Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – February 2020

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

Dear Friends.

Once again, I am writing February’s letter on the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year, material for this week of prayer – prepared by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland – is based on the story of St Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta. Found in Chapters 27 and 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, this is a story of peril and fear, rescue and hope. St Paul and his fellow travellers, which include the ship’s crew, and the soldiers sent to guard the apostle, found themselves battered by storms, shipwrecked and washed up on the beach. To this day, tourists to the island are taken to the spot where St Paul is thought to have come ashore, bringing with him the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. The Church in Malta still celebrates this event, as the arrival of the Christian faith on their tiny island, reminding us that Christianity is not just a spiritual thing, it is rooted in real events in human history.

Back in the original story, the survivors of the shipwreck were eventually rescued and aided by local people; “Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness.” (Acts 28:1-2) ‘Unusual kindness’ strikes me as a strange phrase. Kindness is not unusual. It’s shown as much today as it was in St Paul’s day. What’s unusual was that this kindness was shown to strangers and foreigners, and battered, bedraggled ones at that.

It’s easy to show kindness to people we know and like. Much harder to show kindness to people we don’t know, or don’t like. I suspect we all have work to do there! But Jesus calls his followers to show ‘unusual kindness’ telling us to love even our enemies. Such kindness sees beyond our differences and divisions and recognises our common humanity. Of course, whatever our faith, we can all show kindness; to our friends and families, and to the strangers we meet as we journey through life. We demonstrate unusual kindness by valuing and welcoming all people. We demonstrate unusual kindness by giving without counting the cost. We demonstrate unusual kindness as we love and serve others, without expecting anything in return.

At the start of this new decade, I pray that we might all aspire to show ‘unusual kindness’ to the people we meet. I pray that we might acknowledge our common humanity, build one another up, and strengthen our communities.

With every blessing,

Stephen – 01327 344436

Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – Services – February 2020

NetherHeyfordChurchServicesFebruary2020

Midweek Services are held weekly on Wednesdays, 9.30am at Heyford (not 19th or 26th February) and Thursdays, 10am at Flore – all welcome.

During February we shall be praying for people living in Hillside Rd and Hillside Crescent here in Heyford, Sutton St, Yew Tree Gardens and Sutton Acre in Flore, The Manor in Church Stowe and the Gate House and the Old Dairy in Brockhall.

Rev Stephen Burrow (Tel. 01327 344436)

Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul – Services – January 2020

NetherHeyfordChurchServicesJan2020

Midweek Communions are held weekly on Wednesdays, 9.30am at Heyford and Thursdays, 10am at Flore, – all are welcome (Not Wednesday 1st January)

Prayer During January we shall be praying for people living in Church Lane and Weedon Rd in Heyford, Spring Lane and Russell Rise in Flore, Francis Row in Upper Stowe and the Stables and Coach House in Brockhall.

Rev Stephen Burrow (Tel. 01327 344436)

 

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

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

Dear Friends.

This year, Advent Sunday falls on December 1st, marking the beginning of a new Church Year. Unsurprisingly, Advent Sunday also marks the beginning of the season of Advent itself, a period of expectation and preparation as Christians everywhere prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and look forward to his future return. Advent is a period of watchful waiting for the joy of Christmas.

But these days, we’re not very good at waiting. We live in an age of instant gratification and next-day delivery. Waiting is hard. So we fill Advent with activities to make the time go quicker, and anticipate the excitement to come; Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, decorating the Christmas Tree, writing Christmas cards, and so on. And we have special calendars to help us countdown the days and weeks to the big day. In church we light candles on the Advent wreath to mark the four Sundays before Christmas, to remind us that with the birth of Jesus, hope, peace, love and joy have come into the world.

And, of course, we have Advent Calendars to mark the days leading up to Christmas Day. As a child, I remember we had a glittery Advent Calendar, with a snowy stable scene on it. Behind each window there was a little picture of a character, animal or item associated with the nativity story, and on Christmas Eve, a large window depicting the full nativity scene; parents, shepherds and wise men gathered around the child in the manger. When Christmas was over, the windows were closed again, and the Advent Calendar put away for the following year. These days, there are a multitude of Advent Calendars, many of them filled with little chocolate treats, whilst more ‘grown up’ versions offer different teas, gins, cosmetics and so on, for each day of the season. However, visiting Flore Primary School recently, I glanced at the ‘Families Northants Magazine’, which suggested something radically different – an Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, which invited children and their families to do a small act of kindness on each day of December, such as greeting everyone with a smile, helping to cook a meal, donating tins and packets to a food bank, and so on. Isn’t that a wonderful, selfless idea! Perhaps we can all give it a try!

So as we watch and wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, I pray that we might all be inspired to know and share the hope, peace, love and joy of the season, during Advent, Christmas, and on into the year ahead.

With prayers and best wishes for Advent, Christmas and the New Year,

Yours in Christ,

Stephen – 01327 344436

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

NetherHeyfordChurchServicesDecember2019

Midweek Communions are held weekly on Wednesdays, 9.30am at Heyford and Thursdays, 10am at Flore, all welcome. (Not Wednesday 25th or Thursday 26th December)

Prayer During December we shall be praying for people living in Winston Close, Roberts Field and Ridgeway Furlong in Heyford, Nether Lane and Thornton Close in Flore, The Green in Church Stowe and The Old Rectory, Rose Cottage and Western Cottage in Brockhall.

Rev Stephen Burrow (Tel. 01327 344436)

 

Heyford Singers – Carols on the Green – Friday 20th December

Nether Heyford Carols on the Green Heyford Singers

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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