The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

Associate Rector

The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843

Assistant Priest

The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624


September Leader

I would like once again like to share with you a poem as part of this month’s leader and it’s a poem about change. September always feels like the month of change and new beginnings and it seems a good month to reflect on how life is a constant movement from the familiar to the new. Fresh starts in our lives can be welcome as we struggle with negative views about ourselves, remorse for things past and difficult life experiences. St. Paul encapsulates our need for change when he writes, ‘if any one is in Christ they are a new creation, the old has passed away.’ Sometimes it is easy to think that the church should be solely pre-occupied with what people do or do not believe and of course there is no getting away from the fact that the church is in essence a community of believers. However, increasingly I think it is very important that we should also be concerned about the beliefs that we have about ourselves and others, as these are the ones which tend to be more harmful and dysfunctional. The message of Christ’s love and forgiveness invites us to see ourselves and others more sympathetically, positive change is hard to achieve if we deliberately avoid its stimulus, or fear its consequences. That is why a visit to a church service can be both a challenge and a comfort as it provides something of a gentle rudder, changing our direction of travel as we hear and experience the Lord’s perspective about our lives.

In this regard I sometimes think that those who find their way to church are the ones who are either trying to cope with change, or who are looking to change because they want and need to grow. Of course there is also an irony here that we can also turn to a historic church like St. Giles to help us feel some sense of continuity and sameness in the midst of a fast changing world. Yet ultimately the Gospel message we proclaim is about change and must remain transforming and fresh, challenging our assumptions and limited horizons. Jesus was crucified because he challenged the existing truth and order of his day, speaking clearly of God’s unconditional love and acceptance to those who formally had been rejected, asking people to change for their own good. The Church is the body of Christ and therefore is a body of change. The resurrected body of Jesus was both new and changed and yet familiar, as it bore his scars.

I will leave you with a poem entitled ‘Change’ by Kathleen Jessie Raine.

Said the sun to the moon,
You cannot stay.

Says the moon to the waters,
All is flowing.

Says the fields to the grass,
Seed-time and harvest,
Chaff and grain.

You must change said,
Said the worm to the bud,
Though not to a rose,

Petals fade
That wings may rise
Borne on the wind.

You are changing
said death to the maiden, your wan face
To memory, to beauty.

Are you ready to change?
Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass
All your life long

For the unknown, the unborn
In the alchemy
Of the world’s dream?

You will change,
says the stars to the sun,
Says the night to the stars.




Clergy Rota Downloads

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September Service Rota
October Service Rota