The Vicar writes for November

The Vicar writes………

The Autumn term can seem to many people to be a very busy time. After the restful period of the summer holidays children have returned to, or have started school, or left home to start university. School-teachers particularly welcome the October half-term break as a breather from that frantic first few weeks and a chance to take a break before the next few weeks of frantic activity up to leading up to Christmas. I even found as a Scout Leader that the first half-term break was always the most welcome.

In the life of the Church too, this time of year is particularly challenging, in a pleasant way of course. As well as celebrating Holy Cross Day we have once again had a tremendous Harvest celebration this year and were able to support Hope Central and Send-a-Cow charities. Looking ahead, the Requiem, Remembrance Sunday and Christ the King draw the year of the church to a close before we go into Advent and begin our preparations to once again welcome afresh our new-born King. I am hugely encouraged with the number of Advent Calendars we have sold in St. Cross this year which will help our younger people to gain a greater understanding of this time of year. I also look forward once again to greeting our friends from the Salvation Army for our Christmas Concert.

In the thick of all this activity I have a three-day retreat planned with the Mirfield Community of the Resurrection. It will be three days of prayer, worship, silence and fellowship with the brothers there.

Priests, and particularly those who are running parishes, are encouraged to do this and for good reason. Jesus himself spent many hours serving others and then taking time out, to have that personal time of solitude with his Father. It was that peace and seclusion that enabled Jesus to be energised and have the strength to meet the needs of his people. I very much hope that this time not only will refresh me, but will also allow me to have a greater openness to encounter the living God, and to hear what the ‘Spirit is saying to our Church’ (Revelation 2.11).

We all have that opportunity to make the effort and carve some time out to be with Jesus at the end of November on our Advent Quiet Day. A group called ‘The Friends of the Resurrection’ asked me to lead a day for them and I offered to do this at St. Cross to enable our own church to benefit. It is a day of reflections, prayer and music and will be timetabled in such a way that one can take part in the whole day or parts of it. Do you too, need a little time out in order that your own spiritual batteries may be replenished? Keep a lookout for details appearing this month.

 

A view from the balcony looking West in the Church at the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield.