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 August 2017

Dear Friends, 

I expect many of you are away on holiday this month and if you are, I wish you a very happy and relaxing holiday.

Holiday is of course closely related to ‘holy day’, indeed the only holidays that our forebears enjoyed were those days that fell on Major Saints or Red Letter Days.

As such, there is a close connection in the name given to these delicious days of rest.  Thank goodness we do not call them vacation days! As ‘holy’ days, we reflect that a day/week/fortnight away from ‘the office’, be our office a London skyscraper or the kitchen, it is vital to get a break away in order to re-charge the batteries.

No job or work is so perfect that it does not have its irritations and limitations. Not even retirement. Which is a job in its own right these days. We all need to get away, to have that ‘change of air’.

So, please if you are welcoming holidaymakers to Gloucestershire, or are yourself taking a well-earned break, remember what a special and happy thing it is, even if it rains, or you get the flu, or have to be with in-laws you find challenging. It is all something different, and that is a great blessing. It does not have to be perfect it just needs to be a rest from the treadmill. And we all need that.

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 July 2017

Dear Friends,

As a Vicar, I am very lucky because I am encouraged by the Bishop to go on ‘Retreat’ every year.  It is really something everyone with faith should try at least once in their life.

Withdrawing from everyday life, with all its jobs and preoccupations, both at work and at home, into a monastic community is a very strange experience. For just a few days, you have nothing to do, except pray, read and think.

I was asked by numerous people if I enjoyed it.  The answer is yes, but it can be hard work!

Once you take away all the distractions of everyday life, you are left feeling rather alone and scared. All you have is silence and time.

The only structured things in the day are services, talks and meals. And there are lots of services!  About six, where I was, a day!

I came away very aware that life as a vicar and father is a bit hectic. And one thing I MUST do, is to spend a little more time on my knees.   

I expect other busy people may feel the same need.

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.