Benefice-Priest in Charge
MESSAGE from KATRINA - February 2019
I have spent most of my adult life, working with children and young people. And one of the best things about being vicar in the Anna Benefice is the relationship I have with two of the best Church of England primary schools, certainly in the county and possibly in the country (I could be biased!). The academic lessons are of the highest calibre and children of all abilities are helped to fulfil their potential. But much more than this, the children are nurtured in body, mind and spirit and helped to grow into rounded individuals who care about their environment and other people.
It is a privilege to visit each week to share stories from the Bible with the children, and giving them opportunity to talk about these great stories of the Christian faith, is often enlightening for me, as they ask questions or make observations sometimes with great insight as well as humour.
Jesus famously chastised his disciples when they tried to exclude children from their company:
“People were bringing even infants to Jesus that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’” Luke 18: 15-17
I wonder what Jesus meant by that final sentence? What is it about a little child we are meant to imitate in order to enter the Kingdom of God? Is it their sense curiosity, their desire to learn, their not thinking they know all the answers. Is it their dependence on others and knowing they need help or their readiness to trust others. Could it be their living in the moment, looking forward to living this day today, not holding onto regrets from the past or worrying about the future. I wonder what you think?
Whatever the answer there is clearly something for us adults to learn from children about entering the Kingdom of God. I firmly believe that although they will be leaders of tomorrow’s church, children are our brothers and sisters in the church of today, and adults who can, need to make sure our children have opportunity to learn and grow in their faith in a safe and stimulating environment in our churches as well as our schools.
Every six years the church electoral roll (ER) is redone from scratch.
That means no names are carried forward. 2019 is one of those years. If you have been and would like to continue being, on the ER, or you would like to join for the first time, please do make sure you pick up a form from your local church (you do need to fulfil certain criteria).
Being on the ER means you can vote at the annual meeting or (if you have been on the ER for six months prior) you can stand for election to the PCC.
We would welcome people to stand for PCC who want to help us make sure people of all ages can come and contribute to the life and worship of our churches. Could that be you?
2019 Annual Parochial Church Meeting dates are:
St Mary’s Abbotts Ann: 11th March, 7.30pm AAWMH
St Peter’s Goodworth Clatford: 12th March 7.30pm
All Saints Upper Clatford: 14th March 7.30pm
Rev’d Katrina Dykes