From the Rector - September 2018

Dear Friends,

September is effectively the start of a New Year for many people. It is always a busy month with every group and committee in churches, schools and many other organisations wanting to hold meetings so that they can make a ‘good start’.

Looking through the pages of this website (and the recent edition of the ‘Parish News’), you will read of all the things we are planning to do in the Benefice over the coming months. it can make you dizzy reading about it all... and thinking about Christmas — well that will immediately set you in a spin!

So what is it with all this ‘busyness’? Why are we planning all these activities? And who are they for? As is so often the case, simple enough questions don't lead to simple answers. Is all this for the benefit of the congregations within our Benefice...? Well, yes! We will enjoy taking part in all the things that are planned for the coming months, whether it be a Harvest Festival, a Christmas Carol Service, Messy Church, Bible Study... But we are not planning these things just for our own benefit. We are planning them for the benefit of friends and neighbours, and members of the Benefice who we don't even know — yet. We are seeking to invite people into the Church fellowship. Why? Because our church is something that we value; it is important to us and helps us in our lives, and so we want others to benefit from that, just as we do. We want to travel with other people on a shared journey of discovery, and the sharing of that journey with other people in our church is one of the most important things that we as a church can do.

So the question you should ask yourself as you read through the events of the coming months is not really: ‘Do I want to come to that?’ It is rather: ‘Who am I going to invite to come with me to this or that event?’ By approaching things from this angle we start to engage in a fundamental activity of the Church — mission.

For the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed Messy Church and Bible Study in my list above! Starting in September I will host a bible study in the Rectory - “The Text This Week" — on Thursdays at 7:30pm, during term-time. Everyone is welcome and you don't have to commit to attending each week. The idea is that we will explore the text for the coming Sunday (over a glass of wine or cup of tea...) - not only will it help you understand and dissect the readings, but it will support my sermon prep!

Also, following an incredibly successful Children’s Activity Week, Anna & l have decided that now's the time to explore “Messy Church”. This will be held on the 4th Saturday of the month (except December & August) in Semley School Hall. We will need volunteers for this please... it doesn't need to be a monthly commitment if enough come forward —— but people to make refreshments and support activities would be very welcome! Please speak to Anna or myself for more details.

Yours,

Richard