A Message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, 28th April 2015, 15:16

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com

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A word from the Vicar!
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The latest Mori poll suggests that …
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As we enter the month of May we are literally days away from the General Election (thank the Lord I am sure we will be all saying!) and as a result I can pretty much guarantee that every News programme will have at least one graph or opinion poll result in it, and so to keep with the trend and not wanting to disappoint you I give you another survey result:
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The survey says that 100% of the readers of the Northwood Parish Magazine are happy with what Rev. Amanda Collinson and St John the Baptist church are doing for the local community and the people of Northwood.
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‘Outrage,’ I can hear being shouted, ‘where did that survey get those results from?’ Well I will tell you – from your good selves!  I asked you all in the newsletter last month to contact me and tell us what do we do that is good or bad and what do we not do that perhaps we should as well as other questions and sadly I got not one reply.
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I’ll be honest with you, I was a little surprised and actually saddened with this response. I know there are some brilliantly strong-minded people out there and so was expecting some comments – and I was ready to take the bad as well as the good, because if I wasn’t then I shouldn’t have asked in the first place (hence why you will never hear me say ‘Does my bum look big in this!’)
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But now I have had no comments I can, like all good politicians, spin this lack of replies into a whole world of positive statements about myself and the church which put us in a great light!  Don’t worry I would not be so cheeky … but look how easy it is to assume that you are doing something OK or right, when actually that may not be this situation.
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I was talking to a dear friend recently and they told me how a mutual friend had upset them. ‘Did you say anything to them?’ I asked.  ‘No,’ they replied, ‘because I am sure they would be mortified if they knew they had upset me.’ Whilst that may be the case, they may never know their behaviour has been upsetting if no one ever tells them.
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The bible talks a great deal about relationships and in St Matthew’s Gospel it talks about speaking about your hurt or grievance rather than let it simmer until it boils over … but that hardly ever happens in church as criticism and conflict appear to be dirty words amongst a loving congregation. I remember at theological college a dear friend of mine (who was ex-Army) and I had an argument. I cannot remember what it was about, but it was relatively heated. We had our ‘debate’ and then just carried on. The two other people in the room just sat there dumbfounded – they couldn’t understand how two good friends could have such an argument and then simply move on. I remember saying, ‘It’s because he is a good friend that I can do this; he needs to know when he has upset me, just as much as I need to know when I have irritated him.’ Being Christian doesn’t mean that you have to love everybody irrelevant of what they do or say, it means you help people to be the best person you can and sometimes that means you have to be honest but in a loving and caring way … just shouting will not help the situation, but explaining why you were upset, how you have taken their actions/behaviour to heart etc. should help people to understand each other better. I think the world would be a more honest and nicer place if we were a bit more like that …
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Now I am not typing this, encouraging you to argue and be confrontational, indeed I don’t like confrontation, but we have to be honest with one another … and if that means you don’t like this article and inform me accordingly, I will still like you, indeed even more so for your honesty!  So this month, be active rather than passive, look at what you do or don’t respond to and why (in particular don’t moan about how the country is governed if you don’t vote) and be real friends to your nearest and dearest, even if that means telling them something they might not like, making sure you do it in a loving and caring way.
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I pray that we all work hard to ensure our community is as strong, honest and true as it possibly can be.
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With all good wishes
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Rev. Amanda
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