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St.Patrick’s Press

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Christmas 2017

We tend to think of Christmas as a time for children. That’s why we get them to do nativity plays. But do they learn the story? Here’s one child’s understanding of the nativity story: “Christmas is a time for children because the baby Jesus was a child. So were his mum and dad. Mary was ten when she gave birth because that’s how old Sherly Foster is and Joseph was eleven like Ravinder Singh. Joseph was not the real daddy of Jesus. The real daddy was Mr Montgomery , our school janitor, who is also Santa Claus.

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Autumn 2017

If our quest for meaning and truth is to have any impact then it needs to be meaningful, carried with conviction, made special, given pride of place in our lives – faith is a great privilege we attain and once possessing it we should never want to let it go. I hope we are trying to encourage this in our parish; we proceed with complete humility, not as winners but losers who have been led to victory by way of a cross. It is the greatest movement in history and many of us have simply stumbled across this – not because of how good we are rather in spite of ourselves and our weaknesses.

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Summer 2017

usual suspects

I hope this finds you all well and the sun is shining for you. Life in the parish moves on; there is talent and energy very much in evidence around; my job is to support and encourage this so that we can build up the good things of God in our community. The more I serve the church the more convinced I am that the focus of all we do together needs to be Jesus Christ. There is a temptation to keep the house in order first, pay the utilities then – if there’s something left over – to give God a bit of our quality time. However there is a clear imperative direct from our Lord on this.

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Easter 2017

Wouldn’t it be easier if Jesus had come in the video age – We could YouTube all the miracles, the crucifixion and the Resurrection! No problem believing when proof was at our fingertips. Church? Why bother! We could all stay in bed, no need for mission, witness, fund raising and the rest! Clergy would be redundant, no one would need convincing!
But… somehow we know this would not be true to life. Faith involves believing in the unseen things. A God who was provable and predictable would not be the God of mystery and revelation whom we worship and seek.

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Winter 2016

When it gets to this time of year people start to get ready for Christmas. Dinners, presents, events, reunions and many other activities that keep all of us busy and occupied. What happens when we stop though? Where does our mind go in those ‘quiet’ moments. When you reflect on the past year, what do you think? How do you feel? 2016 has been eventful to say the least.

Again, we have lost some incredible talent: Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Frank Kelly, Kenny Baker and there are many others that have left a gap. In sport we had the Olympics, the Euros and Ireland beat the All Blacks! We’ve also experienced ‘Brexit’ and Donald Trump being elected President of America.

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Autumn 2016

press Autumn 2016

Recently I was looking through some family photographs and the thought occurred to me ‘time is flying by!’ I said this to my dad and his response was ‘Son, you know that’s a sign of age when you think time is going fast’. Depending on who you talk too, time has many different takes.

Think about when you were a child. If you were waiting for you birthday or Christmas, it felt like it was never going to come. As a young adult, you can be waiting for news on exams or going on a holiday and it can be both too slow or too quick. The older one gets the quicker time seems to go. But it’s the same 24hrs for everybody, same seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years. So what makes it feel different to everybody? Why do some think time is short or that time is long? Perspective.

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Winter 2015

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The images of Christmas must be quite confusing for children in some ways. On the one hand the Nativity, on the other Santa and his reindeer. I guess the difference between these images can be summed up in this question : Have you ever met an adult who came to believe in Santa? Thousands have come to believe in Christ.

Stephen Hawking, the celebrated scientist, once said, “Religion is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark! ” To which the Oxford mathematics professor John Lennox replied, “Atheism is a fairy story for people afraid of the light! ”. G K Chesterton once said without God there would be no atheists.

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Autumn 2015

In ministry it is poignant to share with so many the ups and downs of life; it always reminds me not to take anything or anyone for granted. If I don’t always say it – my grateful thanks to all of you who support the Parish in whatever way great of small… without you I would be struggling!

One of the challenges of my job is that on the one hand I want to be an easy going, approachable, ‘nice’ guy… But this has to be balanced with a greater responsibility – telling the truth… about this world, our lives and the world to come.

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Summer 2015

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In every walk of life we rely on ‘experts’ to advise us on the best ways to plan and make decisions on the vital areas of our lives. Doctors for our health, architects for a new building or extension, plumbers for a blocked drain, dentists for our teeth and so on. However, there is one vital area of life that seems to ignore this rule about ‘experts’.

When someone’s life is on the line in a court of law we don’t ask the experts what the truth of the matter is; we don’t allow judges or lawyers to make life and death decisions on the person in the dock. We call on ordinary men and women to decide the fate of the person in the dock. When it comes to deciding the TRUTH in life we have found over the years that ordinary men and women need to be left to decide. It is the best way, it is impartial, at its heart our jury system may not be perfect but it is the best system available to us in deciding the truth in life.

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