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Compass is the name of St.Mary's Parish magazine. It is published at the beginning of every month and is distributed throughout the Parish by a band of volunteers.

If you would like to receive a copy of the magazine nearly every month (there is a combined December/ January edition), it is available for an Annual Subscription of £5.00

If you live outside the Parish and would still like to receive a copy, arrangements can be made to post it for an additional charge
For more information about the magazine, please contact either:

Editors                          Robert Pearson     robert.pearson@talktalk.net
                                     Mary Norris           jnorris687@btinternet.com
                                     Ed Sands              ejrsands@gmail.com
 
Distribution Manager    Vacant

Articles from our April 2019 Magazine

Sylvia Griffith writes:

I have a friend who lived in Germany in the days of the Berlin Wall. He had relatives on the other side of the wall whom he had not seen for many years. He was particularly sad that his mother died, not able to see her sister who she had been close to - and that he could not even contact her to let her know of her mother's passing. He could remember the day in graphic detail when the wall came down. He was aware that something important and momentous was happening and joined the throng of people rushing down the street. He was one of those who started clawing at the wall with his bare hands and he often spoke of the tremendous joy and excitement when people could move freely between East and West. He, like millions of others, took a stone from the wall as a reminder of that important and significant day. It proudly sits on a window-sill in his home. This stone which once
divided East and West and one person from another was a barrier no more.

There are many other walls that have come down in our life time, even if they are not always physical ones as the Berlin Wall was. Look at the wall we call Apartheid – the barrier created because of the colour of your skin in South Africa. I was holidaying there some years ago and we had a black coach driver. One evening we noticed that he was sitting on his own at the meal table and we asked him to join us. 'Who would have thought’ he said, ‘that I would ever sit at a table and eat with white people! Who would have thought that I would be allowed to drive a coach for them or that I would earn a reasonable wage for doing so! Who would have thought that my children would be at school with other white children and be educated in the same way as them.’ He was living with a sense of total amazement that a wall so firmly erected, had come tumbling down.

We may not be able to see a path through the conflict between Palestine and Israel which involves a very real wall, nor the battle against terrorism which seems such an imposing one, but we need the stones of other walls to remind us that walls can come tumbling down; that stones intended to keep people in or out are not necessarily as permanent as those who put them in place believe.

On Easter Day we remember that there was no stone that could hold God’s Son, Jesus, in the tomb. Though a huge stone was fixed firmly in place and soldiers left to guard the tomb, God did what was humanly impossible – he moved the stone and Good News burst from the grave. This is the very heart of the Christian faith. It shows us that no army can stand in the way of Resurrection, no stone is too heavy for God to move, no wall that cannot fall. That was then! What about now? Do we believe that God can still move stones? Do
we really believe that walls constructed to divide can come tumbling down, whether it is the huge walls of world issues or the smaller walls that have been created in families? Do we believe that God can remove the barriers in our families where members do not talk to each other, or the walls that have been constructed by us to help us cope with the hurts and pains of life, or the walls of hurt and anger and pride and fear - can they come tumbling down? Can these walls crumble and give us a freedom to live life in all its fullness, unhampered by the damage of our past?

Easter is the ‘almost-too- good –to-be-true’ celebration. It reminds us that in Christ such things are possible. We can bring to God the boulders, the stones in our lives - those things we have struggled with for years where it feels as if nothing has happened, nothing has changed. We can dare to ask God to do a miracle once again as he did on the first Easter morning - to bring healing and peace to those impossible situations we face and where we yearn for harmony. Easter proves that no stone is too difficult for God to move…and walls can come tumbling down!

May I wish you all a happy and joyful Easter.

Sylvia  

Update from Lesotho
A recent visit to the mountain St James Hospital gave this feedback. This hospital is some 3 hours by road from the capital Maseru. The route twists through lovely scenery, and over steep inclines, --- The “God Help Me” pass is a most apt name for a section of the route!

Currently, the hospital suffers a lack of water, the nearby stream has run dry. The hospital manager has agreed to use some water from a nearby village, and with the Government to take water from a dam about 1 hour’s drive away (but this has yet to produce any). In winter, snow often cuts off
the hospital, meaning that staff incur hotel bills (paid by the hospital) until they can be helicoptered out.

Staff recruitment reports that nurses are easy to recruit – 100 applicants for 1 recent vacancy, but doctors and specialist nurses are in short supply. The
Government pays for drugs, and the salaries for medical staff, but payment is very slow! Apparently “industrial action” is remedial! Much of the hospital’s equipment is old and needs expensive replacement, a new X ray machine would cost in the region of £45000. The anaesthetic machine whose purchase we supported in 2018 is now up and running. It has many benefits, and is particularly valuable in certain caesarean procedures. The 2 nurses currently being trained in its use have passed their exams to date, and will complete their course in May.

How fortunate we are to have our NHS!

Last October, a party of students from an Academy in Co Durham went to Lesotho and their reports back include:-

  • The child-headed household weekend was an extremely memorable experience. Spending time with the young enriching – their culture and lifestyle
were inspiring.
  • I loved Lesotho because it enriched me in a culture that I had never experienced. It gave me a different outlook on life and made me immensely
grateful for where and how I live.
  • The child-headed household weekend inspired me through the strength and courage of the children. Even when they had lost so much, they still smiled and were so excited all of the time. They taught me that even the smallest things in life matter.

With the latter in mind, we shall donate the proceeds from this year’s HotCross Bun & Coffee Morning on 13 April to an educational project for Lesotho
children.

Marion Broadley  

Nottingham Street Pastors is a project set up by the Malt Cross Trust in 2010. The aim of the Malt Cross Trust is to improve Nottingham’s nightlife. The project sees over 70 volunteers go out to care for and look after the on average 30,000-40,000 visitors who use Nottingham city centre’s nightlife every weekend.

Street Pastor volunteers patrol the city in teams of three on Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and 3am to help when someone’s night out takes a turn for the worst. We offer practical, non-judgemental and compassionate help to vulnerable people at risk for their own safety or that of others.
By having the Street Pastors in the City of Nottingham they offer a calming effect to often drunken and rowdy people, the offer a lollipop or a bottle of water has an amazing effect on people.

They are an integral part of the partnership in the city centre their knowledge and advice is invaluable to the development of our shared initiatives to make Nottingham a safer and more vibrant city.

Whilst speaking at the Home Office launch of the Local Alcohol Action Area in March 2017 I described the work they do as the fourth emergency service, without them the NTE in the City would be a far busier, less safe environment for people to enjoy themselves and feel reassured they are there to help”
– Chief Inspector Mark Stanley, Nottinghamshire Police.

   
2018 in numbers
     
     
First  Aid Interventions - 102
     
Referrals  and signposting - 493
Bottles  collected and safely disposed of - 1994
     
Equipment given out
     
Water  Given Out - 933
     
Space  Blankets - 122
     
Flip  Flops - 231
     
Vulnerable
     
Homeless - 392
     
Intoxicated - 358

 
Here are some stories from last year:
“Bumped in to a male over 25 who used to be homeless and has got his own place now. He wants to give back so he collects tins and bottles all evening.”

“We were called to a bar to a young girl who was very drunk. She had been there for an hour so we stayed with her for a while but she wasn’t good. She soiled herself badly so we cleaned her up as best we could making a screen with foil blankets. The guy at the bar was really helpful and we got her into a taxi all wrapped up.”

“We came across a lad in a doorway, who had been separated from his friends, was very anxious and also quite intoxicated. Managed to get him upright and talking. We were able to contact his friends, who were so grateful for the help we were giving. We waited an hour until his friends arrived and they took care of him from there.”

They are incredibly grateful for funding and support from Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham BID, Boots Charitable Trust, Big Lottery Fund, the Jones 1986 Charitable Trust and the Jessie Spencer Trust in 2018.

Finally Street Pastors would not work without being underpinned by prayer. 

