The Badminton Benefice

Vicar's Letter October 2017

Dear Friends, 

You may have kindly donated to the collections we have made from time to time for the local Foodbank.

We have decided to stop collecting as most supermarkets now seem to have a collection point and it seems unnecessary for us to reduplicate it.

However, I hope you will continue to respond generously to the various appeals eg  the emergency appeals for the Hurricane devastation.  I am sure more appeals will surely follow, sadly.

The maxim of ‘each according to his/her ability’ seems to be appropriate in reflecting on how we respond to such appeals.  We are as Christians called to be generous and to assist those in need. Generosity is a good indicator of how free we are within ourselves. And some of us are frequently put to shame by the generosity of those who have much less.

Ultimately, all we have comes from God – and of course one day, we will have to let go of everything. So, it is important to practise letting go, and to give in such a way that we can be proud of ourselves and of what we have given.

With my 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 November 2017

Dear Friends, 

It is interesting how things ebb and flow in parish life. In one part of the benefice, an imaginative Remembrance Festival is about to happen, and in another a new choir is beginning.

The Festival of Remembrance, will be a wonderful, dramatic and thoughtful presentation on the theme of Remembering the Fallen  (Hawkesbury 7pm 11th November).

The new choir sang at the Harvest Festival with admirable courage.  It is wonderful to see people coming together to sing in church.  I love to welcome anything that enhances our worship and draws others in, to share in our joy in the Lord. David sang in the Old Testament and the pages of the Bible are full of songs and of people coming together to sing to the Lord’s praise.

I would love to see those who are learning instruments, presenting a musical offering in church.  The congregation I am sure would appreciate it.

Worship is not a concert, it is a time when we come together to offer praise to God. It does not have to be perfect. It is a service of the community and an offering to God.

And as long as the PCC are supportive, I will be happy to accept whatever you bring.

With my 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 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.

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.