Where has the time gone? The weeks seem to fly by and Christmas is almost a distant memory.
I have just been prompted by a very patient editor that my monthly letter is overdue, and so I have pushed aside the piles of paperwork that I’ve been trying to file since before Christmas. As I was tidying up, I found an old parish newsletter from a previous church which we attended many years ago. The contributor had been travelling around Jamaica and found the following on the notice board in the Cathedral church of St. James in Spanish Town:
“Funny, isn’t it, how $20 looks so huge when you put it in the church offering plate and so small at the grocery. Funny, isn’t it, how generous one hour looks when you offer it to the services of God and His Church and so small when you want to play golf or watch a television show. Funny, isn’t it, how tough it is to read a chapter or two from the Bible and how easy it is to read hundreds of pages from a good novel. Funny, isn’t it, how we say we don’t know what to say when we pray and how we go on endlessly when visiting or on the phone with a friend. Funny, isn’t it, how we can’t seem to fit that church event into our schedule of events even though it was announced several weeks in advance, and yet we can always fit in the last minute social invitation. Funny, isn’t it .... or is it? - So it’s not! It just reflects our way of living these days. Mixed up priorities.”
Sadly the above seems to be the reality in many churches today. Many people have got out of the habit of attending church regularly, if at all. And others seem to be mainly ‘consumers’ rather than involved members of the Church. So perhaps the above can make us think about our priorities, too.
As a parish church, we follow the Diocesan model of ‘Growing in God’ and we are charged with trying to Grow Younger, Grow in Number, Grow in Depth and Grow in Influence – but we can only achieve this if we all play our part. In order to be a warm and welcoming Church community we need ‘all hands on deck’. And many of our recent events have shown that we can do it. We’ve had two wonderful Christmas Tree Festivals, well-attended Crib and Christmas services and our Benefice Café Church is going from strength to strength. Looking ahead to Easter, we are planning some exciting events with the Primary Schools in both Great Barton and Thurston and many others services and events are being planned for this year. You can find out what’s happening in the Thurston Newsletter, the Barton Messenger, on Facebook and on our website www.greatbartonandthurston.org.
Do get in touch if you would like to get involved, if you’d like to sing in the choir or if you can help in any way. And do look out for the notice about the Church Electoral Roll which is due for renewal this year. If you are part of the Church community or would like to be, do pop into Church and pick up a form.
We are your Parish Church and we would love to see you, and of course we are here for you if you are planning to get married, would like to have your children christened or are thinking about Baptism or Confirmation yourself, or if you have the sad task of arranging a loved one’s funeral.
You can find more information about these occasional offices on the website, or ring one of the numbers published elsewhere in this magazine.
We look forward to hearing from you. Yours in Christ,
Rev’d Manette Crossman, Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston Tel. 01284 787554 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org