The Parish of St. Nicholas Hardenhuish - The Church on the Hill  

Chippenham Deanery News

PRAYER BREAKFASTS at 8.30am to 10am

 

Saturday September 9th

at St Andrew’s Church, Chippenham will focus on Chippenham and Corsham town.

Each Prayer Breakfast is open to all. Come, pray and share breakfast together as we pray for each other.

 

June 22nd DEANERY ELECTIONS

to our Standing and Pastoral Committee.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Bishop Mike and will include an opportunity to ask questions afterwards too!

 

 

 

DEEPER ROOTS = GREENER LEAVES

The Spirit Life – Longing

Psalm 42 & John 4:13-14  

How can we sustain a healthy longing for God, in our prayer life, in our living life?

The Holy Spirit; is he alive and active in you, do you want Him to be?

St Augustine wrote ‘You have made us only for yourself, and our hearts are restless until

they find rest in you.’ Do you long to find that rest?

How do we, as Christians, practice the presence of God in our daily lives?

 

 

Please remember …

Our churchyard is a lovely, peaceful place, despite its proximity to the road.
Many people come to tend the graves of those they have loved and lost, and spend a few moments remembering them.
Sadly, recent visitors have been distressed to find the area being inappropriately used by someone exercising a dog.
We welcome everyone to come and visit the churchyard, but please remember that for many it is the last resting place of someone they loved, and they regard it as a sacred space.
 

 


Dick says:-

St. Nicholas' Parochial Church Council has agreed to the request from The Diocese of Bristol to increase our parish share from £12,120 per annum to £15,800 per annum.

The parish share (previously known as quota) is the amount a parish pays to the diocese as a contribution towards its share of ministry and ministry support costs. These costs include stipendiary clergy, future ministers (e.g. curates), minister support and support for schools and those parishes which cannot afford these costs.

Increasing our 'gift' to the diocese by 30% is an act of faith. The step was taken because the PCC wants to act both responsibly and generously.

Beside the parish share, the PCC still has to find the money for the running costs, upkeep and repair of our Grade II church and churchyard.

If you feel the time is right for you to increase your giving then please talk to Angela the PCC treasurer.
 

 

 

If you would like to help with floral decorations for St. Nicholas please see Mary Clarke

 


The Parochial Church Council
(PCC) for 2017 - 2018 consists of Churchwardens Paul Davis and Mark Sheppard; Treasurer Angela McClean, Secretary Deborah Loveday and Deanery Representative Helen McCann. Other members are Brenda Bird, Judith Eckersley and Cynthia Smith. The team clergy are also members. Electoral roll officer is Mary Clarke.

To see the minutes please ask Deborah.
 

 


Dates for your diary!

1st July - Chippenham Churches Together, Fun Day, at the river island.

Women’s Union

22 June

 

A visit from the Bobby Van

6 July

 

Summer party with sing-along

 No meetings in August. We meet again on September 7th

 

Details Barbara Wood 655413

 

 

Bishop of Bristol announces retirement

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Ben Evans 

The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, has announced his retirement with effect from 30 September 2017.

Bishop Mike, who has been in the post since 2003, will end his time at the Diocese with a special service at Bristol Cathedral.

Bishop Mike said that he had made the decision after he and his wife, Anthea, had decided that the timing was right for him to retire.

He said: “I have loved my time in this Diocese and there are many people I shall deeply miss. Working with colleagues, both lay and ordained has been a privilege and a gift.

“There will be many opportunities between now and 30 September to say more, but my overwhelming sense is a deep gratitude for the privilege of serving amongst you all. Please pray for Anthea and me as we prepare for this next phase of our lives.”

 

Bishop Mike’s final service will be at Bristol Cathedral on Saturday 23 September at 3.30pm. More details will be released nearer the time.
 

 

Yet for your sake…

As I write the Church remembers St. Barnabas – referred to by St Luke as a “son of encouragement.”

The background is as simple as it is challenging. We’re told that a quickly established practise in the early church, with no welfare state in sight, was to sell their goods and possessions and lay the proceeds at the apostles’ feet for distribution to those who had need. We are not told what kind of need, or indeed, whether that need was the outcome of irresponsible behaviour. Quite simply, where they saw need they wished to alleviate it and that process of alleviation meant personal sacrifice.

Indeed, we’re told that “No-one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had.” This is a commitment to communal living which modern life has largely squeezed out. Those who are called to the religious life experience the joys and struggles of communal living and there is one church in Bristol that has around 130 people living in community.

There is something very challenging about this, but there is also something very different than the way believers think today. Of course we have a taxation system that funds a welfare state; the early believers paid tax to the Roman Government which didn’t have anything that could be described as a welfare state, but they took on the additional responsibility of caring for those who had need.

Quietly I smile to myself when this political party or that claims to be the creators of social care and social action. Christians have been at the heart of this for centuries!

In the light of the recent General election, it is worth noting that the Bible doesn’t have a huge amount to say about Christian Citizenship. The weight of New Testament evidence would call on Christians to support the ruling authorities unless those authorities ask something of Christians that on the basis of our beliefs we could not agree to. So, when the ruling authorities banned the preaching of the good news about Jesus, Peter replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s eyes to obey you (the ruling authority) or God?” (Acts 4:19)

In the book of Jeremiah we read these amazing words, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to theLord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7. Surely, this is a forerunner of Paul’s words in Acts 20:35 “In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Clearly when we exercise our vote we should be thinking about the welfare of the city (Greek ‘polis’ from which our word ‘politics’ derives) and err on the side of gracious generosity. But this isn’t just about a way of voting, it’s about a way of life. We’re told in Acts 4 that the ‘much grace was upon them all.’ (v33)

My old ethics teacher used to insist that Christian ethics are the ethics of response. Until we understand the grace of God described by Paul in these terms “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9), we will struggle to be gracious to those in need. Graciousness never makes excuses for ungraciousness.

When we seek the welfare of others, Jeremiah tells us, we shall find our welfare. Personal sacrifice in giving will bring a sense of blessing that I believe nothing else will bring to us.

Lord, let your grace fall afresh on me that I might be gracious to those in need. Amen

+Mike

June 2017