The Rector Writes

Dear Friends,

This week saw the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.  There is still a palpable sense of outrage caused by the fact that this attack deliberately targeted children and young people.  Anniversaries and memorials are something that we understand well in the Church which is perhaps why the Church, either locally or nationally, is so often the focus during such times.  For 2000 years we have kept the commemoration of Jesus’ murder followed, of course, by his subsequent triumph over death and it is in that light I would us to look at the events in Manchester, or perhaps more accurately people’s response to that attack.

It was quite remarkable how in the aftermath of those events people rallied around although, as I wrote at the time, no more remarkably than the people of Paris, London and elsewhere.  The flood of tributes, the flowers, the prayers, the music and the concerts all revealed a people who would not let themselves be divided, who would not let a bomb that blew apart people and families also blow apart communities and neighbourhoods.

But now that initial shock, that initial response, has had a year to subside.  Being only one year the wounds are, for some people quite literally, still fresh but we will over subsequent years be dealing more and more with commemoration, the remembrance of things past.  People, even those most closely involved with the events of that night, will of necessity have to move on.  Of course, that is not the same as saying that things will be forgotten, which again brings us to commemoration.

Commemoration isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, a passive, static, thing.  Commemoration is an action that makes us look back in order that we can move forward.  It reminds us of the best of the past that we might repeat it in the future, it prompts us to revisit the bad so that we might be more vigilant in the future.  Over the last couple of days, in preparation for this week’s commemoration, there has been a lot said about the way people rallied around, about the outpouring of love, about people’s resilience and determination to stand together and oppose division and hatred.  The purpose of commemoration is that all these things should not be simply a remembrance of last year but something that shapes people’s lives today and going on into the future.

Yours in Christ,

Ian. 

Church 'Spring' Clean

Our annual Church cleaning will take place a little later in the year than usual, on Saturday 23rd June from 9.30 a.m.  There is the usual dusting, hoovering and polishing, as well as maintenance work such as removing the moss from the roof, scrubbing the lichen from the path, clearing the gutters and drains and, if anyone wants it, oiling the church gates.  

This is something that everybody can lend a hand with and, as the old saying goes, many hands make light work.  There is a small amount of cleaning material available, but it would help if you brought your own stuff with you, particularly rubbish bags, which we never seem to have enough of.

There is plenty for everybody to do and what is best, no experience necessary.  Do come and lend a hand.  

You're Sure of a Big Surprise

If you go down to church on the 10th of June then you might want to go in disguise, because we shall be holding our All-Age Teddy Bear service.  Of course, it doesn’t have to be a Teddy, my cuddly toy of choice was a pink koala bear by the name of… Pinky (originality was never my forte!)

Feel free to bring your favourite cuddly toy with you, whatever it may be, as we celebrate all things fluffy and wadded, indeed you might be surprised what a cuddly toy can teach us.  Feel free to bring the kids and grandkids with you for some ‘cover’!

All-Age Teddy Bear Service
Sunday 10th June
10.00 a.m.

Action for ME

Karen Avery is the daughter of David and Kath Bleakley.  Karen has suffered from M.E. throughout her life and is wanting to raise both money and awareness in tackling it.  Here is a little of Karen’s story.

Having suffered from this debilitating illness myself for a number of years, I know how hard it can be to live with.  When I should have been out on the town with my mates in my 20’s I was suffering from this illness after having Glandular Fever, I just didn’t get better.  I was not able to stand up for more than a few seconds, or had the energy to move about the house never mind the outdoors & felt absolutely awful all the time.  I have seen it described as it being like having glandular fever, taking that on an all-night drinking session then taking your glandular fever & your hangover & doing a 30K forced march across the country.  The way you would feel at the end of that is how it feels to have M.E. every day.  It is like a carousel, you have ups & downs but you can never get off.  This is a very accurate description.  Some days you feel better than others. It affects you and everyone you live with and it’s cause & treatments for it are still being researched.

I am one of the lucky ones that has got their life back - it does not happen to everyone & I thank my lucky stars every day. One thing I have learned is; never take anything for granted!  You don’t so much live but exist with this illness.  It takes a long time to learn to live with it.  Having support is extremely important as you do not have the energy to fight your corner, so this charity provides that and more answers to your million questions about the illness. Getting through a day is hard enough but if you are alone without a support network with this illness it must be hell. There is no known cure for this illness.

