July’s Magazine 2021
A recent professional journal carried the headline, ‘How stress degrades and forgiveness protects health.’ It suggests that ‘developing a more forgiving coping style may help minimize stress-related disorders.”
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘It is very important for a priest, in the parish itself, to see how people trust in him and to experience, in addition to their trust, also their generosity in pardoning his weaknesses.’ Pope Benedict XVI
‘I look upon the whole world as my parish.’ John Wesley
Well, I’m writing this letter the day after Boris put the rollout back one month. Many churches up and down the country are asking again ‘How do we support our communities when we can only get close to people in such limited ways?” Please be clear the first and primary question for us is how do we support our communities – the teachers and children and parents in our schools; the carers and elderly and vulnerable in our nursing homes; the men and women who are asking about Baptisms, weddings, and even the fundamental questions of life? Other people look to the parish to carry out the role of praying for and burying the dead. From the 14th June I’ve got 7 funerals in the next few weeks! And then there’s all our outreach, pastoral care, and prayer ministries which go on quietly in parishes.
Coming out of lockdown we have a shared interest and, I think, desire in making our communities better; in helping all people, not for some reward but to help them (men, women, and children) realize how very precious they are. We are all in one way or another fragile at this time. We have a mixture of hope and fear; of joy and trepidation. My personal view of the parish is captured in the quote above from John Wesley the co-founder of the Methodist movement. ‘The world is my parish’. By this, I feel that the vicar, priest or rector, etc. has the privilege of valuing and loving and being there for everyone who lives in the parish. Some may disagree but I am here to serve the locality just as much (if not more) as the churchgoers.
I believe the church has something to offer in the Person of Jesus Christ. He offers healing and salvation and nurturing and so much more.
Even at its best, though, we often fail. The church is the Body of Christ. This idea is found in the very early teachings and traditions of Christ and His church. The church within the parish is not offering you a contract – not saying ‘well, if you sign up to this set of beliefs you’ll be treated better!’ Our churches in Darley Dale, in South Darley, and in Winster: value, love and are here to serve you because God, from the beginning of time, loved you.
Now as we move out of this lockdown, we have a chance to remind you, even though you may have been through terrible events during these terrible days, that you are loved and special and my own belief is that the Church, its Scripture, Sacraments, and Traditions has so much to offer our world. Post lockdown we may need to humbly retell the story of Jesus the Christ. Maybe using new ways and new words but the Truth never changes. God in Jesus died for all of us to bring us healing and Redemption.
At the moment there are people in the church and outside the church who have lost faith in the ministry of hospitality and of quiet love and service in our rural areas. They want ‘big shows, brash and loud and full of entertainment.’ I love those things every time I see Alice Cooper or Iron Maiden or Shinedown, but where church is concerned, I want honest, humble, gentle love. I want to celebrate the different seasons and the mixture of new and old. Loud and brash shows do not last.
Our parish churches are a promise to be present among you; to stand with you in good days and bad; to laugh and cry with you and to point you to a truth that is deeper than our deepest brokenness. God loves us. The parish church is not committed to you for one year or ten but for centuries past and centuries to come. We love you.
Please help us to serve you better – tell me what you want the church to do in our community. Contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope these final words help you think of what you want from your parish churches. With my love and prayers.
At the parish level, where the church lives and moves and breathes, that’s where we need to be engaging our people much more in understanding the Word of God… the Word of God reflected in the traditional teaching of the church, the Word of God reflected in the scriptures, is as much a part of their lives as anything else. Donald Wuerl
Revd. Stephen Monk
Education and, therefore, school have had to happen in all sorts of ways, with stops and starts, home schooling, online schooling, social distancing and the rest. With the school summer holiday imminent I thought I would share this prayer which came in the Bishop‘s Covid update 22 June. (Chris, Editor)
From Bishop Libby – A prayer for all who work in education
Loving God, we pray for all those involved in the shaping of young lives. We give you thanks for the sacrifice and commitment of teachers and all those involved in serving
children and young people in education, especially over this past year. We pray that all might be nurtured and cared for
and that every needful resource would be made available –
that all lives can flourish even through these difficult times and that no-one would be overlooked.
And a prayer for all children
(Based on compassionuk.org prayer)
Lord God, we praise you that you are fully in control of all things. We pray you would protect all our children. Keep them healthy and help them to thrive. We thank you that you know every hair on their head. You know exactly when they rise and when they fall. Watch over them in every area of their life and keep them safe we pray. Amen.
