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‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One.’



Vicar’s blog: this generation Let’s not be a dull and distracted generation, because it seems that there are many witnesses to our worship and our mission. At a small civic gathering last Tuesday, I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for a monk. Not a real monk, but the new Monk in Meditation sculpture in Oxford Street. Presumably he is intended as a traffic calming measure. As I did this I chose a few words from Psalm 145 as a text: 3

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty – and I will meditate on your wonderful works. (Psalm 145:3-5) When I have spent time with monks they never really strike me as spiritual superstars, and in truth there is no such thing. Monks come across as wonderfully ordinary people, very hardworking, and with an abnormal communal discipline as

they devote hours to the reading and hearing of scripture and the singing of the psalms. Their meditation is not an emptying, more a filling. The works of God slowly marinating their souls; the word a lamp to their feet. But last Tuesday I also noticed the generational dimension of Psalm 145:4—a reminder of our role in Malmesbury. The sense that we live and serve in a town with an ancient and significant Christian heritage, and that since the 7th century, generation after generation have prayed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not one generation has ceased to tell of the ‘glorious splendour’ of God’s majesty to the next. We are helped to some extent by a building that screams of God’s glory to all who drive up the A429, but nevertheless there are ruins and empty churches across our land. Nice stones won’t do the job on their own, it is up to the living stones. (See 1 Peter 2:4-12) So let’s not be a dull and distracted generation, because another generation is watching us right now to see if we really are consumed by the ‘wonderful works’ and ‘might acts’ of the LORD. Let us be a people hungry to be nourished by God’s word, passionate with uplifted hands and faces in our worship, silent before his holy presence in broken bread and wine, and eager to speak of his glory to a world we work to transform. If I see that in another, it will cause me to meditate.

Abbey Diary THIS SUNDAY: May 11th 8am BCP Holy Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church & The Grid 6.30pm Choral Evensong 6pm The Mix//The Campbells EACH DAY 9am Morning Prayer TUES 13th 9.30am Women Alive! 7.30pm Refresh! WED 14th 10.30am Holy Communion 7.30pm Diocesan Service 7.30pm Prayers for Janet Parke in Le Flambé THURS 15th 10.30am Time for Chat 4pm Evening Prayer 7pm Choir Practice FRI 16th 10.30am Creative Response SAT 17th 10am Healing in the Streets NEXT SUNDAY: May 18th 8am BCP Holy Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church & The Grid 6pm The Mix//The McAdams May 21st June 3rd June 9th June 20/22 July 2nd July 15th July 28/29 Aug 3rd Sep 13th

Healing Ministry training Glory! Prayer Meeting Small Group pastors training Church Weekend Away Music for Autism WOMAD at the Abbey Holiday at Home New Wine Archbishop in Malmesbury

Revelation 1:9-20 9

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’


I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 17

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.


‘Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Additional Reading: Matthew 16:24-28 24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 ‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’

small group resource + 1.


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Read through Revelation 1:9-20 together. How do you react to this type of writing? Do you find it inspiring, encouraging, frightening, hard to understand or something else entirely? Share your feelings and initial reactions with the group. We believe that John was the pastor of the seven churches mentioned, and had been imprisoned for his faith. What might have been his concerns for his churches whilst he was in prison? What challenges were John and his congregations facing? How might this passage have helped them face those challenges? Now think about the challenges we face, as churches and individuals. How might this passage help us? Read Daniel 17:13-14, and compare the description here with Rev 1:12-16. When Jesus described Himself as the 'Son of Man' (eg in Matthew 16:24-28) what was He trying to tell His disciples about Himself? Take time to think about, and share with the group, anything that has struck you for the first time after thinking about this passage - new thoughts or images of Jesus, a particular encouragement or challenge. Having shared them you might want to use them as a basis for a time of prayer.

daily readings MONDAY Psalm 149 Num 24:20-25:9 Rev 2:12-17

TUESDAY Psalm 51 2 Kings 19:22-24 & 30-37 Rev 2:18-29

WEDNESDAY Psalm 24 Daniel 12 Rev 3:1-6

THURSDAY Psalm 31 Isaiah 22:15-25 Rev 3:7-13

FRIDAY Psalm 72 Jeremiah 24 Rev 3:14-22

Prayer for the Persecuted Church At 7.45pm on Monday 12 May at 18 West Street join us as we pray for the persecuted church. This month we will learn more and pray about the failed states of the Middle East and North Africa. More details from Mile Langtree (01666 823982) our Open Doors representative.

Refresh! The next women’s Refresh! will be held in the Abbey on Tuesday 13th May at 7.30pm. We will be continuing our study of the Psalms, this time looking at Psalm 119 with our guest speaker Henny Metters from Hullavington. The evening will also include singing, and refreshments will be available. Invitations can collected at the back of the Abbey should you wish to invite a friend. Please contact Sandie on 01666 826666 or to book your place.

Christian Aid Week 2014 This is Christian Aid Week 2014. Envelopes are available in the Abbey today for you to make a donation should you wish; please don’t forget to Gift Aid it if you are a tax payer. House to House Collections will be going on in many parts of the town. Some roads still not covered – please contact Dick Gray (01666 823979 or if you can help. On Saturday May 17th there is a Market Cross Stall with plants and produce for sale. Can you bake a cake for us to sell?

Books on Revelation The Abbey Bookshop is stocking three recommended books on Revelation for our 3 months series: Reversed Thunder by Eugene Peterson; Revelation for Everyone by Tom Wright; and Understanding Revelation by Paul Langham.

Noticeboard Janet Parke This coming Wednesday is an opportunity to connect with Janet Parke’s ministry in Zambia. At the 10.30am Holy Communion at the Abbey, Janet will be preaching and talking about her work at Mukinge Hill Academy. Why not stay after this to have lunch with Janet in the Abbey Café? Then at 7.30pm in Le Flambé there will be an extended time of prayer with Janet. On Sunday 18th May we will be praying for Janet at both our 10.30am and 4pm services.

Bishop of Kigezi in Malmesbury As part of a Tearfund visit to the UK, the Bishop of Kigezi, the Rt Revd George Bagamuhunda, will be preaching at the Abbey at 10.30am on Sunday May 25th. He will be joined by Revd Byomuhangi Reuben, director of the Water & Sanitation project that the Abbey supports at Harvest each year, through Tearfund.

May 4th May 11th May 18th May 25th June 1st June 8th June 15th

Revelation 1:1-8 Revelation 1:9-20 Revelation 2 Revelation 3 Revelation 4&5 Revelation 6&7 Revelation 8&9

The Last Word on Scripture The Last Word on Christ The Last Word on the Church (1) The Last Word on the Church (2) The Last Word on Worship The Last Word on Evil The Last Word on Prayer

The Last Word Revelation at Malmesbury Abbey

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-4.30pm Wednesday: 12noon-4.30pm Sunday: Closed all day

Hope 2014: Church Weekend Away Please read the enclosed flyer for more information about the programme. We want as many people to be able to attend as possible, either camping or commuting. It would be helpful if you could sign up as soon as possible by contacting the parish office, or on the sign-up sheet at the welcome desk in the Abbey. Come expecting, come to receive, come to worship...

Pigeon, Phone or Tablet? We would love you to be reading this News Sheet on your phone or tablet rather than in paper form. If you would like to receive an e-mail every Friday from the Parish Office, with a link to this News Sheet online and other additional notices and links, please contact Sandie Brown at You can also visit to find the latest News Sheet.



Abbey News Sheet 11th May


Abbey News Sheet 11th May