Lent Lunch Talks 2018 – 1

Roy Arnold

Just by way of interest, how many of you take the “Macclesfield Express”?

Well, if you do, you will know the item called “Before the Bench” – a weekly list of people had up for drunkenness, driving too fast, stealing, beating up their wives or girl-friends, drug offences – selling them or taking them. It all makes depressing reading.

But there is nothing new under the sun. Back in the early days of the church, St Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, gives us a similar list of offences like “quarrels and strife, unfaithfulness in marriage, anger, drunkenness, jealousy, etc”.

By way of contrast, St Paul lists what’s on the opposite side of the coin – what he calls the Fruits of the Spirit. In other words, how God wants us to live a better way – a more happy way. Here is his list: “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

I think you would agree God’s way is by far the better way. You would think that coming to church regularly might be a guarantee of us leaving a life full of the Fruits – the harvest of the Spirit. Yet in my time as a vicar I have had an alcoholic churchwarden, an organist who regularly “borrowed” money from vulnerable pensioners, a young server who embezzled funds from his employer (a funeral director) and a regular communicant who was totally obnoxious. Meanwhile (I guess) others might be sinners in a more hidden way – behind closed curtains.

It may well be that as a church we are always banging on about sins. So I make no excuse – as a sinner myself – that in these next few weeks of Lent, I am going to talk about sin. “We knew nothing about sin until our new Vicar arrived” – an old joke. But I have come to a new understanding of how God works. For instance, in the Lord’s Prayer two things are closely linked together and joined together by a very significant conjunction – by an “and”: “Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses.” This is God’s provision: Bread and forgiveness.

Appropriate, then, that with our bread and soup, that we dip into some thoughts about sins – and God’s wish for us to be rid of them. We can all be tempted. But being tempted is not sinning, to quote: “Temptations are like birds flying over our heads. It is only when we let them make nests in our hair that they become sins.”

Jesus said: “Be ye perfect as I am perfect.” Maybe like an archer aiming for a bull’s-eye, not quite hitting it, but having to keep trying.

St Paul said: “The good that I want to do, I don’t do; and the evil I don’t want to do, that I do!”

When we think about God we might be inclined to think of some stern headmaster – always on duty to spot naughty children. But Jesus tells us that his likeness is to:
a housewife searching for a lost coin,
or a shepherd looking for a lost sheep
or a father welcoming home his tearaway son.
At this mention of God in relation to our sins, think of the three descriptions – the housewife, the shepherd and the overjoyed father.

Deanery Synod – Open Meeting

Monday 5th March at St. Oswald’s  7.oopm for 7.30 pm.

Guest speakers from Church House, Debbie Dalby (Committee for Social Responsibility) and Emily Allen (Buildings for Mission) will outline their roles.

This will be an Open meeting for anyone from the parishes who would be interested in hearing about the work of these two relatively new members of the Church House staff team in their developing initiatives to help resource the ministry and mission of our parishes and deanery.

Everyone is welcome to join us for refreshments from 7.00pm, with a formal Welcome and Opening Prayer at 7.30pm, followed by interactive presentations from our two speakers, ending at 9.00pm, when we will conduct any Synod business and make any publicity announcements, ending with the Grace at 9.30pm.

Sunday Next Before Lent 2018

Ann Coomes

This coming week brings us something unusual which has not happened since 1945. Can you guess what it is? It is that this year, both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day share the same day ! This is the first time in 73 years that that has happened.

At first glance, it may seem an odd mix, the combination of a day which begins a period of prayer, fasting and penance with a day dedicated to romance, but when you think about it, there is a very obvious link between the two days – and that is – love!

For Lent is about far more than giving up chocolate or something else that we really like, and therefore spending the next five weeks feeling both a bit miserable and a bit virtuous at the same time. Lent is really all about setting aside time to learn how to love God more, as we give Him more space in our lives.

Lent was first observed by the very Early Church, and has its roots in the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness in prayer and fasting before God. His reactions to the temptations that Satan laid before him all demonstrated his perfect, divine love.

