19T H F EB R UA RY 2017
THERE IS A TIME Extracts from Neillâ€™s Sermon last Sunday
I passionately believe that now is the time for Malmesbury Abbey to get a new vicar. I look at that statement from two perspectives, from my own perspective and from yours. It is time for the page to turn for both of us. And right now the Lord is preparing a woman or a man to come here to SN16, they probably havenâ€™t even heard of Malmesbury, but she or he will lead the mission and worship of this church from some time in 2018 in ways that will unite and transform this community of Christ. I passionately believe that there is a higher calling and greater vision awaiting this church than the one it is currently walking in. I passionately believe that now is the time for Malmesbury Abbey to allow the Holy Spirit of God to form within it a theology that truly engages with the complexities and the realities of 21st
century Europe; rather than a theology that divides, pushing away the generations coming after us with outdated opinion and lazy prejudice.
I passionately believe that the Spirit of God is already forming a new fresh leadership team to work alongside your next vicar; and I see many people emerging ready for this new page. And I passionately believe that now is time for myself and my family to have a private life and to step right away from the intrusive goldfish bowl of Christian leadership. In his great hymn Amazing Grace John Newton confesses, to all that would care to listen, that he is a wretch, saved by grace alone. Do you want to know a secret? God only uses wretches to lead his churches. Each time I stand behind our Holy Communion table at the Abbey I am acutely aware of the
unholy person God has chosen to break bread for Him. God is, and always will be, saving a wretch like me. And in light of the last chapter of our life together as community and leader I have this word for you:
Church, it is time to take your eyes off a disappointing man and place them once more upon a resurrected man. Church, that you would use your lips to speak of my brokenness rather than to proclaim the gospel of peace that Christ has truly placed within us is something we should all truly lament, myself included. Church, do not speak of me, or your next vicar, whoever she or he is, speak of Christ.
I passionately believe that it is time for a page to turn, for this church to return to its calling, to gather around new leadership, fresh theology and inspiring vision and I passionately believe that I am not to be a part of it. But you are. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3.)
A B B E Y D I A RY THIS SUNDAY: February 19th 9am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship & Skate Celebration
THIS WEEK EACH DAY 9am Morning Prayer in St Aldhelm’s Chapel MON 20th 10am Little Stars WED 22nd 10.30am Communion THUR 23rd 7pm Choir Practice NEXT SUNDAY: February 26th 9am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship & Junior Church 6.30pm Choral Evensong ADVANCE DIARY 1st March Ash Wednesday Holy Communion at 10.30pm & 7pm rd 3 March MUSIC FOR AUTISM 11am Concert for young People with Autism 2pm Concert for Older People with Dementia 7.30pm Gala Concert 14th March Glory! prayer meeting.
M AT T H E W 6 : 2 5 - 3 4 25
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28
‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Additional Reading: Romans 8:18-25
DISCIPLESHIP 1. First take some time together to read and discuss the content of the vicar’s blog. In what way is a page turning at the Abbey? What is this a time for? 2. Read the passage from Matthew 6 and share together the points that most stood out from Sunday’s teaching at the Abbey. 3. ‘The church’s single greatest act of disobedience, both corporately and individually, is to disregard the explicit teaching of Christ on worrying in Matthew 6:25-34.’ Discuss. 4. What are the foundations of worry? 5. Is it possible to live by faith, needing the Lord’s daily provision, in a Western European context? What would that look like?
D A I LY R E A D I N G S Monday Psalm 71 Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 John 19:1-16 Tuesday Psalm 73 Ecclesiastes 7:15-end John 19:17-30 Wednesday Psalm 77 Ecclesiastes 8 John 19:31-end Thursday Psalm 78:1-39 Ecclesiastes 9 John 20:1-10 Friday Psalm 55 Ecclesiastes 11:1-8 John 20:11-18
REGULAR GIVING 6. How might you serve God as a source of provision to others?
If you would like to give regularly to the mission and ministry of the Abbey as part of your discipleship, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. m
A S H W E D N E S D AY
CHRISTIAN AID SOUP
Ash Wednesday is the reflective and penitential day that marks the beginning of the church’s holy season of Lent – 40 days of fasting and prayer. At the Abbey there will be two services of Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes, on March 1st at 10.30am and 7pm, led by the Rev Mandy Churcher.
Christian Aid is holding a Soup Lunch at the Upper Room in the URC on Friday 24th February from 12.30pm onwards. The cost of £3 includes soup and cake. All monies raised will go toward supporting the work of Christian Aid in all parts of the world, supporting people in poverty and fighting against the causes of poverty. For more information please contact Dick Gray on 823979.
S K AT E C E L E B R AT I O N
The next Choral Evensong at Malmesbury Abbey will be on Sunday February 26th at 6.30pm; led by Neill with a sermon from Mandy. The choir will be singing O bone Jesu by Ingegneri, the Gibbons Short Service and Lotti’s Crucifixus.
Many thanks to all who made MAS2017 happen – an astonishing, prayerful and hardworking team. Our 4pm service, this coming Sunday, February 19th, will be a special all-age Skate Celebration to celebrate a truly wonderful week in the life of the Abbey that also included two mornings of Little Stars. A chance to give thanks to God for all that He has done, led by Revd John Monaghan and Andrew Beebee.
12t h CE N TU RY B E AU T Y 2 1st CE NTU RY CHU R CH
NOTICEBOARD N E I L L AT S O U T H M E A D H O S P I TA L Last weekend it was announced that, after nearly 13 years at Malmesbury Abbey, the Revd Canon Neill Archer is moving on to a new area of ministry from Monday 13th March. Initially Neill will be on be on full-time attachment to the North Bristol NHS Trust, working at Southmead Hospital with Revd Brenda Dowie and her chaplaincy team. And then at a point a little later this year he will be looking to take a post as a chaplain at another hospital in the South West. At that point the search for the next vicar of the Malmesbury & Upper Avon Group will formally begin. During the coming transitional period the oversight of our churches will be led by the Venerable Hedley Ringrose, an experienced, retired Archdeacon of Cheltenham, and one time vicar of Cirencester. On Sunday February 26th at 6.30pm Neill will lead his final Choral Evensong at the Abbey. On Sunday March 5th he will be leading his final services in the villages. Then on Sunday March 12th, his final day in ministry in the group, he will be preaching at 10.30am and 4pm at the Abbey. You are welcome to come to everything.
N O E L & T R I C I A R I C H A R D S AT H O P E Noel & Tricia Richards have been known as writers of contemporary Christian hymns and songs. Come and hear some of their classic songs as well as their new material at Hope Church, on Palm Sunday 9th April at 6.30pm. You can get tickets from Eventbrite at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-noel-tricia-richards-tickets31633373271 Book your tickets during February to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing â€“ kids go free. Refreshments available.
MUSIC FOR AUTISM
The Derek Paravicini Quartet
March 3rd at 7.30pm
Malmesbury Abbey ÂŁ10
11am Free Concert for young people living with Autism 2pm Free Concert for older people, those living with Dementia and their carers. !