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January 2020 Newsletter from Mark

28 December 2019

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Letter from our Rector, Mark:

New Year, New thoughts, New

Commitments.

January 1st always seems to take on a special significance – even if we don’t stay up to see

the New Year in. Somehow it seems like a new beginning; a time to make new commitments to

not fall into old habits, which is a good idea if some of those habits harm others or ourselves.

But by mid-January we have often forgotten the resolutions and gone back to the old

patterns, or we found out the mixture of fears or anxieties that have reinforced them for so

many years. The Christian New Year is not January but around December 1st! It is the

beginning of Advent – a time of hope and. anticipation not only for Christmas but for the

biggest hope of this year and every year – the coming Kingdom. We need God’s help and

grace to hear the message of angels, of peaceto all humanity, of knowing the joy of God with

us – God coming to us in order to save us that we may have a big enough perspective to see

beyond our own needs. I seem to have looked backwards rather than forwards! To December

rather than into 2020 and beyond. Or rather, I would see it as looking back to God’s loving

actions in the world which gives meaning and purpose to 2020 and the future. We work for

the Kingdom on the foundations of God’s presence and love through history. If we can

do that we can look forward in hope. This will be necessary for us as individuals but also for

our country as the world leaders continue to need wisdom (at least I believe they do!), as

the Churches need to trust in a God who is involved with his world and wants us to work

for transformation. One such sign is local churches considering support to a debt advice

service. Another is trying to ensure housebound people are visited more regularly.

Another is looking at how music and worship can develop. Small seeds, like mustard seeds,

can grow into symbols of hope. Let us hope there are many such seeds for our church,

town and country this year – living signs of God’s presence – through us. 

Mark.

 

News on the St Michael’s Community Rooms

project:

We are delighted to be able to announce that

there will be a public exhibition which will be open on Friday 17th Jan 7-8pm and Saturday January 18th from 9.00- 12.30 in the present St Michael’s Rooms.

We’re hoping as many people as possible will come (we aim to serve refreshments

throughout) to take a look, share perceptions, express concerns (any plan can be improved,

but all have to include compromises) and learn what will be happening next.

It is important to stress the Community aspect of the project. The Church is very thankful for

the public money that is going into the project. The Neighbourhood Plan saw the need for

Community Spaces. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) grants from the new developments

have been approved by District and Town Council. This is designed to be a project to be

a resource to the whole.