Consider the first one – the temptation to turn stones into bread. In other words – the desire to satisfy immediate physical desires. Later on, Jesus would indeed feed people – thousands of them, with bread when they were hungry, but He went so much further than that – he became the Bread of Life itself for us, providing us with spiritual nourishment forever. His love went beyond satisfying just human stomachs, to satisfying human hearts as well.

Then there was the second temptation, to jump off the top of the temple and trust God to send angels to catch him. Satan was tempting Jesus to act out of pride in who he was, and to use his privileged position to impress others. But of course, to do so would have been to act in arrogance and self-assertion. And so, Jesus chose instead to continue his humble, loving, dependence on his father, which is how we should also walk before God.

The final temptation, when Jesus is offered the kingdoms of the world in return for his worship of the devil, sparked a furious response from Jesus: ‘Away from me, Satan!’ For to put something or someone else before God is to turn your back on God, whose very nature is love. Jesus knew that to worship God lies at the very heart of our participation in the divine love. And when we share in God’s love, we can go on to share in sacrificial service to meet the needs of others, as Jesus did.

And so, during his time in the wilderness, Jesus was living out the love of God in practice, and for us, Lent can become a time to learn from him.

And of course, it all begins this coming Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. Many thousands of churches around the world will mark it with a service that includes ashes being smeared on people’s foreheads. Have you ever wondered where that practice has come from?

The tradition of using ashes goes back far earlier than Jesus in the wilderness. It goes right back to the Old Testament, when the Israelites had sinned, and, then finally come to their senses. When they saw their evil ways as God saw them, they could do nothing but repent in sorrow, and mourn for the damage and evil they had done.

As a visual sign of their change of heart, they humbled themselves before God by covering their heads with ashes. It was an outward sign of their heart-felt repentance and acknowledgement of sin.

Centuries later, when the early Christian church was observing Easter each year, it became the custom for both new believers and older ones to demonstrate their repentance before God by having ashes sprinkled over them at the beginning of Lent.

The Bible certainly has some wonderful verses concerning God’s call to us to come near to him: Here are just a couple from the Old Testament:

‘Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.’ (Joel 2:12-13)

And from Luke: ‘I have not come to call the virtuous but sinners to repentance’ (said Jesus).  I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’

God loves us, and rejoices over us when we come near to Him.

But – what about Valentine’s day? Where can that fit into all this?

Well, of course, Valentine was a follower of Christ, who spent his life sharing God’s love with others. We know very little about him, except that he was a priest who lived in Rome in the late 3rd century .

It was a time when the Emperor Claudius had decided that soldiers in the Roman Army were distracted from their duty by their wives, and so he attempted to outlaw marriage.

It is believed that Valentine disregarded the emperor’s command, and married many couples in secret. He also helped Christians in Rome during times of persecution there.

Eventually Valentine was caught, arrested, and condemned to death. While he was in prison awaiting execution, Valentine showed love and compassion to everyone around him, including even his jailer. The jailer had a young daughter who was blind, but through Valentine’s prayers for her, she was healed and could see again. Just before his death in Rome on 14th February, he wrote her a farewell message that he signed ‘From your Valentine.’

So the very first Valentine card was not between lovers, but between a priest about to die, and a little girl, who had been healed through his prayers.

Valentine’s life demonstrated the importance of showing God’s love in action.

And so we have it – the very unusual but very fitting combination of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. A day of our coming to God in repentance because of his great love for us, and a day of us celebrating and sharing our love for others because God’s love shines in our lives.

Revd David Wightman RIP

Starting on St Cuthbert’s Way Walk in October 2016

Many of us here in Macclesfield Deanery were deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death on New Year’s Day of Revd David Wightman, Macclesfield Town Centre Minister, based at St Michael’s Church on the Marketplace. Here are some of the words given by David’s former colleague, Revd Dr Graham Turner, the previous Rector of Macclesfield, at David’s funeral on 26 January. We continue to pray for David’s wife Chris and all the family and for all who mourn the passing of a dedicated priest, who prompted us to care for those on the margins of society in so many practical ways, through such HOPE initiatives as Street Angels, Winter Hope Night Shelter Accommodation, and Refugees Welcome.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

