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Cancellation of Holy Communion


Holy Communion at 6.30pm on Sunday 6th October is cancelled.

At 7.30pm that evening there will be a Memorial Concert for John Cole given by Orchestra West.

A third of the collection will go to the Organ Appeal. The programme is Sibelius’ Finlandia, Dvorak’s Symphonic Variations and Vaughan Williams’ 5th Symphony.

Money – Tithing?


 The Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:8-15

“… according to what a man has …” (v.12) RSV

The Old Testament gives much instruction on giving. Most people believe that this is summed up by the word ‘tithing’, but it is far more complicated than that. Many other divine ‘taxes’ are mentioned; they are called ‘sacrifices and offerings’. Even tithing (a tenth) is not always that clear. Basically it legislated for the tithing of crops, fruit and animals. The Pharisees included, “mint .. dill … cummin …” (Matt. 23:23), but nowadays what would we include? There were no taxes in those days, so do we take off tax before tithing?

Surely tithing is a less than adequate or fair system. In its day it was comparatively fair and workable, but today at best it may only be a helpful guide. Its main failure is that it rules out the heart and merely applies a law. It also does not take into consideration the size of the need or the size of our income. In other words, if we earn £1,000,000 and we give £100,000 we are still left with £900,000! But if we receive a pension of £5,000 and give £500 we are left with an even smaller amount to live on.

Surely Paul moves us into a contemporary attitude to giving. He writes, “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not” (v.12). The principle is that we give according to our means. Sometimes we have little, in which case others who are well off will give. But when we have an abundance it will be our turn to give. Having said that, it is probably true that it is never a good principle to give nothing – remember the widow and her mite (Mark 12:41-44)!

Giving is not something that is done merely because we have been taught that we ought to do it. God wants us to give out of a glad and generous heart. If we can’t then we might as well keep our money. Yet to do so is to lose out. The question may well be not a matter of how much we give, but of how much we retain.

Thank you Father for the opportunity to share with others the blessing you have given to me. Grant me a generosity of spirit. Amen. 

Explore More

1 Whose meanness cost him dearly?

1 Samuel 25:1-13, 36-38

2 What story illustrates generosity?

Matthew 20:1-15

Money – The Poor


 The Reading: Luke 16:19-31

“… at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus …” (v.20) RSV

The story of Dives and Lazarus is one that can make us feel uncomfortable. After all Dives (not his real name, but simply the Greek for ‘rich man’) was not actually doing harm; he was simply not doing good. Sins of commission are easier to spot than sins of omission.

 Dives was no doubt good at entertaining and hospitality. He was wealthy enough to enjoy the good life and to feast to his heart’s content. He was using his own money and was part of a huge family (“five brothers” v.28). Nevertheless he was so cocooned in his own comfortable world that he was blind to the needs of others who were right under his nose. Each day he would have to pass Lazarus and no doubt the distress of the man was plain to see (“sores … hunger” v.21), but having probably justified doing nothing the first few times he became inured to the suffering man at his gate. Maybe those first times he had been in a hurry, or had no cash on him or felt that Lazarus was lazy and should be out working.

Is it not easy for us to justify doing nothing? All too soon our conscience becomes quiet and our life carries on untroubled by the suffering around us. And yet God’s concern is for the poor, the oppressed and downtrodden. Many people are in dire straits (in the UK as well as abroad) through no fault of their own.

We can of course reckon that governments should address such problems and inequalities. True. Yet, we are required to do what we can. We cannot help all, but we can help one. God is not asking us to solve the world’s problems. He is asking us to respond in love to our neighbour’s needs.

John makes this point in his first letter. “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”  (1 John 3:17).

Forgive me, O Lord, when I am so absorbed in my life that I can’t see or respond to the needs of others. Amen. 

Explore More

1 Do we lose out if we are kind to the poor?

Proverbs 19:17, Luke 6:38

2 Is it sufficient to pray for the poor?

James 2:15-17

A Visit from Fr Charley


We are pleased to welcome Fr. Charley from The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka who will be joining us from the middle of November for several days.

We are so grateful to Richard and Margaret Austin who have offered to host him.

We do need to meet to decide what we can do as a parish to make Charley’ s visit special.

The date will be published next week.

Harvest Festival Service and Bring-And-Share Lunch


We do hope you will be able to come to the Harvest Festival Services on 6th October.

The 10.00 am service is followed by a bring and share lunch. The list is filling up fast so don’t miss out!

This year our Harvest offerings will go to Open Door and there is a list of needed items at the back of church.

Thank you again for your generosity.

Shoebox Appeal


Kim Dunster who organised the Shoebox Appeal has decided not to organise it this year but we hope it will return in 2014.

Rachel Lee spotted the following video clip about the shoeboxes on You Tube called “Journey of a Shoebox in Three Minutes “. Well worth a look!

Congratulations Jane and David!


It was lovely to attend the wedding of Jane and David Vass Ward last weekend. It went so well and it was a joy to see Paul too.

We wish them both every happiness and may God’s blessing be upon them.

New Benefice of St Mary Magdalene and St John the Evangelist


There is a proposed new Benefice of St. Mary Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist which is being legally formed and is likely to come into being early in the new year.

Rod will be the first incumbent.  Do look at the legal work which relates to the new benefice with St. Johns.

If you have any questions, please ask the church wardens.


2 Weekday Welcomers Needed


2 weekday welcomers needed from end of September – to cover alternate Thursdays and Fridays.

Please contact Sandra Jordan via parish office.




During the summer holidays we are supporting some families whose children usually get free school meals. We also pack parcels for the new Foodbank in Wellington.

Due to the demand we are in desperate need of tins of the following:

  • Peas, carrots sweet corn etc.
  • Fish – sardines or tuna
  • Meat – both meals e.g. hotdogs or spam or cornbeef, etc. Small tins are very useful.

These items go into every parcel.

Thank you for your support and be assured that these parcels are for emergencies only and are only given out with an approved referral on a limited time scale.

Please see the notice board at the back of church for more details.