Our monthly magazine
If you come along to either of the churches in our Walmersley Road Benefice you can pick up a copy of our September magazine. We would love to see you! The Benefice is in the north of Bury covering Christ Church Walmersley and St John with St Mark’s.
For those who can only get to us online, the digital version is available if you follow this link: September 2018 magazine
Inside the magazine you’ll see prayers, Bible readings and meditations plus details on activities, services and some new initiatives.
As you’ll see from the front cover, it’s Creation Season (or Creationtide).
Creationtide is a concept introduced by the late Ecumenical Patriarch, Demetrios I, in 1989. Since then, September 1 (chosen because it’s first day of the Orthodox ecclesiastical year) has been adopted as the start of Creationtide. This is the season, running to St Francis day on October 4, when churches and congregations are called to pay special attention to the responsibility of humanity for the Earth and for all that lives upon it. Its start and end dates reflect that it is a shared idea between Western and Eastern Christianity.
In the magazine there’s also the monthly ‘Letter’, this time from Darren Dunn, one of our Readers:
Message from Darren
Hello! I hope this finds you all well and in good spirit this September?
Many of you may know that I like gardening and growing things at my garage in Manchester. I actually manage to produce ‘Miles Platting’ lemons. I don’t how the tree survives but it does.
Anyway it occurred to me the other day how fast the nights have started drawing in and that the change towards autumn and winter are well underway. The seasons are changing fast now and the trees are losing their leaves and lots of my plants are dying back.
Take a break?
Some people think that this is a good time for gardeners then to take a break and leave the garden alone. Alas no, if I want any return from my plants next year I have to start now preparing well before they grow again if I expect a good yield.
And that is sadly, at the moment, a reality at churches. I have noticed congregations starting to wither and losing numbers. They, like my plants, are dying back. They’re losing their fruit off the vine for one reason or another. The question is what can we do to help rebuild congregations and draw more people in. It’s a hard question and many better people than me have tried to answer it.
All I can say is we must not give up or concede to the fact of fewer people. Instead we must be confident and try new approaches in our efforts for growth. As in the analogy above about gardening I don’t wait for my fruit to arrive to tend my trees and plants. The work starts a long time before or there would be no fruit to harvest. The same is what we should be doing in church. No matter how many people attend we must invigorate and prepare the ground if we are hoping to grow more people on the church vine.
If my little lemon tree can grow in Miles Platting then I’m sure we can grow our church.
God bless. Darren
[For more about St John & St Mark, Bury please visit our ‘about’ page. Or follow this link to our July and August magazine.]