Holy Days – we learn about, reflect on and give thanks for those whose faith has inspired
across the centuries
1st July Henry Venn of the CMS
Most Christians in the UK have heard of the Church Mission Society or CMS. Far fewer have heard of the Revd Henry Venn (1796-1873), whose father, the rector of Clapham, founded CMS in 1799, and who himself became the greatest missionary strategist of the 19th century.
Not that Henry Venn ever became a missionary himself; after Cambridge he served his curacy at St Dunstan’s in Fleet Street, and then an incumbency at Drypool in Hull, before becoming vicar of St Johns, Holloway in1834. But Henry Venn’s parish-based ministry did not obscure his passionate interest in overseas evangelism, and in 1841 he accepted an invitation to become the honorary secretary of the Church Mission Society. That decision was to shape the history of overseas missions, and to make CMS into the most effective force in Britain for delivering effective overseas mission.
For Henry was an outstanding administrator, and his wisdom and management of the missionaries enabled CMS to grow and flourish. When Henry first began work on CMS, it employed 107 European clergy and nine local indigenous people. When he died in 1873, there were 230 European clergy and 148 local people in service.
After his resignation from St Johns Holloway in 1846, Henry devoted himself almost exclusively to the work of CMS. He was directly responsible for sending out 498 clergymen, all of them chosen by him, and with most of whom he continued in regular correspondence. He also established eight or nine bishoprics for
the supervision of CMS missionary clergy and was usually involved in the appointments made.
Henry and a mission colleague in America were the first to use the term ‘indigenous church’, and they were way ahead of their time in seeing the necessity for creating churches on the mission fields that in time would become not only self-supporting, but also self-governing and self-propagating. In fact, Venn wrote with enthusiasm on this “euthanasia of missions,” meaning that missionaries were only ever meant to be temporary, and not permanent.
All in all, Henry Venn’s exposition on the basic principles of indigenous Christian missions was so powerful that much of it was later adopted by the Lausanne Congress of 1974. But alongside Venn’s passion for evangelism was his concern for social justice, and he frequently lobbied the British Parliament, especially the closure of the Atlantic slave trade.
In 1873, when he was 76, Venn died at his home in Mortlake, Surrey. He is buried in the churchyard.
11th July St Benedict – author of the famous Rule
St Benedict (c.480 – c.550) was an abbot and author of the famous Rule that bears his name. Because of his Rule, Benedict is also the Patriarch of Western Monasticism, and Patron Saint of Europe.
Surprisingly little is known about his life. Born at Nursia, Benedict studied at Rome, which he then left before completing his studies to become a hermit at Subiaco. After a time, disciples joined him, whom he organised into twelve deaneries of ten. After an attempt on his life, Benedict moved on to Monte Cassino, near Naples, where he wrote the final version of his Rule.
Benedict’s Rule is justly famous and respected: not only did it incorporate much traditional monastic teaching from revered monks like Basil, but Benedict went on to modify this in a way characterised by prudence and moderation within a framework of authority, obedience, stability and community life.
Benedict’s great achievement was to produce a monastic way of life that was complete, orderly, and workable. The monks’ primary occupation was liturgical prayer, which was complemented by sacred reading and manual work of various kinds.
Benedict’s own personality shines through this Rule: wise, discreet, flexible, learned in the law of God, but also a spiritual father to his community. Benedict’s Rule came to be recognised as the fundamental monastic code of Western Europe in the early Middle Ages. Because of his Rule, monasteries became centres of learning, agriculture, hospitality, and medicine. Thus, Benedict came to influence the lives of millions of people.
A prayer of St Benedict:
Gracious and Holy Father,
give us the wisdom to discover You,
the intelligence to understand You,
the diligence to seek after You,
the patience to wait for You,
eyes to behold You,
a heart to meditate upon You,
and a life to proclaim You,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it; Psalm 24.1a
Did you know?
‘The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.
The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.
As COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.’
We need to pray and keep praying for our children and grandchildren’s sake. Look out for our details of our Climate Sunday Service in August and ways we as individuals and as a church can help. Chris, Editor
Global challenges have no national borders. Some people used to think that they would be immune to global crises like climate change unfolding “on the other side of the world.” I think that bubble has burst. No one is geographically immune to the coronavirus and the same is true for climate change.
