A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 28th April 2018, 00:10

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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I had the joy and privilege to speak to a great number of school children before the Easter break about my faith and what Christians believe.  Part of the conversations included talking about what was different when I was growing up and today…..it was highly amusing as the staff members and I recalled our childhood and told the children what we didn’t have and what we played with (there were a lot of gasps!) and they introduced me to two new words that I had not properly grasped: the ‘dab’ and the ‘floss’! To those of you who are just as confused as I was with these terms – Google them or ask your grandchildren!

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Reflecting on those conversations with my husband later, we talked about the more profound differences from our youth and now.  Most notably how we used to trust, without question, those in authority, be it the police, politicians or celebrities. In the last few years or so, that complete ‘faith and belief’ in these people and organisations has faltered, one by one, through revelations that have arisen: Jimmy Savile and the Child abuse trials, the Hillsborough Report, disclosures from the wars in Iraq and more recently Syria.

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There have also been the terrible exposures of the charity workers who have abused their position of power and in some cases abused the very people they were sent to help.

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And at the other end of the spectrum there are the many of us who have the day to day struggle of honesty with arguing children – you know that situation when you ask whose fault it was, and both children reply that it was the other child!

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Pilate famously said, ‘What is truth?’ while questioning Jesus.  Some theologians suggest these words were said in mockery, but others including the directors of the film ‘The Passion of Christ’ suggest that he was not able to make up his mind as to what the truth was and who was lying.  I will be honest with you, that is kind of how I feel at the moment with the world we live in….

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So what truths can we agree on?  Well, we live in a relatively safe and peaceful country.  We have freedom to do pretty much what we want.  We, in the main, have many more possessions than we need.  We have free healthcare whether we have insurance or not. We have free education up to 18 years old.  We can eat fruit and veg outside their normal season of growth in the UK.  We can buy virtually anything on the internet if we have the money, or credit.  We can travel wherever we want to go, whenever we want to …….

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Whether we are struggling in one way or another, or currently having a good life, we are still more fortunate in numerous ways than so many, many people in the world.  That is the truth.  So, what should we do with that truth itself? Well, first of all be thankful for what we have. Secondly considering giving something to those who are less fortunate.  To those of you who already give regularly – thank you on behalf of the charities you support, but to those who do not or those who would wish to give more can I highlight to you the good work of Christian Aid.

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Christian Aid week falls during this month and once again we as a church will be supporting this great charity.  Working for those in need for nearly 70 years, Christian Aid works in 37 countries around the world.  Most importantly 85p of every £1 given is used for direct charitable purposes. The remaining 15p is invested in fundraising. For every £1 they invest, they secure more than £7 in return.

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They support people like Marcelin who lost his home and livelihood when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti in September 2016. He now lives in an old concrete shower block, a tiny space he shares with his 3 teenage daughters. There are no windows or doors, and the only furniture is a single bed that the girls sleep on.  Marcelin gets up every day at dawn to work the land but he’s struggling to support his family. The changing weather frequently destroys the food he grows, and his family often go hungry.  He can no longer afford to send all his children to school and is unable to save any money for a new home.  Your donation could help Christian Aid to build him a home that is more likely to survive. Of the 700 houses they built after the 2010 earthquake, just one needed to be repaired after Hurricane Matthew.

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Whilst we know that times remain tough, with your help and support we can make life-changing differences to people – every penny will count and will be much appreciated.

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So, as we continue to struggle with truths in today’s society, remember to hold on to the certainties of your lives, whatever they may be and if you can help others to have some firm foundations in their life, be it a home or simply hope for the future, do it.  Whether it is through a donation to Christian Aid or just being a good neighbour, you are making the dark world we live in a little bit brighter and for that I thank you.

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Wishing you a truthful month!

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Rev’d Amanda

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