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News from the Vicarage - July/August 2015

Dear Friends,

This issue of our Parish Magazine covers the months of July and August, the holiday season. And of course the origin of holiday is holy day, a time to put aside our daily work and spend time in prayer and worship, a sort of extended Sunday or Sabbath.

 

In the middle ages people took time off to go on pilgrimages, to Rome or one of the great pilgrimage centres like Canterbury (read Canterbury Tales) or Santiago di Compostela. This summer I am off to Taize, an ecumenical religious community in France where thousands of young people go each summer to share in the worship and community life. It is a sort of retreat and a recharging of our spiritual batteries. We all need to take some time out for ourselves and to refresh ourselves. God gave us the seventh day as a day of rest. Many of us would benefit on going on retreats, quiet days, pilgrimages or religious holidays. The centre of all this though is spending time with God. Time to think and meditate and pray. We all need to be re-energised, or our faith will become stayed and dull. We need to look at our lives and our relationship with God afresh. I find it difficult to pray. It is only after some time of being quiet and still in God's presence that just for a short while I feel Him talking to me. I hope Taize will allow me time to do this.

It is therefore important that when we come to church that we are quiet and still. Could we please be a little quieter at the beginning of the service? While it is good to be friendly and greet each other sometimes I feel we go overboard with chat. Let us talk to God in our service and let Him speak to us, and then let us talk to each other at the end of the service, especially over coffee.

Also our Christian life isn't just coming to church on a Sunday. We need to be regular is spending time in prayer and reading the bible during the week. A short time of prayer each day makes the whole day holy. Why not come to church on one of the midweek Holy Communions on Tuesday and Wednesday or one of the many holidays we keep (see the diary to find out when). Midweek services offer a greater time of peace and quiet.

Whatever you are doing this summer I hope that you get a rest from your working lives, a time of refreshment and renewal, and hopefully a time of getting closer to God, the original meaning of holiday.

My prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar