Skip to content. | Skip to menu. |

Serving and praising (March 2019)

I have been thinking about my ‘Dear Friends’ letter for a while now…and two things have been going through my mind.  One is the sermon that Revd Angus Gregson preached on Sunday 20th January which everyone I spoke to afterwards, considered to be very helpful. The second, is a hymn which we sing fairly regularly…No. 583 in Rejoice and Sing…The Church is Wherever God’s People Are…

Being without a Minister gives us opportunities, Angus suggested.  I agree with him…I don’t deny that it is hard keeping Church going…but it does afford us time to consider just what we think Church is for.  His view is that each and every member of a congregation has gifts, and these are for sharing, particularly now in the interregnum.  He told us about a time when one Sunday in Winter, he had been booked to preach at a small church in the depths of the countryside.  It was cold, and damp and, since he cycles, he arrived at the church freezing and needing some TLC before leading the service. He was moved by the thought and compassion of one elderly lady, who had had the foresight to have prepared a warming drink for him on his arrival.  Something, very simple but hugely important and appreciated.  His point was that we don’t have to move mountains, to show God’s love through our actions.

The hymn tells us that Church is wherever God’s people are praising…singing…helping…caring…sharing… and we can add our own ideas to this list.  I believe that this is not set in stone, and that church is developing and changing all the time, as people grow and learn new things.  We have to be open to these new ideas, receptive and not be afraid to put in our ‘two penn’orth’.

Since I am writing, I shall give a little update on the Singing for the Brain Group which has been held here for the past six years.  This is, in my opinion, a great example of Church in action. There are a group of around 40 people directly affected by dementia on our books. We run the Group on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday afternoons in the Bradbury Hall in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. We begin the afternoon with a Café, sitting at tables, exchanging news, discussing issues and problems, relaxing and supporting one another. We then move to the ‘Circle’ for the singing. Each session has a ‘theme’ and has a set format with an introduction, breathing exercises, action songs from memory, songs from our songbook, percussion and ‘goodbye’ songs.  It is a great success.

Feedback is very positive and attendance good. To highlight just how it illustrates Church in action…and how gifts are shared….I would like to tell you what the  volunteers bring to the Group.

Our gifts include singing (I should say that this is not a pre-requisite of the Group), playing a musical instrument, flower arranging, tea and coffee making, listening, decorating the hall, meeting and greeting, keeping the register, enabling parking etc. etc. Our group of eleven helpers contribute, each in their own way, and the result is definitely a synergy…a dynamic, positive, loving experience for all who come!


Monica Rudston