Monday, 19 March 2012
This excellent publication is packed with information about all activities of the four Churches in the Benefice: Ludgvan, Marazion, Perranuthnoe & St Hilary.
The monthly magazine, priced at 50p, is available at the back of each of the Churches and at numerous outlets (Pubs, shops and Post Offices) throughout the four parishes. The magazine also contains numerous useful advertisements for products and services available.
Well worth every penny - buy one today !!
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
All the festivities are over for another year. Some of us will be hoping that the winter
won’t be too long, and that soon the daffodils will peep through giving us a
glimpse of the coming spring. I foundthis poem that I would like to share with you. It’s based on the magi that travelled so far to worship the Christ Child. They are warned in a dream not to return to King Herod, and to go home another way.
After the star, the dim day.
After the gifts, the empty hands.
And now we take our secret way
back to far lands
After the cave, the bleak plain.
After the joy, the weary ride.
But journey we, three new-made men,
side by side.
Came we by old paths by the sands.
Go we by new ones this new day,
homewards to rule our lives and lands
by another way.
January is a time when we remember the old, and look forward
to the new. What will this New Year bring? You may not see me as much during January and February as I am working a placement at Madron and Gulval Parishes as part of my training towards Ordination. It will be interesting to see how life and worship goes on in these places and to take an active part in the services.
In the light of all the celebrations and worship we have shared together this last Christmas, I hope that the Christ Child has inspired us to live ‘another way’, just like the magi. May God be with us as we face all the challenges that 2012 may bring.
Friday, 2 December 2011
Holding onto the Divinity of Jesus
Now it is truly winter, our season of celebration is about to begin. We have lots of great events to look forward to: ‘Christingle Services’ at Ludgvan & Perranuthnoe, the lighting of many Christmas trees and ‘The Christmas Tree Festival’ at Marazion, many, many Carol Services and Nativity Presentations in churches, school halls and pubs to enjoy, as well as our own preparations, card, food and present-buying to accomplish by December 25th.
In recent years much stress has been placed in theological circles on the ‘humanity’ of Jesus: ‘He was just an ‘ordinary’ baby, born to an unmarried teenage mother, in a cold, out-house stable’. Indeed, the birth of the Christ-child prefigures and sanctifies the coming of all new human life into the world (in whatever circumstances – however ‘poor’ or ‘mean’ or ‘lowly’) and the Nativity Story provides us with a template for our own private ‘nativities’: how many grandparents have not made long journeys bearing gifts to welcome a new child into a family?
However, all our ‘coo-ing’ and ‘aaah-ing’ at Nativity plays and Children’s Services of Light should not lull us into a feeling that we are just welcoming ‘another’ baby into the world: Jesus is not an ‘ordinary’ baby: he is the Divine ‘Son of God’, the ‘True Light’, ‘The Word made Flesh’ as the opening Chapter of St John’s Gospel informs us. John, Chapter One will surprise us once again as it is read out at many Carol Services in the Christmas Season and as it elucidates the sheer scale, grandeur and poetic vision of Who it is we are celebrating coming to us at Christmastime: the Christ-child is the pre-existent ‘Word of God’, who has been with us since the dawn of time, he is our God made human, come amongst us.
The wonder of God trapping himself in human form is enough to behold, but Jesus comes into the world not only with a need to be loved and cuddled and provided with a ‘baby-grow’ (he gets ‘swaddling bands instead!): the Christ-child comes to us with a challenge. As we read the predictions of the prophets Isaiah, Zephaniah and Malachi in the Advent lead-up to Christmas we learn how Jesus comes with ‘the zeal of the Lord of Hosts’ to challenge rulers and to judge the world, ‘to bring down the Mighty from their seat’ (Luke 1:52) and bring in and establish his reign of justice, righteousness and peace: the prophet Isaiah tells us the Messiah is ‘Mighty Counsellor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6).
In all our joyful Christmas celebrations let us keep hold of the majesty of the Event we are celebrating: God coming to be made with us in the Christ-child, to bring challenge and Light to ‘the principalities and powers’ of this ‘present darkness’ and this ‘passing age’ (Ephesians 6:12), to establish his rule of justice, mercy and peace forever.
I very much hope to see you over the Christmas period, (and, not forgetting, our celebrations in the Benefice continue in January, with the Celebration of St Hilary Feast on 15 January, Ludgvan Feast on 22 January and Candlemass on 29 January).
May all your own preparations and celebrations go well and may your hearts be made ready this Advent to welcome Jesus, the Divine Son of God.
