Church of England Diocese of Chester Astbury


29 Jun 2021, 1:45 p.m.

Dear friends,

On Sunday 6th June, Anne-Marie spoke about becoming an inclusive

church. The reading was from Mark’s Gospel and showed how Jesus

amazed people by welcoming those who were often social outcasts. As

I listened I was nodding in agreement, yes this is so true. When we

think of including people, we may glibly think of wheelchair access,

signing for the deaf and the like, but really it is much more than this.

God has a way of really getting our attention as I was soon to find out!

Next day I was driving home after a swimming session (Yes! I have

been really daring) with no thoughts about Anne-Marie’s message or

anything remotely spiritual. As I switched on the engine, the radio

came on and the lovely voice of a lady Rector announced the morning

service. She said ‘Today is Sex-workers day.’ (Who knew such a thing

existed!) She went on to explain that some years ago, the female sex

workers in Paris were being targeted and abused by the police. Many

sex workers and their children were able to gather in a church with

many ladies from the church with their children. The police arrived and

were challenged to point out which ladies were the sex workers which,

of course, they could not do!

The reading was from John’s Gospel when Jesus is alone at a well and

meets a woman from Samaria. She has had five husbands and is living

with a man who is not her husband. The meeting was so shocking to

Jews because they hated the Samaritans and would have nothing to do

with them. Also the well would have been a place for a prostitute to go

to meet with clients so no way would a man speak with such a woman.

Jesus asks her for some water. So not only does he have a long conversation with her, but is willing to drink from her cup! The Rector

said, ‘Our judgements are not God’s judgements.’

The Bible says that the word of God is like a mirror and it certainly

showed me myself! I saw just how judgemental I had been in the past,

often of someone for having a different opinion when, of course I had

been right! So I have had to do a lot of repenting!

I am sure that with God’s help EVERYONE who comes into St Mary’s

will experience the love and warmth that you all showed me when I


Every Blessing,