I am sure that David has not preached on every single passage of the Bible during the many years of being a Reader and then as a ‘vicar’, but I am fairly confident that David would have spoken about this passage on numerous occasions. Why? Because it crops up regularly in the list of Sunday readings in the Church of England, and because David firmly and clearly believed in the resurrection. He did not simply believe we come back to life to live happily ever after with Jesus in a heaven somewhere ‘way beyond the blue’. His was the Biblical view that one day all creation will be transformed (to become what it was always meant to be) and that the patterns of violence, injustice and disease will one day be finally overrun. More than that, he believed that he himself would be transformed from the patterns of violence, injustice and disease to something far beyond his/our wildest imaginings. He believed that he would become what he has always meant to be, but had only made it part of the way in his almost 74 years with us.

Our Bible reading starts with the encouragement: “not to grieve as others do who have no hope”. But note, it does not say that we must not grieve – oh yes, we must grieve. We will (and do) suffer those intense feelings of: sorrow, sadness and anguish; loneliness, heartache and heartbreak; desolation, dejection and despair. This (as I am sure you all well know) is now the backdrop to the journey we must travel in order to discover our healing – a journey that must be travelled.

You have suffered a terrible disruption to your lives. When did you realise? When did you hear? When did you get the phone call? When did you read the Facebook postings? None of us saw this coming. To mourn and to grieve is to be human and to live in this (our full humanity) is what God wants for us. However, we must “not grieve as others do, who have no hope”. For them, the future is annihilation. For them, their loved ones no longer exist. For them, the future makes little or no sense. For them, “It is all over!” No, when you grieve, weep and struggle and feel all these intense emotions, do it “as people who have hope.’”

David and I spoke about hope on numerous occasions as we chatted about many things. Some people think hope means to be generally optimistic about the future, which may be okay if you are usually in control of your life – which David wasn’t when he collapsed on that path in the Lakes on New Year’s Day. Some think it means ‘having faith’, and I wonder if they mean ‘hoping for the best’. Bible hope is much more than having a sunny disposition and an optimistic outlook on life. Bible hope is the belief that God has still got something to do. God has still got something to do with David: a job of recreation, restoration, and transformation which we call resurrection. So, because of this hope, we travel with, into and through our grief, but without despair or fear. David, I think, would point out that Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.

When Jesus died, he did not know for certain that he would rise, but he hoped he would – as he believed that God had still got something to do. As David has died, we also have the same belief, that God will do something. As Jesus was resurrected, so David will be resurrected. The passage ends with the phrase: “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” Because of this hope we have together today to grieve. We have come to let go and we have come to ‘give each other courage’ (note: encourage literally means ‘to give courage’) and to stand alongside all David’s family at this time.

This is not the end for David, this is not the end for you who grieve (even though sometimes grief does feel like the end) and this is not the end for David’s ministry either. David knew that he was ‘a chip off the old block’ (a rather large sized chip though!). The language of the book of Genesis puts this way: ‘made in the image of God’ (Gen. 1:27). The Apostle John says that all people are enlightened by the presence of the light of Christ (John. 1:9) and St Paul affirms that Christ “is in all”, even “is all” (Col. 3:11). David was (and still is) made of the stuff of God. His deepest “DNA” is the love that is God. David was most ‘David’ when he lived from this inner core. As he deepened his faith he did not become super-spiritual, aloof or pretentious, he simply became more human, more David. (We think to be human is to be fallible, but to be truly human is to be like Christ.) The more this happened to him, the more he enjoyed it – it made him smile. It motivated him to do what he did. David was not driven in his ministry, he was called.

What made David ‘David’ (what made him so wonderfully human) cannot be broken or contaminated or destroyed, because love is eternal and impregnable. This is why David is eternal and will one day be resurrected. Thankfully David is not sat on a cloud in a bed sheet playing a harp – a terrifying image to have in one’s head! David has simply returned to the Great Love that conceived the idea of him in the first place, we call that Great Love “God”. As Jesus puts it: “I in you, and you in me” – this is our destiny. David is now more ‘David’ than he has ever been!

