My husband, Paul, and I are settling very well into our new home in Haslingfield and I feel very blessed to be your Team Vicar, here in Haslingfield and in Harlton. When coming into a parish for the first time, it is very exciting to be meeting people who live or worship in that village. So, it has been a wonderful experience to have conversations on doorsteps and in gardens and on village ramblings as well as leading and participating in the many diverse and uplifting church services that take place in these two villages. Although at the time of writing, congregational singing is not yet allowed in church, I am delighted that at Harlton the Reavell family have been singing for us accompanied by our excellent organ scholars and at Haslingfield, our church choir accompanied by their director José Hopkins.
As Team Vicar for Barton, Coton, Harlton and Haslingfield, I wish to serve each village and to be part of the community. To help me to do that please do email me or phone me to let me know about any village activities I may like to attend, or if you just want to see me for a chat.
By the time you read this we will be in June and will have just celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. Hopefully, this month we shall be able to have Forest Church outside in the churchyard at All Saints’, Haslingfield and at the end of this month we are having an ecumenical service to celebrate the World Day of Prayer, which was postponed from earlier in the year. At Coton, we will be celebrating the Feast of St Peter, Patron Saint of the Parish Churches in both Barton and Coton.
God has made everyone unique and special so we all have our own particular gifts and weaknesses. The same is true of our saints. St Peter was called by Jesus beside the Sea of Galilee to be a disciple. He showed great faith in proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi and from then on he became leader of the apostles. Originally known as Simon, he was renamed Peter by Jesus as an acknowledgement of his rock-like faith.
After Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s courage and faith appeared to have deserted him and he denied that he knew Jesus three times. However, when Jesus met Peter after his resurrection, he affirmed him three times as the leader of the church to cancel out those three denials. The only question he asked Peter was “Do you love me?” to which Peter could give a resounding “Yes”.
Shortly after this conversation with Peter, Jesus ascended to heaven and then sent the Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost. Before the crucifixion Peter was too frightened to acknowledge to a small group of people that he even knew Jesus. But now at Pentecost, empowered by the Holy Spirit, he goes into the city of Jerusalem and proclaims Jesus as the Messiah to a huge crowd.
Peter’s story is one from which we can all take comfort. When we fail to act as we should we can be confident that Jesus is always there understanding our weakness, forgiving us and sending the Holy Spirit to give us courage in difficult situations.
Revd Claire Robertson, Team Vicar at Lordsbridge and Lead Minister for Barton, Coton, Harlton and Haslingfield. email@example.com Tel 01223 874194