As a society, we’re only as safe as our most vulnerable people. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the elderly and those with health conditions are more vulnerable to the coronavirus and the poor are more vulnerable to its economic impact. That makes us all more vulnerable too. That lesson has taken us into a space of
solidarity that we’ve never seen before. We are taking care of each other both out of altruism and because we want to make sure that we’re safe. That’s exactly the thinking we need to deal with climate change.
Global challenges require systemic changes — changes that can only be activated by the government or companies. But they also require individual behavioural changes. We need both. We have seen over the past few weeks that governments can take radical action and we can change our behaviour quite quickly.
Prevention is better than cure. It’s cheaper and safer to prevent people from catching and spreading the virus than to attempt to treat huge numbers of cases at once. That’s always been the case
in the health sector. And in climate change, it is much better to prevent runaway temperature rises than to figure out how to deal with the enormous consequences.
All our response measures need to be based on science. There are a lot of myths around coronavirus, just as there are a lot of myths around climate change. But the countries and individuals basing their responses on what the health professionals are saying are doing better. Likewise on climate change, we must take action in line with what the science tells us, rather than following myths or misinformation.
(From Time Magazine and provided by Revd. Stephen)
You have taught us, through your servant St Francis,
That all creation is your handiwork.
Grant us your grace that we may
Exercise wise stewardship of this Earth;
Tread lightly upon it; and cherish its resources,
That our children may enjoy its riches, throughout all generations,
And your name be glorified through all that you have made.
Rt Revd David Walker (Bishop of Manchester)
Editor: Jo White considers the need for listening to each other and to God (from the Parish Pump) …….
Reflected Faith series: the spaces between
Most of us have been in situations where we are not in control, and we don’t know how to feel or how to react to our situation. We need help.
The most valuable gift you can have at those times – is time itself. Time to be ‘listened to’. Really listened to. But it is not easy to find someone who will ‘actively listen’ to you.
Think of the last time you were in the reverse position with a friend or a colleague, and they were talking to you. How easily do you recall what they actually said? Most of us are so busy getting our replies ready for when the person has finished speaking, that we don’t clearly hear their punch line.
With God it is different. We can take everything to Him; all our worries and cares and failures and faults. And He listens.
He doesn’t necessarily jump in with an instant, easy solution, but rather He promises to always guide us, if we ask Him, through life’s challenges, and He promises to never leave us. He often speaks to us through his written word, the Bible.
This last year, when many of us have been communicating with others by phone or Zoom, we get nervous if it all goes quiet. We feel the need to ‘nudge’ the other person, to make sure they are still there. Silence is not a natural state for many of us – and yet it is in the quiet we can hear ourselves and God most clearly.
So, when we talk with God, our conversation should not be rushed and one-sided. We need to give space to our silence before Him, to wait and listen for Him to speak to us.
Next time you worship in church, listen to the silences: the spaces between the words, the music and the actions. Listen to all the prayers that are spoken.
Look at your surroundings and reflect that they have absorbed thousands of prayers – and holy silence – down the centuries of their existence.
Look out the window and see the vastness of the sky above you – and let your prayers join with those that have gone before you. May the knowledge that you are not alone encourage and strengthen you.
Thank You Day is a special national day to thank the many people who have helped us get through the last twelve months. Sunday, 4 July 2021, will be the first national Thank You Day across the UK and local communities are encouraged to take part in what is set to be a truly memorable event.
From neighbours who dropped off shopping to NHS workers who cared for us, from supermarket staff who kept us fed to volunteers who were there for us. We couldn’t have done it without each other.
The Church of England is one of the key supporters of this event and is encouraging churches and local communities to get involved. The aim is for as many people as possible to be involved, however they would like, so everyone who deserves it gets a thank you – and the whole of the UK gets together.
There isn’t a strict plan for the day (the idea is to say thank you however you want!) but people are already organising lots of activities which we can all join in with and support.
In the News
Parish Pump News Jul21
£9 million funding package for mission to students and young people
Tens of thousands of students and young people who may never have been to church before are to be reached by the Church of England with the message of the Christian faith as part of a £9 million funding programme for mission projects across the country, it was recently announced.
Church of England parishes are to form new congregations aimed at reaching young adults and students in Leeds and Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, Blackburn in Lancashire and coastal areas of Paignton in Devon and Brighton and Hove in east Sussex.
A series of grants to help fund the projects has been awarded as part of the Church of England’s programme of Renewal and Reform.
