Monthly Letter to the Parish - October 2018
"Tea and Tissues", 4th September
Over twenty parents and some pre-schoolers joined us in church for refreshments and a chat after leaving their children at school for the first day of term. Our thanks go to those who helped and those who came - it was particularly good to welcome some parents who are new Avening residents.
"Queen Matilda and the Celebration Service, 15th September
Medieval costumes (and the odd stray Viking) filled the church for the service to celebrate the founding of our church by Queen Matilda. Some of our youngsters led us through a potted version of its history.
Below is an adapted version of the address given by Gerald South:
In the Old Testament story of Jacob's dream he saw a ladder stretching from earth to heaven. In biblical times that may well have made literal sense to people as the prevailing world view was of a three layered universe, with us in the middle layer and heaven as the upper layer. These days we have a very different perspective with a universe so vast that it takes billions of light years to traverse it.
Nevertheless the story still holds a symbolic resonance for many - life is not just surface deep, there is a 'beyond' which is metaphorically 'above' us. Some places are described as 'thin' - where we seem to be particularly close to the 'beyond'. For many of us this church is such a place, the walls are dripping with the prayers of centuries and the memories of countless baptisms, weddings, funerals and acts of worship: our mundane lives are brought into contact with the very depth of existence.
St Paul wrote to those in Ephesus, explaining what a Christian community should be like. He used the picture language of a building with the solid foundations of the wisdom of those who had gone before, and held together by Jesus of Nazareth, the one who shows us as much of the nature of our creator as we humans can take on board.
I recently saw this quote: 'Church is not somewhere I go, it is a community of which I can be a member'. All of us may consider ourselves members, and the church exists to serve the community in any appropriate ways that it can.
Central is the regular worship week by week which strengthens and encourages us for whatever the coming days may have in store for us individually. Some of you are often here on those occasions, others of you may well have reasons not to be - wherever you may be on your spiritual journey I would always be pleased to have a conversation with you.