Category Archives: Spirituality

Write yourself into the story – 15 May

On May 15th we are running ‘Write yourself into the story’, an opportunity to enter the world of a Bible story and respond creatively by describing what you experience through your senses, who you meet, what they say, how you feel. This will be a personal response and everyone’s will be different. There will be no obligation to read anything out but there will be a chance to discuss the experience either in a group or privately and to pray. Run by Lesley Shatwell and Stella Wiseman, ‘Write yourself into the story’ will be held at St Mark’s at 7.30pm on Tuesday, May 15th. Call Stella on 07854426297 for further details.

write yourself in poster v1

 

Leading your Church into Growth

EVERYONE is invited to be part of the training sessions for Leading your Church into Growth – an exciting programme that will help all the congregations in the parish to grow. It is practical, simple, transformational and fun. Please put these dates in your diary, make it a priority and come along:

Saturday 21st April at St Mark’s 10:00 – 15:30 (though Hannah thinks it may not take that long). We will have pizza for lunch.

At St George’s at 7:30PM:

1st May – Our Focus

22nd May – Our Plan

5th June – Our Culture

4th Sep – Our Calling

25th Sep – Our Journey

16th Oct – Our Heart

At all Churches:

13th Jan – Celebration Services

Lesley Crawley

Fridays in Lent

During Lent, as well as the Lent Groups, there will be the Friday lunchtime services at noon, this year, unfortunately, with no lunch.  The theme is taken from the Mission Agency ‘USPG’ and is about “All things are possible: exploring how faith can change the world”; the preachers are:

16/2       Bob Skinner – What does it mean to prosper?

23/2       Michael Hopkins – What does it mean to care for the environment?

2/3         Patrick O’Ferrall – What does it mean to love our neighbour?

9/3         Philip Simpkins – What does it mean to live in partnership with God?

16/3       John Edwards – What does it mean to fulfil our potential

23/3       John Evans – Summary

Fridays in Lent

Services for the Bereaved

At these three simple services we will be lighting candles to remember those who have died.

  • St John’s at 6:30pm on Sat 28th Oct,
  • St Mark’s at 11:00am on Sun 29th Oct and
  • St George’s at 4:00pm on Sun 29th Oct

Please stay for coffee and cake after the services.

If you would like a loved one remembered at one of these services please bring their name on a piece of paper to the service. For more information contact Lesley on 01252 820537 or revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org

Arts at St Mark’s

NEWS RELEASE

5th October 2017

 

Arts at St Mark’s as church holds inaugural arts festival

 

St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, is holding its inaugural arts festival over the weekend of October 20-22.

 

The festival, which will include a concert, a ceilidh, art exhibition, arts, craft and music workshop, and a sung service on Sunday morning, has been organised by a group of artists and musicians in the church who were inspired by the wealth of creativity in the parish.

The festival is open to all at no charge and among the workshops on offer on Saturday will be stone-cutting, working with clay, music and an opportunity to redraw the map of Hale in an art workshop.

There will be a concert on Friday evening at 7pm featuring organ music, a ‘Cajun Boogaloo’, Wildflowers choral group, and the rock-a-billy country band Fingersmith and the Rocking Thumbs, and on Saturday at 7pm there will be a ceilidh and a celebration of work from the daytime workshops.

The Sunday service at 11am will be almost entirely sung (including the sermon) and will take place in a church decorated with artwork from Saturday.

Licensed Lay Minister and musician Lesley Shatwell, one of the organisers, will be leading the Sunday service. She said: “I love all kinds of music, but since I have been licensed as a lay minister, I have been wanting to share the variety of religious songs, gospel music and folk hymns; and maybe to see if I could put them together into a completely musical service.

“Creativity was bubbling up throughout our parish and I am not sure who first thought, ‘We could have a festival to celebrate all of this’, but the idea took hold. People offered time and expertise, musicians looked through their repertoire to select the right pieces and suddenly, it is all taking shape very quickly. Admission to the concert is free but donations may be made in aid of parish funds and the century-old organ, known as ‘Emily’, which is in need of refurbishment.

For further details call 07592 571243 or visit http://www.badshotleaandhale.org

 

Reflecting on Art

 Over the August Bank Holiday weekend Alan and I always attend a Christian Arts and Music Festival called ‘Greenbelt’. The festival attracts people from all over the country to meet in a field in Northamptonshire, I think there were about 18000 of us this year. The festival inspires me and challenges me, it reinvigorates me and is the place where I most experience the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Come with us next year!!

This year I attended a workshop led by St Martin-in-the-fields which was all about reflecting on art. The piece that we looked at was ‘Christ before the High Priest’ by Gerrit van Honthorst.  In the centre is a lighted candle and to the left is a seated Caiaphas pointing his finger accusingly at Jesus, who is standing to the right of the picture, calm and composed. The text that the painting is based upon is found in Matthew 26:57-75.

As we reflected on the painting we were asked a series of questions and I found myself drawn to the image of Jesus, who was bearing so many false accusations and also bearing the anger of the people in the room. I know that I expect God to be able to bear my anger and put up with my false accusations. Particularly when I am tired and hurt I end up accusing God of not being there for me or not caring enough.

We were asked who we identify with in the picture and I found myself identifying with Jesus, as my experience is that people are often angry with me and I too have to bear false accusations. Is I looked at the calmness of Jesus in this situation I wondered whether this is a ministry that we sometimes have to offer to others…. The ability to bear the anger and false accusations of others whilst remaining calm and caring.

I found the experience profound and thought this workshop might be something that we can do in the parish. We might be able to reflect together on art and find that it moves us forward in our spiritual journeys. So I am hoping that I will be able to get a group together to do this in Advent. Perhaps it is something you are interested in? If so contact me – revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org or 01252 820537.

Lesley Crawley

Let God take the Strain

Lesley and I were recently given a  copy of Richard Coles’ book, Fathomless Riches, and in reading it I came across the following, recounting his experience of confession:

I told him about what had been going on, … and let rip about the foolishness and unkindness of some of the people I had to live with … “Go on” he said, I paused and thought and said: “I am not as kind as I thought I was, I’m not as brave as I thought I was, I’m not as clever as I thought I was, I’m not as honest as I thought I was”.  There was a pause and he said: “Oh, that’s good”.

It reminded me of all the times that I forget to let God take the strain; the times that I think I can do it in my own strength; that without me it would all fall to pieces.  And, of course, those are the very times that I find myself exhausted, and stressed, and when it feels as though the whole world is on my shoulders (which of course it is, because I have put it there).

Of course we all have our gifts, and should use them in God’s service, but it is when we forget God that things become overwhelming.

I was told a story by a wise old priest, which I still struggle to follow:

When monks are hoeing the cabbages, and there is one cabbage left, and the bell for chapel rings, should they put down the hoe and go to chapel, or hoe the last cabbage and rush to chapel?

Alan