From our Clergy

Last edited by webmaster on 27 April 2017 - 5:02pm

     


From our Vicar, the Revd Paul Mason:

 

Address to Annual Church Meetings on Sunday 23rd April, 2017 

 


Letter for May 2017

Dear friends

In my letter last month I was telling you about the funds my family and I were hoping to raise in memory of my wife, Sue, for research into treatments for Lymphoma at the Christie. We haven’t got a final total yet but it looks likely that the total raised will be nearly £5,000. This has far exceeded our expectations and I want to express a huge thank you to all who contributed in any way. The generosity of so many people, including many from here Holmes Chapel, has been very humbling and inspiring. My hope and prayer is that it will help future Lymphoma patients to find healing.

This month we are holding our Music Festival. This has been inspired by our musical director, Wendy Macdonald, and is the second such weekend. You might wonder what a music weekend has got to do with church and faith. I could turn that round and ask what has church and faith got to do with music? I would contend that church and faith are to do with life – all of life, not just an hour’s service on a Sunday morning. Music is a huge part of most people’s lives. It is the most accessible of all the art forms. Not everybody is into art, or sculpture, or the theatre, or literature, or poetry, or dance, or architecture but virtually everybody appreciates music. The arts are unique to humans in the created world. They are a reflection of God in the sense that God is a creative God. The first sentence in the Bible says ‘in the beginning God created’.

The dictionary definition of art says: Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

No one can argue that music has both beauty and emotional power. That is true of classical music but also true of pop music. Why is pop music so popular with young people? There is no doubt that it a part of youth culture but it impacts on their developing emotions and they seem to listen to it almost nonstop. Music is powerful. It has the power to make us laugh, to dance, to clap, to march, to conduct, to cry, to make is feel alive. It is a sublime gift that is so easy to take for granted. Our weekend celebrates that gift of music. That gift is something we as Christians use to give to God in our worship. For centuries music has been at the heart of worship. Sometimes our services can be too wordy. Sometimes it is good to have silence. Sometimes we need music to express ourselves. At St. Luke’s we are able to offer that worship in another work of art – our church building. What a thing of beauty. How fortunate are we to worship in such a beautiful environment.

Lots of music will be heard and played over the weekend climaxing in a service of music – Songs of Praise - on the Sunday morning at 10.00am. I do hope you are able to join us some time over the weekend as we celebrate the wonder of music and the wonder of God.

Your friend and Vicar

Paul


 Review of Services - March 2017

You may remember a few weeks ago that the PCC decided to have a review of the regular church services to see if there was need for any changes in our pattern. To that end we did a survey of the worshippers both at the 8.30am service and the 10.00am service. We had over a hundred responses and the information gleaned from that survey was analysed. And the results.....?

It is a well known cliché that you can’t please all the people all the time but the survey quite overwhelmingly suggested that at St. Luke’s we please most of the people most of the time- at least as far as the service pattern is concerned! The result means that the PCC decided to keep the status quo and there will be no changes to our existing pattern. There may be tweaks here and there done by the ministry team but the pattern will remain as follows.

At 8.30 am there will always be a service of Holy Communion alternating between Order 1 and Order 2. At 10.00 am there will be at least two services of Holy Communion on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, a more traditional Morning service on the 1st Sunday and a more informal service on the 3rd Sunday. We will continue to use a variety of music at the 10.00 am services using the choir, the organ and the music group.

Thank you to all who filled in the questionnaire and I hope the results meet the needs of most people as we gather together to worship our great God.
 
Paul