A SONNET FOR ST BENEDICT
You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found.
You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.
The Feast Day of St Benedict is 11th July.
Malcolm Guite is an ordained Anglican Priest. He is a poet and musician, lectures within the University of Cambridge and in America and is Chaplain and Bye-fellow of Girton College, Cambridge
He is happy for his work to be shared and used within worship.
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.’ (Mark 2.15 NIVUK)
As I write, I’ve just come back from the Ministers’ Summer School, a rainy few days at Wydale Hall near Scarborough, and am about to go on holiday, back by the time you read this, to temperatures in the high 20s Celsius, 80s Fahrenheit.
Despite the rain at Wydale, in fact, the rain didn’t matter at all, it was a wonderfully refreshing week. There was plenty to do and many conversations to be had. The theme of the Summer School was ‘Honey, I shrunk the gospel’, chosen by our speaker, Rev’d John Proctor, URC General Secretary, formerly New Testament tutor at Westminster College. He gave lively and interesting Bible Studies on Ephesians, a book he has studied in depth. There is a lot of material to ponder on and share with you at some stage.
We worshipped together every morning and evening, which followed the theme of Ephesians. It was very creative and thoughtful, culminating in Communion on the last day. Worship is always an integral part of the week.
Our week always includes an outing, this year to Scarborough area, learning how farmers are diversifying, and Yorkshire is making more of a name for itself in various parts of the world. That concluded with an excellent meal in an hotel owned by a member of a URC – an evening just relaxing and chatting, although 20 odd Ministers are a rowdy lot when we get together!
We always also have some creative workshops. This year we learnt a little about painting in watercolours, to give us a possible hobby to continue with. It was very enjoyable and peaceful.
Then our final sessions were on reconciliation, led by a couple who minister in another denomination in Scarborough. The angle they took, on what is actually a very wide theme, was individual reconciliation with God the Father. The speaker looked at various gospel stories of Jesus meeting with individuals, and the outcomes of those conversations. Their Church, from a friendly, cosy congregation of about 30, became a self-giving congregation to the needy in the centre of Scarborough.
The main thrust of the sessions was that Jesus sat with people, of all sorts of backgrounds, and listened to them. From there, He brought them closer to God. We were then encouraged to think about how we respond to the other, the person we’re not comfortable with, the person we might be wary off because of how they look, or their addictions, or what we think they might be like, the person we might be tempted to call, ‘people like that’. We were reminded that we are all made in the image of God, and precious to Jesus.
As disciples of Jesus, we have a call to be like Jesus in how we approach others. The quote at the top from Mark’s gospel reminds us that Jesus was comfortable with talking and eating with any one of His creation, and we are called to put our selves and our own misgivings to one side as we too sit and talk with others, and maybe bring them something of the light of the gospel, the love of Christ.
When we’re able to be out and about in the summer, it’s a good time to take in who is around us, and who might be the other we’re not so comfortable with. It’s a challenge, as it can change us and our thinking as we see Jesus in the other.
May you all be blessed over the summer, Clare
HERE COMES SUMMER!
- Where did Billy Butlin open his first holiday camp, in 1936?
- Who wrote the 1957 novel On the Beach?
- Which king’s patronage helped stimulate the development of Brighton as a seaside resort?
- At 1.34 miles, where is the longest pleasure pier in the UK?
- Which National Trail runs for 181 miles from Amroth to St Dogmaels?
- Which television series is set in Summer Bay?
- Which ice-cream brand makes the Magnum, Solero and Feast ice creams?
- On which Hebridean island is the airport on a beach?
- Which of Shakespeare’s sonnets opens: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”?
- What was the name of the holiday camp in Hi-de-Hi!?
- Where can you find Queen Victoria’s bathing machine on the estate beach?
- Who was the pre-eminent designer of piers in Victorian Britain, with 14 to his name?
- Which beach overlooking Carmarthen Bay was a regular venue for world land-speed record attempts in the 1920s?
- What was the name given to the week’s holiday granted to industrial workers, mostly in the North West and Midlands, in the 19th century and part of the 20th?
- What is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the UK?
- In the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday, the bus driven in the film starts from Piccadilly. In which capital city does it end up?
- What was the name of the ITV holiday show fronted by Judith Chalmers which ran from 1994 to 2003?
- The Great Orme overlooks which Welsh seaside resort?
- What is used to make a Summer Pudding besides fruit and caster sugar?
- Which US state is nicknamed ‘The Sunshine State’?
I hope you enjoy this quiz – sorry no prizes – just fun. Answers at the end of the newsletter.
