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From the Rector
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to the Diocese
Writing a newsletter piece whilst frantically preparing to leave for The Abbey in St. Alban’s is not to be advised. However, tonight I am so excited to be going to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury speak on ‘Sustaining Faith’ as part of his three day visit to our diocese. Excited because Archbishop Justin seems to be a person who understands the struggles and complexities of life and longs to see the God of the Bible draw near to us all. He also speaks with some authority on this subject, for back in 1983 he and his wife Caroline suffered the unthinkable tragedy of losing their seven month old daughter Joanna in a car crash in France.
Welby later explained, "It was a very dark time for my wife Caroline and myself, but in a strange way it actually brought us closer to God.” Perhaps you, or someone you know, have experienced a similar heart wrenching loss and drawing close to God was not your experience at the time; so what is this experience of God he is talking about? James 4 v 8 tells us: ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ So God can be found but only by those who seek Him? Well yes and no. The Bible tells us that God is here for everyone, so can be found by everyone, but James reminds us that the closeness of God is not experienced by everyone unless we seek Him. Time to leave for St. Alban’s.......
Having just returned from The Abbey - and with great excitement, I must tell you how stimulating the Archbishop’s talk on ‘Sustaining Faith’ was. He spoke with such humility and simplicity about several aspects of his own faith journey. The heart of his message seemed to be that he was learning to ‘abide in God’. He spoke of his spiritual advisors who had suffered imprisonment for many years in different parts of the world because of their love of God through Jesus and in the prolonged quiet had learned to be with God. He spoke of his love of the Benedictine tradition and following a pattern of quiet prayerfulness to draw close to God. He seemed so full of God and I left wanting to get closer to God myself.
I am certain the busyness of life often drowns out our need for space and for God. Some may even think the notion of faith a thing of the past, but why not find a quiet space, read some verses from the bible or just be quiet and ask God to draw close to you. It changed Archbishop Justin’s life, it’s changing mine, it could change yours also.
We hope you will join us at a service or some other activity in 2015. See News on the right for pieces on what is going on in the benefice.
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The current editor is: Phyllis Bradshaw