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SUNDAY 24th OCTOBER: DEDICATION FESTIVAL

 

READINGS

1 Peter 2: 1-10

John 10: 22-29

 

REFLECTION

 

This weekend we recall the time when St. Anne's Beeley and St. Peter's Edensor were dedicated to be used as places of worship. What are theses churches for? Are they just here to look beautiful. Were they built just to be venerated? Are they just historical places of interest? Do we treat them sometimes like a museum or do they serve a purpose?

They are here to serve the people who ever they are. They are here for people to say their prayers and offer their songs of praise. They are here for the visitors, the enquirers, the doubters and those who feel lost in life.

Today it is important to reflect on the faithful people who, for many years have served these places of holiness. I also believe we have a duty to follow them in their commitment and in their faithfulness.

These churches are a marvellous testament to the faith of the people. But the churches are not just fine buildings, words used in the bible, or sermons that are preached there. We are God's Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles. The mission of the Church for future years depends on us. What will we do to keep it alive? We may say we are too old, or infirm, not very confident, or too new on our Christian journeys to undertake any missionary work, but that is what the heart of the Gospel is about - to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others who need to hear it. We don't have to speak clever words, we just need to be ourselves. St. Francis of Assisi told is followers in the 13th century, “go and preach the Gospel and only use words when you have to.” The best missionary work takes place on street corners when you encounter young people with a smile. As you open the door for a laden down young mum, when you sit with an elderly person on a park bench and when you make a homeless person a cup of tea. We are God's Church here on earth. We are part of the past and of course part of the churches in our villages built many years ago. We have the responsibility to hand them on to the next generation. And so how we worship, how we furnish and decorate our churches are important signs of our identity as a Christian Community with a particular shared history and the traditions we value. But of course a beautiful church, dignified liturgy and lovely music would only add up to a concert if the heart of worship is missing. We are not spectators at a performance, we are living stones who are part of the Temple of Christ's body. So let us go and share what we believe and transform the lives of so many people in our world who are looking for something to enrich their lives.

 

PRAYER

 

Almighty God,

to whose glory we celebrate the dedication

of St. Peter's Edensor and St. Anne's Beeley.

We praise you for the many blessings

you have given to those who worship there.

We pray that all who seek you in these houses of prayer

may find you, and being filled with the Holy Spirit,

may become a living temple acceptable to you;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

Canon Dave                                                       16th October 2021

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear Friends,

 

Over the past few weeks restrictions in our churches have gradually been lifted. Personal choices about wearing a mask have been introduced and people no longer need to book places for services. Therefore in future the reflection in the weekly message will normally be the same as the sermon preached in the churches on Sunday for those unable to attend church, or those who sometimes like a printed copy of the sermon.

 

Last week I and two other fellow choirboys from St. Luke's Church in Derby visited another friend from the choir, now a retired dentist living in Blackpool. We had so much fun recalling memories from our boyhood and teenage years. The Blackpool weather was true to form – torrential rain, windy and very cold. However, on a positive note the illuminations were hugely impressive and I also caught a glimpse of an old fashioned double-decker tram travelling along the sea front. A good time was had by all.