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The Parish of

St. Peter,

Bushey Heath

February 2018

 

From the vicar

An address for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018

Romans 8: 12-28

Despite being conscious of our ecclesiastical divisions we would do well to take something positive away from today and from the Week of Prayer in general rather than descend into the slough of despond through our inability to be reconciled. Divisions may be a reason for penitence when they are caused by our errors and wilfulness, but differences may also be a blessing when they are rooted in the life of faith. This is not just about making the best of a bad job, but making the most of the Holy Spirit’s influence upon us and moulding of us; recognising how God blesses us through our varied personalities and circumstances.

God allows to grow up within the Church various ‘charisms’ which are a significant tool for his work in the world and where they are understood aright – as a contribution to the unity of the Body of Christ and the furtherance of the Kingdom of God –  a joy to his people. For example there are many monastic charisms which serve God in different ways and which are expressed in terms of service, proclamation and prayer in the various orders, Benedictine, Franciscan, Dominican and so forth.

Many of us enjoy the Methodist charism of hymnody. Hardly a week goes by without the appearance of a ‘Wesley’ on the hymn list, expressing at the same time the intimacy and depth of faith in language which is both dignified and readily understood. Perhaps there is an Anglican charism too! We might offer a way of thinking about Christianity and living the faith which is rooted in ‘Scripture, Tradition and Reason’ reflecting the breadth of God’s revelation and our ability as human beings to understand and respond to it.

Interestingly this may provide an answer to a current problem within the youthful world of social media. Therein Christians are often accused of ‘cherry-picking’ and inconsistency in the use of Scripture because there are passages in the Old Testament, particularly in the books of the law, to which we do not adhere. Examples might concern sacrifices and associated rites some of which we may read about at Candlemas.

Such an accusation is based on woeful ignorance and is a sad indictment of parts of our educational system. It is based on the misunderstanding that our faith can be described,

a)     after the manner of a scientific text-book or an instruction manual or

b)    that Christianity is a religion based on precepts which were created in one place, by one person, at one time perhaps after the manner of Islam which is the particular interest of the day in the world of social media.

 

Christianity is based rather upon a living relationship with God, rooted in the Scriptures and in the Apostolic witness, not reducible to a religious code, but very much alive as Christians receive their charisms from God to suit his purpose in every age; as we ‘work out our salvation in fear and trembling.’ For this reason Christians refer variously to the teaching of Jesus and the Scriptures, and the teaching of the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers to discover the truth and to make sense of their own faith. The faith is not the product of ‘cherry-picking’ but rather the result of the Spirit working in the believer in many and various ways. Only by understanding this is it possible to know why some elements of the Old Testament were retained and some rejected.

Of course this is inherently risky and has led to many ecclesiastical errors and schisms over the centuries (which is why we are here), but what a joy it is that the Spirit has led us in particular ways – in his way – down through the years. Whilst lamenting our differences where these are part of our divisions may we also thank God for the different things he has given us and which we can share with each other to the glory of God.

 

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray for strong leadership within the Church of England so that together we may present a faithful witness to the nation and the world.

From the diary

Wednesday 7th February, 10.00am       MU Corporate Communion

                                             12.15pm       Funeral of the late Sybil French

Wednesday 14th February        Ash Wednesday                                                                      

            10.00am          Mass with imposition of ashes (modern rite)                             8.00pm                        Mass with imposition of ashes (traditional rite with hymns)

Friday         16th February, 8.00pm       Stations of the Cross

Wednesday 21st February, 8.00pm       Parochial Church Council in the Parish Hall

Parishes of the Society in North-West London

The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch

Thursday 22nd February, 8.00pm

Mass at St. Peter’s, Bushey Heath

Friday 23rd February, 8.00pm              Stations of the Cross 

From the registers –

Baptisms

31st December                 Teresa Jenkins and John Jenkins

Funeral

28th December                 June Doyle (aged 89 years)

Lent Study Booklet

The Additional Curates Society has produced a study booklet for Lent containing seasonal readings, reflections and prayers.  It is written by Joan Whyman and is entitled ‘Forgiven at the Cross’.  If you would like a copy priced £3-00 please speak to Fr. Andrew.

            Stations of the Cross 

Fridays in Lent at 8.00pm 

beginning on 16th February

 

Palm Crosses

Ash Wednesday falls on 14th February. Please return last year’s palm crosses by Sunday 11th February so that they can be burnt for ash.

Additional Curates Society Lent boxes

ACS works to support the provision of priests in ‘poor and populous parishes.’ If you wish to have a collecting box for the work of ACS these are available at the back of church. Many people take the opportunity to make a contribution at this time of year by putting money in the box when forgoing a meal or a treat during Lent.

Advertisements in ‘Together’

If you have appreciated reading the ‘Together’ periodical published by the Church Union on behalf of the Catholic Societies of the Church of England you might like to make a donation towards the cost of St. Peter’s Easter advertisement. Contributions support the publication of the paper and make a statement about our corporate life as part of the Richborough family of parishes. Donations please to Fr. Andrew.

St. Peter's Book Club

Join us every 3rd Sunday of the month for friendly discussions about classic and contemporary books. All welcome! Our next meeting will be on Sunday 18th February 7pm-8pm at the Parish Hall.

Cost £3 per meeting. Contact Dayner 07546 713220 or d.rowe2017@hotmail.com

Contact details:

Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.

Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).

Text a prayer request to our Prayer Line on 07939 379018. Private prayer will be offered for 2 weeks.

www.stpeterbusheyheath.org.uk