Friday, 30 September 2011

Newsletter October 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

Newsletter September 2011

‘May we live simply so others may simply live’.

This telling phrase came to mind as I have noticed that many hardware or furniture shops now offer sections entitled ‘Storage Solutions’ - all sorts of ingenious little boxes and hangers so that we can tidy away all our stuff.

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)