And for those of you whose lives have been turned upside down by his death, it is not the end for you either, even though your grief may sometimes overwhelm you. Because you are made of the same stuff; at your core is nothing but the love of God, and this should give you hope. David is no longer here, but he lives on in us and with us: physically in the family likenesses (Simon, Jenny, Joseph, Thomas, Jenny & Sam’s baby); in the legacy of his work that goes on – it is “David shaped”; and in the ties and bonds of friendship where his spirit touched our spirits. And now he is part of the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ with all the saints who have gone on before us. Today is not the end of David, so beware!

Finally, I believe David would have us say, that our journey through life must to be laced with: gratitude; and thanksgiving; and celebration; and joy; and wonder; and laughter, as our ultimate destination will be populated with all these things. We have lost David: Chris has lost her soul-mate, friend and partner; Simon and Jenny have lost their father (together with Sukfan and Sam); Joseph, Thomas (and the child yet to be born) have lost their grandfather; Tim has lost his brother; you have lost a friend and a colleague; and I have lost my companion on the road of the journey of life.

BUT WE DID KNOW HIM! And for this we are thankful. Your lives and my life are all the better for having known him. David enhanced our lives. We are not, of course, to worship him as a hero, but he has been a thoroughly decent human being who we should honour; because he sought to do his best in life for God and for others. Our lives, and the world, are all the better for his almost 74 years among us, and for this we must be most thankful and celebrate this gift of life who we have known and loved.

So, if we are sad, let us be proud that we will miss him; if we are grateful, let us ensure that we continue the works he has started; and if we saw the light of Christ in David, let us also live that others may see the light of Christ in us. Let us then walk on from today, with hope.


A Springtime Prayer…

… written by a young member of our congregation

Tyler before the Pet Blessing Service summer 2017

I love the nature as much as you do, God. The river flows as Jesus goes. God, please protect nature. All the poor and all the endangered animals, protect them. God, I wish that one day I will see you. I wish that all the bad people become good and all the litter is cleared one day. Dear God, all the poor – give them more – as you can.


Tyler (a Year One pupil at St John’s School)

Jilly Marsh RIP

At Martinmere 3 December 2017

Extracts from the Tribute paid by Fr Simon Marsh at a Thanksgiving Service for his late wife Jilly (23 February 1960 – 13 January 2018).

…Our humanly spoken, or heard, or read, or written words may not speak of all that there is to be said – of any human soul that ever dwelt upon the face of the earth. What is needed that we might reflect inwardly upon any life is some personal experience – even second-hand experience – of what St John, writing about Jesus, spoke of as Logos in Him, and in anyone. Not words, but The Word; the life of God shining at the centre of the being of every incarnate – in-the-flesh – person. St Irenaeus is reputed to have said that ‘the glory of God is in a person fully alive.’ I saw the glory of God in the full and vibrant aliveness of Jilly Mary Tovey. And so, I think, in many different ways and times and places, did many of you. I saw Logos, I saw The Word, in Jilly. She made sense, for me, of the notion of the Body of Christ alive and at work in the world now…

Jilly was never much given to drawing attention to herself. She lived joyfully, simply, thankfully, quietly, and unobtrusively. When asked her profession, from time to time, I can recall no occasion when she replied with more than a smiling ‘oh, just office work’ – but as many letters and cards have testified in these past weeks – and I have been so profoundly comforted by them – she also lived luminously. I’ve been fascinated by the number of family members, colleagues, friends and acquaintances who have spoken or written of a light that shone in and through Jilly.

From the happy days when she read Engineering at Cambridge, revelling in a spell as Captain of the Boat Club and in the hard grind of the discipline and training required of a Cambridge Boat Crew, and on through training to become a Chartered Accountant, and the years of happy labours for ICI, Zeneca and latterly Astra Zeneca – in all of these years the people who lived and worked with Jilly remember her with the deepest admiration and affection.

Jilly never expected in a million years to become a Vicar’s wife! – though she’d have made a fine pastor. Indeed, in countless ways that many of you here recall, Jilly was a fine pastor. I’ve known of few people who would get out of bed at 6am in order to prepare cooked breakfasts that she would deliver around 7am to elderly parishioners en route for her office at Alderley Park. Jilly did not wear her considerable Christian faith on her sleeve; she believed herself called to more practical ‘incarnate’ or in-the-flesh expressions of the Love of God. Time and again, in my presence, I have been privileged to witness people unashamedly tell my wife ‘I love you Jilly!’…. There was a sense of urgency in our house before Christmas this year as, already very poorly, Jilly set her face to ensuring Christmas presents were made ready – some of them knitted by her – and Christmas cakes and puddings were made and distributed – personally, wherever and whenever that was possible, sometimes involving our driving round trips of a couple of hundred miles a time.