We shall be holding our lunches as usual during the summer period and you are all welcome to join us; firstly on Tuesday, 9th July and then on Tuesday, 13th August. We gather at around 12.30pm for lunch at 1 o’clock. If you are free on either day but do not normally come, do think about sharing a meal with us – you are most welcome, it is more about friendship than food! The cost is £3.
We hope to arrange a group outing on 23rd July, probably to Canal Gardens in Roundhay, where we shall also be able to have Afternoon Tea. Weather permitting!
PLEASE MAKE A NOTE
NO! Only just July, but here come some dates for the Autumn!
We shall be holding our Church Barbeque on Sunday, 8th September.
All welcome, but Sue Bollon would like an idea of numbers nearer the date.
HERITAGE OPEN DAY: we shall again be opening our buildings to the public and hope that further publicity will encourage more visitors to discover a small haven usually only glimpsed from the street or a passing bus. We shall be open most of the day and would be grateful for help with welcoming visitors and serving refreshments. The date, Saturday, 21st September.
SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER: please may I have all contributions for the next edition by Sunday, 18th August, either directly to me or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
July’s meeting is on Wednesday 10th and August on Wednesday 7th. Do join us for this short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet for those in need and for our Church, or put aside the time to pray at home.
Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation over a cuppa and a Bible passage:
Wednesday 31st July 7.30pm at the Church
Further dates to be discussed
PLEASE NOTE WE SHALL BE HOLDING AN ANNUAL GENERAL CHURCH MEETING AT 12pm ON 14th JULY
|At Headingley Methodist Church
Please let the relevant Elder know if you have a notice you wish to be read out in church that Sunday; if possible, by the previous Wednesday.
|FLOWERS FOR JULY & AUGUST
|Mrs D Sowden
|Mrs J McShane
|Mrs E Grant
|Miss C Tweedie
|Miss G Strawbridge
|At Headingley Methodist Church
|Dr E Cameron
|Mrs S South
|Mrs A Woodhouse
|Dr & Mrs D Nelson
|Mrs S Bollon
|Mrs R Reid
Once more, grateful thanks to all who help with the flowers. They give much pleasure in church, and to those who receive them. If you wish to assist in this part of our outreach, please tell me. You do not have to provide anything elaborate – all flowers are beautiful however they are displayed.
ORA ET LABORA ET LEGE
WORK – PRAY- LEARN
Ann Woodhouse wrote about St Benedict last month and during our recent holiday we became even more aware of his influence on the growth of Christianity in Europe. We re-visited Melk Abbey in the Wachau Region of Austria at its imposing site on a rock high above the Danube. It became a huge complex – a flamboyant baroque citadel glinting in the summer sun.
Monks have lived on the site since 1089, following the rule of St Benedict to work, pray and learn; thereby glorifying God in all things, not only through prayer, but also through their work and willingness to learn.
(Photo by Thomas Ledl – Wikimedia Commons)
The Abbey houses a magnificent library of medieval manuscripts and had been a centre for their production and a school since its foundation. Today’s baroque abbey was built in the early 1700’s and its academic excellence meant it survived the threat of dissolution by the Emperor Joseph II, the Napoleonic wars and the Anschluss in 1938. There is a large museum explaining the rule of St Benedict (his exhortation whispered from room to room) and displaying their treasures and magnificent reception rooms. Above all, Melk is still a successful school, educating 1,000 boys and girls at Secondary level.
The church contains the tomb of the Irish Saint, St Coloman, who was mistaken for a spy as he made his way as a pilgrim to the Holy Land in 1012. There were local skirmishes and his inability to be understood marked him out and he was hanged; he was particularly venerated in Hungary where King Coloman (1070-1116) the Learned or Book Lover was named after him.
The Rev Peter Clarkson will shortly be leaving Wigton Moor URC to continue his ministry in Gloucester, where his Induction will take place in July.
Peter visited us in April and took our Service on Palm Sunday. Many of you will remember the spirited campaign he ran to re-build the church of La Resurreccion in Cuba some years ago. The response enabled the church to worship more fully and to serve its community better. We supported his mission in our Lent Project that year. The congregation at Wigton Moor continue to support them and he will also continue his support when he moves.
These are Peter’s final sentences in his letter to Wigton Moor in their July newsletter.
‘Stay focused on God’s love and care. Practise holy habits. Delight in pastoral care for one another. Support the Elders. Pray. Be ecumenical whenever possible. Welcome new people. Love holy Scripture. Be hospitable. Remember healing ministry. Share your faith in Jesus with others. Remain united. Grow in grace.’
SUMMER QUIZ ANSWERS.
- Nevil Shute
- George IV
- Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
- Home and Away
- Sonnet 18
- Osborne House
- Eugenius Birch
- Pendine Sands
- Wakes Week
- The Big One (Blackpool)
- Wish you were here?
- White Bread