A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Monday, 26th October 2015, 23:48

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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Hello there!
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‘Remember, remember the fifth of November’ is how the poem goes. And even putting the anti-parliamentarian Guy Fawkes to one side, November for the church is certainly a month of remembering.
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The first of the month we have All Saints Day.  From its earliest days, the Church has recognised the faithful heroes whose lives have excited others to holiness and have linked the Church on earth and the Church in heaven. Celebrating the feast of All Saints began in the fourth century and it has stuck for 1200 years since: it is a special day for me as both my parishes come together in one church to remember and thank God for all the Saints.
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And then the following Sunday the whole country stops to remember those who have fallen in war.  Remembrance Sunday is a poignant day for so many people, even those who have never experienced war, as we remember the millions of people who have given their lives in conflicts past and present so we can continue our present life in safety and freedom.  Both my parishes will be commemorating the fallen with a special service and for those people who are unable to leave their homes, for one reason or another, there is the national ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.  The ceremony has been televised each year by the BBC since 1946. It is the joint-longest-running live televised annual event in the world, the record being shared with the Chelsea Flower Show.
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Finally at the end of the month we start our journey towards Christmas with Advent Sunday.  Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This is equivalent to the Sunday nearest to St Andrew’s Day, and falls this year on 29 November. Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ as a baby born in a stable but also looks ahead to his ?nal advent when he returns at the end of time. Whilst the world is running around in pre-Christmas fun, frantic shopping, excitement and cheer, we in the church are asked to stop, think and reflect – yes trust me it is a very challenging time for me, having to juggle ‘reflection’ with carol services, nativity plays and two very excited boys!
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November is truly a month when we, in the church, are asked not to worry or think about ourselves, but to think of others, past and present, who have had a life of service: from foot soldiers to our Saviour Jesus Christ.  We have to be honest – in the busyness of daily life, we sometimes do forget people around us, and just worry about our lives and what is going right/wrong with them…….. so this month I would encourage you to stop this: don’t prioritise your wants, plans, wishes, instead look at others around you and see if they are coping well with their lives.  Why? Because I have heard of so much heartache recently – tragic test results of young parents who have terminal cancer, children being diagnosed with life limiting diseases, youngsters being abused….that’s all locally and before I even start remembering the desperate scenes we are seeing on our TV screens from foreign countries.
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‘Remember November’ is a strapline for America when they have their presidential elections every four years.  I think we should take that line ourselves and make sure we look up and remember not only those who have lost their battle but also those who continue to struggle around us and throw our energy into that and less into our own lives. We live in a community, we are part of a community.  We need to remember we are surrounded by other people, who may be having a more difficult time than we are.  As Alice Hobensack once said ‘It is in our hands — yours and mine — to make a decision to work, to work together, and to work with others around the whole world, to build friendship, and love, and understanding among all people.’
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I wish you a peaceful, reflective and good remembrance month!
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Rev’d Amanda.

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