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Views from the Vicarage - October 2014

Dear Friends,

I want to say how wonderful the 'Last Night at the Proms' in church was last month with the Oswestry Sinfonia and the Ellesmere Choral Society. Thanks for all the hard work put in by Mark Spurdens, the Fundraising Committee and to Age UK. It was a great occasion which showed our beautiful church building off magnificently.

The Harvest Supper on Friday 3rd October 7.30pm is at the Twon Hall and our Harvest Festival is at the Sunday 5th October 10.15am service. The church is being decorated from 10am Saturday morning. This year we are having a Pet Service again as part of our celebration of creation. Please bring your pets to church and have them blessed together with our harvest gifts.

There are three services which are very popular in the church's year: Mothering Sunday, Harvest Festival and Remembrance Sunday. Each of them is fairly new in the church's calendar, but strike a chord with many people.

Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent when we give thanks for our own mothers, but also our Mother the Church and the mother of Jesus, Mary. Flowers are often given on this occasion.

Then our Harvest Festival, on the first Sunday in October, when we give thanks for the harvest and all who give us our daily bread. It is a chance to give thanks to God for all his goodness towards us, especially in the fruits of creation. We can praise him for his wonderful world. Looking at creation we can see such beauty that we have to believe in a loving and generous God. But with climate change very much on the agenda we have to look at what damage mankind is making to our planet and how we can preserve it for future generations rather than greedily consuming the earth's natural resources for our own selfish gain.

And Remembrance Sunday, which is the nearest Sunday to the 11th November, the day when the guns fell silent on the Somme. Armistice Sunday is when we remember those fallen in war and all those affected by war. While primarily it is a remembrance of the First or Great War, we also remember those fallen in the Second and all subsequent wars. The poppy being the image of all the blood spilt of each person who died; that image is being displayed at the Tower of London where nearly a million poppies are being planted to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

It is sad to say that war is still very much part of our fallen world. While our troops may be returning from Afghanistan, it has been a vey costly war, too. There is still the great threat of ISIS, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and the great brutality and barbarism being shown there which requires some response from us and the rest of the world. Our peace and security is only gained at a great cost to our armed forces. We can all pray for a better world as God would want it to be.

My prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar