Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vicar loses Pony Tail

After this mornings service the Vicar had his Pony Tail surgical removed by hair dresser Pauline. His wife gave the final blow as the the Pony Tail was severed.

So far £895 has been raised so far.............can you add to this?





Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vicar to lose pony tail!

St John the Baptist Wadworth has been in existence since at least 1180. However there are many features that suggest the church was more likely around in Saxon times. Either way the church is important part of the History of the Doncaster area.

The best way to keep a church building maintained and repaired is to keep it open and alive with use! Our ancestors obviously did not need the toilet as often as us in modern times so toilets were never put in churches. Neither did our ancestors seem to worry too much about disabled access.

We are currently raising money to put a toilet in church and also improve disabled access.

The toilet will be an eco-friendly trench design involving lots of worms.

To raise money I hope you will sponsor me to cut off my pony tail. If you want me to shave my head then help me reach my target of £1500.
Please give via this link
http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/alunprice

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christingle Cancelled

Due to the weather, access to St Katherine's Church Loversall is very difficult. Tomorrows Christingle Service is therefore canceled and will be arranged for another date.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Comfort of the Nativity

We find the nativity scene a comforting place, a familiar picture. A woman gives birth to a child as women have been doing since time began. Joseph has witnessed that birth and there is nothing different about it, unless it be that it occurred in abject circumstances, in a cave in which animals are kept in cold weather. Joseph has had his dreams, he has heard angelic voices, he has been reassured in a variety of ways that the child born of Mary is none other than the Awaited One, the Anointed, God’s Son. But still belief comes hard. The labour of giving birth is arduous, and so is the labour to believe. Mary has completed this stage of her struggle, but Joseph still grapples with his.
The most prominent figure in the scene is Mary. Orthodox Christians call her the Theotokos: God-bearer or Mother of God. Her quiet but wholehearted assent to the invitation brought to her by the Archangel Gabriel has led her to Bethlehem, making a cave at the edge of a peasant village the centre of the universe. He who was distant has come near, first filling her body, now visible in the flesh.
We see angels who are worshiping God-become-man. Though we ourselves are rarely aware of the presence of angels, they are deeply enmeshed in our history and we know some of them by name. This momentous event is for them as well as us.
The three wise men who have come from far off, whose close attention to activity in the heavens made them come on pilgrimage in order to pay homage to a king. A king who belongs, not to one people, but to all people, not to one age but to all ages. The wise men represent the world beyond the Jews.
Then there are the shepherds, the simple people summoned by angels to respond to Christ’s birth. Throughout history it has in fact been the simple people who have been most uncompromised in their response to the Gospel, who have not buried God in footnotes. Not the wise men but the shepherds were permitted to hear the choir of angels singing God’s praise.
The portrayal of Christ’s birth is not without radical social implications. Christ’s birth occurred where it did, we are told by Matthew, “because there was no room in the inn.” He who welcomes all is himself unwelcome. From the first moment, he is something like a refugee, as indeed he soon will be in the very strict sense of the word, in Egypt with Mary and Joseph, at a safe distance from the murderous Herod.
We return at the end ,to the two figures at the heart of the nativity. Mary, fulfilling her destiny, has given birth to Jesus Christ, a child who is God incarnate, a child in whom each of us finds our true self, a child who is the measure of all things. It is not the Messiah the Jews of those days expected — or the God we Christians of the modern world were expecting either. God, whom we often refer to as all-mighty, reveals himself in poverty and vulnerability. Christmas is a revelation of the self-emptying love of God.
In our culture, a sense of the presence of God is increasingly rare, and many people see Christ as a long-dead, myth-shrouded teacher who lives on only in fading memory. Yet even skeptics celebrate Christmas, at least in a limited way. The problem of miracles doesn’t intrude, for what could be more usual than birth? If Jesus lived, he was born, and so with little or no faith in the rest of Christian Understanding we can celebrate his birth whatever our degree of faith. Perhaps in the end this feast will lead you back to faith in all its richness. Will you be rescued by Christmas?
If you feel you have been rescued by Christmas and have questions, we are running the “Y” course again in January. If you are interested then either ring the Vicarage or email me on fatheralun@hotmail.com.
Alun

Monday, November 1, 2010

Creation, Harvest and other matters...

As I write, we have just had a very successful Harvest time at church, involving Wadworth School, Wilsic School and Loversall Nursery. It was a community event with over 500 people in church over the 4 days. Many thanks to all those who helped in the preparation, the taking part and distribution of food afterwards.

During this Harvest I felt moved by God to reflect on God’s gifts to us, but also, by extension, what our response to God’s gifts should be in our worship. Through the Christian year we don’t have a specific focus on Creation and our response to God’s gifts to us. Bible readings direct our sermons in the direction of Creation or Thankfulness but it is just at Harvest and the other odd Sunday through the year.

Originally an Australian idea, that has caught on in other parts of the world; is to designate a given 4 week period during September or October to a Creationtide season. This seems an eminently good idea to me, during which we can incorporate the traditional Harvest Sunday but also allows the theme for the words and prayers we say in church to be around Creation for a 4 week period. More pray and planning is required before this becomes a reality but I would welcome people’s views around the idea of a Creationtide Season.

There were other promptings that came my way during Harvest and thinking around Creationtide. These were that the whole church’s activity should reflect a reverence and care for creation. Others churches have done this by becoming “A Fair Trade Church” and by thinking about the environment through the “Shrinking the Foot Print” campaign

Becoming a Fair Trade Church means committing to use only Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits for all services and meetings in church and to move towards using Fair Trade products e.g. fruit wherever possible.
There is also a requirement to have Fair Trade stall in church and to promote Fair Trade during Fairtrade Fortnight and through the year when ever possible.

The “Shrinking the Foot Print” campaign makes the church think about how it interacts with its environment but also includes some concrete plans by the national Church as an organisation:

• Carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020
• Annual carbon and energy reports for all parishes and dioceses by 2016
• All church buildings to have carbon footprints calculated and recommendations made by 2012
• Advice for all parishes on choosing green energy tariffs by 2010
• ‘Eco-twinning’ between UK and developing world parishes, faced with early effects of climate change
• New Climate Justice Fund offering aid to churches in the developing world

During the next few months I would welcome your comments about the above as we think as a Church about our day to day interaction with God’s Creation.

Alun

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September Musings

Summer holidays are over and minds inexorably start to think about Christmas! I guess Tescos and the other supermarkets will soon have lots of Christmas stuff to sell. But hang on minute or several, there is 4 months to go before Christmas, at church we have many an event before we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. So what’s occurring…….

Well September is a month packed with goodies and we start on Sunday 5th September with a morning service (9:30 Wadworth) focusing on the World Church and in particular to those Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith, while this sounds like a dry subject, come along and hear some of the brave stories of faith from around the world. Afterwards please join us as we write letters to those imprisoned for their faith in Jesus.

In the afternoon at 3 PM (Loversall), we have our monthly All Age Sunday School when we continue our series of “Who were they?” by looking at who was Joseph? Come along, shake a tambourine, bang a drum, learn who Joseph was, and even have a drink and biscuit afterwards.

On Thursday 9th September we start 4 days of when the church is open as part of a national initiative called “Heritage Open days”. We have 2 fascinating churches in the parish, come and look at the history in your midst.

Both services On Sunday 12th will focus on our Christian heritage, at 3 PM (Loversall) we have a very traditional service with a sung Evensong and Communion. The ladies who sing at Weddings have been practising so we will be admirably led vocally with Ted Wetton playing on the organ. At this service we will also celebrate St Katherine, some of you will realise this is a bit early but I thought it would make a splendid occasion.

A new house group will start on Tuesday 21st September 7.30pm at the Vicarage. We will be following a course about “What’s so Amazing About Grace” All are welcome to join. Details from Jane or Alun.

We finish September on the Sunday 26th with the 9:30 service (Wadworth) devoted to “Back to Church Sunday”. What’s all this about you may ask? Well for various reasons some people stop coming to church, this Sunday is focused at particularly on those people who want the opportunity to return.

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, it takes the son a long time before the son realises he would be better off with his family. Some times it takes awhile for us to realise we have Prodigal Hearts and really want to return to worshiping God but that journey back, even if it is just up the road or up the hill, can be difficult

If you have a Prodigal Heart, one that yearns to find out there is more to life, one that recognises there a God but does not know how to respond,, this could be your moment, follow the urges of your Prodigal Heart, come to church, come to worship God, we will help you, God will help you.

The service will be very user friendly, so if you have stopped coming then please come along. If you know someone who has stopped coming then bring them along with you. We want you back! Let your Prodigal Hearts guide you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Robin Hood in reverse

In the recent Budget, Overseas Aid was one budget that was left uncut. However you may be staggered to know that more money leaves poor countries than they receive in aid, investment or debt cancellation. The techie term is ‘illicit capital flight’ and the numbers are staggering. The European Network on Debt and Development puts the figure between $500 and $800 billion a year – one dollar from us to them, seven dollars back.

It leaves governments of poor countries without the means to pay for basic services, like clean water, primary schools and basic healthcare. Money also leaves poor countries through corruption and criminal activity - that probably accounts for about 40%.

But it’s the rest – the 60% of money flowing out of poor countries illicitly via tax dodging by unscrupulous businesses operating internationally.

Multinational companies are really good at finding new ways to make money – that's what they are there for. But some go to unethical, even illegal, lengths.

By reporting just a fraction of the profits they make in poorer countries, and hiding the true amounts offshore, these unscrupulous businesses reduce their tax bills – and cost the developing world billions.

However, the cloak of silence under which so many corporations are able to operate means billions of dollars leave developing countries without anyone noticing.

Some of the world’s largest and richest corporations are investing in some of the world’s poorest countries, reaping the benefits of world high prices in commodities, cheaper labour and access to raw materials. And yet poor countries aren’t sharing in the wealth and profits generated by these companies.

In just one form of tax dodging – trade mispricing – the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose members are the world’s richest economies, puts the cost to the developing world at at least $100 billion.

To put a stop to tax dodging by unscrupulous multinational companies - there needs to be greater transparency about how much profit, and tax, multinational companies pay in the countries that they operate in. Christian Aid has started a campaign called “Trace the Tax” to raise awareness of the problem.

One way to do increase tax transparency this is to change accountancy laws to make country-by-country tax reporting a legal requirement.   Country-by-country tax reporting would mean that every company has to announce how much profit it makes, and how much tax it pays, in each country that it does business in. It would stop money being taken out of poor countries like Zambia and poured into rich tax havens such as Switzerland.

Greater transparency of companies’ tax payments will give poor country governments the ability to ensure companies pay what they owe. It will help them clamp down tax dodging. And greater tax revenue will mean more money to spend on basic services that will transform and even save people’s lives. There is:

Enough to reach the UN millennium development goals several times over.
Enough to save the lives of 350,000 children aged five or under every year.
Almost twice the amount poor countries receive in international aid.

Please add this campaign to your prayers.

Alun

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This summer will you Blow the Whistle... on Persecution?

This summer the world will be watching. 32 teams in 8 groups, 64 matches in 10 stadiums but only one winner. By the time you read this the World cup will be well under way. But in some countries fans won't get a chance to follow their team.
North Korea, Algeria and Nigeria all appear on Open Doors list of 50 countries where persecution of Christians is hardest. What is Open Doors you may ask?
The ministry of Open Doors began in 1955 when God called a young Dutchman to act on the basis of Revelation 3:2: "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die." He went to Poland and discovered a church under threat behind the Iron Curtain, and desperately longing for the Word of God.
So Brother Andrew became God's Smuggler, taking suitcase after suitcase of Bibles to the persecuted church, facing great danger, but determined to bring encouragement and hope. He has never forgotten the words of one believer: "Your presence here with us is worth more than your ten best sermons."
Right now millions of Christians are at risk of persecution around the world. Open Doors is active in around 45 countries, supplying Bibles, leadership training, Scripture-based literacy programmes and support for Christians suffering for their faith. And they want to continue to encourage the church here in the UK to play its part: that means not only responding to the needs of the persecuted church, but also learning from their experience of what it means to follow Jesus.
Just to highlight what is going on in these 3 countries playing in the World Cup. This is the current state of play for those Christians living in North Korea, Algeria and Nigeria.
NORTH KOREA has a population of 23.9 Million and is the most hostile place on the
planet for Christians, up to 70,000 Christians are held in labour camps.

