September (2019) Pastoral Letter (and a few other bits n pieces)

Listed Under: Vicars Blog

September (2019) Pastoral Letter    (and a few other bits n pieces)

The Summer Holiday season, be it for the schools or for those at work, somehow allowed the pace of life to slow down – a bit.  Even the queuing to get onto the Carrington Bridge in Worcester or the Malvern Retail Park on a Saturday felt more relaxed. Believe it or not -  we all need to rest.  We are not designed (The Vicar included) to run at full steam for ever in a day.  God created the Sabbath -  but how often do you rest -  and rest in God?

With September, the world suddenly resumes.  It’s as if the throttle shifts rapidly from “Idle” to “Full Speed”.  Suddenly, we belong again : back to the world of work,  schools, the cycle of church meetings resume.  Some of you might then take a holiday!

So, where do we all belong? Hopefully we would all say, “in God’s family”, and that means being part of God’s family here within the four churches of these two parishes. Pub quiz fact- September is the only month with the same number of letters in it as the number of the month…so with that in mind here’s nine things that being part of God’s family might mean for us all…

Families have history. Life revolves around stories, and within the churches I’ve noticed we seem to excel at telling our ‘story’.  But how can we make our Churches relevant to the communities we serve?  All of our churches have a story to tell,  the best one is a Love Story of course……   
Families enjoy entertainment together. I hope you will engage in the harvest supper season,  and our harvest festivals in church.  Pop in and “get lost” in the Worcester Maize Maze too before it’s too late! Join in with the Village Hall Anniversary Picnic at Guarlford (see the website for details).

Families delight in each other’s progress. Engage with the Parish Review -  what does Your Church mean to you -  especially if you  don’t venture through the front door.  It’s still Your Church.
Families know and families care. Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms are very important life events; as part of God’s family we are privileged to be able to extend a warm welcome and embrace to those who come our way, even though it may be fleeting. May we welcome strangers in our midst during September, as in other months, as though we are entertaining angels.

Families trust each other.  Our Church meetings ramp up again to continue their cycle of oversight and care. Please remember these important church bodies in your prayers. There is still time (yawn,  I am asking again….) for YOU to consider becoming a Churchwarden or Treasurer.
Families have favourite seasonal events.  Harvest is about to kick off, even though I sense that most of the farms have had it safely gathered in for weeks.  Maybe you will engage with a Scarecrow Festival -  we are launching one again in Powick this year, and if it works, why can’t it work in Madresfield, Guarlford, and Newland next year?
Families communicate – the days of letter writing is waning, unfortunately (but I love writing these monthly “letters”) but how are we communicating with each other?   Are we listening or hearing?  Is anyone reading anything and learning?   How can we communicate our Faith?

Families grow up. Nurseries, Schools, Colleges and Universities all start back this month. Do pray for our three Church of England Schools and nursery providers and for all those children in God’s family here, who will be starting the new academic year  in whatever setting with everything which that brings with it.
Families look out for each other. As God’s family here in this place, we have a wonderful opportunity to look out for each out, in love and compassion. Keep an eye out for anyone on whom you may be able to help. Keep safe and take care.

With much love and blessings to you all,   Rev Gary


Old Hills Church Website

The new website for the two parishes and your church in Powick, Callow End, Guarlford, Madresfield and Newlands is now line.  It is a resource that will develop but has sufficient information (and pictures) to show you what Your Church is up to in these communities.  The online diary and Good News sections are popular pages to view.  It is a developing resource so please bookmark it in your favourites (whatever that means!)

Parish Review Update

At the end of June, Rev Gary launched the Parish Review -  an opportunity to fundamentally look at how the four churches are operating and relating to the communities within which they serve.  It is a Parish Review which means all those reading this magazine, not just the church attending community , are encouraged to get involved.  So please do so.  There will be events over the next year to understand the role of Your Church in Your Community.  So do have your say.  What should the Vicar do with the Churchyards?  Worship Times?  Types of Services we offer?  How does the church look after all entrusted to its care (c3700 of you even though maybe 2% of that figure comes to church).  And more besides.  If you don’t want to come to an event,  please contact Rev Gary via the address book on the inside cover or via the website.