Accomplished and delighted walker of Lakeland fells, dearly loved by many, Jilly Mary Tovey whispers to me now: ‘Enough, my love. You’ve said enough. They’ll all be freezing cold!’ …I know that I will never have said enough about her, but I must draw this little tribute to a close, leaving you with your own treasured memories and with this poem, entitled “Roads” by Ruth Bidgood:

No need to wonder what heron-haunted lake
lay in the other valley,
or regret the songs in the forest
I chose not to traverse.
No need to ask where other roads might have led,
since they led elsewhere;
for nowhere but this here and now
is my true destination.
The river is gentle in the soft evening,
and all the steps of my life have brought me home.

New – Parish Prayers at Home

Third Friday of the month – 2.30-3.30pm

At our last GAP meeting it was decided to start an informal monthly prayer meeting. Its purpose will be to pray for the needs of the parish. Meetings will be held in someone’s house as arranged each time.

If you would like to come along, or if you have anything that you would like to pray for specifically, please contact Maggie O’Donnell 01625 572711 or Anne Coombes 01625 571144.

The first meeting is on Friday 16 February.

Coming up in Macclesfield

Cre8 Youth and Community Programme – Opportunities for volunteers

Youth Clubs on Tuesday and Wednesday Evenings.

Skills and/or interest in art, craft, cooking and games/sports would be particularly helpful.


Macclesfield Fairtrade Fortnight – Monday 26th February – Sunday 11th March (see website)

Fairtrade Breakfast – Anytime 9.30am to 3.00pm on Saturday 24th February at the Hope Centre, Park Green.  poster

Fairtrade Coffee Morning – 9.30am to 12.15pm on Saturday 3rd March at Macclesfield Library.  poster

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2018

Deuteronomy 18.15-20; Revelation 12. 1-5a; Mark 1.21-28

Brian Reader

As well as it being the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, it is the Sunday before Candlemas, and the end of the Christmas Season; the time when we lose the Crib and the last of the Christmas trimmings. Today is also listed as Leprosy Day & Homelessness Sunday, but I could find nothing about homelessness or Leprosy in the readings. However, the story of Jesus curing a Leper can be found in verse 40 if you continue to read chapter 1 of St Mark’s Gospel.

So what message can we learn from our readings for this morning. On first a reading they seemed strange. I found them difficult to understand and seemingly lacking any link which would give a single theme.

The first was a passage from Deuteronomy. In it the writer, traditionally thought to be Moses, says ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.’ And in the New Testament, in John, this passage is seen to be a reference to the prophet ‘par excellence’ – that is Jesus himself.

For our next reading we had a bit from The Revelation. When I was in Sunday school, I was warned off reading Revelation as it was considered too difficult, but here it is, as our reading so we better try and understand what it is saying to us. Revelation is unique in the New Testament. Its message is of the final victory of Jesus Christ over all the forces that oppose God, and this is conveyed in a series of visions. John was writing for a persecuted Church, and these chapters are full of encouragement to enable the persecuted Christians to take heart.

The woman stands for God’s chosen people, from whom the Messiah Jesus, and through him the Church, was born. The red dragon does not represent Wales but Satan himself, who is hell bent on destruction of all that is good. If the reading had continued, the main message would have become clearer. Although Satan is strong and powerful and his attack fierce – his time is short. He has already been overpowered by Christ: so he can be overcome by Christians. Satan is destined for destruction, and the Church is destined for eventual triumph. God’s people are at all times, and everywhere, under His sovereign protection.

Our Gospel reading tells us of Jesus and how he taught and healed with great authority, the authority of God himself. So we see that all three reading do have a link – it is Jesus himself – our Lord and Saviour.

