Magazine Leader - May 2012

Magazine Leader – May 2012

From a Churchwarden.

With Passiontide now behind us, we have experienced the sadness of Holy week and then the glory and triumph of Easter, so much a parallel for modern life where “no gain without pain” still seems to be an enduring maxim. There is no reason why a Churchwarden’s life should be anything but the same mixture, with low points when things don’t go well and mistakes are made, followed by moments of pure pleasure. In my case these are almost always associated with time spent talking to members of the congregation, and the children in Messy Church where it can be hard to remember it is officially classified as a Church Service because there is so much fun and happiness in it. But there can’t be much wrong with that.

 

It is too easy to dwell on the problems we face in our daily lives, and then Easter reminds us of our Lord’s suffering on the Cross for us, and you realise how the sense of perspective has been lost. I fall into this trap regularly. Church Music helps me a great deal in finding my own way. Easter gives us all a chance to hear Stainer’s Crucifixion, notable for me because of the hymns built into it where the Congregation are invited to join in. Another piece I came across recently is the Hymn “It is well with my soul” written by an American called Horatio Spafford. It has a lovely, quite simple tune to it. Please do look it up and hear it on the internet if you would like to, at http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/t/i/itiswell.htm When you read about the suffering in Spafford’s life with fire, and shipping disaster with the loss of four of his children, followed by his ability to write an inspiring and positive Hymn from it, problems like the Font and the Microphones pale into insignificance !.

 

I think we can hold our heads up about the Holy week and Easter Services. We were able to put on all the major ones, just sacrificing some Stations of the Cross and Weekday Communion services. This is thanks to the visiting Clergy to whom Elaine and I are eternally grateful. We were well blessed with the Priests who took all those Services, and also with Keith and Robert for a Stations and Evensong. It is very pleasing that these Services were almost as well attended as last year. The sermon on Easter Eve explored the parallels for us in our Interregnum to be followed by the arrival of the new Priest, with the Disciples’ uncertainty following the Crucifixion until the Resurrection. On Good Friday the Devotion homily built around the words spoken from the cross was particularly inspiring, as was the Archdeacon’s Sermon to a packed church on Easter day. Returning to the “No gain without pain” theme, it seems to be very much of our human nature to seek out the former rather than the latter, I would really commend these quieter services to those who haven’t experienced them, as a good preparation for the pleasure of Easter Day.

 

Finding Clergy for Services seems to prove more taxing as time goes on. By the time you read this, we should know whether we have many applicants for our Vicar’s post, with interviews to be held in early May. Hopefully there should soon be light at the end of the Tunnel.

 

Grateful thanks from Elaine and me go out to all who are going the “extra mile” to help keep it all together in the Interregnum, and to everyone who worked so hard to make the Holy week services run so smoothly. Far from the effect I feared, our worship seems to be enriched and broadened by the experience of many different Clergy, perhaps this is no bad form of preparation to welcome our new Vicar when it happens.

 

With good wishes to you all from Elaine as well as me,

 

Chris Walton.


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