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Views from the Vicarage - May 2019

Dear Friends,

We have enjoyed a good Holy Week & Easter here at S. Mary's. On Easter Monday nine of us from S. Mary's went to Walsingham in Norfolk to the Shrine of Our Lady. We had great time and moving experiences. Hear more next month!

Christian Aid Week is 12-18th May. Theme 'All mums should live.'

The Youth Group meeting 5pm on Sunday 4th May are going to visit Birch Hall farm. If you want to come let the Vicar know!

Saints Days: S. Philip May 1st S. Philip came from Bethsaida, and was a disciple of Jesus from early on. He knew how to lead others to Jesus - he brought Nathanael (or Bartholomew) to Him in a calm, kindly way. He knew how to do some financial forecasting: at the feeding of the 5,000 it was he who pointed out that without divine help, even 200 pennyworth of bread wasn't going to feed that crowd. He was the one whom the Greeks approached when they wanted to ask Jesus to show them the Father, but didn't quite have the nerve to approach Jesus directly. People had confidence in Philip's spirituality, common sense and kindliness. Such a person is a gift to any church!

S. Athanasius 2nd May. This is the name behind the Athanasian Creed. Athanasius (296-373) was born into a prosperous family in Alexandria in Egypt, studied in the Christian school there and entered the ministry. He was twenty-nine years old when he accompanied Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, to the Church's first ecumenical Council, at Nicaea in 325. Although Athanasius could not take part in the Council's debates because he was a deacon and not a bishop, Alexander consulted him on the meaning of biblical texts and theological distinctions. With Emperor Constantine sitting as President, three hundred bishops argued about the Person of Christ. How is He the Son of God? Is He God or man or both together? Did He exist before He was born? If we worship Him does that mean we are worshipping two Gods? Athanasius worked with his bishop, Alexander, in framing what became known as the Nicene Creed. Our Lord's full divinity was safeguarded in the words, 'eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father.'

When Bishop Alexander died in 328, Athanasius succeeded him as Bishop by popular demand. For the next 45 years Athanasius' devotion, scholarship, and forceful leadership established the Nicene Creed in the Christian Church.

30th May, 40 days after Easter, comes Ascension Day. These are the 40 days during which the Risen Christ appeared again and again to His disciples, following His death and resurrection. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; and John 20.) Jesus was seen by numerous of His disciples: on the road to Emmaus, by the Sea of Galilee, in houses, etc. He strengthened and encouraged His disciples, and at last opened their eyes to all that the Scriptures had promised about the Messiah. Jesus also told them that as the Father had sent Him, He was now going to send them - to all corners of the earth, as His witnesses. We will be singing from the Tower 7.30am followed by breakfast, and at 7pm a Sung Eucharist, so please join us.

My Prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar