September 2018

 

2nd 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

5th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

6th 2.00pm Longmeadow Service

9th 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

12th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

16th 8.00am Holy Communion (1662)

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Service

18th 2.00pm Valley Lodge Service

19th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

11.00am Lilybank Service

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

8.00pm PCC (Meeting Room)

22nd 9.30am Prayer Taster Morning (St. Helen’s)

23rd 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

6.30pm Evensong

26th 9.30am Holy Communion (1662) (Tansley)

1.00pm Wednesday at One (Lady Chapel)

30th 8.00am Holy Communion

10.00am Prayer Time (Lady Chapel)

10.45am Family Communion

4.00pm Taize Service (Lady Chapel)

 

Baptisms

 

Weddings

 

Funerals

 

 

 

Dear Friends

 

 

 

After our scorching summer, (hardship for some, a blessing to others: there’s no pleasing us all!), we wonder what changes the march towards autumn will bring - fewer hours of daylight counterbalanced soon by the hint of autumn tints on the hillsides that surround us. Glimpses of God’s gift of beauty - and of fruitfulness judging by the abundant produce being offered and shared at Sunday morning coffee, and over our garden fences. More about harvest next month but in the meantime I’m reminded of a prayer of the former Brazilian bishop, Dom Helder Camara celebrating the profligacy of our God towards us:

 

Lord, isn't your creation wasteful? Fruits never equal the seedlings abundance. Springs scatter water. The sun gives out enormous light. May your bounty teach me greatness of heart.

 

 

 

The season brings excitement, too, as the fresh school year begins - of course mixed with fears for some, starting new schools, entering new classes. We pray for our schools and students, and for all teachers in their tireless and tiring dedication to our children’s learning. At All Saints we welcome the new opportunities we have for closer working with our Infants and Juniors - please pray for this, too.

 

 

 

Amidst such thankfulness and excitement, however, we glimpse darker forces: the growing animosity of hard-liners towards those engaged in delicate negotiations with our European neighbours as we move towards the Brexit deadline; widespread anxiety as we face an uncertain future on many fronts locally and nationally, and as we slide into conflict - even potentially militarily - in international relations. Ironically this is happening as we draw closer to the day we will mark the dawn of peace and the end of carnage that was World War 1 a century ago. So remembrance this year will have a special poignancy as we survey our world. It builds as usual to its climax in November but many preparatory activities are taking place through these preceding weeks, especially in the schools. And we have already begun that process at All Saints. On August 4th, 1918, at a special service at St Margaret’s, Westminster held to mark the 4th anniversary of the declaration of war, King George V asked that the day be observed as a national day of prayer: 100 days later the war ended. Hence ‘Remembrance 100’ has been set up ecumenically to enable all churches to use these 100 days to pray for peace and reconciliation as well as to provide resources for Remembrance services. We are using these prayers in our worship services, and we invite you to access the resources for yourself (https://www.remembrance100.co.uk, or ask a friend to do it for you if you don’t use a computer.), and commit to daily prayer and action, alongside tens of thousands of other Christians, to promote peace and desperately needed hope in our communities.

 

 

 

In his introduction to the prayer material Archbishop Justin Welby writes: ‘Our God is one who brings peace to hearts and calls us not only to stop violence, but to seek reconciliation. His reconciliation asks that we disempower memories of destruction and their hold over individuals and societies. Through this we can learn to approach difference with curiosity and compassion, rather than fear and begin to flourish together in previously unthinkable ways.

 

This kind of reconciliation is incredibly rare. Sadly, we see conflicts and fragile coexistence all around our world. That is why in the 100 days before this Remembrance Sunday, we think especially of those caught up in conflict, and those who pray for peace against all odds and act with hope when there is little light to be seen.

 

 

 

We know that the God who gave his Son to bring us reconciliation hears their prayers; we ask God to stir our hearts to join them in being peacemakers who cross the borders and barriers, radical in our generosity and welcome.’

 

So as Jesus’ words ring out: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, may we be truly people of peace committed to break down barriers that separate us one from another, and in our small patch be beacons of light and hope in a darkening world.

 

Grace and peace be with you, Anne

 

 

USPG LINK: Education for Change

 

At its July meeting, the PCC agreed to join the USPG Partners in Mission Programme, which will ensure that our giving will be focussed on a specific project with which we will receive updates. The PCC agreed to raise a minimum of £100 annually to support the work in Sri Lanka amongst the Tea plantation workers.

 

USPG supports the work of the Estate Community Development Mission (ECDM), which was set up by the Church of Ceylon to support tea plantation workers in Sri Lanka. ECDM works with all workers, irrespective of religion, caste or ethnicity. In particular, the organisation wants to help empower women and children through grassroots women's groups, nurseries and schools. In addition, the church is engaged in advocacy work with plantation communities to seek legal rights for tea plantation workers and their families.

 

The local church, with support from USPG, has established nursery schools, helped young people from the plantation into university for the first time, and provided training so that local people are now providing pre-school care and education.

 

Life on Sri Lanka’s tea plantations can be very challenging. The pickers – always women – work in all weathers, on dangerously slippery hillsides, standing among bushes that are home to snakes, leeches and even wild boar. There are few medical facilities. If someone is unwell and takes time off to visit a clinic, their wages, which are already low, will be reduced. So people often go without treatment, which means they suffer more. Their homes are tiny, and might house as many as eight people, with no electricity for lights or cooking. And while there is some government provision for schooling tea plantation children, it is not as comprehensive as for other children, so plantation children often fall behind in their studies.

 

With tea being one of Sri Lanka’s most profitable export commodities, the conditions faced by tea plantation communities seem a poor reward for people who are the backbone of their nation’s economy. The Diocese of Colombo has a heart for mission, for empowering and transforming communities, and for enabling people to live a full life.

 

 

EXPERIENCE HARVEST

 

Following on from the success of the ‘Journey to Easter’ Event held earlier this year, we will be running a similar craft & reflection afternoon on Saturday 6th October, with a repeat session on Monday 8th, in order that some of the School classes can come & reflect on Harvest. Harvest Festival will be on Sunday 7th & the focus will be on USPG. Family service will be followed by a Soup & roll lunch to which everyone is welcome