Letters Podcast

Letter to parishioners, 30 April 2020

Listen to or read a letter from Revd Stephen to Parishioners, Thursday, 30 April 2020

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

This week I want to invite you to consider the message that is contained in one of the readings that will form part of Sunday’s service of Holy Communion. The reading comes from The Acts of the Apostles (chapter 2, verses 42–47). In that text we read of the awe and wonder of the early Christian community. And then comes the challenging bit – all who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.

Now, I am not naïve enough to believe that everyone is going to sell all that ‘stuff’ they have accumulated over the years and suddenly be overcome with a rush of altruistic generosity. In fact, we know that that early flurry of total philanthropic giving was very short-lived in the early Church – sadly! Still, human beings are ‘human’, and they do feel the need to accumulate and hoard as a way of building a safe and comfortable world for themselves. But, the harsh reality is that this world is not safe and comfortable for the vast majority. It is a dangerous place where there is great need even for the most basic things to sustain daily life. At the moment we are all feeling the inconvenience of not being able to have everything we want, but just imagine what it is like to never have everything not just that you might want but that you actually need, including food, water and shelter.

In recent days I have been contacted by two agencies who are working hard to combat the effects of the current pandemic in countries where resources are considerably less plentiful than they are in the UK. St Nicholas’ Church community in Swayfield have, for the last couple of years, maintained a link with Tearfund. Through that link they have been supporting the work of the Emmanuel Hospital Association in India. I have also been contacted by Christian Aid, an organisation that is also working hard to offer relief and support in areas of the world where such support is largely non-existent. By visiting their websites you could make secure donations on-line, or I can provide you with other contact details.

As well as inviting you to consider supporting those in need, I would like to continue urging you to engage with our Benefice website – An increasing number of people are using the resources we are making available on a daily basis, including people from America, Europe and India! So, however the message is getting around, be assured that we are spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, even during these days of lockdown.

As we continue to await the good news of our period of distancing and isolation being relaxed, I hope and pray that you are all keeping safe and well. Remember, God is good and God does love us all. Let us travel through these challenging days firm in the belief that both of those statements are unwavering truths for each and every one of us.

With all good wishes and every blessing to you all,

Revd Stephen