Parish Magazine ~ September 2016

30, The Ridgeway,

Nowadays, when people choose to have their children baptised, they might be making a decision that other people do not understand or respect. And they say that someone like me is a relic of the past, promoting something unbelievable and offering an event that is completely irrelevant in modern society. We live in an age when religion has a bad name, and Christians are thought of as quaint, nostalgic or even mildly dangerous. Perhaps less dangerous than Muslims, but as such, more rather than less easy to ignore completely. Some of you may have encountered these views - you may even hold them. And yet we continue to welcome children into the Christian family, asking the supernatural spirit of God to bless and protect them, and affirming our shared beliefs in Jesus Christ - the Son of God, who died on the Cross and rose again to give us hope on earth and in heaven. So, what are we doing, and what answer can we give to anyone who asks, ‘why on earth would you do that?’

Here are some facts, which you may or may not know: Great Britain - pre or post Brexit, is a Christian country. It doesn’t matter what those of other faiths and none say - we are not a secular nation. USA, France and Turkey are secular nations - but we are not. Christianity lies at the heart of our government, culture and legal system. Anyone is free to dislike this, but no-one can deny it. Nevertheless, being a Christian country does not mean that everyone who lives here is or must be a Christian. And indeed many - around half of the population - say they are not. But because we are a Christian country - as opposed to being a secular, or a Muslim country, people are free not to be. In some Muslim countries, not being a Muslim can be very difficult indeed - life-threatening even. Whereas Britain is not a country in which non-Christians are persecuted. As a Christian country we allow other faiths their freedom. Secular countries, often do not, and restrict the freedoms of all faiths. This is, currently a problem, as for example, France is fiercely secular. Which is why issues surrounding multiculturalism and multi-faith - work out differently. The underlying philosophy and agenda is different.

For at heart of a Christian country is the belief that we are all creatures of God, loved by God, redeemed by Christ and sustained by the Holy Spirit. At the heart of a secular nation lies the belief that beliefs have no place at the heart of the nation. At the heart of a religious country is a set of values and beliefs that can be accepted, rejected, overturned even. Whereas at the heart of a secular country is a vacuum, a black hole into which goodness and truth may be sucked.

In this country, the monarchy, the church, the government desire and work towards the flourishing of all people. It is quite unique internationally, and while it may make Christians look weak, it actually makes our country strong and resilient. For one of the things we will not tolerate is intolerance. Tolerance, welcome and the flourishing of others are values that Jesus gave us. Although he also warns us that issues of faith and belief can cause division and even violence. We know this. And we must be honest about it.

But here’s something else to ponder: About 85% of the world’s 7 billion people adhere to a religion. A fifth of them are Muslims. A billion are Hindus. But about a third of the world’s population - that’s 2.2 billion people - and the biggest group of all - are Christians.

So it’s worth remembering that we are joined in fellowship to a third of the world and half of this country. Contrary to what you might hear or believe, Christianity is the majority faith in Britain, Europe, North America, South America, Africa and it is worth remembering that there are huge numbers of Christians in China, Russia and the Philippines. Christians form the majority faith in 158 countries worldwide, and only 10% of Christians live in countries where they are a minority.

So, it is fair to say that being baptized, or coming to church, or being a Christian is not a strange, minority, irrelevant, meaningless thing to do or be. Quite the opposite. And it was all begun by that one man who gave up his life so that we might all have life - eternal life - all 2.2 billion of us, 2000 years later.

Gordon

If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.

Lunchtime Recitals


Jonathan Newby played for us on Wednesday 13 July, light hearted and entertaining programme, just what we needed in these dark days of gloom and strife.

Concerts return on 14 September with the Serafini Ensemble. The concert starts as 12:30 pm followed by a Ploughman’s Lunch..

Eleanor Pritchard

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Retiring Collection

Ploughman’s Lunch £3.50, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards


Concert Programme For 2016

14 September
Serafini Ensemble

12 October
Catherine Leonard - Piano

9 November
Luca Luciano - Clarinet

14 December
Marion and Michael Smith - Piano and Organ

Up And Coming Events For Your Diary


September
6 Cheese and Wine at Paul and Alison’s – 7:00 pm
17 London Bridges Sponsored Walk
25 Fauré Requiem or Choral Evensong – 6:30pm

October
8 Barn Dance – 6:30 pm
9 Bring and Share Lunch – 12 noon
30 All Souls’ Service – 4:00pm

November
19 Quiz Night and Fish & Chip Supper – 7:30 pm
27 Advent Carol Service – 6:30 pm

December
7 Merryhills Carol Concert – 6pm
11 Festive Fayre – 10:00 am
17 Centenary of the Lady Chapel - tbc
18 Nine Lessons and Carols – 6:30pm
24 Crib Christingle Services – 3:00pm and 4:.30pm
Midnight Mass – 11:30pm
25 Christmas Day Communion – 10am

Magazine


Items for the Octoberber 2016 edition to the editor by Sunday 11 September, please. Documents should be in Microsoft Word or plain text. Please use the magazine section of the pigeon-holes or you can email secretary@stmarymagdalene.church.

Pigeon Holes

Please check them regularly particularly if you are a reader or intercessor.

Parties, Quizzes, Meetings and Receptions


When planning an event, however large or small, do please consider St Mary Magdalene Church Hall.

