Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – September 2019

Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Dear Friends.

As I sit down a little earlier than usual to write September’s letter, ‘treasure’ is cropping up quite frequently, in the news, and in the Bible readings set for this time of year. Eighty years ago, an excavation in Suffolk uncovered one of this country’s great archaeological wonders, the burial mound of the Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald and particularly the Sutton Hoo burial ship. The National Trust has established new exhibition halls and routes around the site to help visitors understand more about the treasures discovered there. These include an ornate warrior’s helmet and a gold belt buckle. More ancient still, in Egypt, Tutankhamen’s golden coffin has been removed for the first time since its discovery in the 1920’s. Dating back to around 1320BC, the coffin will now be restored by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

What do you imagine when you picture treasure? Items beautifully crafted from precious metals, sparkling gemstones set in silver and gold, ancient, awe inspiring objects of great beauty? The ancient kings, Raedwald and Tutankhamen were buried with all sorts of things to ease their afterlife. But the treasures discovered with them are not eternal. Tutankhamen’s coffin is showing signs of cracks and damage, whilst the Sutton Hoo helmet has lost its original strength and splendour. Material things will always fail in the end, however well-made and beautiful they might be.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells us not to worry about the loss of earthly things.
Instead, we are to strive for the Kingdom of God. God’s great love, and abundant life are an ‘unfailing treasure’, worth more than anything on earth (Luke 12:33). In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus likens the Kingdom to treasure hidden in a field, that we would give everything to purchase and possess (Matt 13:44). This great treasure is what we seek in the Lord’s Prayer, when we pray to our Father God, ‘your Kingdom come’. Jesus encourages us to stay alert to the signs of that Kingdom breaking into this world, and not be diverted by the sometimes-glittering distractions around us.

In September, we can look forward to further encouragement as we seek the joys
and benefits of God’s Kingdom. On Sunday 15th September, the Archdeacon of
Northampton will be the speaker at our Benefice and Partnership service at
10:00AM at Heyford Church. Please come along and listen to what he has to say to
us. And a couple of weeks later, at 10:00AM on Saturday 28th September, Rev
Roger Woods visits to lead our Away Day at the Chapter House in Weedon. Again,
all are welcome to join us for a challenging and exciting day. For catering purposes, please give me a ring and let me know if you’d like to join us.

Yours in Christ,

Stephen – 01327 344436

Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – Services – September 2019

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Midweek Communions are held weekly on Wednesdays, 9.30am at Heyford
(not 25th Sept) and Thursdays, 10am at Flore – all welcome.

During September we shall be praying for people living in Furnace Lane here in
Heyford, the High Street, including the shops, the garage and the Millennium Hall in Flore, The Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe and the outlying farms around Stowe and the Mews Houses in Brockhall.

Rev Stephen Burrow (Tel. 01327 344436)

Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – July 2019

Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Dear Friends.

On what is another wet and overcast day, it’s hard to believe that, as I write this, Midsummer’s Day is less than a week away, especially after all the rain we’ve had in recent days! I’m pleased to say, that despite the rain, plenty of cricket matches have been played in the Cricket World Cup, providing many hours of Test Match Special cricket commentary. For me, the soothing tones of the TMS commentators are a sure sign that summer is here, and a reminder of long summer holidays past, watching and listening to the cricket. Listening to snippets of cricket commentary has recently provided moments of rest and relaxation in what has been a busy few weeks. And there is more cricketing excitement to come as the culmination of World Cup is followed by the Ashes. With summer holidays looming, there is the chance of longer periods of rest and refreshment, and more TMS commentary!

Hopefully, the quieter days of the summer holidays also offer opportunities to
experience more of God; in the brightness of blue skies and sunshine, in the warmth of the sun, and even in the refreshing summer rain. In praising our Creator God, the psalmist writes: ‘God is my King from the very start; he works salvation in the womb of the earth… With your finger you opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters. You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter’ (Psalm 74:12, 15-17 – The Message). We know God through his works, through the things he has made, and here are a few suggestions of ways we might know God through the summer.

The summer is, for many of us, a time of holidays and exploration; visiting new
places, taking the scenic route, finding time to turn aside and satisfy our curiosities. And as Moses discovered at the burning bush, God is often encountered as we turn aside, as we explore the hidden nooks and crannies, and enjoy the open spaces of hills, forests and beaches. Summer is also a time to set aside our busy schedules, a time when the momentum of life slows, and we can find God in relaxation. We can set aside the pressure and busy-ness of work and school and find time to reflect and think. And as the Book of Genesis reminds us, God is the God of the Sabbath. Just as God rested on the seventh day, so he encourages us to rest. The summer holidays are great opportunities to stop and recharge our batteries.

I pray that this summer, you will indeed meet God; in curiosity and exploration, and in reflection, relaxation and rest.

Yours in Christ,

Stephen – 01327 344436