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'Maureen's Musings'

May 2016

I am writing this just after returning from the Clergy Conference at the Hayes Centre, Swanwick. We took as the theme for these four days - RECONCILIATION - a topic which is sorely needed in the world, in our land ( especially as the European referendum hots up!), and not least in the church - where disputes about who may or may not be a priest have threatened to destroy the Anglican Communion. We could also reflect that it is something much needed closer to home too… How many families do you know where one or more individuals or branches have divided themselves or are no longer in communication with the rest? In our local church too, relationships are not always as harmonious as we might like? But then, the church family is no different to any family in this respect.

So we clergy studied the bible together; we reflected on difference and shared values; we thought about conflict with the natural world and our need to be reconciled to the environment; and we also considered how humour might help us to find a safe, shared space in which to meet and begin the task of 'humanising' the other. And it worked - we were able to get along with each other, even though some have very different ideas about worship and church and order to each other ( yes, even though we are all in the Church of England!) And it was all quite relaxed and good humoured.

It all made me question whether we create enough opportunities in our own community, just to spend time together? Time to study and learn, of course, but also time just to enjoy each others' company? To relate and develop those friendships that hold the wider community together.

With that partly in mind, I am hoping that May will see at least a couple of opportunities for us to extend our contacts into the village. The Archbishops have asked every church in the land to give special attention to prayer in the week before Pentecost. So from the 8-15 May I hope we can invite lots of people to visit the church and experience maybe a new way of thinking about that most basic and well known prayer - the Lord's Prayer. Pop in at any time and pick up a guide…. And in your own time just visit each of the stations you will discover around the church… And if there is something special you would like us to pray for, you will be able to leave a request….

Then the following week - Christian Aid Week- we would like to invite you to a BIG BREAKFAST! Not in church this time, but in the Pigot Inn. Yes, we can come out of our building! Join us on Saturday, 21 May for a delicious breakfast - bacon or sausage sarnies - how can you resist? Conversation, competitions, activities for the kids and through it all, help for people around the world. (Many thanks to Stacey and all at the Pigot for helping us out with this!)

And of course, we continue to think about Everybody Welcome - our short course running on Monday evenings during May in church… It is for everybody, so, why not come and see what you might be missing?

Every blessing