Rector's November 2022 Pewletter
Dear Church Member
It is almost November and as if the Lord is helping us to delay turning on our central heating, I’m at my desk, doors wide open, enjoying a balmy afternoon of sunshine.
I last wrote a ‘pew letter’ in May and much has happened since. It has been a tough year with some notable bereavements in the church family that have been terribly sad and hard to process but we have pulled through and there is much to be thankful for. Of note would be the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations that included a beacon-lighting atop our roof; a successful (but different) Holiday Club; my charity skydive; Ope Ayileye, Abi Graham and Sarah Harrison Potts joining the team as curate, kids’ worker and families’ worker respectively and an amazing parish weekend away at High Leigh with 194 attendees following on so soon after The Queen’s death. And now – hey presto – here we are at the end of the autumn half-term.
As you may know, our working cocker spaniel had puppies a couple of weeks ago and I have once again been in awe of God’s handiwork. We sit on the sofa transfixed at their perfection (and cuteness!) and I struggle to understand how people do not believe in a creator God; it just seems impossible that these gorgeous new beings have just evolved haphazardly out of a primordial swap. It brings to mind Romans 1:20 where Paul writes: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Looking at the wonders of nature I can see exactly what Paul meant.
The Anglican Communion and Church of England. We’ve been in choppy waters for decades over issues of human sexuality and gay marriage and we’re about to enter stormy seas. The CofE has completed a year of reflecting on the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process and February’s General Synod is expected to begin the process of agreeing a strategy on how to move forward. At stake here is the traditional teaching and doctrine of the catholic (meaning worldwide) church on marriage and potentially casting the CofE further adrift from the RC and Orthodox churches not to mention the vast majority of Anglicans. Any change to our doctrine on marriage will fracture the church in an hitherto unimaginable scale. So the stakes could not be higher and we need to know where we will stand.
To help us look at what the bible has to say on matters of sexual ethics I am delighted that Revd Dr Ian Paul is preaching at all our services on Sunday 6th?November as part of our series on Love.? Also, on the afternoon of Saturday 5th he will be giving a talk on the Book of Revelation at 3pm in BPC.? Ian is a leading scholar on Revelation and has written a commentary on it.? Come and ask all those tricky questions about the end times. On the Sunday afternoon (3pm at The Centre) he’ll expand on his sermon message and answer questions on the contentious issues surrounding sexual ethics.? These two sessions (and of course his sermons) are not to be missed as it is not every day that we have a theologian of his stature in Buckingham. Ian is on the Archbishop’s Council and so at the very heart of the CofE’s leadership.
Attendance. I am delighted to say that our attendance figures (closely monitored by Lorna Piper) show that we’re either back at pre-pandemic figures or exceeding them. This is fantastic news when one realises that there are sadly many churches that have not recovered. If you are one of the many newcomers I do hope that you can come to our Welcome Tea Party on the 19th November so we can get to know you better and explain a bit more about how the church runs.
Refugee Support. It is a delight to see so many asylum-seekers attending our 9am service – some of them Christians from Iran. If you’re interested in helping out with our ministry to them please see Jo Wigley. They are ill-prepared for winter in the UK and a list of their needs is here.
SOS Room. We would love to reactivate our SOS Room that offers emergency accommodation to the homeless and are in especial need of a couple of men to join the team. The duties are infrequent and only last a short time. If you can help please let Jo Wigley know.
Minibus. Thank you to everyone who sponsored my skydive or gave directly to the minibus appeal. We have sold the old one and are negotiating to buy a ‘part-share’ in a community bus which will meet all our needs. Please pray negotiations go well and quickly.
Serving. We had a great response to our series on serving (huge thanks to everyone who offered of themselves) and as a result we’re able to continue some key ministries. The areas where we’re still short are as follows:
in the youth group at the 6pm;
in the kids’ groups at the 6pm;
If you can help – even just one evening a term – please let Sam or Abi know.
The other ministry that could do with some extra help is in the kitchen for the lunch that follows the 11am service each 3rd Sunday. If you can help, please see Sarah HP.
Remembrance Sunday. We are looking forward to the Remembrance Sunday Parade at the War Memorial (10.45am on the 13th November). We’re in charge of ‘crowd control’ and we’d love a dozen or so people to help usher. If you can help please let the office know.
Parish Weekend. Following on from the success of the parish weekend away the PCC has agreed to programme one in every other year so we’re busy trying to find a suitable venue and dates that work for us in 2024.
Choir. It is exciting to see new members – including children – in our wonderful choir. If you like singing why not join the choir or even just join us to bolster numbers at our big Christmas services? Speak to Rob or email email@example.com.
Finances. Our finances are bearing up but now is a great time to start giving and full details can be found here. You can also give via our ‘tap and pay’ machine at the back of church.
Dates for your Diary:
Monday 31st Oct – Light Trail and Party in BPC, 5-7pm.
Saturday 5th Nov – Dr Ian Paul Lecture on Revelation and The End Times – 3-5pm in BPC.
Sunday 6th Nov - Dr Ian Paul on What the Bible Says about Sexual Ethics – The Centre, 3-5pm.
Monday 7th Nov – Prayer and Praise 7.30-8.30pm.
Sunday 13th Nov - Remembrance Sunday Parade at 10.45am.
Wednesday 16th Nov – Men’s Curry Night
Saturday 19th Nov – Welcome Tea Party – 4pm in BPC
Saturday 19th Nov – Quiz Night in Church.
Finally: Please pray for all the above events and for many to hear the gospel and to respond.
with much love