Services for the week beginning 24/05/2015

Sunday 24/05/2015

8 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Malcolm Guite
11 am: BCP Matins; Officiant & Preacher: Nigel Cooper – Pentecost
5 pm: Meditative Eucharist; President & Preacher: Br Chris SSF – Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people

 

Monday 25/05/2015

9 pm: Taize service  (for more info please contact Sophie scw60@cam.ac.uk)

 

Friday 29/05/2015

10.30 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Alan Cole
5:30 pm: Meditation Group

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Services for the week beginning 17/05/2015

Sunday 17/05/2015

8 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Malcolm Guite
11 am: Morning Prayer; Officiant & Preacher: Ann Kember – I am the truth
5 pm: Meditative Evening Prayer; Officiant & Preacher: Br Christopher Martin SSF – Christ beside me, Christ above me, Christ within me

 

Monday 18/05/2015

9 pm: Taize service  (for more info please contact Sophie scw60@cam.ac.uk)

 

Friday 22/05/2015

10.30 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Alan Cole
5:30 pm: Meditation Group

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Services for the week beginning 10/05/15

Sunday 10/05/2015

8 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Andrew Davison
11 am: BCP Matins; Officiant & Preacher: Andrew Davison
5 pm: Meditative Eucharist; President & Preacher: Berkeley Zych – Boundaries, Friendship & Faith

 

Monday 11/05/2015

9 pm: Taize service  (for more info please contact Sophie scw60@cam.ac.uk)

 

Friday 15/05/2015

10.30 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Alan Cole
5:30 pm: Meditation Group

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A call for help and feedback

We are now moving forward into the interregnum feeling positive and keen to keep our church flourishing and harmonious. That is not something that happens “by itself”, and it is perhaps an appropriate time for us all to reflect on passages similar to the following:

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

1 Peter 4 : 10

 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

 1 Corinthians 12 : 4 – 7

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Passages such as these, amongst hundreds of others, gently encourage us all to do two things. Firstly, there is the opportunity to acknowledge and thank God for the gifts that He has given us as individuals. Secondly, we are then urged to put our gifts into action – to share together the work of keeping our church a living and cooperative group, rather than just a beautiful building where we are blessed to receive spiritual nourishment once a week. We learn that working together is a special sort of human pleasure, and that the many small acts that bring the “common good” are ones in which we can delight.

There are many tasks, large and small, which need to be done regularly, and which we need to share amongst those who enjoy coming to St Edward’s; amongst these are:

  • understudying or helping people already in posts;
  • cleaning – the silver, pews, floors, and washing – altar linen, tea towels
  • flower arranging
  • administrative tasks including setting up chairs for particular services
  • sitting in the church to welcome visitors, especially during the summer months;
  • preparing tea and coffee after services;
  • being “sidepeople” at services, welcoming everyone who comes through the door;
  • litter picking in the churchyard.

Especially as we head towards having a new incumbent in the fullness of time, it is important that we should come together as a more coherent group, whether that involves working together, or perhaps simply attending different services from those in which we feel most at home. And of course, we need to find the time to meet together to build one another up, share where we have come from, and where we are going, and to encourage and even challenge one another. Although cake and other “nutritious” refreshments would surely form an important part of such meetings, more important, and more refreshing by far will be the opportunity for us to point each other towards Christ, “the author and perfecter of our faith”.

On a practical note, if you feel you can contribute in any of the ways described above – or maybe in other ways that we have not thought of – please contact Jillian or Adrian (contact details on last page). You don’t have to be an expert in something to be able to help, full training will be given where necessary, and most of the tasks require only a small commitment of time.

At the moment we are especially looking to find more people willing to make coffee and tea after services. There are sign up sheets at the back of the church for these.

One thing that we would strongly encourage is feedback and comments from members of the congregation. We aim as churchwardens to keep everyone informed as to what is going on in the life of the church, but we also need to hear what is working (and what is not) and what your concerns are. We can’t please everyone in every way, but we take seriously everything that is written to us, and will try to respond in a way that best builds our church.

As well as hearing about practical concerns, we very much appreciate hearing people’s reflections and thoughts, whatever they may be, and it is our hope that this slightly richer newsletter will encourage everyone to play an active role, whether in agreement or disagreement, or simply because there is more that you feel worth exploring.

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Report from the Annual Parochial Church Meeting

On the 19th of April at 2pm in the church, we held the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. The Master of Trinity Hall, Jeremy Morris, generously chaired the meeting, and there were around 30 people present in total. Reports were received concerning various aspects of the life of St Edwards.

