Our Rector Writes - July 2014

Dear friends,
I recently spoke about hospitality and welcome at our Trinity Joint Benefice Service, and it seemed appropriate to summarise what I said there in this space.
 
The famous icon, by Andrei Rublev, goes by two titles. Western Christians call it 'The Old Testament Trinity'. Eastern Christians call it 'The Hospitality of Abraham.' The Old Testament story it depicts is Genesis 18 when three angelic beings visit Abraham, who speak and act as one in the story, and soIcon later, Christians saw this story as a foreshadowing of the Trinity, and the relationship at the heart of the Trinity. Three separate persons, but one God, acting and speaking as one. The icon's two titles lead us nicely into thinking both about what the Trinity teaches us about relationship and oneness, but also what it tells us about hospitality - which is key to what relationship is so often about.
 
Today we have a western understanding of hospitality as entertaining family and friends. But hospitality to ancient middle Eastern cultures is very different. It is always about hospitality to the stranger. In the New Testament the Greek word translated 'hospitality' is the word 'philo-xenia' which means 'one who loves strangers'. Provision is seen as a basic human need, and so it becomes the moral duty to provide food and shelter to the stranger because it is our moral obligation to God. When Abraham has visitors turn up, he is morally obliged to provide hospitality. To refuse hospitality is to reject God. To show hospitality is to welcome God.

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Our Rector Writes - June 2014

Dear Friends
An exciting month, where we begin it having just welcomed the Revd Brian Atkinson to the benefice. As House for Duty Priest for Amberley and Associate Priest for the Benefice, Brian will be working two days (or equivalent) during the week, plus Sunday. Over the course of the first month, we shall be delighted to welcome him at services in all three churches in the benefice! We are all looking forward to working with Brian, and getting to know him better.

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Associate Priest's Notes - May 2014

Lent lunches were well supported and not only did we have an excellent variety of soups but the hospitality and friendly conversation made these events an enjoyable occasion. We raised £475.20 for our sponsored Easter charities. Thank you to Virginia Lloyd who organized the rota and thank you to all the soup makers and potato bakers and all others who provided and served the lunches.
 
Mothering Sunday. Thank you to the Flower Guild ladies who made the lovely posies for all to take home after the service.
 
Dementia Awareness the first session was held in the Porch Room and was extremely helpful in making us aware of how to make our community more sensitive to the needs of individuals living with dementia and their carers who support them. If you were unable to attend there is another opportunity on Saturday 26th April 2:30pm at the Hub.
 
Music@Minch. The next Music@Minch concert is Sunday May 25th 7pm. When Ashley Grote will perform an Organ Recital.
For further information of the concert and on how to get tickets click here.

Our Rector Writes - March 2014

Dear friends
Now I know why some of my friends and current parishioners coming to Minchinhampton on Friday 14 March for my 'collation and induction' (such wonderful names for these events!) had trouble initially finding affordable and available accommodation in the area (though they are all sorted now). Friday 14 March is also Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, causing one of our retired priests here in Harrogate to remark he wasn't coming to back a horse, he was coming to back Helen! Such is the wonderful support I've received so far at both ends – my place of leaving and my place of arrival – that I do feel well and truly 'backed', and if it's not what the writer of the Book of Hebrews meant when he said (ch 12), 'Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,' well, it's not a bad phrase to call to mind at any new chapter in our lives.

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Our Future Rector Writes

Dear Friends-to-be!
 
Helen Bailey1Firstly I must thank you for the many lovely messages I have received from different members of the churches on behalf of everyone. What a very special welcome.
 
It seemed a good idea to write a few words about myself by way of introduction. The concept of journeying has always been important to me as a metaphor for the Christian life. I'm reliably informed one of the reasons we like processing so much in church is to remind ourselves we are a pilgrim people on the move! So perhaps it's appropriate to write something about my own journey, which began in Formby on the North West coast, where I grew up. So I'm a Lancashire lass, though for twenty years I've lived in Yorkshire, and now, at 44 years old, might just be regarded no longer an 'incomer'! My sister and I grew up being taken to the local parish church by our parents, and it was at the age of 16 I first discerned a call to serve God fulltime. It was to take another twenty years for that call to become more clearly ordained Anglican ministry.

