Village Fete Survey

Last Saturday we were out on the village green again, this time not for the Jubilee, but the fete. We set up our tent in the wind, and set out our stall of edible Olympics medals for the kids to make, some real Guinness Book of World Records to try and set – coin spinning, basketball twirling, and cream cracker eating, and we did a survey.

Despite the weather, we had 40-50 kids making medals, plenty of budding record breakers, and thirty taking the survey.

The survey rode on the back of the one we did two weeks ago, where nearly fifty responded. In it we asked about quality of life – was it better to live in the 50’s, now, or in say 60 years from now? It was amazing, and quite concerning to see how the overwhelming majority of local people, of all ages, thought the past was better than now, unless you were retiring, and that the future offered little hope. The reasons people gave were breakdown of community, loss of innocence, advent of television, and financial concerns about the future. Continue reading “Village Fete Survey”

The Seven Churches – FIEC Area Cluster meeting, Widcombe

This evening the seven churches in our area FIEC cluster gathered for the first time since our large 17 Church region decided meeting in smaller groups would help establish more meaningful fellowship.

We are Widcombe, Combe Down, Clink, Atworth, Dilton Marsh, and West Lavington, and of course ourselves.

The meeting was significantly better attended than the larger group meetings in the past which surely was a sign that we were on the right track. The impression I got was that people were over-all encouraged by the evening. From my point of view it was great to see so many out from North Bradley, but also to hear what the Lord and His people are up to in these other places. I enjoyed listening to that happy hubub of people taking together afterwards.

The objective was to build a common sense of mutual identity by sharing about our unique situations, some small, some big, some rural, some more urban, some with pastors, others without. We needed to work out what we have in common, and how we can help each-other. So we talked, prayed, and considered God’s word together – oh, and ate some cake.

I was charged with bringing something to the meeting from God’s word, but through some confusion along the line somewhere I was expecting a half hour or so, whereas others were looking for perhaps a ten minute devotion – the outcome was a little less than satisfactory all around, but we made do, and mended.

My aim was to convey that from a summary of the first three chapters of Revelations, that Jesus weighs us by character, discipline, and doctrine, not size or location.

He challenges us to confront staleness, defeatism, controversialism, indiscipline, superficiality, short-sightedness, and complacency where ever they rear their ugly heads. He challenges us all to meet our difficulties with hard work, self-sacrifice, willingness to fight sometimes, real Christian love, and openness to those we seek to reach, and to be opportunist, persistent, and urgent in God’s work.

The leaders will be meeting again in June to advance some of the proposals people made as how to take this forward.

Queen’s speech

 

The Jubliee is coming up, and we will be involved in a few things in June.

To warm up to it we published this poster with a quotation from HRH from the last Christmas speech in which she said ‘God sent into the World an unique person – neither a philospoher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.’ Many Christians felt moved, and thankful that the speech was so warm in commending Jesus Christ.

The last 60 years have certainly been among the most peaceful on record for this realm, and this is a cause for thanksgiving, but people are looking forward to the next 60 with much greater uncertainty. We want to play our part in enriching life here by proclaiming the good news of Jesus, and calling people together as a community of God’s people. Jesus’ peace is the only certain peace.

On the Jubilee weekend we hope to be taking part in the celebrations at the Peace Memorial Hall, here in North Bradley on June 2nd, and inviting everyone to join us on the Sunday for The Big Lunch – in short, everyone bring a picnic to eat after the service. Be good to see as many as can getting together, we have a new flag pole that I guess we’ll unveil on the occassion, and have some family time.

 

 

 

Bonfire night

November 5th is the Anniversary of the Church’s founding in 1775, it is also, which goes without saying, an important commemoration in British history. The consequence is that we usually have a bonfire and BBQ here for anyone and everyone who turns up, sometimes that’s a couple of hundred.

Recently the bonfires have been themed – one year a pirate ship, the next a castle, it’s a lot of fun, and all sorts of people get involved. This year we will have to see what happens but we are looking forward to it.

Usually a guest speaker is invited for the Sunday nearest the date, and this year John Edmonds who is the new Pastor at Freshbrook Evangelical Church, Swindon is visiting us.

It has also become our policy to give the offerings given on that day to mission societies we are supporting. Last year we sent gifts to help Church planting among the Vietnamese in London, Bible translation in the Philippines, and Borneo, and Evangelism here in the UK.