Thought of the Week - 10th July 2024



“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you

with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

 

Hello Everyone! We hope you’ve had a good week and that you and your loved ones are all safe and well.

 

We have entered a time of momentous change, both in our nation and in our parish. With the landslide election of a Labour Government, lets pray for our new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, and our new Government.

In our parish, John and Camilla are preparing for their move at the end of the month, and Reverend Richard, having completed his curacy training, has announced his departure from the parish at the end of August. Richard will be going back to college to study for an MA in Theology in September. His final service will be Sunday 25 August. We wish Richard, Mel, Alice and Sophie well as they prepare for the move, and give great thanks for their time with us over the past three years.

So please pray for wisdom and peace for us all as we move into a time of change.

 

May God bless you and your loved ones in the week ahead.

With love and prayers from the Parish Ministry Team.


Good News for this Week


BENEDICT OF NURSIA. 480 - 547

 11 July is the day each year that the Anglican Communion, the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church commemorate Benedict of Nursia (AD 480 – AD 547), often known as Saint Benedict. He was an Italian monk, writer, and theologian. His main legacy, his Rule of Saint Benedict, contains a set of rules for his monks to follow, to help them to follow Christ and live in community. His Rule has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness which persuaded most Christian religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, Benedict's Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom.

 He was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, the modern Norcia, in Umbria. Benedict was sent to Rome to study but became disillusioned by urban academic life. Seeking to escape the great city, he left and spent 3 years living as a hermit in a cave near Subiaco. During these three years of solitude, Benedict matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, and at the same time he became known and respected; so much so that on the death of the abbot of a local monastery the community came to him and begged him to become their abbot. However, it turned out they wished they hadn’t because it seems they tried (and failed) to poison him.

Benedict left the monastery and founded 12 other monasteries in the region, and eventually, in 530 he founded the great Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, which lies on a hilltop between Rome and Naples.

 Benedict died of a fever at Monte Cassino in 547, aged 67.

With his life and work, St. Benedict exercised a fundamental influence on the development of European Christianity and culture that helped Europe to emerge from the period of chaos and violence that followed the fall of the Roman empire.

Benedict contributed more than anyone else to the rise of monasticism in the West. His Rule was the foundational document for thousands of religious communities in the Middle Ages. To this day, The Rule of St. Benedict is the most common and influential Rule used by monasteries and monks, more than 1,400 years after its writing.

In his Rule, Benedict refers to Scripture over 130 times, and echoes of the Gospels, the Epistles and Psalms are especially heard from start to finish. From the words of the Prologue, ‘Let us set out on this way with the Gospel for our guide’, to his exhortation at the end of his penultimate Chapter, ‘Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ’, his Rule constantly draws the reader’s attention towards Christ. Our love of Christ must come before all else (4:20).

Benedict regarded the corporate prayer and worship of the gathered community as ‘the work of God’ and took precedent over everything else (43:3). Chapter 4 is full of teaching on how to behave within a monastery, and that ‘the pure love of one another as of one family’ should be the monks ideal (72:8,9).

Care of the sick in the community has absolute priority because it is in them that Christ is truly served (36:2), and all guests received at the monastery should be welcomed as Christ (53:1).

With this foundation in Scripture, its focus on Christ, its practical wisdom and its pastoral sensitivity, it has much to say to modern Christians. Founded as it is on the Gospel, the Rule never grows old or out of fashion.


Bible Readings: Sunday 14th July 2024


IN YOUR PRAYERS THIS WEEK

  • our new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, and our new Government, that they will govern according to the values of the Kingdom of God
  • God's peace and justice in all war torn places of the world, but especially in Ukraine and Gaza
  • the bereaved
  • the sick, in mind, body or spirit; praying for  Bernhard Brouwer, recovering slowly from sepsis 
  • the children and staff of our Parish schools 
  • wisdom for our churchwardens and PCC, as we begin the process of finding a successor to John, and for God to bring us exactly the right person as our new vicar
    God to bless John and Camilla in their final weeks in the parish

Our Next Services



 14th July  21st July  28th July  
 Seventh Sunday of Trinity Eighth Sunday of Trinity Ninth Sunday of Trinity
    
St Mary's  8am Holy Communion

9.45am Morning Worship
 8am Holy Communion

9.45am Morning Worship
 8am Holy Communion

9.45am Holy Communion
    
St Peter's  10.30am Holy Communion 
    
St Paul's 11.15am Holy Communion  



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