The Rector Writes

Dear Friends,

I make no claim to be a prophet and it gives me no pleasure to remind you of the words I spoke on the 4th June, a couple of weeks after the terrorist bombing in Manchester. I said then, “There is nothing ISIS would like more than, as a result of the Manchester bombing, local mosque being burnt down, Muslim men attacked in the streets and Muslim women abused in the shops. This is exactly the result they are looking for, to stir up fear, hatred and anger and to divide communities. And we need to remember this; if we allow ourselves to turn to anger and hatred towards the Muslim community then we are doing exactly what the bomber and his masters want us to do, they will have manipulated us as easily as a puppet on a string.” On the 19th of June we saw that happen when yet another sad individual took it upon himself to bring terror and destruction down upon innocent people going about their daily lives when he drove a truck into a group of pedestrians leaving the Finsbury Park mosque.

Jesus said that “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword” which has become paraphrased into “hate begets hate” and “violence begets violence.” We have seen that all too clearly in Ireland and in the Middle-East where any original grievances become lost in a great long chain of action and retaliation which binds people together in continuing cycles of hate and violence. What is needed is for that chain to be broken, for just one link to be snapped.

If we think about it that is exactly what Jesus did upon the cross. At his point in the chain he faced persecution, lies, torture, humiliation, betrayal and an agonising death… but there it stopped. Jesus took the weight of evil that the world had piled upon him and it was crucified with him in his body on the cross. The chain of sin, of violence, of retribution was broken, it fell away opening the path for mercy, grave and love for all who live in him. In Exodus Moses stood at a critical point and called to his people, “Who is on the Lord’s side”. I believe we are at such a critical point now. In the face of hatred and violence, death and destruction from all sides we need to ask, who is on the Lord’s side? Who is going to walk his path of love, mercy, justice, reconciliation and peace?

We cannot break every chain of malice and violence in the world but we can break the chains that run through us; we can decide now to reject violent, abusive and threatening thoughts, language and actions and instead echoes the words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”

Yours in Christ,
Ian.

Lifebeat

The plans for our new Sunday service have advanced since I last wrote about it in the June magazine. This new service is aimed at the whole family, both domestic and church, with an emphasis on worship, prayer and fellowship. The details are as follows -

Name - Lifebeat

Where - The Rajar

When - The 1st & 3rd Sundays of the month

From - 5.00 p.m.

Start - Sunday 3rd September

Each meeting will begin with sharing a simple meal together with the chance for a chat and a bit of a catch-up. There will be a creche and also opportunities for children to concentrate on their own work and worship but they are also free to join with their parents in worship.

The worship will be relaxed and informal with a time for Bible study, preaching, testimony, prayer and praise involving contemporary music and Christian song.

At the end of our meeting the adults can share coffee together or join with the children in a simple pre-bedtime Bible story with hot chocolate and cookies. Everybody is welcome to come and join us as we worship and explore faith together.

Bitz'n'Pieces

Congratulations to John and Jo-Ann Hennerley and all our Messy Church families for their terrific float at the Mobberley rose queen. Despite stiff competition our Messy Church was victorious for what is now the 3rd year running which shows the sheer effort that goes into it. 

Thank you to Ray and Katherine Britland for allowing us to use their barn for our Band in the Barn on the 30th June. Thanks also to everybody who assisted in organising this event. 

The PCC have applied for a faculty for the installation of a projector and screen in church, the full plans have been detailed in previous magazines. We are having a bit of difficulty as the method of deployment for the screen is bespoke and it is therefore very awkward to answer highly technical questions beforehand, however we are persevering and hope to come to a resolution very shortly. 

Both our Monday Night Group and Doorway finish for the summer in the week of the 24th July. They will begin afresh in the week of the 11th September so that is the perfect opportunity to go along and join in study, discussion and prayer together. The Monday Night group meets at 2 Warford Crescent, great Warford from 8.00 p.m. and Doorway meets each Thursday in church also from 8.00 p.m. There will be more information about what they will be studying in the September magazine.

Thank You from the Mampong Diocese

It was 2 years ago when we asked members of our church to help sponsor an Ordinand for training in the Mampong diocese. Such was the tremendous response that we were able to sponsor two, Isaac and Joseph, who we met when we went on our parish trip in February. This summer that 3-year period of sponsorship will come to an end as we make our final payments for their training. 

On behalf of Bishop Cyril and the whole Diocese I would like to thank everybody who sponsored their training, your support has been massively appreciated and I hope that we will be able to follow Isaac and Joseph in their future careers.

PCC Report

At the May Meeting the Parochial Church Council -

co-opted Sam Naylor to continue as Electoral Roll officer and Safeguarding Officer.

elected our various church officers. We also elected our representatives to the various bodies to which we are affiliated, Mobberley Trust - the Rector, Tim Mort; Friends of St. Wilfrid’s - the Rector (ex-officio), Robert Mais, Jo-Ann Hennerley; Victory Hall Management Committee - the Rector, John Hennerley, Andrew Harwood; Christian Aid - Celia Boalch; School Governor - the Rector (ex-officio), Julie Eadie.

