RECTOR'S november pew LETTER

 

I can’t say I’m a great fan of Halloween.  I’ve always disliked horror movies and as a child struggled even to watch Dr Who as the Cybermen scared me so much that I suffered endless bad dreams.  I confess in the past to spending the evening in a darkened house hoping to avoid the endless trick or treat visitors.  This year I got a grip and after the kids came back from an amazing ‘Glow Party’ at church, we dutifully greeted several well-behaved bands of witches and ghouls with a basket of sweets. It was great to meet up with the neighbours and their children and in one case to encourage a family we’ve not seen in church for a couple of years to come back.

 

I suspect many others will dislike Halloween but let us not forget what its roots are:  we should appreciate the fact that it takes darkness seriously and compels us to face the reality of life and death.  I know that it has become commercialised but that is what lies behind it all.  All Souls night’ or ‘All Hallows Eve’ is when, traditionally, Christians remember those who have gone before them, face the starkness of bereavement and loss, and confront their own mortality.  (As an aside, as a protestant, I do not ‘pray for the dead’ – they are in God’s just and merciful hands now). Faith-wise it is where the rubber hits the road just as the loss of people you love brings you face to face with your own mortality and the fragility of life.

 

Rather depressing you might say but actually ‘All Souls’ can’t be separated from the day that follows it – by which I don’t just mean Wednesday 1st November, but All Saints Day. The darkness is followed by the light of celebration.  For Christians this is all about our mortality – that death and fear don’t have the final word.  At Christmas – now only a few weeks away (gulp!) – we hear the great Gospel reading that defiantly speaks into the brokenness of the world: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it.”  If we carry on with the story we eventually get to Easter and the darkness of crucifixion being transformed by the glory of resurrection.

 

The celebration of All Saints – ordinary people discovering that light and love are eternal – only makes sense once we have taken seriously the darkness of All Souls that is all too real just as Easter Day only makes sense because of Good Friday.

 

Remembrance Sunday.   The plan for Sunday 12th is as follows:

·         8am HC(BCP)

·         9.30am short all-age Remembrance service

·         1050am Remembrance Service at the War Memorial

·         1130am short said service of Holy Communion

·         6pm Confirmation Service.

 

Confirmations and Baptisms.   This service is at 6pm on Sunday 12th November and we welcome Bishop Graham Dow and his wife Molly. There will be a party afterwards and we hope as many of the church family will attend.

 

Weekend Away.  The parish weekend away was a great success and so many who attended have asked if we can make this an annual event.  We’ve sent out a questionnaire to gauge feedback and the PCC will be mulling this one over.  Something nearer and cheaper would be better.  It is too late for 2018 but we are planning one for 2019 which may or may not turn into an annual event. 

 

Harvest Supper.  This year we dropped the barn dance and instead held a wonderful harvest supper which was very well attended.  Thank you so much to Judith and her team who made it all happen.

 

Questionnaire.  We are working on creating an on-line survey that we’ll send out to everyone who has an email address asking for comment and feedback on what we are doing at BPC.  I do hope that when you receive it (and we’ll try and get some paper copies created for those who don’t have internet access) you’ll take it seriously and complete it honestly and truthfully.

 

Alpha is almost over but please do pray for those finishing the course.  We now have planned 3 courses a year and so the next one will start on 10th January.  Do even now be thinking of who you can invite.  If you’ve not done the course why not give it a go?  I’ve done it many times and always learn something new.

 

Unhindered Worship.  We are starting what we call ‘Unhindered Worship’ on every 3rd Monday of the month, 8pm onwards. You can dip in and out.  This will be a very relaxed and informal time of praise and worship and waiting on the Holy Spirit.  The first one is on Monday 20th November.  If you’d like to be a part of the team please let Tim King know.

 

Land Rover Restoration Project - Saturday 25th Nov.  If you’d like to spend a few hours helping start this project (in Silverstone) to restore a 1962 Landy, we’re aiming to leave BPC at 10am on Saturday 25th Nov.  If you’d like to join us please let me know.  I’m not expecting to be inundated with helpers but clearly if we have too many it will cause access problems!  If you would like to come you can either meet at BPC at 10am on the 25th and come in the minibus or meet us up there (I can provide directions).  I’ll provide lunch.  Stay for as long or as short as you like.

 

Spring Harvest 2018.  If you are interested in joining a group of us from BPC at Spring Harvest 8-12th April please contact Flo Thornton.

 

Women’s Christmas Craft Evening is on Friday 17th November 7-9.30pm.  Lots of Christmas crafts to try your hand at, festive drinks and nibbles.  Invite a friend.

 

Christmas Services.   Do be starting to think about inviting people to one of our Christmas services.  The programme is the same as last year so there’s something for all the family.  Details will be up on the website soon.

 

Connect Groups.  Revd Michael Greig continues to give much needed leadership to our connect groups and I’d really like to encourage everyone to be a part of one.  They meet in different places, at different times and at varying frequencies so there should be one to fit everyone.  If there isn’t why not start a new one?

 

Some Dates for your diary …

·         Monday 6th November – Prayer & Praise 8-9pm.
Sunday 12th November - Messy Church is at The Centre.

·         Sunday 12th November – Confirmations & Baptisms at the 6pm.

·         Friday 17th November - 7-9.30pm Women’s Christmas Craft Evening

With much love,

Will