The Badminton Benefice

Vicar's Letter May 2017

Dear Friends,

After a heady Easter, here is something practical and simple.

If like me, you are always losing your parish magazine just when you need it, and do not have time to negotiate the website to find out what Church services are on a given Sunday, then I have just discovered a handy little trick that anyone with a mobile phone  or ipad can do. 

This is the iPhone/iPad version, Android will have something similar.

  • Open up the page http://www.badmintonchurch.org.uk/services in your mobile browser.
  • Tap in the menu at the bottom of the screen on the icon which looks like a rectangle with an arrow coming out of the top of it.
  • In the grey icon bar just above the Cancel button, scroll right till you get to “Add to Home Screen” and tap it.
  • Give the new link a suitable name – “Church Services”.
  • Click the Add button at the top right of the screen.
  • Now if you look at the home screen you will see a new icon with the Gold “B” on the blue background and the words “Church Services” below it. When tapped the icon will take you to the Services page of the website.

On a spiritual note, I hope you will find time to ask for God’s blessing on your gardens, crops, fields this ROGATIONTIDE which is on Sunday 21st May.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter June 2017

Dear Friends,

People often say that the church should not meddle in politics and I for one, am very happy to keep out. However, the Church should sometimes ask awkward questions, as must journalists, artists and others who work with a pallet or pen.

The Church is rooted in Scripture, and there were many prophets who spoke out in those days, and it often cost them dearly.  Prophets are often those with a vision who can see the injustice of a certain policy or action, and speak out. Prophets are often castigated. But asking the question is always important.

The Bible prompts such questions:

I was reading Deuteronomy 10.9 yesterday, where the people of Israel are taught:

‘Love ye therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt’.

And I wondered just how good are we at ‘loving the stranger’, with immigration being such an issue. How do we say ‘no, thank you, we don’t have room, but I will show that I care about you’?

Do we support our government when on behalf of us, it is trying to do the right thing with immigrants? And do we challenge it to help more, when it’s not?

We should all raise questions from time to time, but most especially when we understand a subject well. That is at heart what a democracy is about, the freedom of speech.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter April 2017

Dear Friends,

With the approach of Easter and Spring well in the air, can I invite you to Church to celebrate the great story of our faith. Easter bunnies and eggs abound as these symbols of Easter fill the shelves of the supermarkets. 

The Easter egg represents the risen Christ breaking out of the tomb. Or as some would have it, the stone being rolled away by the angel. And the rabbit represents an egg-laying hare that lay coloured eggs.

Both symbols have interesting genealogies which stretch back in time, but they help us to reflect upon the great and deep joy of Christ’s Resurrection.

Why does Easter matter?  Because if Christ is risen from the grave, then we all have reason to hope that Heaven does exist. Secondly, it means that Jesus is not just a prophet, but the Son of God, who has given us what the Bible calls ‘Salvation’. That means that our lives are not confined to the worldly cycle of birth and death, but we have been liberated. We are set free.

All people are welcome to come to Church. The Confirmed are taught that they should receive Holy Communion at least three times a year: at Christmas, Easter and on one other occasion.

Easter Communion may be taken any time within the season of Easter. If Easter Day itself is difficult, come over the next seven weeks of the season of Easter (till 27th May).

I look forward to seeing you.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter February 2017

Dear Friends, 

We have just said farewell officially to Rev Alveen Thoresen who has served in these parishes for six years with great care and devotion. It is both sad to lose Alveen but also an opportunity for us. She is not being replaced so we are more than ever dependent on the kind support given by our Readers and Retired clergy.

 If you would like the involvement of any of our Ministers in a pastoral office (funeral or wedding) then you only have to ask. It may be that I wish to conduct the service, but a sermon or prayer given by someone who is special to you, is sometimes a great comfort.

I am hoping we can avoid reducing services in the Benefice. There is now more than ever, opportunities for lay members to get more involved. Churchwardens can if necessary, read Morning and Evening Prayer, (though they are not permitted to preach). It is even possible for lay members of the church to go on a short course to learn how to lead worship. I am therefore hoping that we will not have to cut services but rather that our worship will be enhanced by greater participation over time.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter March 2017

Dear Friends, 

We have come to that time of year when we prepare for Easter; the season of Lent.  Many of us try to give something up for Lent and fail. Sometimes if we are very strong we succeed. Of course it depends how difficult the challenge is.  This year I want to suggest a new approach. Instead of giving something up my suggestion is that we take something up.

I would like to suggest that each day during Lent you light a candle and say a prayer for those in your family or friends or someone you know.  Just one or two minutes thinking of a few people and praying for them.  The action of lighting the candle gives focus and intentionality to the prayer.  You might also say the Lord's prayer at the end, to help bring your thoughts together before the Lord.

Lent begins on March 1 and continues through till Good Friday 14 April. If you manage to do this for even a third of the days, you will have created a new pathway for conversation with God.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.