Kim Jong-il’sregime controls everything. In September 2009 Kim Jong-il called a ‘100-day battle’ to strengthen the economy. Everyone had to work actively for the state. Anyone found on the street without a valid reason was sent to a labour camp. The North Korean regime especially targeted secret Christians. They have arrested and tortured Christians, reportedly using some for testing biological or chemical weapons.

NIGERIA (NORTH) has a population of 154.7 Million Twelve northern states in Nigeria follow Shariah (Islamic law). There have been repeated outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence killing many people.

More than 100 Christians were killed during 2008. In November, violence in the city of Jos saw six pastors killed, 40 churches destroyed and 369 Christians seriously injured.

In March this year Muslim Fulani herdsmen with machetes attacked three Christian villages near Jos, leaving over 300, mainly women and children, dead.

ALGERIA has a population of 34.9 Million. Evangelical Christians are still seen as a
danger to the country. Persecution actually decreased in 2009 after international
pressure following the closure of a number of evangelical churches, but many church leaders believe persecution may increase once international attention lessens.

In December, 50 Muslims stopped Christians from attending a Christmas
service and threatened to kill the pastor in protest at a new church building in their
neighbourhood.

If you want to know more about Open Doors speak to myself or Jane Redden or go to www.opendoorsuk.org/blowthewhistle to watch a film you will not see on SKY, ITV or BBC this summer.

Our fellow Christians need our help please pray for them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vicarage Garden Party

Come along to the

Vicarage Garden Party

Vicarage Drive, Wadworth

Saturday 19th June 2010

to be opened at 2.00 pm by Wadworth May Queen

Church open for tours from 12:00

Bring your favourite Teddy to join the Picnic – you could win a prize!!

Stalls include

Cakes, Bric-a-Brac, Books, Tombola, Games, Raffle, Lucky Dip.

Refreshments including:

Strawberry Cream Teas

Admission 50p

Friday, May 28, 2010

Taxing Matters!

As I write this we have a new government. A Coalition government! Whether you are happy or sad at the result is not going to change what occurs over the next few years. One thing that is for certain in my view, is we will need to pay more tax in one form or another.

Tax has always been an emotive issue, as far back as the idea was conceived! Even in the time of Jesus 2000 years ago, Tax was a sensitive issue, the Roman’s taxed their conquered territories to pay for the lavish lifestyles of the imperial court in Rome.

Jesus annoyed a lot a people, largely because he stood up against hypocrisy and the abuse of authority. Jesus' enemies kept watching him closely, because they wanted to hand him over to the Roman governor. So they sent some men who pretended to be good. But they were really spies trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong. The spies said to him,

"Teacher, we know that you teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. Tell us, should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?"

Jesus knew that they were trying to trick him. So he told them,

"Show me a coin." Then he asked, "Whose picture and name are on it?"

"The Emperor's," they answered.

Then he told them,

"Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God."

Jesus' enemies could not catch him saying anything wrong there in front of the people. They were amazed at his answer and kept quiet.

So what belongs to God?

I think we owe God enough time and space each day for prayer, meditation, contemplation, so that we are always in communion with God. We owe God (and ourselves) a prayerful contemplative spirit. Many of us are on roller coasters of job, busyness, compulsive activity that do not allow us the time for God that we need, and God deserves. Many of us need to get off our own roller coasters.

Listen to God in Isaiah: "I am the Lord; there is no other." God wants to be at the centre of our lives. We need to spend a lifetime naming and rooting out of our lives the subtle idolatries that keep us from God.

I think God wants us to have a passion regarding our relationships -- our families, our co-workers and neighbours -- the stranger with whom we are not supposed to have eye contact.

We owe God to live in a spirit and posture of praise and thanks. All is gift -- all is grace. All has come to us freely from God. With the Old Testament psalmist, constantly we should praise God for life. St. Paul begins his letters with prayers of praise for the people that he worked with, and subsequently wrote. Each person in our lives, even difficult people, is a blessing, a grace. God deserves praise for these gifts. In fact, it would be good if we let people know how grateful to God we are for them.

What is God's? I do think God wants us to become holy. What is holiness? It is : prayerfulness, a discerning spirit, a critical awareness, a passion for relationships and communion, servant hood toward each other and the world, a reconciling spirit.

In holiness, let us give to God what is God's.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birthdays, a concert, a very long cycle ride and 10 days of prayer

May promises to be a busy month with Birthdays, a Concert, 10 days of prayer and ten days of cycling as we see the launch of our “Give a Penny to Spend a Penny Appeal”.

From 1st May to 13th May, Church Warden and keen cyclist, Duncan MacKenzie, is going to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for Wadworth Church! He will cover a 1000 miles in 13 days.

“IRON MAN” Duncan says
"We had one pinnacle blown down onto the roof and there are other restoration works needed now. Not only that but we would like to put in a toilet and give better access to the church for all. This costs money. How about sponsoring me a penny a mile?"

You can give by seeing Duncan or going to
http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/duncanmackenzie

Also in aid of the Church Restoration Project, we have a concert on the 8th May at 7:30 PM in St John the Baptist Wadworth by Tickhill & District Male Voice Choir. Please come along it should be a good evening.

Now birthdays come and birthdays go, but May is always a good Birthday month in the Vicarage with both me and Jane being May babies! This year the vicar hits the BIG 50. The other big birthday in May is the Churches’ Birthday which we celebrate at Pentecost.

Pentecost, when God sent the Holy Spirit afresh on the Apostles in Jerusalem with a force and power which kick started the Church and propelled the belief in Jesus Christ as God’s son and saviour of the world from just a few followers in Jerusalem to 2000 years later, a third of the population of the planet, several billion people.

We celebrate Pentecost on the 23rd May this year. The previous ten days we are answering the Bishops of Sheffield call to 10 days of prayer for a renewal of vision, resources and blessing on the churches in our area.

Locally we are answering the call to prayer in a number of ways and events which are given later in the magazine. I would like to call you attention to one or two of them now.

Since Pentecost in 2008 I have felt God asking us as a Parish to focus on the book of Acts and we have done this by reading through and studying the Acts in our afternoon services. During the week of prayer we shall be using Acts as our theme for worship.

We have a total of 7 events in the 10 days, starting on Ascension Day on the 13th May. Throughout the 10 days we shall add different pictures about the events in Acts at each service building to Pentecost Sunday where we can see the whole story of Acts in Art.

In particular on the evening of the 18th May we shall have a prayer workshop, with different ideas to help people pray. This will include different pictures to help people reflect further on the stories and events in Acts. During the evening we shall have short prayers and reflective music to assist people in their prayer. Basically you can come and do your own thing and explore different ways of praying. So even if you don’t normally come to church then come along an explore with us. People can come and go through out the evening as there will be natural breaks for people to leave discreetly.

On Wednesday the 19th May we are taking the prayer on to the streets of the Parish with a prayer walk around Woodfield Plantation, you can either pray your own prayers or cards will be provided. We will be meet on Wellington Road at 6:30 PM.

On Friday night at St Katherine’s Loversall we are going to a have service with a difference, again based round the book of Acts. If you think church is boring and not for you, then come along and see how different a church service can be but still retain our Christian Heritage.

So come along and help us pray for Renewal of Vision, Resources and Blessing.

