank Road Messy Church (MMURC)

13th 1.30pm Pilgrim 4 (Meeting Room)

14th 7.30pm Transforming Faith 5 (Meeting Room)

15th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

2.00pm Ladies Fellowship (Hall)

16th 7.00pm Messy Church planning (MMURC)

19th 8.00am Holy Communion (1662)

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Service

20th 1.30pm Pilgrim 5 (Meeting Room)

21st 2.00pm Valley Lodge Service

7.30pm Transforming Faith 6 (Meeting Room)

22nd 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

11.00am Lilybank Service

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

26th 8.00am Holy Communion (1662)

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

27th 1.30pm Pilgrim 6 (Meeting Room)

28th 7.30pm Transforming Faith 7 (Meeting Room)

 

Baptisms

 

 

Weddings

 

Funerals

 

 

Dear Friends,

This month on the 15th in the churches calendar we remember the Revd. Thomas Bray who helped found the mission agency USPG and about whom I preached at Derby Cathedral last year. When researching for the sermon I found one article which began, “Some men accomplish or inspire more good in one lifetime than most of us would in three lifetimes. Thomas Bray…was such a man.”

 

He was born in 1656 at Marton near Chirbury, a small village near the Welsh border to the southwest of Shrewsbury and was educated at Oswestry School and Oxford University. His early life was set against the backdrop of national political and religious unrest following the English Civil War, when the Church of England was divided between Episcopal and more Puritan traditions.

 

Thomas Bray was ordained and served his curacy at Bridgnorth, and later was vicar of Over Whitacre and then Rector of Sheldon in 1690 (Near to Birmingham Airport). As Rector he set up the first school in Sheldon in 1704, reflecting his great passion for learning and desire for all to have opportunity for education and to improve themselves. In 1696 the Bishop of London, Henry Compton, asked Bray to go to the colony of Maryland and serve as the Bishop’s commissary; acting in the bishop’s name and reporting back to London on the state of the churches in the colony.

 

At first there was a delay in getting out to Maryland, so being aware that the only clergy willing to leave for the Americas were young and too poor to have many theology books with which to deal with issues raised, Bray set up the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) in 1698. With the assistance of many contributors, books were obtained and then shipped across the Atlantic. Eventually Thomas Bray made it to Maryland in 1699 and over the course of ten weeks visited the episcopal churches, writing a very thorough report on the state of the colony; reorganized it into thirty parishes and set up seventeen parish libraries. Bray championed the cause of reaching out to other tribes and races with the Gospel and argued for the rights of native Indians and slaves.

 

On his return to England he founded another Society – for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts which obtained its Royal Charter from King William III on 16th June 1701. Bray never returned to Maryland as he saw his gifts lay in organizing and promoting the work of both SPCK and SPG in England. By now married with two children, he accepted the position at St. Botolph without Aldgate in London in 1706 and worked tirelessly, both in his new parish and in the wider church to promote the cause of education: particularly that of the poor parish priest.

 

In his old age Bray worked to improve conditions within the prison system and supported the foundation of a new colony in Georgia for those who couldn’t find work at home. And if that weren’t enough he trained poor children in his parish in the Christian faith and found time to write several books of piety. He died on 15th February 1730 and was buried in the churchyard at St. Botolph’s.

 

He was passionate in his concern for the poor and the need for education as a means to lift people out of poverty and he was a visionary and efficient organizer, whether it was parish structures in Maryland or forming societies to further the work of the church. He was a prophetic voice, speaking up for the rights of slaves and native peoples, seeing them as fellow brothers and sisters in need of Christ and he was also a man of practical action; he didn’t just dream a dream but he then went on to do something about it and made full use of his natural talents in the service of God.

 

A great Anglican saint to celebrate.

 

Every blessing

Richard

 

Bank Road Messy Church

 

A new joint initiative with the Methodists is to be launched on Sunday 12th February at Bank Road Methodist Church (MMURC) between 4 and 6pm. ‘Bank Road Messy Church’ aims to reach out to all ages with an array of craft activities, story, songs and food. The theme is the story of Abraham and Sarah from the Book of Genesis. Open to all – Children must be accompanied by an adult. Offers of help would be valued – please see Richard. For further details contact Alison on 582847

 

Lent Course 2017

 

As in previous years we will be following a course devised by USPG. Sessions will be held on Mondays @ 1.30pm in the Meeting Room beginning 13th March. The Course is entitled ‘Living an Authentic Life’ and explores discipleship with stories from round the world