I was very lucky as I was diagnosed early by an understanding doctor (a rarity), so could get in touch with my local support group run by this charity. I also was lucky enough to have a supportive partner & family.  I never thought I would get better some days and went through some dark times.  So to be back to full fitness and be able to chase my dreams again like ride a motorbike & do the following challenges, (never doing things by halves!), to fundraise for people whose shoes I have been in is an honour I am proud to have.  Running is not a strong point of mine, my pace being slightly faster than walking pace for any long distance!  However wanting to try & improve my weakness have come up with the following challenges for this year.

Challenge 1)  Manchester 10k Great North Run 20th May 2018

Challenge 2) A Half Marathon-to be confirmed on booking logistics – currently looking at Cholmondeley Castle Half Marathon 24th June 2018,  if not this one there will be a half somewhere I will be doing this year!

Challenge 3) Walk the 3 Yorkshire Peaks - in planning for 30th June 2018 (Could be interesting after doing a half marathon the weekend before!)

Clearly the first of these has already (successfully) past but I would appreciate any sponsorship you can afford - any small amount adds up!  If you would like to help please speak to my parents or check out the sponsorship form in church.  I am also set up online if you prefer, please go to the Just Giving website and search ‘Karen Avery’

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Action for M.E. and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Thank you,
Karen x

Lifebeat

IAt Lifebeat we continue to examine more of Jesus’ parables from the gospel according to Luke.  We have already looked at the parable of the Rich Fool and that of the Prodigal Son, and in June we shall be thinking about the parables of the Importunate Widow and the Rich Man and Lazarus. 

Jesus’ parables were a way of teaching that put the message into both the language and situations that people would understand, which is why they resonate so powerfully even now, 2000 years later,  because the human condition doesn’t change.

Lifebeat incorporates a simple meal, contemporary Christian worship and Biblical teaching all into one and is suitable for the whole family regardless of age.  Do come and join us on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month at the Rajar from 5.00 p.m.

Lifebeat in June
Sundays 3rd and 17th
From 5.00 p.m. at the Rajar 

Messy Church

I think I have said before that reporting on Messy Church in the magazine is always tricky because as I sit here now writing for the June magazine the May Messy Church hasn’t yet occurred which means I can only report on the last one which was the end of April. 

In April we were thinking about time as remembered how Jesus was there to help two people, a young girl and an old woman and we thought about how important it is not to give up.  We remembered that God doesn’t work to our timetable and that we must keep faith even - especially - when things aren’t going our way.  In June our theme is ‘The Money Puzzle’ and camels and needles may well be involved!  (No need to call the RSPCA though).

June Messy Church
Saturday 30th June
10.00-11.30 a.m.

The Association of Church Fellowships

Well haven’t we been having some wonderful weather?  It’s been a joy to be around Mobberley these last few days, especially when we had our Strawberry Tea on Wednesday 9th.  Starting with Fizzy Strawberry drink on arrival before sitting down to smoked salmon and cucumber, egg mayonnaise and ham sandwiches followed by strawberries and cream, and scones with strawberry jam and cream, then butterfly cakes, strawberry jam and cream.  I think we were all creamed out by the time we got home.  It was all very enjoyable.  


Next month we are having a return visit from Sue Sharrett telling us about her walk in Peru, in aid of The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.


Members will be receiving information and questionnaires regarding the July outing, please fill in and bring to the June meeting, I will need numbers to give to the staff at the Gardeners Cottage so that they can prepare the Teas in advance. (It all looks very nice there.)  Just a little reminder that a year’s subscription membership is £13.  Join us for the day at a cost of £1.50. Tea or coffee and a biscuit is 50p. Raffle tickets are on sale at 50p. a strip.  Always nice to see a new face, adds a fillip to the afternoon. 


Next Meeting
 ‘A Walk in Peru’
Speaker: Sue Sharrett
Wednesday June 13th at 2:00pm
Rajar Building
Town Lane, Mobberley 

Everyone made welcome
Pam Smith

The Rector Responds

Q. What is the Book of Revelation all about?

A. Can’t I have something simple and uncontentious like homosexuality or the Biblical basis for purgatory instead?  The Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible and was most probably written sometime between 81-96AD during the reign of Emperor Diocletian.  The author of the book identifies himself as John and the early Church believed him to have been the apostle John (hence why he is always depicted as being very youthful at the time of Jesus’ earthly life).  