The number of people on the electoral roll has remained roughly constant this year at just under 100.

Chapter meetings have to some extent been dominated by matters arising from the appointment and subsequent departure of the Vicar-Chaplain, although other matters have been covered as necessary. Moving forwards, the 11:00 service is intended to continue to provide a mix between more traditional (BCP) liturgy and more contemporary (Common Worship) services. The Friday 10:30 service is going well. The Sunday 08:00 service continues to have a relatively small congregation and the Friday meditation group is continuing.

Particular attention was given during the APCM to discussion of the 17:00 service on Sundays. Ann Kember and Br Chris Martin SSF have worked hard on this service in consultation with the congregation, and work will continue to keep and build on the beautiful aspects of this service whilst acknowledging that we have to move forward in line with the requirements of the Diocese.

There is a plan to improve the sound system, building on previous work to ensure that everyone in the church will be able to hear clearly – wherever they are sitting! Other than this, the year has very much been “business as usual” for the fabric committee. The church’s finances were also reviewed, and Geoffrey Barnes highlighted the fact that the church costs a little over £100 per day on average to run. Despite this, the finances are relatively sound but with no room for complacency.

The new churchwardens highlighted some of the immediate challenges in our life as a church:  getting everything back on a firm footing, and recapturing much of what makes St Edward’s special. We will need to work together for St Edward’s to thrive, but, as is written on the arch of the Trinity Chapel, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).

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A letter from the Churchwardens

Jonah revisited : the far side of the rabbit hole

 

Writing a letter to a group of people is a curious thing : it is launched into the void, and one never knows if it gets read or rapidly filed in a round filing cabinet. How delightful, then, that several people – thank you – responded to the churchwardens’ letter in the previous newsletter, and one with reflections that suggested there was enthusiasm to dig a bit deeper into the narrative with which we started – that of Jonah. So by way of response, and to maintain the dialogue (and whether or not you agree or otherwise with what follows, it would be great to hear from you), here are a few more reflections…

The whole narrative of Jonah is remarkable – it is one which largely defies categorisation, and is perhaps better known (despite weighing in at just four chapters) than almost any other in the Old Testament, with the possible exceptions of Joseph (courtesy of Lloyd Weber) and perhaps the Fall.

It could be said that the pivotal moment in the narrative – one to which I alluded last month – is:

…the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah onto the dry land…

It’s a remarkable moment, not just from a biological point of view, but also because it is the point in the narrative that the “unexpected” really invades. In Jonah 1, the prophet is reluctant to preach forgiveness to the Ninevites: they are Israel’s mortal enemies, and the risk Jonah perceives in a spiritual rescue mission isn’t that it will fail: it is that it will succeed, and that God – Israel’s God – will start to look with mercy upon the Ninevites. It is perhaps no surprise that Jonah defies God and heads to Tarshish.

In practice, the number of Old Testament prophets who persuaded their hearers of the need for repentance can be counted on the fingers of one hand. By all accounts, Jonah had no need to fear.

But once outside the fish, Jonah makes the journey to Nineveh, preaches a message of brutal bluntness, and is met with this:

When the news [of Jonah’s message] reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink… … Who knows? God may yet relent…”

Such repentance outstrips almost any other reported in the Bible. It’s so surprising it feels a little like Alice in Wonderland : read the whale as the rabbit hole, and on the other side, Wonderland: a world turned upside down (or transformed), a surreal reflection of itself, where the prophet “succeeds”, and where a whole city formerly devoted to destruction repents – and is forgiven.

But this vision of Wonderland also provides a forthright challenge. The Ninevites, far from God, thoroughly evil (Jonah 1:1), reflected on their sin and extravagantly renounced it. Jonah 3 naturally raises the question: how much more should we, likewise, be keen to appreciate our own need for forgiveness, and passionate in seeking the abundant mercy that God promises?

 

Adrian Stacey

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Services & Events for the week beginning 03/05/2015

Sunday 26/04/2015

8 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Andrew Davison
11 am: Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Malcolm Guite: I am the life
5 pm: Meditative Evening Prayer; Officiant & Preacher: Br Christopher Martin SSF: God of all the nations

 

Monday 04/05/2015

9 pm: Taize service  (for more info please contact Sophie scw60@cam.ac.uk)

 

Friday 08/05/2015

10.30 am: BCP Holy Communion; President & Preacher: Alan Cole
5:30 pm: Meditation Group

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