The Church of England’s National Youth Evangelism Officer, Jimmy Dale, welcomed the investment in work with students and young people. He said: “It is so exciting to see the church engaging with students and young people in a way that historically, we have often fallen short. Young people, the ‘Generation Z’ of 11- to-25-year-olds, have faced enormous challenges as a result of the pandemic. They have struggled not just socially and financially but educationally and with regards to mental health. The message of the good news of Jesus Christ offers this generation a real beacon of hope.”
O God, we pray that the Good News of Jesus will reach all students at our universities and colleges. May barriers of culture, lifestyle and world views be broken down by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in them. May young hearts and minds be opened to hear, understand and receive Your salvation and new life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Editor: Canon Paul Hardingham considers the need for encouragement.
This month should see the start of the Tokyo Olympics, having been postponed from last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A number of New Testament letters refer to Olympic sport including Hebrews: ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The Christian life is compared to a long-distance race, but despite the struggles and obstacles, there is a great crowd of witnesses cheering us on. We have a heavenly Father who loves us and a Saviour who has run the race before us. If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will enable us to finish the race.
During the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the British athlete Derek Redmond was running in the semi-finals of the 400 metres. About 250 metres from the finish his hamstring tore. He fell to the ground in pain and stretcher bearers came over to him. However, Redmond was determined to finish the race and so he started hopping toward the finishing line. Suddenly Jim Redmond, Derek’s father, ran out of the stands towards him. “You don’t have to do this,” he told his son. “Yes, I do,” said Derek, to which his father said, “We’re going to finish this together.” They completed the lap with Derek leaning on his father’s shoulder.
As they crossed the finish line, the spectators rose to give Derek a standing ovation. Although he didn’t win an Olympic medal, Derek Redmond finished the race with his father at his side. Let’s not forget the encouragement we have to finish the race!
Neil Clarke is giving a series
of Organ Recitals
at St Helen’s Church, Darley. We had hoped the first would be early July but it has had to be postponed.
They will be by ticket only – £5.00. Proceeds to be divided between St Helen’s and a charity
(To be decide for each recital).
Tickets will be available at church.
Look out for details of dates and times.
Calling all knitters (and non-knitters?)
Innocent started putting little hats on their smoothies back in 2003, donating 25p to Age UK for every behatted bottle sold. They say, ‘These woolly masterpieces are knitted and crocheted by thousands of legendary volunteers. They sent us a whopping 1.5 million little hats for last year’s Big Knit, bringing our total raised for Age UK over the years to just under £3 million. Jaw dropping stuff?
Hats will be back on bottles in 2022, and we’d love to raise more for Age UK than ever. Anyone can get involved, whether you’re a pro or a novice.’
More information and patterns can be found on www.thebigknit.co.uk/knitting-patterns
Just couldn’t resist this one but life can feel like this, can’t it?
‘I’m playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.” Morecambe of Morecambe and Wise.
Simply Church – new edition by Sim Dendy
With new chapter on the Church in crisis, ‘Weathering the Storm’, written during Covid-19. When crisis strikes – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – we have no choice but to stop and assess where we are. Our world needs the Church, like never before, to be full of hope. But the Church is not always what it could be. Perhaps we need a declutter. A clear-out. A detox.
This book is for all people who are passionate about the Church of Jesus Christ and seeing it continue to grow and serve. We all collect excess stuff – books, clothes, cars, gadgets… thoughts, habits, scars, traditions… Sometimes, it’s good to strip things back a bit. It’s healthy to occasionally explore our past and consider a fresh purpose for the future. Simply Church – New Edition by Sim Dendy.
To realign ourselves with the plan that our creator God has already set out for us.
To recalibrate. To return to the start again.
To go back a couple of millennia to discover what the original Church looked like, so we can remember and reset. Simply… Church
To find out more and to purchase, visit: waverleyabbeyresources.org
Updated version £11.99 printed and Kindle eBook
Audio book £14.99
(If you don’t do the internet, ask a younger generation friend or family member to help out or contact me. Chris)
But no one finds it easy.
We all need a little help.
Pete Greig has been teaching on prayer – and leading a non-stop prayer movement – for twenty years. Now, for the first time, he puts his life’s work into a response to the question everybody ultimately asks: how do I pray?
