Bills Letter Christmas

Bill’s Letter December 2014/January 2015

I came across this picture some years ago, as an idea for a Christmas card.  It’s a picture that set me thinking about a number of messages that are important for Christmas.

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The focus of the picture is Jesus as a baby, but with the star that shows this is not an ordinary baby.  The star is a symbol of his power and glory, his light and role as guide and revealer of the truth.

Jesus is the one whom people are coming to see and to meet.  The people are from different cultures yet all are attracted to see Jesus. The Bible and Christian history are full of stories of people meeting Jesus and their lives being transformed.  If our Christmas is going to start with Christ, this means taking time to think what this means.

I would like to encourage you to use this picture to think about Christmas and your place in the story.  Where would you put yourself in the picture?  What would it mean to meet with Jesus?  How would you like your life and your relationships to be transformed?

With all the rush and bustle of Christmas, it is sometimes hard to keep the focus on Jesus.  With all the crowds it is sometimes hard to really meet with each other.

Please take the opportunity to come to some of the events advertised in this magazine; decide to start this Christmas with Christ and show his love to one another.

Rev Bill Henderson

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Film Club – November 2014

Friday evening, 14th November, 7:30pm

‘Private Peaceful’ (2012)    12 Rating

An ideal film to watch as we remember 100 years since the start of World War 1, ‘Private Peaceful’ is an adaptation of the brilliant best-selling novel by Michael Morpugo.  It tells the story of the unbreakable bond between two brothers during World War 1, in which they are transported from childhood innocence in the fields of Devon to the  violence of the battlefield in Flanders.  In the trenches they experience the brutal injustice of war, far removed from rural family life, and their rivalry for the beautiful Molly Monks.  Directed by Pat O’Connor and with an all-British cast including George MacKay, Jack O’Connell and  Maxine Peake, this is a powerful and emotional tale of injustice, love, heroism, and fierce family ties that will never be broken.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm

 

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Bill’s Letter November 2014

We are moving towards the end of 2014 already.  The clocks have gone back and the dark evenings are drawing in but we are seeing the beautiful autumn colours beginning to show as we move into the next season.

Plans are also progressing for the site of the old church.  The idea is to make it a place that people will want to come and visit; a place for reflection; a place to tell stories of Christ, the church and the community.  Plans will be on display from 17th November and there will be a drop-in day on Friday 21st November.  It would be helpful if you have any ideas to hear from you.

A theme this month is ‘remembering’.  We had the Memorial Service for people who have died recently on October 26th.  Thank you to all those who came and stayed on for tea and cakes; there was a real sense of supporting each other at a difficult time.  The Remembrance Service for those who have been killed in wars will be at 10am on Sunday November 9th.  As part of the service we will go over to the site of the War Memorial to place poppies and wreaths there.  Do come and join us.

Each of these services are different, and at each we do more than just remember.  We are bringing God into a situation that is painful. We show respect and show how we value the lives of those who have died.  We say thank you for what they have given us.  Sadly, as we look around today, the prospects for world peace are not very good.  It is truly shocking as we observe what human beings do to each other, for example the terrible actions of ISIS and others: cycles of violence that only seem to escalate.

We can be left feeling helpless but there are some things we can do.  We remember with thanks the death of Jesus; a death that was not in vain as we show each time we respond to Him.  Jesus was also the great peacemaker, and lays down a challenge for us: love your enemies; do not keep a record of wrongs; forgive one another.  We may not be able to effect world peace, but we can be peacemakers in our families and community.

Rev Bill Henderson

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Bill’s Letter October 2014

After a bit of a break, work has continued on the site of the old church.  The ground has been prepared for grass seeding and we are waiting for the grave stones that were moved for protection to be     replaced.  It is now possible to see more clearly what the state of the site will be when it is handed over ready for the next stage.  I would very much like for the community to get involved with ideas and   helping with the work.

One of the jobs to be done is to clear the path that leads down the steps to Aberford Road.  I would like to invite anyone who would like to help to come on Saturday 18th October to help.  Please bring your own tools if you can.  We will start at 10am and if enough people come, it will not take too long.  On the down side, it looks like some of the stones that have been left for building the legacy of the old church have been stolen.  I would ask people to look out for this and report any suspicious activities to the police.

We are moving forward with the plans for building a suitable place for the war memorial and peace garden.  These will be on display when we have our next consultation during the week beginning 17th November, in the Church Centre.  On Friday 21st there will be people available to talk to and ask questions. We have had some great ideas so far.  One of the graves that will be restored is of a local engineer called Bartholomew.  His story is well known in Goole but is little known in his home town, Stanley.  We would like to have something that tells his story.  There may be other stories from the past to record and I would like to hear your ideas.

This is also the time of year when we celebrate harvest.  We can stop and think about the good gifts that come from the earth, our     gratitude to God and to those who work the land.  We would like to invite you to join in these celebrations.  There will be a Ceilidh on    Saturday October 11th at St Peter’s School, with the usual live band (please ring 835746 for tickets).  There will be a special service on Sunday morning at 10am and on Tuesday October 14th a harvest lunch open to all in the village but especially aimed at the more mature   members of the community to come and join us.

Rev Bill Henderson

 

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Film Club – October 2014

Friday evening, 10th October, 7:30pm

‘Philomena’ (2014)    12 Rating

Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena (Judi Dench) was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”.  When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America.  Philomena spends the next fifty years searching for him but with no success.  Then she meets  Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a world-weary political journalist who happens to be intrigued by her story.  Together they set off to America on a journey that will not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin.  The film is a compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life, showing that there is laughter even in the darkest places.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm

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Bill’s Letter September 2014

This August we have lost two of our village’s real characters: Muriel Bell and Lilly Noble.

Muriel was well known for her involvement in the community over the years and for supporting the family business of funeral directors.  The family were very involved in supporting the Scouts and Muriel was a founding member of the Parents’ Committee.  She was a governor at St Peter’s school and of course did an amazing amount to support the church.  In her younger days she helped doing flowers and polishing the brasses.  Her home was a venue for jumble sales when the garage was cleared and all family were involved in helping.  Muriel organised coffee mornings with cakes and people would be waiting for grandma Bell’s cakes to appear on the stall.  Her bedroom cupboard was full of jars of homemade jam to sell for the church.  Even in her last weeks, her one outing was to support the Church Gala.

Lilly was a sickly child and was rather amused in her latter years that she had lived so long.  She lived life to the full and was always  determined to do as much as she could.  Lilly had real concern for the community and was willing to get involved and help. She has been  indefatigable in the work on the Moorhouse estate being a founder member of the Action Group and always willing to speak up for and work for the improvement of the community.  She was someone who was willing to give her time to making sure things happened and so was, for example, active in keeping the Monday bingo group going.

I have been inspired by the example of these two stalwarts, and it is true to say if more people could follow their example and give time to working for our village, it would be a better place.  So we remember them with affection and gratitude and see how they reflected their faith and the example of Jesus.  It challenges us to look at each other as brothers and sisters with love; to want the best for our neighbour and be willing to listen and understand each other, and to build significant relationships.

Rev Bill Henderson