All those who are surrounding this initiative with prayer are invaluable and are truly making a difference in reclaiming the streets for God.
21 April - Easter morning: the ‘Other’ Mary
by Canon David Winter

As the traditional Easter story is rehearsed again this month, you may notice that there is one name that frequently occurs. It is that of the ‘other’ Mary – not the mother of Jesus, but Mary of Magdalene, who stood by her at the cross and became the first human being actually to meet the risen Christ.
That’s quite a record for a woman who, the Gospels tell us, had been delivered by Jesus from ‘seven devils’ – New Testament language for some dark and horrible affliction of body, mind or spirit. As a result, her devotion to Him was total and her grief at His death overwhelming.

In church history Mary Magdalene became the ‘fallen woman’ a harlot who was rescued and forgiven by Jesus. But there is no evidence to prove she was a ‘fallen woman’ but the contrast is sublime, Mary the virgin mother, the symbol of purity. Mary Magdalene, the scarlet woman who was saved and forgiven, the symbol of redemption. Surely, we all fall somewhere between those two extremes. The dark cloud from which she was delivered may have been sexual, we are not told. What we do know is that the two Marys stood together at the cross, the Blessed Virgin and the woman rescued from who knows what darkness and despair.

The second great moment for her was as unexpected as it was momentous. She had gone with other women to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty. An angelic figure told them that Jesus was not there, He had risen – and the others drifted off. But Mary stayed, reluctant to leave it like that. She became aware of a man nearby, whom she took to be the gardener. She explained to Him that the body of ‘her Lord’ had been taken away and she didn’t know where to find Him. The man simply said her name ‘Mary’ and she instantly realised it was Jesus. She made to hug Him, but He told her not to touch Him because his resurrection was not yet complete. She was, however, to go to the male disciples and tell them she had met Him. She did – but they couldn’t believe her.

Her words – ‘I have seen the Lord’ – echo down the centuries, the very beating heart of the Christian gospel.

Easter faith
Three years after the Russian Revolution of 1917, a great anti-God rally was arranged in Kiev. The powerful orator Bukharin was sent from Moscow, and for an hour he demolished the Christian faith with argument, abuse and ridicule. At the end there was silence.

Then a man rose and asked to speak. He was a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church. He went and stood next to Bukharin. Facing the people, he raised his
arms and spoke just three triumphant words: ‘Christ is risen!’

At once the entire assembly rose to their feet and gave the joyful response, ‘He is risen indeed!’ It was a devastating moment for an atheist politician, who had no answer to give to this ancient Easter liturgy. He had not realised he was simply too late: how can you convince people who have already experienced God, that He does not exist?

Arnold Foodbank would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the work they are doing in our local community and to ask for your assistance to enable them to continue to fulfil their vision. The increase in demand they have been experiencing reflects a dramatic rise in the number of clients who are being referred to them and to the increasing pressure on some members of our Community. During the last 6 weeks they have provided a massive 5,873 kilograms of food to 663 clients.

During the same period the total amount of food donated to them amounted to 3,975 kilograms-almost 2,000 kilograms short of the level needed to maintain our stock at a consistent level. In addition to the impact on stock levels our financial reserves have also been significantly depleted over recent months as they struggle to meet demand.

Please could you consider responding to this urgent situation in one of two ways:

1. If you are able make a special effort to boost your food donations. They are currently particularly short of all of the following: tinned fruit, tinned
vegetables, coffee, jam, long life milk and juice.
2. Please can you consider making a one-off donation or signing up to a promise to make a regular cash donation to support our work. Cheques can be made payable to Trussell Trust Arnold Food Bank, or by BACS payment: sort code 40-08-46 account number 21820907. If you would prefer to set up a regular standing order please follow the guidance on their website www.arnold.foodbank.org.uk and in either event if you are a UK taxpayer please complete the relevant form so that Gift Aid can be claimed on your donations.

Thank you for reading this and for any support you are able to give.

With grateful thanks. Arnold Foodbank

Women’s ordination – 25 years on

Twenty-five years ago this month, women were ordained as priests in the Church of England.  As the BBC commentator on the first service in Bristol Cathedral I was prepared for disruptions from demonstrators, but it proceeded reverently and without a hitch.  The only protest was outside, where a group of approving Roman Catholic women held a banner saying, ‘We’re Next’.

 
Of course, there are still people who object to women’s ordination on principle.  Some believe the practice frustrates the prospect of church unity, others hold that God has created women and men to hold complementary but different roles - and leadership in the Church is reserved for men.

