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‘We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard.’



Vicar’s blog: begin again It’s false really isn’t it? The sun, moon and the stars are blissfully unaware of January 1st, or 2014, although they can be pretty useful in measuring things like days and months. Heaven itself probably doesn’t have a calendar; although I would concede that there might be a really big one with two dates on it—this present age when Christ is seated in glory, and the age to come, when Christ will come and their will be a new heavens and a new earth. We won’t need to buy a new one each year. However the reflective element of a New Year beginning is a useful thing, it gives us a chance to begin again. At our 10.30am service on January 5th there will be a liturgy that helps that frank assessment of our lives and our discipleship, including a covenant prayer, found overleaf, which in essence says ‘this life is yours, this year is yours, all that I’ve grabbed back over the last year, I let go of again.’ It is a moving and challenging prayer because at the heart of our sin is that stubborn unwilling self.

Then at 4pm on January 5th, five members of our congregation will be wading out into the waters of baptism, at the Activity Zone, and being baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I love baptisms because it is a joy to see the work of God in somebody’s life, to consider the potential of a human life in God’s hands, and to see God’s grace and mercy meet human sin and frailty. I also love baptism because I think of the man that baptised me, a Methodist minister called the Revd Collins who I never met, and the pastor that baptised him, and the one that baptised him, and the unbroken chain of baptism within the church that stretches back to Christ’s first disciples (John 4:12). That is a breathtaking lineage to ponder. Who do you think you are? But whether a 365-day year actually exists in God’s kingdom or not, January 1st does give each of us a chance to recover from accidental living, life swept along by the world, and to return to intentional living, a considered life with God’s priorities and God’s word right at the heart. Now that might seem like a really boring sentiment to start the New Year with, and if that’s what you’re thinking please begin the New Year with a slap and a gentle rebuke from me. If you’ve ever read the Bible, or any Church History for that matter, boring is not the word you’d use to describe the life that is lived for God, and God alone. Have a holy 2014.

Abbey Diary SERVICES TODAY: JANUARY 5th 8am 10.30am 4pm

BCP Communion Holy Communion Baptisms at the Activity Zone & Pool Party


9am Morning Prayer 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Evening Prayer 7pm Choir Practice 8pm Men’s Basketball 10am Healing in the Streets

SAT 11th

NEXT SUNDAY: JANUARY 12th 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church & Trax 6.30pm BCP Choral Evensong ADVANCE ABBEY DIARY Jan 8th 7pm Malmesbury School Presentation Evening Jan 18th PCC Feb 11th Glory! Feb 19th- Malmesbury Abbey Skate Feb 21st 2014 April 15th Glory! April 17th Riding Lights ‘Inheritance’ April 20th Bishop Lee preaching June 2nd Glory! June 20th- Church Weekend Away June 22nd (Paul Langham & Bishop Lee) July 2nd Music for Autism July 15th WOMAD at the Abbey Aug 3rd New Wine Sep 13th Archbishop in Malmesbury

1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.

Additional Reading: John 20:26-29 26

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’


Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29 Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

daily readings MONDAY TUESDAY Psalm 72 Psalm 99 Matthew 2:1-12 Matt. 20:1-16

WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY Psalm 46 Psalm 148 Psalm 149 Matt. 20:17-28 Matt.20:29-end Matt. 23:1-12

I am no longer my own but yours. Your will, not mine, be done in all things, wherever you may place me, in all that I do and in all that I may endure; when there is work for me and when there is none; when I am troubled and when I am at peace. Your will be done when I am valued and when I am disregarded; when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking; when I have all things and when I have nothing. I willingly offer all that I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose. Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. May it be so for ever. Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven. Amen. (A New Year Covenant Prayer)

small group resource + 1. 2.




