A Letter from Fr Andy
As we head into autumn, our
thoughts turn to thanksgiving in many ways.
Our churches will have their Harvest Festivals in which we give thanks
to God for all he gives us and remind ourselves that, though we deserve
nothing, he gives us all we need and that everything comes from Him. Rightly too we consider those less fortunate
and, through local donations of foods and through the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal,
we share our blessings with those less fortunate.
At the end of October, we remember
and give thanks for those Christians who have lived and died. We celebrate the well-known Saints (All
Saints) of the church and, at All Souls, the saints; those people who don’t
have a special feast day of their own but occupy a special place in our hearts. Both Saints and saints have combined to leave
what we may, sometimes, take for granted.
These are the people who stood up for Christianity in difficult times;
people who built our churches; people who guided and influenced us. Without these people, what would the world,
the Church, and our churches be like? I
am not pretending the world, the Church, and our churches are perfect or that
the people we remember and celebrate were perfect: who is? However, they have left behind a legacy that
should not be ignored nor underestimated.
It is good to remind ourselves of
all they have done and all they have been to us and others. It is worth reflecting, too, on what we will
leave behind and on what influence we are having on the lives of others. In years to come when people think about us,
what will they remember? What kind of
world, Church, and churches will we have left?
What impact will we have had on the lives of others by our example and
our guidance? What kind of Christians
will people remember us as being?
I ask this last question because
there are many types of Christian. There
are “nominal” Christians – those who fill in the census or other forms of
paperwork that asks their religion and they put Christian and that is it; their
“Christianity” goes no further. Then
there are those who attend funerals, weddings, baptisms of friends and/or
family but nothing more. Some will be at
church for high days and holidays (Christmas, Mothering Sunday, Easter,
Harvest, etc.). There are those who will
be at church most Sunday mornings because that is what you do on a Sunday. Lastly, there are those who go to church to
praise God and give thanks for everything he has given us and then live out
their faith in their day to day lives. Perhaps
we should remind ourselves of what Jesus asks/expects of us.
I desire mercy not sacrifice (Matthew
Go into the world and proclaim the good
news to the whole creation
This is my commandment that you love one
another as I have loved you
Do this in remembrance of me (Luke
is clear then that we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist/Holy
Communion but that that should not be the only thing we do; worship alone is
not enough. Returning then to the types
of Christian I mentioned earlier, I make no judgement but pose these
Which type are
Are you content
with your type?
If you would
rather be a different type, what is stopping you?
If the last of
these, would you like to have a chat about it?
If so, then please contact me, or one of your local ministers.