 
At the last count, 30% of the 20,000 active clergy were women and 23% of the senior posts were held by women, and that includes 18 bishops.
 
It would be difficult now to imagine the Church of England without women priests and bishops.  They serve as chaplains in prison, hospital and the Armed Services, and of course as Vicars and Curates in parish churches.

 
Hannah Madin was ordained 18 months ago when she was 28, and is a Curate in York. She recalls visiting a parishioner whose husband had just died; the widow said, “I wasn’t expecting a female Vicar, but I’m so glad you are”.  Hannah’s husband is also ordained; she says it helps that he understands the random and unique nature of the job, they support each other in prayer, and they never talk shop on their day off!

 Sue Restall was one of those ordained in Bristol 25 years ago and is now in active retirement in the Midlands, having been a parish priest and a hospital chaplain.  In her experience, although women and men may have different talents, that is more to do with personality than gender. However, she does recall making a bereavement visit when a widower cried his eyes out, saying he could only have done that in front of a woman.  Sue says her role is no longer controversial – “I am simply a priest who happens to be a woman
The worse you feel, the more likely you are to believe in God.
At least that is a finding from the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which has found that patients admitted to hospital are more likely to have religious faith than people in the general public.
It seems that more than half of us are happy to say that we have 'no religion', according to the latest BSA survey, which found that 52 per cent of us deny any religious affiliation.   But this figure drops to only 15 per cent once you become a NHS patient.
Data from the Manchester University NHS Trust also shows that while 40 per cent of the population identify as Christian, this figure soars to 66 per cent once people are admitted to hospital.  

Tower update

Progress continues to be made on assessing the cost and extent of work needed on the Tower. We now have had two estimates submitted for the work needed and await a third. The good news is that the work is not as extensive as we first feared, the bad news is that current estimates range from £25 to £35K for that work with the cost of accessing the Tower a major factor.

Our own efforts to raise funds now have reached an excellent total of around £7K but we now need to develop a strategy for generating financial support from the variety of funding bodies supporting such work. Meanwhile, to increase our own contribution, an afternoon event will be held in church on Thursday, October 18th. The speaker Professor Julian Evans, was formerly Professor of Forestry at Imperial College & Chief Research Officer for the Forestry Commission and has written or been a principal editor of some 16 books on forestry and tree-related subjects, including his book 'God’s Trees’ on trees, forests and wood found in the bible.

He was a popular speaker on a recent eventful ‘Round the British Isles’ cruise taken by Ralph and led the meetings and Sunday worship held on the boat.

The intention would be to have his talk followed by afternoon tea. We would hope as many as possible would come to enjoy his presentation.’ See advert flor more details and please put it in your diary!

The Plastic Revolution

The recent Blue Planet II series exposed just how much plastic waste is an issue in our seas. The Prime Minister has called plastic waste ‘one of the great environmental scourges of our
time.’ The best estimates suggest 10 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans, contaminating and killing sea life. How should we view this issue from a Christian perspective?

When God created the universe, He saw ‘everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good.’ (Genesis 1:31). He call us to share in His care of creation: ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the
earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the ground.’ (Genesis 1:28). Our rule over living creatures is not an excuse to exploit them in a selfish way. As those who made in the image of God, we are entrusted to care for them with responsibility and trustworthiness.

Why do the sea creatures being killed by plastic matter? Because of human rebellion against God (see Genesis 3), our relationship with God and His creation was damaged. No longer do we live with living creatures in harmony and interdependence. Yet after the flood, when Noah rescued the animals in the ark they are included in God’s everlasting promise to protect the earth: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that was with you.’ (Genesis 9:9,10). This also points to God’s cosmic plan to restore all creation to Himself.

What is our response to be? Where is God calling us, as His people in this time an place, to make a stand in protecting His creation? Time for a plastic revolution?  