PCC members we assigned to the various sub-groups, Events, Fabric, Faith & Worship, Finance, Youth.

received a report from the Rector concerning the new Sunday evening service being organised by St. Wilfrid’s with Mobberley Methodist Church to be held at the Rajar. It was stressed that this new service would run alongside our current service of Choral Evensong and be aimed specifically at those who don’t not normally attend any other of our normal Sunday services. It was also stressed that this wasn’t a ‘new church’ but a joint act of worship between ourselves and MMC.

received the good news that attendance at our Messy Church has increased dramatically however it was noted that there had also been a decline in the Sunday Club which has now stopped meeting. It was agreed that we should seek comment and advice from the Messy Church families.

was informed we were still awaiting quotes for a number of minor building works, repairing the path to the west door, installing a handrail across the slabs leading to the north door. We are also still awaiting faculty approval from the Diocese for the installation of the projector and screen.

were informed that funding has been found for the electrification of the bells and investigation into this was now ongoing.

heard of discussions between the PCC Secretary and he National Trust over damage to the south boundary wall apparently caused by the remains of a holly bush that had been removed by the NT son time ago. The NT are investigating.

received a report from the last Deanery Synod which was the second concerning ‘Shared Conversation on Human Sexuality’. .

The Association of Church Fellowships

We spent a very interesting afternoon hearing all about the work of the Chaplaincy at Manchester airport from the Reverend George Lane. WE never imagined how much work is done by the 18-strong team of Clergy and Lay people who are there 24 hrs. a day.

We listened to the plights of many people who arrive at the airport and find themselves in difficulties, and how they are helped in many different ways. From finding them a bed for the night, or furnishing them with the means to complete their journey, or finding food for families from a food bank. A lovely chatty man.

Next Meeting
An afternoon of entertainment
Wednesday 12th July
1:30pm
Mobberley Primary School
(please note change of time and venue)

Everyone made welcome
Pam Smith

Messy Church

Messy Church has now finished for the summer.  We next meet again on Saturday 30th September at 10.00 a.m. at the Rajar.

The Rector Responds

Q.  Is it possible to prove that God exists, and if not how can we know he does?

A. Growing up through the 70’s and watching Top of the Pops it sometimes appeared that every single song was about (icky) love. ‘Love to love you baby,’ ‘Love Train’, ‘Love will keep us together’, ‘Can’t get enough of your love’, ‘Best of my love’ to name but a tiny, tiny few. Yet for every one of those songs, and I am sure a million more, what is love? Has anyone ever held a piece of love? Has anyone ever touched it or smelt it or tasted it? And it’s not just love. In the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett the character of Death asks, “Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy”. However, even though we cannot show one atom of love, justice or mercy we know each of these things to be true. Now, each of these qualities of love, justice and mercy are ones we attribute to God, and not only do we attribute them to him but we also claim him to be the supreme example of each.

We have all experienced love, or at least I would hope we have, and equally we have all I am sure shown love. We also have what seems an innate understanding of what is fair and what is unfair, of what is just and unjust. We also have the capacity to perceive and to show mercy. The great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity makes the point that these physically unproveable qualities are not just perceived by individuals but have shaped human society, he wrote ‘If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own.’ These things may not be physically tangible but is there anyone who would truly argue that they don’t exist, that they are not real? So, if they exist they exist both conceptually in the mind, else how would we recognise them and we know them through the experience of them. We know love is real because we have experienced love. We have also experienced and known love in a variety of ways, we have experienced the love of our parents, of our brothers and sisters, of our wider family, of our friends and our ‘lovers’.

So it is with God. We know love conceptually through sharing in the salvation history we have received through the scriptures but also because, being made in the image of God, we are created to resonate to his presence and activity in the world. We also know him through the experience of him that we can have now, through walking with him and talking with him. Can I prove God exists? No more than I can prove to you that I love my wife, it is not for me to prove to you, if it for her to know by our sharing in love together.

Ian.

St. Wilfrid's Church Diary

July

Sun. 23rd       The 6th Sunday after Trinity
                      Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                      Choral Matins (BCP) 10.00 a.m.
                      Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Mon. 24th      Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

Tue. 25th       James, apostle
                      Said Holy Communion (BCP) 7.00 p.m.

Wed. 26th      Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m. 
                      Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 27th       Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Sun. 30th      The 7th Sunday after Trinity
                      Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                      Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                      Sung Holy Communion (BCP) 6.30 p.m. 

August

Wed. 2nd     Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m. 
                     Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Fri. 4th          Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sun. 6th       The 8th Sunday after Trinity
                     Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                     Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                     Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Wed. 9th      Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                    Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Fri. 11th       Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sun. 13th    The 9th Sunday after Trinity
                    Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                    All-Age Service 10.00 a.m.
                    Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Tue. 15th     The Blessed Virgin Mary 
                     Said Holy Communion (BCP) 7.00 p.m.

Wed. 16th    Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                    Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Fri. 18th       Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sun. 20th    The 10th Sunday after Trinity 
                    Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                    Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                    Choral Evensong w. Prayer for Healing 6.30 p.m.

Tue. 22nd    PCC Standing Committee 7.45 p.m.

Wed. 23rd   Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                    Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 24th     Bartholomew, apostle
                    Said Holy Communion (BCP) 7.00 p.m.

Fri. 25th       Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sun. 27th    The 11th Sunday after Trinity
                    Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                    Choral Matins (BCP) 10.00 a.m.
                    Sung Holy Communion (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Wed. 30th    Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m. 
                    Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.