Alun

Friday, April 9, 2010

He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Jesus' death and burial are carefully documented. Jesus is actually dead. Jesus' disciples are sure of it. They have seen the soldiers finally pierce his side so that water and blood run out. They have handled his lifeless corpse. They have anointed it and wrapped it carefully and laid him in a tomb blocked by a heavy stone. The Gospel writers give us this detail so that we can know with certainty that Jesus' resurrection is no error, no mistaken identity, no fluke.
It is no wonder then that the disciples were frightened (in the upper room together), running away from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. They were down cast, tired, weary and frightened. Their leader, Jesus was dead, horribly and painfully executed. We, who known what happened, approach Easter differently. If you are like me, Easter is eagerly anticipated, there is no apprehension, just joy as we celebrate the Resurrection.
However, we can use how the disciples responded to a dawning understanding of what was happening around them to good effect in helping our own confidence in our faith as we live our life.
The empty tomb at Easter reminds us that nothing is able to separate us from God's love — not even death. So many of us find absence difficult, yet the fact that Jesus was not present led some of the disciples “to see and believe”.
Thomas on the other hand, reminds us that it is ok to wrestle with our own personal faith, to have doubts ,to seek, but unlike for Thomas, absolute proof 2000 years later is an unattainable truth. The disciples at the tomb believed because there was nothing in the tomb, Jesus was missing. Thomas believed because he could see and feel the holes in Jesus's flesh. What convinces us, emptiness or presence?
Faithful disciples travelling from Jerusalem to Emmaus had just seen the Lord. Before they recognised Jesus, they had been just as despondent as their Jerusalem counterparts, who were hiding in a locked room. The faithful Emmaus friends ran immediately back to Jerusalem to break the pall of despair: "Jesus is alive!" While they were speaking, the living Lord appeared to confirm that their faith had not been in vain.
The weary faithful travellers on the road to Emmaus remind us that in our weariness we find Jesus there, at the table, breaking bread with us. We find Jesus in the most unexpected places.
Through the Sundays of Easter, let us use the stories of resurrection to remind us of our faith and that we belong to a cloud of witnesses that grows every year.

There continue to be many despondent disciples hiding behind locked doors, waiting for an encouraging word, waiting for some way to know that their faith has not been in vain. The Easter season is a time for us to encourage one another with words of faith and testimony: The Lord has risen indeed! Alleluia!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Give a Penny to Spend a Penny Appeal Launched

1000 miles in 13 days

From 1st May to 13th May, Church Warden and keen cyclist, Duncan MacKenzie, is going to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for Wadworth Church!

Duncan says
"We had one pinnacle blown down onto the roof and there are other restoration works needed now. Not only that but we would like to put in a toilet and give better access to the church for all. This costs money. How about sponsoring me a penny a mile?"

You can give by going to
http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/duncanmackenzie

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mothers’ Union News!

NEW VENUE
Mothers’ Union meet the second Thursday of every month at 7.15pm. From April the 8th meetings will take place in the Parish Room at St John’s church Wadworth. The meeting is a way of keeping up to date with various activities, both in this parish, and further afield. There is usually a speaker…the topics being varied and interesting. Please contact Miriam Taylor 01302 854291 if you would like more details.

NEW EVENT
Starting in may the Mothers’ Union will be holding an informal “Coffee & Chat” for pre school children and their parents or carers…The meetings will be held in the community centre at Wadworth, between 9am and 11am The first one will be on Wednesday May 26th and then monthly on the last Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Y ?

We are well into Lent now and many of you will have, as is tradition, given something up for Lent. However, Lent is also a time for reflection and questions. Life can often seem beyond belief sometimes, doesn't it? Totally outside our control or ability to understand. So we keep our heads down and keep moving. So much so that many struggle with any concept of a God who can be really known.

But supposing - just supposing - there is a bigger picture. One that made sense of all we think we know already. One that could help us fulfil our deepest longings. Could there be more outside the frame, a bigger picture you've never seen? Is it possible the 'God' who many call on when things go wrong might really exist? And could this even be the key to making sense of everything else? Now many have a deep faith and a personal relationship with God, but many do not. Even the faithful have questions, in fact a questioning faith is a strong faith in my view.

