Church of England Diocese of Leeds Settle

Newsletter (Aug 2019)

Dear Friends,

If you’ve ever heard the expression (and I’m sure you have) “When the cat’s away …..”, you’ll be able to finish it. Well, we’ve been without a Priest-in-Charge for just over a year now, so let’s take stock of all the playing we have been doing. Firstly, …….STOP!

Our Parish lives have kept going throughout the vacancy thanks to dozens of parishioners carrying on with what they were doing before and taking on even more things. Witness the redevelopment at Holy Ascension. All of this under the watchful eye of Rev. Stephen Dawson and the other retired clergy who have led regular services and occasional offices for us.

But the idea is misplaced anyway because the Priest-in-Charge is not our ”Boss”, God is and he is never ‘away’. The passages from Luke that have been set for the last few Sundays (and the next few, too) are challenging. Jesus, while not pulling his punches, has couched them in stories, as was his wont. He wants his hearers, then and now, to think. Spoon-feeding Jesus does not do!

In his Blog this week, taken from his Radio 2 Pause for Thought, Bishop Nick reflects on this point:”…… it’s the imagination that fires the soul and keeps curiosity alive. This matters to me because, as a Christian, I follow someone who kept prodding behind the mundane and the routines of everyday life and framed questions that went beyond mere ideas about God, the world and us.

For example, Jesus never defined where God is to be found in statements that had to be agreed with or denied. He kept saying: “The kingdom of God is like…” and then told a story or tried out an image. The idea was to subvert those who wanted to use argument about God and the world and get behind the words to the imagination. So, he grabbed their attention, awoke their curiosity, teased their imagination, and left them with questions. They had to work it out for themselves. No wonder people wanted to come out of town to hear him.

So, vacancy or no vacancy, let’s continue working for our Boss, bringing in His kingdom, and not found “asleep on the job” when He comes again.

 Ray     


The 3-Parishes Diary is attached below.  This has full details of our services and events this month.

Newsletter_for_August_2019, PDF

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