The Parish of
From the vicar
Over the course of the Easter season worshippers are treated to the familiar accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and his appearances to his disciples. By a prayerful reading and hearing of the text the faithful are drawn away from the events of the Gospels which now take their proper place as the foundation documents of faith and are drawn towards the future. Those who acknowledge the risen Lord ask what is next, who is going to do what, when and how. As the answers to the questions become clear the Church can be seen coming into being, from the election of Matthias and the gathering in the cenacle to the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
First we read about the nascent Church. After the Ascension the disciples gather once again in Jerusalem, pensive and anxious following Jesus’ departure, but also expectant, confident that our Lord’s promise will be fulfilled. Things have changed. After Jesus’ death they had no expectation of his resurrection, but now after forty days with him they have learned to trust his word and so wait patiently in the city for the Paraclete to descend rather than heading back to Galilee which they would originally have expected to do after the ‘Easter weekend.’ This is the gestation of the Church.
After Pentecost we find the Apostles preaching the Gospel and healing the sick. The disciples are now gathered in Christian fellowship, worshipping, praying and breaking bread. They are beginning to organise a corporate life as deacons are chosen. The world which lies in darkness and error beckons to those who will bring the good news of peace.
Secondly we read about the expanding Church. Based on the initial work of St. Peter and the other apostles, men like Philip and Stephen are transforming lives through their faithful witness, even unto death. The key conversion of Saul of Damascus gives the young Church its greatest missionary leader in St. Paul and we follow many of his exploits as he crosses land and sea with the message of salvation.
Thirdly we discover the established Church. Firm foundations are laid in the events described in the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of St. Paul which are associated with it. We read of significant decisions being made about the place of the Jewish Law in the Church and how Gentiles are to be incorporated in to the Body of Christ. We discover too the developing understanding of all that God had done in Christ to bring about salvation and how Christians should respond in faith, hope and love; a Christian ethic is added to the foundation of the Gospel.
The challenge for the Church in 2019, not least in Bushey Heath, is to re-visit these texts and find in them once again a vibrant model for discipleship and the corporate life of the Church. Like the nascent Church we need to be watching in prayer, attentive to God’s word. Like the expanding Church we must never be content with what we are doing, however satisfying, because there is more to be done. Like the established Church we must seek to build up our common life, always mindful of the danger from those who would destroy the faith, whether from without or within. Some of these ‘models’ will appeal more to some than to others, but they are all important and must be held together in the mind and heart of the believer so that the church can grow both in faith and in numbers. The Church is always nascent, expanding and established.
Pray that the Church may receive a renewed vision for mission and service.
See of Richborough
Corpus Christi Festival
All Saints’, Houghton Regis, Saturday 22ndJune, 2.00pm
Celebrant and Preacher: The Bishop of Richborough
From the diary
Wednesday 1stMay, 10.00am Mass (St. Philip and St. James, Apostles)
Thursday 9thMay, 8.00pm
Holy Hour for the May devotion with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Parishes of the Society in North-West London
Solemn Evensong, Procession of Our Lady,
Sermon and Benediction
followed by afternoon tea
St. Mary the Virgin, Kenton, Sunday 12thMay, 5.00pm
Wednesday 15thMay, 8.00pm Parochial Church Council meeting in the Parish Hall
St Peter’s Spring Fair and Plant Sale
Saturday 18thMay from 2.00pm to 4.30pm in the Parish Hall.
Delicious cream teas, a plant stall, a cake stall, home-made bread,
games, ‘This and That’ and a raffle.
This year the Spring Fair will be the major fundraising exercise for the benefit of the charities which we support regularly at St. Peter’s, especially those working with the persecuted and the disadvantaged.
Please do your best to support the event in whatever way you can.
Wednesday 22ndMay, 10.00am Morning Prayer (Sister Diana)
The Ascension of the Lord
8.00pm Mass with hymns (Book of Common Prayer)
From the Registers
28thMarch Ernest Searling (aged 101 years)
The Parish Intercession List (note for guidance)
The intercession list which is used during services at St. Peter’s is renewed each week. Names may be added to the list on the table at the back of church. Names may also be sent to Alan Taylor (020 8950 5325) until Thursday each week, but after that to Fr. Andrew.
‘An evacuee’s story’
A copy of Mary Oakley’s account of life as an evacuee in rural Oxfordshire during the Second World War is available to be borrowed from the back of church. Electronic copies may be obtained from Fr. Andrew.
Additional Curates Society Lent boxes may now be returned to church. Thank you for your support.
On receiving Holy Communion (from the Bishop of Manchester)
‘It is already advised nationally that, for reasons of hygiene, the intinction of wafers should be avoided. When a wafer is given into the hands of a communicant, it may become contaminated by germs lying on the skin. Intincting the wafer then introduces those germs directly into the wine; there is also the possibility of finger tips inadvertently dipping into the liquid.
Should a communicant not wish to drink from the chalice, perhaps through having a heavy cold, then he or she may be assured that to receive the sacrament in one kind alone (bread or wine) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety.’
Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.
Churchwardens: Mr. Peter Mould (020 8428 8307); Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).