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Hambledon Church Blog

8Feb 2018

From a Lay Reader

If you accepted at face value what the media says about the Christian Church, it would be easy to reach the conclusion that it is in terminal decline. Yet by the time that you read this, our church building will have been through three occasions in less than three months when it has been officially described as ‘full’. This is the word we use when more than 300 people are in attendance at a service. Not bad for a village of around 1,000 souls! There are many reasons given by those nationally who don’t support the Christian Church: ‘I have better things to do’; ‘It’s just a privileged club’; It’s based on a fairy tale’; ‘It’s embarrassing, divisive and irrelevant in our world’; ‘I’m too [...]

9Dec 2017

Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving. It is a celebration of the most wonderful gift to mankind, God’s gift of hope through the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. The baby Jesus was born over two thousand years ago in squalor, was persecuted by a murderous tyrant, and became a refugee. What a start in life for the Son of God! He made himself hugely vulnerable, and He did this because He loves us more than we can possibly understand. Human love is a funny thing; it cannot survive in a vacuum, so to speak; love that is not returned withers and dies. The incredible thing is that God’s love for us will never die. Jesus survived the most appalling start in life, grew [...]

11Sep 2017

Moving On

Towards of the end of this magazine period, I will be taking my final service in Hambledon as Priest- in-Charge. I know it will be an emotional time for us. Heather, Susie and I will miss you all, but that has always been the lot of a parish priest, to belong for a time and then step out the way so new beginnings and new life can happen. We will take with us some wonderful memories and friendships as well as a deep debt of gratitude to God, for placing us here and to you all, for the love we have shared. Hambledon is a true community, which really does work to enable all people to flourish. I have often mentioned in the past, this [...]

2Jul 2017

Peter and Paul

I am writing this month’s article on our Patronal Festival St. Peter and St. Paul’s Day. It is, as a cursory reading of the New Testament will reveal, an unlikely pairing. The impetuous, very human Peter, with the intellectual and reasoned Paul. They undoubtedly didn’t really get on and although their personalities and theology complemented each other, I am not sure they saw it that way. One might hope for unity in diversity, but such unity is hard won. I have a postcard of an icon of St. Dominic meeting and embracing St. Francis. It is the same story really. Both the Franciscan and Dominican orders came about at the same time. In the twelfth century city states were growing fast and people becoming estranged [...]

7May 2017

Archbishops’ Pastoral Letter for the General Election

3 May 2017 Archbishops’ Pastoral Letter to the Parishes and Chaplaincies of the Church of England, for the General Election. The season of Easter invites us to celebrate and to renew our love of God and our love of neighbour, our trust and hope in God and in each other. In the midst of a frantic and sometimes fraught election campaign, our first obligation as Christians is to pray for those standing for office, and to continue to pray for those who are elected. We recognise the enormous responsibilities and the vast complexity of the issues that our political leaders face. We are constantly reminded of the personal costs and burdens carried by those in political life and by their families. Our second obligation as [...]

6May 2017

GOD, LOVE and RHEXIT

My concern this month is not with elections or Europe but whom they affect, us. In May Rev James Hair, Diocesan Mental Health Advisor, led twenty of us in Hambledon in a morning of Dementia training and awareness. For the last few years we have been developing as a Dementia Friendly Church. One of the first quotations he wrote on his board was this. “For a Christian it does not matter whether one has lost one's mind or not, what really matters is whether one is loved by God".  The second was this "We are not what we remember. We are remembered." John Swindon. In response to the first I have always been sure that we are all loved by God. That surety is given [...]

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