Vicar's Thoughts

Easter 2015

14 March 2015

"He is not here."

What a surprising thing to say. Two thousand years or so ago, some people went to a graveyard in Jerusalem.  They were going to one of the tombs, just one among countless other similar tombs there: carved out of rock like little caves. According to their culture and tradition, they were going to anoint the body of their friend who had died and had been buried there a couple of days previously. But as they approached the place, they saw that the huge stone that had been put across the mouth of the tomb had been moved, by persons unknown. And, even more surprising, they were met by someone who said this odd thing: "Why are you looking for your friend? He is not here."

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Candlemas 2015

1 February 2015

One might just be forgiven if we don’t pay quite so much attention to Candlemas, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, as perhaps we should. Yet, this event is not really an anecdote, an aside, a digression from those other two great moments we celebrate in the Life of Christ: Christmas and Easter. It is not a pleasant bench on which we can sit and rest for a minute in the course of a long country walk. It is very much part of that walk. Part of the whole journey, the whole pilgrimage we undertake as Christians.

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Welcoming Strangers

1 December 2014

There is a story about one of those great colleges in Oxford, or Cambridge, or somewhere; one of those colleges founded by and supported by the Church, as many are... I do not know if it is a true story - I hope and believe that it is.

It was Christmas time, and the college had got together in the Great Hall to celebrate the festive season with a sumptuous banquet. There was silver and porcelain and fine linen napkins everywhere. There was the best cutlery, the finest wine and the richest, most delicious food one could hope for. The college's historic crystal glasses glinted gold in the flickering light of a thousand candles in that oak-panelled room. 

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Bible Sunday 2014

26 October 2014

We can forget sometimes, can't we, that we have the Bible? I don't mean forget that there is such a thing as a Bible - so much as forget how it has come to exist at all. Forget that it exists as a primary resource in our lives and, indeed, that - in and of itself - it is a miracle that it is here at all. After all, there is no real reason for it to exist in the first place really.

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Extra-Ordinary Time

28 June 2014

For those of you who are interested in the Church's seasonal colours you may well notice that we've now gone Green. In fact, after all the very busy time since before Christmas - with our blues and reds and whites and golds - through Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter you may be interested to note that we will be sticking with green for quite a while now. This season over the summer and leading up to Advent the Church is pleased to call: 'Ordinary Time'. So, I hope you are all feeling properly Ordinary and are prepared to remain Ordinary until the Autumn.

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Easter message: At this time of new beginnings, a fresh start is good for all

17 April 2014

As Easter weekend approaches, the Reverend Martin Booth, of Saint Mary’s Church in Riverhead, considers the festival’s pagan origins and the important messages that have come to be associated with it...

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Easter 2014

12 April 2014

The Journey from Palm Sunday, through Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and into Easter Sunday encompasses the entire Passion narrative.

A narrative that is painful, frightening, disturbing, challenging.

There is quite enough in this narrative alone for us to think about.

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Lent 2014

3 March 2014

Tradition has it, as does biblical scholarship, that the author of Luke's Gospel was a doctor; a physician. He probably is the one mentioned accompanying St Paul on his missionary journeys and is probably the same person who compiled the Acts of the Apostles.

It's important to know Luke's medical background. Why? Because of two things.

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Christmas - All about Trust

30 December 2013

Much of what scripture tells us about the birth of Christ is all about Trust. Although, in thinking about this, we also need to consider the meaning of the word Mistrust and the different meaning of the word Distrust. Mistrust is where one isn't sure whether one should trust someone or something whereas Distrust is where one definitely should not trust someone or something. When it comes to the Christmas story, any individual can have three approaches to it: Either they mistrust it: They are challenged by it and are not sure what to believe about it. They Distrust it: and reject it out of hand. Or they Trust it. 

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Vicar's Christmas Message

1 December 2013

Over the weekend of 14/15 December this year, St Mary's will be holding its Christmas Tree Festival. This will be our third year of doing this. So it is rapidly becoming a tradition; a much-appreciated one. Individuals, schools, nurseries, local businesses, communities, organisations, clubs, charities all bring their trees, set them up in St Mary's church and decorate them. It looks and feels brilliant.

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