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Church Services in Tideswell Parish during August 2020

On behalf of Churches Together in Tideswell we continue to take ‘Small steps out of Lock-down’ with a series of short, reflective Communion Services during August. All are welcome at any of the following services.

Each Sunday in August, 9.30am, at St John the Baptist Church, Tideswell

PLUS

16th August, 11am, Christ Church LittonIMG_7278

23rd August, 11am, St John’s Cressbrook

Covid-19 safety guidelines, including social distancing, hand sanitising and contact tracing regulations, will apply.

Sunday Zoom Service at 12noon will continue, contact the Vicarage for more details.

July 2020: Letter from Up Russia!

During my ministry in the Oxford Diocese a small group of monks came to set up house in a neighbouring parish. They were Anglican Benedictines and I got to know them quite well and was frequently refreshed by spending time in their lovely chapel. July 11 is the feast day of St Benedict of Nursia, founder of the monastery of Monte Cassino and recognised as the Father of Western Monasticism. It was Benedict’s Rule that became the pattern for monastic living and still today it is the rule-book by which Benedictines order their lives.

Benedict’s Rule is well worth a read. It is short and simple and full of common sense and practical wisdom. It is tolerant and understanding of human nature as it aims to lead us to a deeper experience of God and a closer relationship with one another and with the world in which we live. Though written for monastic communities, do not think it has nothing to say to those who are not so enclosed. A good introduction to The Rule of St Benedict is a little paperback entitled “Seeking God” by Esther De Waal, which I heartily recommend.

What then has a monk who lived many centuries ago have to teach us today?  Well, we are living through changing times where the pattern of many lives has been seriously disrupted.  Our regular worship meetings are gone both on Sundays and mid-week. Our places of worship are closed and unavailable for prayer. Our pattern of life with its work and play has been challenged. Benedict realised the importance of having a rhythm of life. He set about demonstrating the importance of having set times to pray, to study, to relax, to engage in manual work and to worship. Living in an orderly manner helped his followers to live in harmony with nature, with each other and with their God.

Can we practice some new rhythms in our lives today? Maybe starting each day with a reflection and seeking a purpose; turning our exercise time into a prayer; if we are walking past houses or fields bringing neighbours to mind before God, finding on web-sites fresh opportunities to engage in worship, keeping in regular touch with friends and family; establishing fresh patterns of living- a new Rule of Life! Benedictine monasteries once dominated much of our landscape; today we have only their ruins at places like Fountains Abbey, Tintern, Whitby and Rievaux . But Benedict’s influence lives on and we can all be his beneficiaries.

 May you be blessed in finding new rhythms and fresh patterns of life at this time!  Brian