Discuss together what is the most significant thing to happen spiritually in your life in 2013; and what you hope for in 2014. John testifies to having heard, seen, touched this 'Word of life'. Why is this significant? In what ways have you heard, seen, touched this 'Word of life' for yourself? (Verse 1) John proclaims to us 'the eternal life'. What does this phrase mean (hint - it' not just some distant spiritual existence awaiting us!). What are the implications for today and the future? (Verse 2) John says that one of the results of this 'Word of life' is fellowship with God and each other. What's your understanding of 'fellowship' with God and each other? (Verse 3) Finally, John says he writes all this to make his 'joy complete'. What does he mean here? Talk about the joy that you have experienced as a natural product of being in deep fellowship with God and one another. (Verse 4)

Junior Church Newsletter Mary Barnes, our Interim Children’s Minister writes : From January 2014 the Junior Church team will be providing a termly newsletter to keep all parents and carers up to date with the exciting and challenging things that our under 11s are getting up to in their groups. It can be hard to discover what our children are actually doing in Junior Church, especially when our questions are met with ‘don't know’, ‘I've forgotten’, ‘its a secret’, ‘tell you later’, ‘ugh mum’ type answers (or is that just in my house?!). We hope this newsletter will redress the balance! It will include overviews of what we are learning, questions and ideas to help us as parents engage with our children on a spiritual level and encourage them in their journeys of faith, key dates, expectations, and other useful bits! Watch out for it in January and e-mail to make sure you are on her e-mail circulation.

Malmesbury Abbey Skate 2014 Hi lovely people of Malmesbury Abbey from the MAS 2014 team. February is fast approaching and it’s nearly time for Abbey Skate. Yay! The team have upped their caffeine intake and begun our detailed planning and we need your help. Are you free during the week of 17th -21st Feb 2014 during half term? We need volunteers (heroes) for set up, catering, accommodation and supervision. For more details and to sign up right now speak to Sarah McGrory, 07767744167 or Clare Cork at the Abbey Cafe. Hospitality is a key value at Malmesbury Abbey and this is great opportunity for us to work together and welcome the young people of our town and their families into the Abbey in a creative and exhilarating way. God loves them, we love them and we’re going to work hard together to show this. Why not get on board (excuse the pun!) and join in. Exhausting, exciting and a worthwhile opportunity to serve the young people of Malmesbury.

Noticeboard Abbey Teaching Series in 2014 Our Abbey teaching throughout 2014 will be focussing on the writings of John. In Lent & Holy Week we will focus on encounters with Jesus in John’s gospel. In May-July and at our church Weekend Away we will study the Book of Revelation. In August the ‘I AM’ sayings of Jesus will be the focus and then from September the signs and wonders of John’s gospel—feeding the 5K, walking on water. But we begin in January and February with a series from 1 John. In January ‘God’- see below. In February ‘Love’. E-mail to get in a small group studying this material together and supporting each other in their Christian discipleship.

January 5 January 12 January 19 January 26

God is here God is light God is love God is not

1 John 1:1-4 1 John 1:5-2:2 1 John 2:3– 2:14 1 John 2:15-27

Contact ABBEY OFFICE Mon &Tues (9.30am-12noon) Weds, Thurs ,Fri, (9.30am-2.30pm) 01666 826666 Staff members can be contacted by NORMAL CAFÉ HOURS Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9am-3pm Wednesday and Sunday: Closed all day

Glory! in 2014 2013 was a really encouraging year in prayer for Malmesbury Abbey. We are now over a year into our daily 9am Morning Prayer meeting in St Aldhelm’s Chapel; and as well as our bible readings, liturgy and sung worship, we now focus on certain areas in our informal prayer: e.g. children’s ministry on Monday, ministry to the Elderly on Wednesday. We also have regular prayer meetings devoted to our schools, the persecuted church, healing prayer every weekend, and our staff and leadership meet to pray and worship every Monday morning. But perhaps most striking has been the commitment of over 50 people to our bi-monthly Glory! Prayer meetings where we gather for 30-45 minutes praise and worship, seeking His face, followed by prophetic prayer and intercession led by the Holy Spirit. For your diary, our Glory! dates for 2014 are: Feb 11, April 15, June 3, Sep 9 & Nov 18.



Abbey News Sheet January 5th 2014


Abbey News Sheet January 5th 2014