The large hall can accommodate up to 80 people seated or 120 standing and has a well equipped kitchen with full cooking facilities.

The small hall seats 24 or around 40 standing and has its own self-contained kitchenette.
For details of availability and rates please use our contact page.

Parish Magazine Archives
Click here

The Rambling Group


At the time of going to press our August walk had not yet happened. In September we will concentrate all our energies on the Sponsored Walk in aid of the Organ on the 17th September. For further details please speak to Judy Smith.

Michael Dixon

Fellowship


Programme for 2016

September The Revd Dr Gordon Giles

October The Revd Jackie Fish

November The wonderful Padwick and Ball team return with new material.

December A Pub Lunch locally.

Maureen Lunn

Magazine Stapling Rota 2016


3 September 2016
Peter and Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

1 October 2016
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

5 November 2016
Ju(Yezi) Lan Zhen, Val Hayes, Kate Bissett

3 December 2016
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

7 January 2017
Peter and Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

4 February 2017
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

5 March 2017
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

2 April 2017
Peter and Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

30 April 2017
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

4 June 2017
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke


If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling or if you are unable to keep the above dates please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.

The next Traidcraft stall will be

Sunday 11th September

in the hall after 10:00 am service.

All the usual essentials and treats will be there.

Come and see if there is anything new.

If you want anything before that date, (ginger biscuits, chocolate…?),

just ask me.

Alison Reeve

From The Parish Registers


Service of prayer and dedication

7 August 2015
Dela and Samuel

Dates for your diary ~ Coffee Mornings/Evenings


As I expect you all know throughout this year we will be raising money for St Mary’s Organ Fund and it would be good if you will please put the following dates in your diary - they are all third Tuesday in the month & are coffee mornings unless otherwise stated.

6th Sept
Alison & Paul Reeve - Cheese/wine 7:00 pm

18th October
Lilian & Colin Gibbens

15th Nov
Pam & Vic Harrington

12th Dec
Rita Barker
Please note this is a Monday

Hope to see you at all or some of these events.

Rita Barker

Stewardship 2016


A big thank you to everybody for your response to this year’s Stewardship Campaign. There has been a mixture of increases, decreases and no changes, as is both usual and quite proper and must reflect your individual circumstances. As a result our regular giving will increase by about £1500 a year. This is a worthwhile amount and should help us to balance the books at the end of the year. So thank you all again.

I will shortly be writing to you again asking you to complete new Gift Aid Declaration forms. This enables us to claim tax, for those of you who are taxpayers, on our regular giving and has to be updated because HMRC have changed the wording. All very necessary, no doubt, but an inconvenience nonetheless and I apologise in advance for being a nuisance.

Michael Smith

Coffee Morning


On Tuesday 19th July, the hottest day of the year so far, we had a coffee morning in aid of the Organ Fund. 24 adults and two 2 year olds sat in the garden and enjoyed the glorious summer sunshine. It was nice to be able to relax with friends and enjoy coffee and cakes in temperatures in the high 20’s.

We raised £190 which will be greatly added to once tax is reclaimed. A very successful morning. A big thank you to all who attended

Carol and Peter Lamb

Some Thank You’s


I know some time has passed since our wine and cheese party but, for various reasons, I missed the last magazine date, so sorry for the delay. However, I really wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who came on that evening and helped to make it such a success. We were lucky with the weather, after a very dubious start that day, so we spread out into the garden and enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine in comfort. It was also lovely to see a few people who can’t usually join us on a Thursday morning for the regular coffee mornings because of work commitments. We raised £417 on the night, most of which was gift aided, which is absolutely wonderful, so thank you again.

My thanks also go to Alison, Alison, Janet, Maureen, Wendy and Dot, who helped to make the reception for the Bishop at our Patronal Celebration equally successful.

 Judy Smith

Date for Your Diary


Alison and Paul Reeve will be holding a Cheese and Wine Evening at 44 Ridge Crest, Enfield EN2 8JX on Tuesday 6 September from 7:00 pm

All profit will be for St Mary’s Organ Fund. This will be a fun evening and Alison and Paul will be delighted to welcome as many of you as possible so why not put it in your diary now. Thank you.

Rita Barker

London Bridges Charity Walk


Hopefully by now you will have heard that on Saturday, 17th September we are planning to walk the Thames bridges with the aim of raising money for the organ restoration. Many of you have already taken sponsor forms but I have lots more for anyone who wants them. You have lots of time to persuade friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you, so get busy!

The plan is that on the day we will gather together at the start and then there are lots of options, depending on how far you want to walk, but we will all meet up again at St Paul’s for evensong. Please see me for more details.

In a couple of weeks’ time I will be asking you to confirm that you will be walking so that I have a good idea of numbers and know who to look out for come the day.

Many thanks in advance for the support I know you will give to this event.

 Judy Smith

Launde Abbey 2016


We had a super trip to Launde this year, with rest, relaxation, games, food, drink, worship, and time spend thinking about Richard III and visiting Leicester Cathedral and the Visitor Centre, and learning about Leadership through the ages. We also spent time reflecting upon and developing our Mission Action Plan for the Parish, and you will hear more about that. In brief though, we need to focus on young people, especially with the Free School imminent, and also with our changed admissions to St Michael’s School. Our children now have equal access to St Michael’s which is something to be hugely welcomed and acted upon.

Gordon Giles

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