“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.” Christmas 2014
Words spoken by our Queen in one of her annual Christmas broadcasts. What a wonderful statement of belief this is. Do you know where I first heard this? It was at our local church school Scott Broadwood’s Value Assemblies which I was observing, both in my role as a school governor and parish priest just a few days ago. What a privilege it is to be able to join the children as I do on a regular basis for assemblies. However you go into school feeling – maybe stressed or tired – just being in the childrens’ company for a few minutes lifts your heart and mind. They have an amazing energy which cuts through the everyday cares of our world. In fact I would describe them as an inspiration and of course their wonderful teachers. The school goes from strength to strength with a record number of families choosing Scott Broadwood as their first choice for Reception Class next year. As the school prepares to join the Good Shepherd Trust we do so in very good shape which is very welcome news.
There are many wonderful quotations around at the moment by the Queen as several have been collated to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee. As a Christian and head of The Church of England, Queen Elizabeth has made no secret of her faith and is a practicing Christian. These words above demonstrate just how much her faith means to her in day to day practical terms as she has reigned so faithfully and without complaint, often in very difficult circumstances, for these past 70 years. I think most of you will agree with me that the Queen herself is for us an inspiration and an anchor and we pray that we may be blessed by a few more years to come! Yet as Christians we acknowledge that though she is a great Queen, there is one greater than even Her Majesty, as we together turn to this Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. In our troubled times it is easy to forget that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and how we are called to pray for peace in our world.
We will be giving thanks to God for our Queen’s long reign at two special services on the 5th June, where we will be hearing more wonderful words and quotations. The first service will be at Ockley on the Green near the Cricket Pavilion, held outside in the marquee at 9.30am. Coffee and croissants are available before and after the service. At Capel the service will be held at our usual time of 10.30am where we will join together in words and songs of celebration and praise. Our churches will be decorated to mark the jubilee which will no doubt be glorious and I hope both services will attract many to come and metaphorically raise the roof in worship!
On this same day we also celebrate something else truly magnificent; also an inspiration and an anchor; and that is the day that God’s Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit is the same Spirit that sustained, led, guided and inspired Jesus’ apostles as the church was born that day. The same Spirit that inspires and anchors Queen Elizabeth in her life and reign today. The same Spirit that inspires and anchors us in our lives today. The same Spirit that is inspiring and energising our children today – these children who are our future.
We are also looking forward this month to welcoming the community back to the Vicarage Garden for the fete after a two year break. A fairground organ is promised to grace our front lawn amongst lots of other lovely stalls and games to raise money for all our local schools. The Vicarage Fete is always held the Saturday nearest to the date of the birth of our church’s patron saint St John the Baptist and we will be celebrating his birth at church the next day. So much to look forward to this month, to give thanks to God for and lots of opportunities to get together. I hope you are able to join in the various celebrations whether that is with others or in different ways. Whichever you choose remember that we are here for you and if you need company or assistance in any way now or in the future your churches are always here to serve you in Jesus’ wonderful name.
With my love and prayers as ever
Post expires at 12:14pm on Thursday June 8th, 2023