Please find the link to our May 2021 church magazine. The paper version is available in both of our churches, so we’d love to see you if you want to pop in and pick up a copy.
This is our Pentecost edition and you’ll find articles on the Ascension, Rogation and ‘Thy Kingdom Come 2021′. There’s also plenty of news and updates on what’s going on in and around the Benefice.
In addition, our May 2021 church magazine contains a ‘thank you’ to Canon Ralph Mallinson for his many years of service to the Benefice. There is also this letter from our Vicar, Dave Thompson…
He gave gifts to his people
This month sees the season of Rogationtide, traditionally held around the sixth Sunday of Easter. The word comes from the Latin word rogare which means “to ask.”
Originally the Christian observance of Rogation involved an annual procession, often round the parish boundaries, asking for God’s blessing upon the crops. Rogation Sunday and the three days following, prior to Ascension Day, were times of praying for all involved in the agricultural process of a community.
The verses from Ephesians 4:7-8 are the basis for this celebration:
“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.”
God’s gifts are often taken for granted. Occasions like Rogation & Harvest remind us of the need to give thanks. The idea of ploughing, sowing, reaping and gathering has a link with the many parables of Jesus who would have known this process very well.
Beating the bounds
The Rogation processions – also known as beating the bounds – were a significant part of community life. The poet George Herbert gave the following good reasons to beat the bounds:
- a blessing of God for the fruits of the field;
- establishing and preserving boundaries in the case of disputes;
- encouraging fellowship between neighbours;
- giving to the poor.
Whilst life is very different today to the early seventeenth century of George Herbert’s existence, these principles remain important.
Today the Church uses Rogationtide to also pray for equality amongst God’s people. The events of the coronavirus pandemic have shown once again not only the inequalities throughout the world, but in our nation.
Statistics have shown how different communities have been adversely affected by Covid-19.
Yet the words of Galatians 3:28 remind us that “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
In the introduction to his latest book, the Archbishop of Canterbury writes:
“The impact of Covid 19 has been as dramatic as a tyre blowing out on a car travelling at speed. It demands urgent action and it reveals the need of essential and often equally urgent change. It has shown us in close-up of time and distance, inequality, injustice and the capacity of nature to pose an existential threat beyond the power of any one country to face.
“If we do not learn the lessons and act on injustices of ethnic discrimination, lack of solidarity, neglect of the common good and most of all the even greater danger from human caused climate change, then these already terrible results of Covid-19 will seem as little compared to what is to come. We must learn together or suffer and even perish in our differences.”
Let us use this time to work together to build a more united community in both our church and society.
With every blessing, Dave
For our April 2021 magazine please follow this link.