Church News – September 2022

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What does the Lord God want from you? To respect Him, walk in all His ways, and to love and serve Him. (Deut 10:12-13)

Those whose hope is in the Lord will find new strength. They will run and not tire, walk and not faint (Is 40:31)

This is what the Lord God says “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths, the good roads. Walk in them and you will find rest to your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16)

From the Sanctuary

As I have been ‘out and about’ this summer, I have been ‘struck’, in particular, by two trees (‘struck’ in the sense of creating awe and wonder in me) which made me stand and stare, wonder and photograph. One was a tree that was growing out of a rockface in Helsby, Cheshire; and the other was a tree that was growing out of a very steep embankment in Cardingmill Valley in Shropshire. What struck me, along with their beauty, was their sheer resilience. Both had defied ‘the odds’ to grow and ‘become’ mature in the most adverse of circumstances. By rights and by every law of nature, neither should exist – but they do exist, and exist well.

In my work as a Counsellor, I am often amazed by the ability of human nature to overcome adversity and trauma, and to grow in a positive way from experiences that are devasting (i.e. to become fully-functioning and to live a good life with a sense of meaning and purpose). We call it ‘post-traumatic growth’. Much of the research in my discipline focuses on the adverse effects of trauma, but there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the importance of recognising and gently encouraging post-traumatic growth through facilitating the emergence of resilience and ‘purpose’.

For many people, faith/spirituality plays an important part in developing their resilience. Faith provides a narrative or conceptual framework (or set of beliefs) that supports, understands and helps us to accept the experience. The Bible is full of stories about people who have faced difficulties and have either accepted them as ‘God-given’ or have overcome them through faith. However, for many, trauma leads to the questioning of faith (‘why has God allowed this to happen to me?’). Yet, some come through with a stronger and deeper faith having faced and survived their ‘spiritual emergency’, whilst others move away from their faith and are left feeing abandoned by God, and the Church, and are full of blame.

So, how resilient are you? What experiences in your life have challenged your faith? How have you grown through them? For if you can hang-on to your rockface or steep embankment of difficulty, through faith, growth in meaning and purpose, and faith, can happen.


The Summer Holiday has quickly gone and a new academic year is upon us.  May God’s love be with all starting new classes or schools this month, or indeed to anyone starting a new job or path in life.  We also welcome back our Uniformed Groups and our Mums and Tots Group.

The 5th September marks the day of Laurence Giustiniani, the saint who knew how to help a beggar

You are walking down the road when a beggar approaches you for money. What do you do? If, instead of giving money, you buy him/her coffee or a meal, then you are in good company: you are following in the steps of the first ever Bishop of Venice. 

Laurence Giustiniani (1381 – 1455) was born of a noble Venetian family, but he chose the austerity of the Augustinian monastery of San Giorgio on island of Alga. He became a priest in 1406, Prior in 1407, Bishop of Castello in 1433 and then in 1451 the first ever Bishop of Venice.

By then, Laurence had seen a lot of human nature, and was wise as well as good. Frugal in his private life, and happy to help the poor, he made sure that he gave wisely as well as generously. Hence the poor who came to him for help were given food and clothing – but only very occasionally small amounts of money. Bishop Laurence also devoted himself to peace-making and other pastoral work, for which his contemporaries held him in high esteem. As he lay dying on a bed of straw, very many clergy, laity, beggars and destitute folk came to grieve: he was greatly respected and loved. Wise giving and peace-making – Laurence’s example still shines true today. 

And this very nicely brings us to our Coat Appeal the Hamper Outreach Team are working on at the moment.  Donations of unwanted, clean coats, in good condition, are now being collected this month by Christine’s team.  All sizes are welcomed, babies’, boys’, girls’, women’s and men’s.  These coats will be passed onto local families in need during the Autumn by Social Services.  So please start raiding your cupboards.

An interesting fact:  23rd September is the autumnal equinox in our hemisphere. The equinoxes occur in March and September, when the Sun is ‘edgewise’ to the Earth’s axis of rotation, so that everywhere on earth has twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness. 

Why Belong to the Church?

Many people are struggling to connect with church today following the pandemic. However, we should not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing (Hebrews 10:25). The church is not simply a building or services, but a shared friendship with Jesus, as the New Testament makes clear.

1. The Family of God : The church is a community united by their love for God and readiness to sharing this love with others: a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light 1 Peter 2:9. It is in the life of the church that people can connect with God’s love.

2. The Body of Christ : The church is also Christ’s body on earth, The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ1 Cor 12:12. We all have a unique contribution to make, using our different gifts, experience and passion. However, beware of those attitudes that stop us representing Christ: inferiority  ‘I have nothing to offer ’ or superiority ’I don’t need you’.

3. A Holy Temple : In the Old Testament the temple was God’s home on earth; now the church has become His home: ‘In Him the whole building is joined together … in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.’Ephesians 1: 21,22.   Church is a place where people can be loved, accepted and welcomed home. Is this our experience of church and what changes would make it more as God intends?

Sunday4thFamily Service with
Holy Communion led
by Br Peter Gubi
11 a.m.
Monday5thChurch Committee via Zoom7 p.m.
Wednesday7thM.W.A. Meeting in Church1.15 p.m.
Sunday11thFamily Service led by
Br Martin Smith
11 a.m.
Sunday18thFamily Service led by
Br Peter Gubi
11 a.m.
Youth Service with Church Parade
led by Sr Penny Weir
11 a.m.
All donations of tins, jars and packet goods will be donated to our Food Hamper Project. Please give generously.