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Ruth writes ...                         

I think it was during the week of prayer for Christian Unity, whilst eating the lunch provided, I asked the woman sitting next to me which church she usually worshipped at.

She replied" I'm freelance, I prefer to visit many churches without a particular allegiance to one!" As one who has been part of the church family of St. James' for a relatively short time (only 39 years), a look of surprise must have crossed my face! The woman continued ..." It works well for me, no committees, no rotas, no meetings etc, etc."  Forgive me Lord, but at this point I could see the attraction BUT, when a church Family works well, in its caring and compassion, I wouldn't want to be outside of it!

I think it was William Temple, erstwhile Archbishop of Canterbury, who said the Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of its non-members. And yes I believe that too, if we are to take up the Christ's message and go out proclaiming the Gospel in words and deeds, we will be part of William Temple's plan but we are so much more ...

Recently I have witnessed within our own church family real concern and compassion for others.

It has felt to me, that so many of us are struggling with illness, disease, ageing and the vicissitudes of every day life and yet there has been love shared among us, there has been prayer and there have been many supportive deeds.

During May, from Ascension leading up to Pentecost, we will welcome Bishop Jonathan into the life of our churches. I expect he will remind us of our Christian duty, to love others as we love ourselves and to take the fire of the Holy Spirit to all whom we meet. I expect too he may also encourage us to follow the words of Archbishop Temple and remind us of ‘The Great Commission' from Matthew's Gospel  - 

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age."