Let us try and imagine what it would have been like on that Saturday, the Sabbath in the small town of Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee. Here in the synagogue is a man, not one of the recognized teachers, who begins on his own authority to tell people what God’s will is. Although Mark gives no record, you can imagine what he said. It was certainly not what they expected. He announced the coming of the Kingdom, spoke of God’s mercy and forgiveness, of help and hope and liberty, and joy in believing.

It was like a breath of fresh air. The manner of his teaching was more astounding than the content. If he caught your eye, it was arresting; each one felt that he was talking just to them. And he spoke with such authority. The usual teachers – the priests and scribes, the literate ones, the self-appointed scrupulous guardians of Jewish ancestral traditions – they didn’t teach like that. They always said, ‘as Moses said’, or ‘as Rabbi so-and-so said’: but Jesus presented no argument, just a simple statement of fact. Jesus spoke with a quiet but compelling authority all of his own. And with the same authority he spoke words of healing, like a message straight from God. They had never heard anything like this before.

One man was especially affected. Most of the time he was fine, or he would have been excluded from society and the synagogue. Today, the electric atmosphere and excited buzz around him, aroused his nervous tension and provoked the outburst. You may not believe in demons and ascribe his symptoms to hysteria or epilepsy or some other disease that we would recognise today. But demon-belief was common in the ancient world, and would have been in this congregation and the man himself. The wonder in this synagogue was not only that the man was cured; but the manner of it was more surprising than the fact. There was no incanted list of spirit-names to find a stronger or higher spirit, as was standard practice for the many exorcists; Jesus simply commanded and it was done.

Sometimes people for whom life had become a total nightmare – whose personalities seemed taken over by alien powers confronted Jesus; indeed, they seem to have had a kind of inside track on recognizing him, knowing who he was and what he’d come to do. He’d come to stop the nightmare, to rescue people, both nations and individuals, from the destructive forces that enslaved them.

So whether it was shrieking demons, or simply whatever diseases people happened to suffer from, Jesus dealt with them, all with the same gentle but deeply effective authority. This is how Mark begins to tell us both about how Jesus became so popular so quickly and of how the course of his public career, pointed unavoidably to its dramatic conclusion.

There is no doubt that Jesus quickly attracted huge crowds, and that his authoritative healings were the main reason. That in itself would have been threatening to the authorities; but, there was more. Jesus had joined in a struggle against the forces of evil and destruction,
forces that still exist in the world today. Jesus came to be the human bridge or ladder across which people could climb to safety. And in the process, he himself paid with his own life – the price of this saving authority, Christ on the Cross, a human bridge with outstretched arms carrying people from death to life; that was simply part of the integrity of his healing action which now stretches to eternity. The demons had their final shriek at him as he hung on the cross, challenging and mocking for the last time the validity of his authority. On the cross he completed the healing work he began that day in the synagogue.

When the church learns again how to speak and act with the same authority, we will find both the saving power of God unleashed once more and with it a similar opposition from the forces of darkness. Similar, but not the same. The demons recognised Jesus, and knew he had come to defeat them once and for all. They can still shriek, but since Calvary they no longer have authority. To believe this is the key to Christian testimony, and saving action in the world, that despite its frequent panic and despair, the world has already been claimed by the loving authority of God in Jesus.

So to return to Leprosy Day & Homelessness Sunday… Well we know that Jesus heals and since my childhood great steps have already been made to bring a cure for the crippling disease of Leprosy, although it is far from being eliminated. Homelessness on the other hand is different. We know that it sometimes results from mental health issues, including the breakdown of relationships, and addictions to alcohol, drugs and/or gambling. These can all lead to homelessness. Also we know that the greed of individuals, and poor decisions on house building, land usage, and social injustice can all be factors. Jesus has the necessary power in his own strength and person to heal individuals. We should continue to pray for God’s guidance, and give what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Remember, God has supplied the world with everything sufficient for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.

And so today our theme has been Jesus. There was never anyone like Jesus. He speaks the truth about God. He can meet your need; He can set you free. And if you allow him to work through you, you can help change the world.


Epiphany party 2018

Each year we hold a party in church for Praise & Play Children and all our younger church members including the families of children recently baptised.

There was food and drink, various games, and a surprise visit from Three Wise Men who came bearing gifts for the children.

A good time was had by all!


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