This down-to-earth introduction to life’s greatest adventure will guide you deeper in your relationship with God, helping you to become more centred and still, clearer in discerning God’s voice, more able to make sense of your disappointments and more expectant for miraculous breakthroughs too. It’s full of honest, hard-won wisdom interspersed with real-life stories – some humorous, others moving – to equip and inspire your prayer life. Journeying through the Lord’s Prayer, and accompanied by online videos from The Prayer Course, which has been used by more than a million people, it unpacks nine essential aspects of prayer: stillness, adoration, petition, intercession, perseverance, contemplation, listening, confession and spiritual authority.
From one of today’s most visionary communicators, for those who’ve been praying for years as well as those who want to pray but don’t know where to begin, How to Pray is the simple, life-changing guide you’ve been waiting for.
Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529374926
Also available as an eBook and Audiobook Downloadable
How to Pray Series
Prayer Tool: How to Have a Quiet Time
A quiet time can take many forms, but at its simplest means stopping and pausing to pray with God. This prayer tool will practically guide you on how to start having a regular quiet time.
“If we don’t maintain a quiet time each day, it’s not really because we are too busy; it’s because we do not feel it is important enough. Late nights kill the quiet time…
Quiet time is not just a helpful idea, it is absolutely necessary to spiritual growth.”
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.”
Corrie Ten Boom
“Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matthew 6:6 The Message
A quick introduction to Quiet Times
There is no fixed way to spend time alone with God, but it’s helpful to combine Bible reading with prayer and to do so at a regular time each day. There are many excellent devotional resources, but you don’t have to use anything at all. It’s worth experimenting to see what works best for you.
Other prayer tools may be helpful as part of a daily quiet time too.
How to have a 10-minute quiet time (using P.R.A.Y.)
(1 min) Pause – sit quietly for a minute, stilling your soul.
(2 min) Rejoice – read a short Psalm or listen to a worship song.
(3 min) Ask – Tell God what’s on your heart. Pray through your day. If you have a prayer list or use the 24-7 Prayer Inner Room app quietly name each person before God.
(3 min) Yield – Read a few verses from the New Testament, until a phrase pops out at you and then talk to God about it. Are there any sins you need to confess? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh.
(1 min) Amen – Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
How to have a 30-minute quiet time (using The Lord’s Prayer)
(2 min) Our Father in heaven
Be still. Sit quietly and ask “Where is the evidence of the Father’s love in my life right now?” Give thanks.
(3 min) Hallowed be your name
Read a Psalm or listen to a worship song.
(3 min) Your kingdom come; your will be done.
What would it look like for God’s kingdom to come in the three circles of your life today?
- Pray for your own needs
- Pray for your friends and family (perhaps using the Inner Room app) *
- Pray for the wider world (perhaps focusing on situations in the news).
(15 min) Give us this day our daily bread
Using a bible reading guide, if you find it helpful, read from a Gospel, a New Testament epistle, and then from the Old Testament.
The emphasis here is on quality not quantity. When a phrase resonates with you, treat it as if God is starting a conversation by pausing to pray about it.
(2 min) Forgive us our sins as we forgive others
Review the last 24 hours, allowing the Holy Spirit to challenge any sinful thoughts, words and deeds. Are there people to whom you need to apologise, or others you need to forgive?
(2 min) Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Pray protection for yourself and for those you love, especially in areas of vulnerability. If you are under spiritual attack, take authority, standing on relevant promises from the bible.
(3 min) For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours…
Finish by listening to another worship song or returning to the psalm with which you started.
Books on Quiet Times
- Quiet Time – InterVarsity Staff
- Celtic Daily Prayer –The Northumbria Community
*Download Inner Room App on App Store or Google Play.
United Benefice Services in July
4th July 11.00am Holy Communion
11th July 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.00am Family Service at St Mary’s
18th July 11.00am Holy Communion
25th July 11.00am Morning Prayer
4th July 10.00am Holy Communion
11th July 10.00am Family Service
18th July 6.00pm Choral Evensong
25th July 10.00am Holy Communion at St John’s
4th July 10.00am Morning Worship tbc
111h July Church Open for Private Prayer all day
4.00 p.m. Worship
18th July 6.00pm Choral Evensong at St Mary’s
25th July 10 a.m. Holy Communion
Every Monday 6.45pm for 7.00pm United Benefice
Holy Communion Via Zoom. Contact Ian Sutton for invitation if you don’t already receive one.
Visit our website at www.sthelensdarleydale.org.uk for more information. The web site also provides us with another means of letting people know what is happening at St. Helen’s.