Message from the vicar

Dear St Michael’s church family, 

On the night before Jesus died, he taught his disciples: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  (John 13:34) 

Every Christian is a disciple of Jesus – someone who seeks to learn from Jesus. It’s what we do when we come to our Master: we say ‘not my will but yours be done’. The heart of being a Christian is to seek to live and so to love like him. To be Christ-like in our attitudes – towards him as God and towards each other. 

 Our bodies grow weaker when we do not get enough exercise. Our minds grow weaker when we don’t keep using them, whether by reading or engaging in thoughtful conversation with others. In a similar way, our relationships in our church family will not be the same if we’ve not seen each other much for well over a year. This isn’t to criticize anyone, but it is to be aware of the reality of life. 

One of the many impacts of Covid has been on relationships:  we know it is taking longer to re-esablish relationships we had before.

I know that some people will have found this last year a lovely time to get to know some in the church for the first time, and to deepen our relationships with others. But I am guessing that, on the whole, we each know others less than we did a year ago. That’s not our fault – we’ve all been told to steer clear of each other, so it’s what’s to be expected! 

But it does mean we’ll need to think about how we can plan to renew and refresh those relationships within our church family. It needn’t be horrendously complicated. Just a conscious investing of some extra time to be with others. 

 We may well find some “silver linings”. If we all come to church knowing that the chances are, others have forgotten our names, then we won’t be afraid to ask each other their name or to volunteer our own (perhaps name badges for everyone for the first few months?). It’s ok if we forget someone’s name or don’t recognise them: let’s just break the ice and establish, or re-establish, our relationship. 

Am I alone in sometimes wishing that we could ‘start’ again on something in life? Well, here’s a great chance to rebuild and refresh, as we seek to grow in obedience to Christ by loving one another. 

With love in Christ, as always, CARL

Rev'd Carl Chambers

Vicarage: 01322 634506

Mobile: 07368 223743 (including WhatsApp)