Oct 5, 2013

Fr Freddy's October message

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Category: General
Posted by: suzi hedgecock

A senior clergyman and friend described to me what he thought about the parish system as operated in the countryside as "a string vest which can be stretched so far but no further and now seems to be tattered at the edges and is more holes than string."

I don't know if that is an apt analogy or not, yet to me, the parish system remains deeply important. A local church is called to be a microcosm of the whole church - one holy, catholic and apostolic. A community of folk who try so faithfully to reflect on what God is saying and doing in the world. A place where the sacraments of God's love are celebrated. A community in which love and care - pastoral care - is shown to one another and those who live and work alongside. A community of faith which brings the challenge of the gospel to the wider community, and in all this, we have to hold ourselves together in unity and in unity with the wider church in the Diocese through the Bishop, with other denominations and with something of a recent "string" to the vest, "the Mission Community". Cornwood is a member of the South Dartmoor Mission Community, which is a cluster of churches comprised of Sparkwell, Ivybridge, Harford and Cornwood.

One of the activities that St. Michael's, Cornwood is good at is "fund raising". The Special Events Committee raises so much for us and is a vital link with the wider community. The parish church of St. John's, Ivybridge is not so good at fund raising and they need to do something about that. Recently they invited our churchwarden, Marilyn Sharp, to "come over to help us" and she did. She spent one evening giving them ideas on how to go about fundraising; ideas born of hard work, vision, imagination and perseverance. As I sat and listened to Marilyn as she spoke to the PCCs of Ivybridge and Harford and watched how they were becoming encouraged and "fired up" with enthusiasm, I thought, this is Mission Community in action - sharing, in a small way, something we do well with a sister church that is struggling - planting seeds in holy ground? Repairing the string vest?

Fr Freddy

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