During Lent we are running a course which helps reflection on life’s bigger questions. It is calls the Y Course, and it runs for eight weeks tackling the questions that really seem to occur again and again

Is there more to life than this?
If there's a God what could he be like?
If Jesus was so good why was he executed?
What happens when we die?
Can anyone really know what God is like?
Why so many religions and so much suffering?

A shape like the letter Y was used centuries ago to symbolise God. And The Y Course recognises that life's great issues cannot be addressed on a human level alone. The Y course carefully, but with great insight and often humour, takes the reader on a journey of discovery of the clues that reveal that there is definitely more to life than this!

Come along, be yourself there'll be no embarrassment through being asked to do anything strange or religious. It should be a stimulating experience. Enjoy a thought-provoking talk on a big issue – followed by a lively discussion in a small group. Everyone is free to participate in the discussion or if they prefer simply to listen. Each participant is free to express their opinions, doubts or questions ; we do insist that everyone questions and views must be treated with respect and try to ensure that no one hogs the discussion!

The first session is Tuesday 2nd March at the Vicarage, so come along!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wadworth Tower

Just discovered that the tower at Wadworth Church is one of only 5 from Sheffield diocese (the others are Conisborough, Fishlake, Sprotborough, Thorne and Tickhill) that make it into total of 221 recognised "Great Church Towers of England" in a book published in 132 by FJ Allen. Not a lot of people know that!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Parish Changes - An Update

Early January saw sudden snow falls which plunged most parts of the country into chaos. How one of the most complex and sophisticated societies could be brought to a halt by something as small as a snow flake should make us all think. Small things that come in great numbers can cause much chaos, whether it is the little pig flu virus or the small delicate snow flakes.

One of the victims of the weather was the first of the new mid week services at St Katherines. This was a shame but we re-arranged for a later date in the month. Some of you may be wondering what effects the changes we made to service times and strategy as we started to implement “Towards a Mission Shaped Parish”.

Compared to previous years, the first 3 months saw higher attendance if all services were included and this was with a snow hit carol service. The number of communicants were lower but only returning to numbers common a few years a go. Most pleasing were the high number of people attending church who do not normally attend.

Numbers of course, do not paint the whole picture and it has been very sad that some of the congregation find the 9:30 service too early to be able attend. The PCC was asked to consider a time between 9 and 10 am and opted for 9:30 on the advice of those receiving and giving lifts. Why it was OK one week but not later, I do not understand, particularly when the same people managed to make 9:30 services at St Katherines. Clearly the journey between Wadworth and Loversall is more than one mile in peoples hearts and minds.

Given the levels of persecution that some Christians in the world face, times of service seem to be futile points of conflict. When people walk miles to attend services, the distance of a mile should be a humbling distance. Given that in some parts of the world, members of a congregation are missing not because they cannot have a service at their time and place, but because they are in jail, hospital or murdered for their faith.

I also need to slay a few myths that are circulating about the reasons why we are implementing a “Mission Shaped Parish”. The document that was discussed by PCC can be read for yourself either by downloading a copy or by requesting one from me in writing.
Myth 1: I have heard it said that the changes have been made because we need to save money. THIS IS NOT CORRECT
Myth 2: The Vicar is too lazy to do 2 services on a Sunday morning. Of all the accusations this seems the most ridiculous. Those who know me know that the least of my sins is laziness. SO THIS IS NOT CORRECT EITHER
Myth 3: The Vicar intends to close St Katherine church. This cannot be further from the truth, the changes have been undertaken to sustain St Katherine and make services more accessible to greater parts of the community.

I have no regrets over the changes that have been implemented, I am disappointed in the behaviour of some members. All I will say is that come and join us in the many services that still take place at St Katherines and help us tell the stories of Jesus to new people.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow, toilets and other things

The heating is now working very well at St John's

The week has been very disrupted by the snow this week. We had to cancel the Epiphany service on Wednesday. We will arrange another mid week communion towards the end of January.

Many still turned out to clean out the area behind the organ and the at the back of church. I can now for the first time see how a toilet might fit into church. We also now have extensive storage space behind the organ.

The probation service have made very good progress in the first week but there is extensive scafolding in church.