The Beacon -
This summer, “Teas at St. Lawrence’s” will start on 20 May and continue on Sundays to 16 September.
However, this cannot take place unless we have sufficient helpers. If you could help with serving the teas, providing cakes, or setting up and clearing away tables and chairs, please contact one of the churchwardens, Martha Ellison or Hilary Clark.
The cost of ingredient for cakes can be claimed, or given as a Gift Aid donation.
By the time that the April magazines arrive through our letter boxes, we’ll be near to or even perhaps past Easter Day, which falls early this year, on 1st April. The conjunction of Easter with April Fools’ Day has not gone unnoticed in the press, with various articles appearing as to how and when this happens, and no doubt various congregations will be attempting to “fool” their ministers, or vice versa, on Easter morning.
But what we’re celebrating at Easter, whilst something just as much outside of our ordinary experience as spaghetti trees and all of the other famous April Fool hoaxes, certainly isn’t a trick like them. We’re remembering Jesus’ resurrection, and how, three days after being cruelly put to death on the cross, he came back to life, appearing to his friends many times, and changing their lives.
It’s those changed lives that we think about in our church services during the rest of April and beyond, hearing stories of the early church and of how people who’d been so frightened after the crucifixion that they locked themselves into their rooms, then gained the faith and confidence to go out spreading the news that Jesus was alive, and continuing his work of bringing fullness of life to all. The amazing change in the way Jesus’ friends were able to live their lives, and the way in which others also came to believe in the resurrection, shows clearly that this wasn’t just a trick – many of these early Christians became martyrs for their faith, which surely wouldn’t have done if they’d known it was all a deception.
Jesus had defeated death and opened up new life to all who believed in him – and he continues to offer the same today, to so many who are trapped into diminished and incomplete lives, who exist in a kind of living death, rather than the full and joyous existence that God wills for us all.
We’re all aware of those whose lives must feel an unending struggle – refugees far from their homes and families; the homeless and hungry in our own society; those who suffer from chronic mental or physical health issues and who find it hard to get the support they need; those who are lonely and isolated, and many others. The church is increasingly becoming involved in projects to try to bring fuller, more meaningful lives to people such as these, and so continuing the Easter story in our own time.
So as we see the signs of newness around us this April, in spring blossom and flowers or lambs and chicks, let us give thanks for that, open ourselves up to the new life that God offers us, and then share that life with those around us. We end with a prayer for all who share the news of resurrection life with others:
Lord of life
We pray for all who bring your word of life
As a light to those in darkness,
For those who bring your word of peace
To those enslaved by fear,
For those who bring your word of love
To those in need of comfort.
Lord of love and Lord of peace,
Lord of resurrection life,
Through our lives
and through your power.
Rev. Catherine Downland-
Thursday March 15th
This was a brief meeting as it was followed by a meeting of the Team Council. The following points and decisions were made:
Anyone interested in the detail of the above can speak to one of the churchwardens or the PCC secretary Gay Russell.
A Team Council Meeting followed, led by the Archdeacon of Reigate Moira Astin and the Area Dean Kathryn Percival. This was attended by the Team clergy, churchwardens and others who had an interest. The point of the meeting was to discuss the current and future working arrangements of the Team noting that there would soon be 2 vacancies at St. Mary’s and at St. Luke’s. Group and Team structures were discussed and it was agreed to consult with our PCCs and congregations leading to another meeting in May to finalise a decision.
Rev. Tim Goode has accepted a new appointment and will be leaving St. Luke’s Whyteleafe.
His last service will be on April 15th: at St. Luke’s at 9.30am, and at Chaldon at 11.15am.
We wish him every success in his new post.