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Associate Priest's Letter - January 2014

Dear Friends,
January reminds us of new beginnings and we know that soon we will see snowdrops peeping their heads up out of the earth or snow, if we have any, by the end of the month. Then our hearts leap to know that spring is just around the corner. However with January comes the practice of making New Year's resolutions, a new start at offloading all or some of our old habits. What about those unhealthy habits of overindulgence that have occurred in the build up to Christmas? For those mince pies that were forced upon us at every Carol service we went to. Well that is my excuse for tucking into them.

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Associate Priest's Letter - December 2013

Dear Friends,
I am really looking forward to Christmas and, as in every year, I hope it will be a white one and not raining on Christmas day. Mind you I only want a smattering of snow just to make it look lovely but not to prevent travelling on the day. That would really give me stress if the roads were impassable and I could not get to Minch for the Christmas services.

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Associate Priest's Notes - June 2014

Music@Minch The next Music@Minch concert is Sunday June 29th 7pm. James Watson – Jazz Quartet. Tickets sold in advance by Deborah Smith cost £10 or on the door £12. Contact 01453 883611. Thank you to those who supported the last Music@Minch when the The Maggini Quartet gave an excellent performance. We also had the opportunity to say a fond farewell to Joan and Michael Schmeising who founded and organised Music@Minch. So many are grateful to have enjoyed such an excellent variety of great performers and concerts over the years.

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Our Rector Writes - May 2014

Dear Friends
Towards the end of Lent I realised, I was making a linguistic - in fact, theological - mistake. As I tried to set in place opportunities to catch up with different groups of people in the church and different aspects of church life, I kept saying, 'Let's put that in the diary for after Easter!' I was conscious that Holy Week and the run up to our Easter services would demand rather a lot of my time this first year, being just one month in post and having to pick up services somewhat at speed! But of course, Easter is far from over! Easter Sunday ushers us into the season of Easter, which lasts for 50 days, taking us to Pentecost (7 weeks after Easter, as its name suggests), and actually, right up until Trinity Sunday. The joy of Easter and all it celebrates, all it reminds us of, is far too good to celebrate in just one day. The tradition of calling the Sunday after Easter Sunday 'Low Sunday' is rather a unfortunate one that my training vicar once corrected me about! I meant it as the Sunday after the high numbers for Easter Day, which often drop to lower attendance, and sometimes, if the clergy go off on their post Easter Sunday break, even they might not be present!

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Our Rector Writes - April 2014

Dear Friends
The problems of writing to magazine deadlines is that we are always writing ahead of time. So when this article goes out, I shall have been in post for a couple of weeks, but I am writing it well before my induction, on Ash Wednesday in fact! And it occurs to me that writing about a change of season may well be appropriate. For not only is the season of Lent deeply significant, but there are other seasons of change afoot.

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Associate Priest's Notes - March 2014

PLEASE READ Benefice News for our new Rector's Helen's Collation and Induction Service at the Parish Church 14th March 7pm. She will be celebrating her first communion services on the Sunday. Please do come along to support her in her ministry.

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Associate Priest's Notes - February 2014

Many Congratulations to Mrs. Pamela Cottle for being awarded a BEM British Empire Medal for her services to Guiding in the New Years Honours list.
 
Next Messy Church will be Wednesday 12th February 3:30-5:30pm. The Theme is "The wise man built his house upon the rock".

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Associate Priest's Notes - January 2014

I want to thank all those who worked so hard, often behind the scenes, to ensure that our worship and other events from Advent-tide through to Christmas would be memorable and enjoyable for so many. We are all indebted to:

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