The Book falls broadly into four sections.  The first of these are a series of messages from God to the seven churches of Asia Minor (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea).  In most, although not all cases, these letters combine both praise but also criticism and warnings.  The second section gives a description of heavenly worship and to a degree the ‘make-up’ of the heavenly realm.  The third section moves onto the events that lead to Armageddon with the rising, and subsequent overthrow, of the Beast and of the Whore of Babylon.  This leads to the final section describing the coming of the new heaven and new earth that are combined into one, with the new Jerusalem in which God himself dwells.  

All of which seems reasonably simple, except of course these events, are described in incredibly rich, poetic, symbolic and figurative language with gems such as “As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction” (Rev. 17:11).  This style of writing belongs to a genre known as ‘apocalyptic’ which has nothing to do with destruction but is from the Greek word for ‘revelation’.  There are some other examples of apocalyptic writing in the Bible, perhaps most clearly in Daniel chapters 7-12.  Other examples from the New Testament include the foretelling of the destruction of the Temple in Matthew 24 and the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25.  

The great danger, in my opinion, of apocalyptic writing is that, because there is so much detail, people get caught up in the details rather than looking at the thing as a whole.  A good simile might be an expressionist, or even pointillist, painting where there are so many spots of colour, so many things suggested, either intentionally by the artist or sometimes, in a way similar to a Rorschach test, by the observer.  If you want to see what the subject of such a picture is you need to take a step back and view it as a whole, and when we do some of those things that puzzled us become clear whilst things we thought we knew and understood are instead revealed to be something else entirely.  

The Book of revelation inspired the famous Flemish artist Hieronymus Bosch and his paintings are perhaps a good pointer to how to read the Book of Revelation.  Bosch was famous for drawing triptychs, triple panelled artworks that often stood behind altars.  In his paintings there are fantastically detailed, and often horrific, figures and scenes, any one of which can draw our eye and arrest our attention, but we need to look at each picture as a whole and within its context, to understand the full message and meaning.

St. Wilfrid's Church Diary - June

Sun. 10th          The 2nd 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.
                           Prayer Group  7.45 p.m.

Mon. 11th           Barnabas, apostle
                           Said Holy Communion  7.00 p.m.
                           Monday Night Group  8.00 p.m.

Tue. 12th            Memorial Service  7.30 p.m.

Wed. 13th           Extended Communion at the Rajar  10.00 a.m.
                           Coffee Morning at the Rajar  10.30 a.m.
                           Church Fellowship at the Rajar  2.00p.m.

Thu. 14th            Doorway  8.00 p.m.

Fri. 15th              Choir Practice   7.30 p.m.

Sat. 16th             Messy Church Preparation  10.30 a.m.
                           Mobberley Rose Queen Festival  1.00 p.m.

Sun. 17th          The 3rd Sunday after Trinity
                          Said Holy Communion (BCP)  8.30 a.m.
                          Rose Queen Service on Hall Bank Field  10.30 a.m.
                          Lifebeat  5.00 p.m.
                          Choral Evensong w. Healing  6.30 p.m.

Mon. 18th          Monday Night Group  8.00 p.m.

Tue. 19th           Victory Hall TDC   7.00 p.m.

Wed. 20th          Communion at the Rajar  10.00 a.m.
                          Coffee Morning at the Rajar   10.30 a.m.

Thu. 21st           Doorway  8.00 p.m. 

Fri. 22nd            Visiting Bell Ringers   10.00 a.m.
                          Choir Practice   7.30 p.m.

Sat. 23rd           Church Cleaning  9.30 a.m.
                         Church Open  12.00 noon

Sun. 24th         The Birth of John the Baptist
                         Said Holy Communion (BCP)   8.30 a.m.
                         Choral Matins (BCP)  10.00 a.m.
                         Sung Holy Communion (BCP)  6.30 p.m.
                         Prayer Group  7.45 p.m.

Mon. 25th         Monday Night Group  8.00 p.m.

Wed. 27th         Communion at the Rajar  10.00 a.m.
                         Coffee Morning at the Rajar   10.30 a.m.

Thu. 28th          Deanery Synod at High Legh  7.30 p.m.

Fri. 29th            Choir Practice  7.30 p.m.

Sat. 30th           Messy Church 10.00 a.m.
                          Wedding (Adam Eckersley & Suzanne Bent)  1.30 p.m.