Charles writes: May 2012

During the last three months at All Saints’ we have had a very concentrated focus on our own mission and ministry in Faringdon, as we have thought about our Building Plans and Appeal. I would like to thank the large number of people who have responded to this with enthusiasm, commitment and generosity. We now have a short pause on this project, as we wait for Planning Approval to be finalised.

For the next two to three months, our focus as churches, both at All Saints’ and St Mary’s, changes direction, as we look out to the world around us.

This is an appropriate time for this, as in the month of May we approach Christian Aid Week. Christian Aid Week this year runs from 13th – 19th May, and will be our focus at our 10.30am Communion Service and at our 6.30pm United Service at the United Church on Sunday 13th, and also at our 5.15pm Communion Service at St Mary’s Little Coxwell on Sunday 20th May.

There will also be a Christian Aid Barn Dance on Saturday 19th May. This is a great opportunity for us to meet in a relaxed way and get to know each other better at the same time as helping Christian Aid.

The work of Christian Aid is more vital than ever, in helping the poorest people of the world, and it is a core part of our calling as Christians to be part of this. It is especially important that in a time of raising money for the work of our own church, we make sure we don’t fail to look outwards to the needs of others , so do please join in with Christian Aid Week in any way you can.

Sunday 13th May is also Rogation Day – the traditional day to pray for the crops and for those around us who are involved in agriculture. It’s a theme that fits in well with Christian Aid Week. We will have a Rogation Service at St Mary’s Little Coxwell on Sunday 13th at 9.00am.

Sunday 27th May is Pentecost – the day the Holy Spirit came, and the day the mission of the church first began. As we keep our outward focus, we will be thinking about how the Holy Spirit sent the disciples out into the world to be a witness for Christ, and how the Holy Spirit energises and empowers us today.

At the beginning of June, we look forward to celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. On Sunday 3rd June, at the request of the Town Council, we ‘ll be holding a United Open Air Diamond Jubilee All Age Service at 10.30am in the Market Place – an exciting opportunity for the different churches and members of the community to meet together to celebrate. In Little Coxwell we’ll be holding a Diamond Jubilee Service at 5.15pm at St Mary’s the same day.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations will continue during the week, and on Saturday 9th June, “Voice and Verse” will be returning to Faringdon for a special celebration evening “Elizabeth to Elizabeth”. More details of this below.

At Ascension time, after Easter, we read the end of the Gospels and hear again Jesus’ calling to go out into the world as witnesses for Christ. So in the next two or three months we look out – to our local community, to our country, and to our world. May the Holy Spirit inspire us to look outward with love, compassion, and with action, to bring God’s love to the world around us.