Revd Nigel Marns
Rector, The United Benefice of Mounts Bay
(Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe)
Sunday, 30 October 2011
What a day we had with Bishop Tim on 4 October. His visit was accompanied with the hottest weather in October for many a year and provided us with the best of all worlds to walk the Pilgrims Way from Ludgvan, where he blessed the magnificent mural in the Murley Hall, then on to Marazion for the wonderful 150th anniversary celebrations and then, after a splendid lunch, some of us walked on to Perranuthnoe for tea and cake and blessing of the Church Rooms.
From there we all moved back to Marazion to the School where we had a great deal of fun in our outdoor worship with the Bishop (who remembers the Superman Grace he taught us?) parents, children and staff in their new outdoor facility. Well done Dom for creating this worship time.
Not to mention….more lovely cake and scones and cream and jam and tea and coffee and ……….I am sure you get the picture!
I unfortunately was unable to do the walk because someone had to carry the Bishop’s jacket! (That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it) but well done those who did do any part of the walk).
During the service in All Saints Marazion the Bishop blessed a newly restored alter frontal, a whole lot of new pew bibles and he also licensed me as Associate Priest in our Benefice.
So what does “Associate Priest” mean? And why wasn’t Lilian made “Associate Priest?” Why was Lilian a perpetual Assistant Curate? I have been asked.
The answer lies in the new – since February of this year – Common Tenure for all clergy in the Church of England.
Under Common Tenure my old 5 year Licence, given at my priesting in 2008, has been revoked and my new Licence has been granted. My new Licence from the Bishop is given because I am now deemed to be fully trained in the ways of the priesthood so no longer a Curate but a fully fledged Priest.
Dom will remain a Curate until he too has completed his training then he will, in all probability, leave us and take on his own Parish where he will be the Associate Priest, or Vicar or Rector or whatever.
Annie will also become a Curate next year and she will then start her next phase of training with Nigel and Dom.
If all of this sounds very “Church of England” then please be assured – it is! I had thought all this through and researched as best I could when I came across the fact that “Associate Priest” isn’t a new title - there have been Associate Priests in the Diocese for many years – long before Common Tenure was thought of but I have no explanation for that – maybe they’re not as Associate as I am!
So your clergy team now consists of our Rector Nigel, House for Duty Priest Noel, together with Reader Lesley, Associate Priest Beth, Assistant Curate Dom and Ordinand Annie along with the indispensable retired priests John, Frank, David and Leslie who do so much to help in the Benefice and without whom the whole thing couldn’t work.
I do hope that clarifies the situation – just a little bit anyway.
Having sorted out what we are called, we now have to put our vision of the future forward – much more important.
Who knows – except God Himself – what the future will bring but some of our plans for the next exciting year in our Benefice for 2012 are:-
the Easter Celebrations – watch this space, the Benefice visit to Westminster Abbey on 17th June, the Ordination of Annie and the Priesting of Dom the following day at the end of June followed in October by Dom and Hannah’s wedding.
We journey on with God and while He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow I am very pleased to say that our God also delights in doing a new thing. I hope and pray that we do too.
All love, from your new and very excited Associate Priest, Beth xx
Friday, 30 September 2011
A dictionary definition of the word ‘hope’: is a small bay, an inlet; a haven – perhaps a suitable description for parts of our United Benefice here at Mounts Bay.
A further definition is: a desire of some good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable; an expectation of something which is thought to be desirable.
This time of year we are all filled with hope, we hope for a good harvest and for not too harsher winter. We hope that the children get back to school ok and we look on during the coming months for those who face uncertainty in their jobs as they hope for clarity and those that face difficulties with finances as they hope for some ease to help them.
As I move around our benefice I too am filled with hope because there is so much happening:
·Today I have left the Murley Hall at Ludgvan, which was filled with people eating bacon butties and buying fruit and veg at the autumn fair.
·There is a real sense of excitement in the air in Marazion as preparations pick up a pace for the Bishop’s visit on the 2nd of October.
·St. Hilary’s heritage centre is thriving with the hope that this will continue and grow
·Perranuthnoe are filled with expectation at the launch of the new churches together youth group ‘Alive’ and
·We approach our home group with hope that we can come closer to our Lord Jesus through his ‘I am Saying’s.
Hope: a desire of some good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.
But what do we do when hope dies?
