June 2020 magazine
Here’s a link to our June 2020 magazine, which covers St John with St Mark church Bury and Christ Church Walmersley.
June 8th marks our 250th anniversary as a church, with the original St John’s being consecrated in 1770. We had a lot of things planned for that weekend but the lock-down has put the mockers on that!
In the meantime, please take a look at the middle of the magazine which has some photos and reflections. Also we have lots in the History page of this website.
However, as Dave points out, whilst our history is important we need to look forward to the years ahead.
“We pray that with the blessing and grace of God we may continue to be signs of His love and presence in the community we serve”
There’s lots more in the June 2020 magazine, including a piece on Arthur Smith, who recently celebrated his 105th birthday. There’s also this letter from Ian…
The poet Maya Angelou once wrote:
‘Love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.’
Many of you will probably be reading this June magazine on or before May 31st, which is when we celebrate the Day of Pentecost. That’s when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and other followers. On people just like you and me. People a little afraid and a little confused with their world turned upside-down. Jesus had gone but the Spirit would be with them wherever they were, whatever circumstances they found themselves in.
Back in the day our churches would have marked Pentecost with a Whit Walk and a band, then a meat & potato pie lunch after, followed by games on the field.
The Gospel reading for the day is from John 20:19-23. That’s when Jesus gets himself into a locked room, where the disciples were self-isolating after the crucifixion. The first thing he did was to wish them peace. Jesus would have said ‘Shalom’’.
Shalom means more than ‘peace’ for an individual. In Hebrew tradition it implied a society that was justly ordered and at peace with itself. It meant looking after the vulnerable and challenging injustice. Seeing God in all humanity.
Signs of hope
Of course, they were no better at really living that way then than we are today. But you do see signs of hope, don’t you? In amongst the fear and exclusion, the Covid-19 lockdown does seem to have made us more caring. We’re more appreciative of those who put themselves at risk for us. Every day on the news we see stories of people who, perhaps unwittingly, have taken Maya Angelou to heart.
And we have to hope that, as we come out of this, we take the Shalom of God with us. That actually we don’t go back to ‘normal’. Because it needs to be better than normal.
Winston Churchill supposedly said: ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’. Please God, in the months and years to come, may we work more for the benefit of others. May we see the Christ in those around us – and respond accordingly.
Take care, stay safe and God bless. Ian
The photo is of a Mothers’ Union meal, some time in the 1960’s, in the old St John’s Mission hut before it was replaced with the present hall. You can see Reverend Hulse who was Vicar before, during and after the building of the new St John’s. Thanks to Andrew Salisbury for this photo and many more.
We skipped May but for the April 2020 magazine, please follow this link.