The ‘Other’ Mary
A new film about her has stimulated fresh interest in one of the most elusive characters in the New Testament story, Mary Magdalene. I saw the film recently and personally found it disappointing. How do you make a rather boring film about such a fascinating person? Was she, as widely believed, a prostitute converted by Jesus? Probably not. Did she wash the feet of Jesus and dry them with her hair? Again, probably not. Was she the sister of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (as the film assumes)? Again, not proven. But amidst all the assumptions we actually know a lot about her, clearly recorded in the Gospels.
On her saint’s day (July 23rd) this year) it would be best to concentrate on them, rather than guesswork. She is mentioned by name 14 times in the New Testament - more often than
almost all the other disciples. Jesus ‘delivered’ her from seven demons (in first century terms, an awful mental or moral condition), and she then led a group of women disciples who travelled with Jesus and supported Him out of their own resources (Luke 8:1-3). Most significantly of all, the unanimous testimony of the Gospels is that Mary was with the mother of Jesus at the cross, helped with His burial, and was the first human being to see and speak with the risen Christ (John 20:11-18). At the command of Jesus, she went and told the apostles, but they wouldn’t believe her, because she was a woman. How times change!

As He was dying, Jesus made provision for His mother’s future care. As soon as He was raised from death, He provided the ’other’ Mary in His life with the assurance of His risen humanity – and made her the ‘apostle to the apostles’.
by Canon David Winter

To see the Movie Trailer, please click here. Hopefully we will be showing this at a special showing at our Community Cinema later this year!
Unity

There was once an old monastery that had fallen upon hard times. Centuries earlier it had been a thriving monastery where many dedicated monks lived and worked and had great influence, but now only five monks lived there and they were all over 70 years old. This was clearly a dying order. A few miles from the monastery lived an old hermit who many thought was a prophet. One day as the monks agonized over the impending demise of their order, they decided to visit the hermit to see if he might have some advice for them. Perhaps he would be able to see the future and show them what they could do to save the monastery.

The hermit welcomed the five monks to his hut, but when they explained the purpose of their visit he could only commiserate with them. "Yes I understand how it is," said the hermit, "the spirit has gone out of the people, hardly anyone cares much for the old things anymore."

"Is there anything you can tell us," the Abbot enquired of the hermit, "that could help us to save the monastery?"  'No I am sorry," said the hermit. "l don't know how your monastery can be saved, the only thing that I can tell you is that one of you is an Apostle of God."

The monks were both disappointed and confused by the hermit's cryptic statement. They returned to the monastery wondering what the hermit could have meant by the statement "one of you is an Apostle of God". For months after their visit, the monks pondered the significance of the hermit's words.

'One of us is an Apostle of God," they mused. "Did he actually mean, one of us monks here at the monastery? That is impossible. We are all too old, we are all too insignificant. On the other hand, what if it is true and if it is true, then which one of us is it?

'Do you suppose he meant the Abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant the Abbot. He has been our leader for more than a generation. On the other hand he might have meant Brother Thomas. Certainly Brother Thomas is a holy man, a man of wisdom and light. He couldn't have meant Brother Elred. Elred gets crochety at times and is difficult to reason with. n the other hand, he is almost always right. Maybe the hermit did mean Brother Elred. But surely he could not have meant Brother Philip? Brother Philip is so passive, so shy, a real nobody. Still, he is always there when you need him. He is loyal and trustworthy. Yes, he could have meant Philip. Of course, the hermit didn't mean me, he couldn't possibly have meant me. I am just an ordinary person. Yet suppose he did. Suppose I am an Apostle of God. Oh God, not me. I couldn't be that much for you. Or could l?"

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one of them might actually be an Apostle of God and on the off, off chance that each monk himself might be the apostle spoken of by the hermit, each monk began to treat himself with extraordinary respect.

Because the monastery was situated in a beautiful forest, many people came there to picnic on its lawn and to walk on its paths and now and then to go into the tiny chapel to meditate. As they did so, without even being conscious of it, they sensed the aura of
extraordinary respect that now began to surround the five old monks and seemed to radiate from them, permeating the atmosphere of the place. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, people began to bring their friends to show them this special place, and their friends brought their friends.

As more and more visitors came, some of the younger men started to talk with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them, then another, then another. Within a few years, the monastery had once again become a thriving order and thanks to the hermit's wisdom a vibrant center of light and spirituality throughout the region.

Page was last altered 27 March 2019

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