Our hearts and prayers go out to the community and families in Wales as the BBC headlines read ‘Welsh mine tragedy: Hope ends in tears for families’ and the country reflects on what for them must seem like a hopeless situation.
Christians have a sure and certain hope, the hope of resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Another word for ‘hope’ is ‘confidence’. By substituting this word we have: Christians have a sure and certain confidence, the confidence of resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those of you that are attending the home groups will be spending time looking at Jesus’ saying in John, chapter 11: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me, will never die”.
I don’t want to spoil the home group for you, but just to say that this is the saying that we hinge our hope, expectation, and anticipation on, this is an amazing claim to hear from Jesus, both in its context after Lazarus’ death but also today in 2011.
I pray that the families, friends and community of the Welsh miners may find hope and comfort in these words and my brothers and sisters, Jesus’ words of hope and resurrection are for you also.
As we enter this next month in the life of the benefice there is lots to be hopeful for, a lot to be confident in and a lot to look forward to - but can I urge you to take a moment to stop and remember those who have trouble in finding this hope. Pray for them to seek and find the hope of Jesus Christ our Lord.
When the headlines speak of hopelessness and the world seems a dark place, remember that Christ is our light, our hope, our confidence and our courage.
Revd. Dom Jones
Assistant Curate The United Benefice of Mounts Bay (Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe)
Friday, 9 September 2011
Jesus seemed oddly interested in our storage arrangements too, how we keep and hoard so many possessions that we have to build bigger extensions and barns to house it all (Luke 12:16-30). Jesus instructs us to sit lightly to all we own, otherwise ‘rust and moth decay’ and ‘thieves break in and steal’, as the big stores of our land (the ‘Sony Warehouse’s and ‘Staples Superstores’) recently discovered.
A contrasting picture that has haunted me over recent weeks was the picture of young men lifting a plasma television screen out of a ‘Currys’ shop-front window in Clapham Junction and a woman in Ethiopia carrying all the wood she could manage on her back to a refugee camp to escape from her village and the famine in the Horn of Africa. Both were carrying what they saw as ultimately valuable.
The pictures from the Horn of Africa are once again shocking. Even after so much effort was poured into relieving the situation there, despite all the emergency relief aid given in the 1980s and the long term development aid, the area remains resolutely poor, the need is too vast and huge, and the population dependent upon subsistence farming. Due to the recent drought (which has now lasted for three years) the region has once again plunged into famine.
There is such a disparity between these two pictures, isn’t there? Between the fortunes of our own society obsessed with the collection of the latest consumer durables (sometimes at any cost) and needing ‘Storage Solutions’ and my Ethiopian woman with her pile of wood and the millions who have lost everything: farm, home and village. Perhaps we can bear them in mind as we are coming to the time of Harvest Celebrations, as the season turns, and as there is a nip in the evening air and the nights noticeably drawing in,.
We pray that our own local farmers may have good yields but we also pray for those in our world who have little or nothing, and we pray that we give generously to alleviate their need. ‘To us to whom much is given, much more is expected’, Jesus says (Luke 12:48). A Prayer written by a Parishioner for our recent ‘Sacred Space’ Prayer on the theme of ‘the healing of the nations, captures this for me:
‘For ourselves that each in our own place that we may be people of peace and well-springs of hope.’
This Harvest-time, as we give thanks for all God’s gifts around us, may we too think about our own acquisitive needs and chose to live more simply so that others may simply live.
Revd Nigel Marns
Rector, The United Benefice of Mounts Bay
(Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe)
Monday, 1 August 2011
Most of you know that I am now about to begin my second year in training with the South West Ministry Course and a number of you have helped me over the last year by filling in questionnaires relating to a local survey, assessing my sermons and leading worship. Thank you for the time you have taken over this and also, for all the encouragement and support.
This week, I was asked to take my first funeral with Beth at my side, and I thought I would share the latter part of my address with you. I think we all need reminding sometimes how awesome, wonderful and BIG the love of our God is.
“As a Christian I believe in heaven. It’s hard for us to imagine, but I believe that heaven is just like coming home, where everything is perfect – just like God always intended our world to be. Jesus tells us that He is the Way and that he will come and take our hand to lead us home – home to the Father God.
God’s love is SO BIG, and that - for us mere humans, is also hard to imagine. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, not even death. God’s love is like a river that flows on from this world to the next. God’s love is so big that he can hold everyone in it. Even those who may not think they want to be held in it. God’s love is so big that he loves us just as we are, warts and all! And God loves us all far too much to ever, ever let any of us go.”
Love and blessings