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Richard on January 18th, 2018

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 21 January 2018.

Richard on January 12th, 2018

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 14 January 2018.

Richard on January 12th, 2018

A New Year Blessing

I was near the stairs in the steep stand at Colchester United’s stadium, when a man tripped and fell behind me; I was able to step into the aisle and block his fall. June and I were shopping in a town we hadn’t visited before, when we bumped into someone we hadn’t seen for years. Once I was hopelessly lost in a city centre, and just as I walked up to a bus stop, a bus arrived for my destination. Three tiny examples of being in the right place at the right time. You must have had those experiences too – and like me you can probably give lots of examples of being in the wrong place at the wrong time! If there’s one thing I would wish for, this New Year, it’s that I (and everyone else) would be in the right place at the right time; just where God wants us to be – just where we can do the most good, be the most help.

Ah, you might say, but all we can do is to start from where we are – and go where we feel we should. You’re right, of course, but the New Year is also a time when we can think about our decisions, our directions and our destinations. Surely you’re not wandering about in life aimlessly – so where are you aiming for? There’s only one way of knowing you’re on the right track – and that’s if it’s on the journey from where you are to where you’re going.

That might sound a bit trite, so let me put it another way. At any given moment, you cannot be where God wanted you – and yet at the same moment, you are exactly where God wants you. Surely, in all the years up to now, so many decisions have been made by us and others to shape our lives that we’re no longer following exactly God’s original perfect plan for us. But the essence of the Gospel is that God has come to us, to where we are, to lead us on. So his eternal plan for you and for me starts afresh every moment, from the very point we are at. Yes, the very place and moment you’re reading this.

The Bible is full of new beginnings – for nations; for people; for plans (such as Noah in Genesis 22; Israel in Exodus 12; the earth in Revelation 21). No-one and no situation is beyond God’s capacity to plan, or beyond his blessing. I’m so grateful to God that you and I are included in that!

So my prayer for 2018 is that we each take a good look around us at where we are in life, know that God accepts us right here, and know that he will lead us through the year. May you be assured that you’re always in the right place at the right time to be blessed by God.

Yours in Jesus

Richard on December 14th, 2017

To find Christmas service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 17 December 2017.

 

Richard on December 14th, 2017

Christmas Visitor

Last Christmas, June and I received a visit from a rather distant relative (in both senses!), whom we hadn’t seen for ages. She brought us a present, but the best present was herself – that she thought so much of us that she was willing to make the journey to come to us. We felt guilty for not having visited her, and for not visiting many people at all last Christmas. I may have the excuse of being quite busy, but don’t we all?

On the first Christmas, God showed his love for the world by sending His Son Jesus. God had promised hundreds of times in scripture that he would do that, and those who were waiting for Him expected that He would come as God and King – an earthly ruler. But they were certainly not expecting what actually happened! Jesus came as the most vulnerable of human beings – a baby – born not royally, but into a humble family, to a couple not yet married, in a minor outpost of the Roman empire, in a little town…. and was born in a barn. What a great come-down, you might say! What a powerful way of demonstrating His love for those who think they’re ‘the lowest of the low’ – and showing that absolutely everyone is worthy of a visit from him. And worth dying for, too.

I expect you’ll be planning to visit some friends or relatives over the festive season. They’ll no doubt be pleased to see you, and your presence will be worth more than your presents. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about leaving it so long since your last visit – just accept their thanks for making the journey, and have a good time whilst you’re there.

Christmas is also a good time for making the journey to God. There are lots of ways to do that, of course, including personal prayer at home; but determinedly making a physical journey to Church can make the point that it’s part of your spiritual journey – which shepherds, wise men and many millions of people have done for over two thousand years. If you do, to any or our many services, you know you’ll be welcomed; and don’t even think of feeling guilty about not having been with us for a while. But what should you bring? The Bible says that all things belong to God, so He certainly doesn’t need a present. You’re the one he loves, and loves to see. A reminder of the last verse of the carol ‘In the bleak midwinter’:

What shall I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise man, I would do my part –

Yet what can I give Him? Give my heart.

 

May you have a happy and blessed Christmas, in the company of those whom you love and love you.

Yours in Jesus,

Richard on December 7th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 10 December 2017.

Richard on November 27th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 3 December 2017.

St. Andrew’s Church Wormingford, supported by the ‘Friends of St Andrew’s Church’ are pleased to announce a concert in the Church on Saturday 2nd December at 7.30 p.m.

We are delighted to welcome Melinda Blackman, Sam Plackett and Ray Sams for what promises to be a memorable evening of entertainment with drinks and canapes, and we hope that you will be able to join us.

Tickets are £10 each (including drinks and canapes) and can be purchased in advance from Mike Crisp, or at the door on the night.

If you know you will be coming in advance, please let Mike know how many tickets you require on 01787 227325, to help plan seating and catering. Thank you.

Richard on November 22nd, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 26 November 2017.

 

Richard on November 16th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 19 November 2017.