Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

March 2011

With the Spring... and I hope by March the spring will be underway... we begin the Wedding Season in earnest. Well, in fact we don't start actual weddings till April, but we are holding a Wedding Seminar at the beginning of March (5th March to be precise) at which I hope to have a group of our prospective brides and grooms together in Church and/or the Loft to talk through some of the issues that are bound to arise as they prepare for the Big Day. And it won't be just me - I hope that our Organist, Verger and Flower Guild will be represented to help field a few questions - and maybe a married couple or two to give them the benefit of their experience too!

It is coincidence that I had been planning this (and another day later in the year) to both help the couples concerned and I hope make some good use of my limited time, before I had heard of the 'Weddings Project' that has been going around the Dioceses nationally. And we had a presentation at General Synod in February also. They have done a lot of research with couples to discover what makes the most difference to the whole experience of going through a church wedding. Amazingly (!) it is often down to the welcome and attitude of the Vicar concerned.

It is always good to get new ideas and I am always on the lookout for new resources to help with marriage preparation - but I was much relieved to discover that I was already doing many of the things recommended by the Weddings Project. What has been helpful is a well-designed section on the national Church-of-England website that is very useful for giving couples ideas for their service. And of course we believe that getting married in Church - while it doesn't guarantee a marriage that will stand the test of time, does give couples the best possible start to married life together. One of the things I try to explore with them is the reality that - even if they have been living together for many years (in some cases) being 'married' does make a difference to the relationship - bringing a whole new dimension.

And I am sure that all of us could gain a new dimension to our everyday faith by exploring together this year's Lent Course. While our course runs on Monday evenings, this is the same course being offered throughout the Churches Together in Albrighton & Area during Lent. So if Mondays are not possible, perhaps you could join in one of the other locations and days? We will be looking at the Rich Inheritance; Jesus' legacy of love (which sounds sort of appropriate given the focus on weddings and all things matrimonial!). We will be looking at the Easter story of course as we travel towards the climax of Easter Day, through the medium of an empty tomb, a group of people, a story, a power and a meal - Jesus' legacy of love.

I am writing this just before Valentine's Day - so may you take time to make the most of and to appreciate your loved one - not just on one day, but on every day of the year. And to remember that God extends his love to us - not just on one day of the year, or of the week, but every day too.

God bless you and keep you,