LAMP Group Reflection
In the last letter to the church in Corinth St Paul writes of the gifts that God gives to any church that seeks to live under the lordship of his Son, Jesus Christ: gifts of many kinds, spiritual, practical, dramatic, ordinary, but all necessary to the life and running of that church. Sometimes these are shared out among many people, sometimes among a few. But as the church is seen to be living faithfully to God, other people will offer their gifts or discover they have got gifts they never thought they had, and experience the excitement of seeing those new-found gifts being used.
Six months ago, we lost our leader and pastor into a well-deserved retirement. This quickly revealed just how much Richard had done and made us wonder how we were going to fill the gaps from a congregation the size it is. But we have seen how many of those gaps have been filled by many different members of the Lamp Group churches, whether in leading worship or helping us to continue that worship through technology. The future is not bleak, but exciting, looking for signs of what the Lord is doing amongst us.
We are finding other areas of church life which need to be tackled, such as keeping in contact with those unable to get to church or be involved in Zoom. We need a team of people regularly ringing or writing letters to those who were faithful members but now can't get out.
In a passage from 1 Thessalonians (5:1), churches are warned that one day Christ will bring all things to an end and each of us will answer to God for the use of the life he gave us. In one sense, all that we are required to do is make sure that our hope and confidence lies in our "salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ". Being sure that our life is based on that is sufficient for God to receive us into Heaven on that day. But if that is all that God desired for us he would have taken us home immediately we accepted Christ's salvation. He left us here to walk in the reality of that salvation for some time, short or long. As the Gospel reading told us, the gifts, or talents, that he gave us are for service to his Body the Church until that day comes when he takes us home individually, or together when he comes again. So we are to use that time to explore the way he can free and use our gifts in his service.
Note that the people given talents in Jesus' story are not judged by how many talents they have but on how they have used them, be it five talents, two or one. The one that is judged is wrong because he had hidden the one talent he had been given and not used it for his master. Some members of a church can do whatever they take on, others have limitations, but if all are offering what they have to the Lord they will be praised by him equally.
The other thing mentioned in the passage from Paul is the encouragement of each other. We are given gifts to use in our teamwork, recognising and appreciating each other's works of service. We are not to criticise each other, look down on another, but to build each other up and thus build up the church. We are to be glad when another succeeds in a project, encouraging that person to see his or her value. We are all precious to God. Paul tells us to get clothed with a breast plate of faith and love, and a helmet of hope, and leave the rest to God. He is well able to keep us and use us and bring blessing to our churches.
This is a slightly edited version of John Berry's talk given at a recent online Holy Communion.
During the interregnum the church is here for you For enquiries about weddings, baptisms or funerals, or for any other pastoral need, please contact the Churchwardens: Maddi Forrester 714903, or Sheila Watts 07703 279165.
Improvements to the Church Building
Hand rails have now been installed at the Chancel steps, on the ramp leading to the toilet door, and also on the pulpit steps. This will make the Church much safer and easier to use for services and other events. They are made from oak and brass, which sympathetically blends with the church furnishings. We must thank the Friends of All Saints and two private donors for making this essential work possible.
All Saints’ regularly supports the MK Food Bank, the Tearfund, and Crisis at Christmas. Various charities are also supported at the monthly Thursday lunches.
All Saints’ has an enthusiastic small choir, who lead the singing at Sunday Services. Choir members enjoy joining the Royal School of Church Music for some of their ‘Come and Sing’ events. The Choir is supported by the "Emberton Occasionals" at Weddings and special Services. For further details please contact Hilary Proud via the Rector.
There is an active band of bell ringers, who ring All Saints’ 6 bells before Services, and also practice on a Tuesday night 7.45 – 9.00pm. New recruits are very welcome. Please see the Bell Ringers’ page on this website, or contact Sheila Watts 07703 279165 for more information.
The Children’s Church meets in the Institute on the 2nd Sunday each month at 11.00am under the leadership of Maddi Forrester and Judith Taylor. See the photographs for some of their activities, and please contact Maddi Forrester, 01234 714903, for more details.
The Homegroup meets on alternate Monday evenings to discuss various aspects of the Christian message. The group includes people from other parishes, and new members are always welcome. Please contact Judith Taylor on 01234 240690 to find out more.
Friends of All Saints’
All Saints’ is supported by the Friends’ group (FOAS), who are a registered charity. They work with the Parochial Church Council to preserve and protect the fabric of the Church and Churchyard and to raise funds to assist with improvements to make the building suitable for use by the community for a wide variety of activities. Please see the FOAS page on this website.
A Brief History of the Church
It is believed that the building was constructed between 1340-1410. It is in the ‘Decorated Gothic’ style. Work began on the Chancel, with its magnificent east window and progressed through to the building of the tower. During this period, England was at war with France and the Black Death killed thousands of the population resulting in a shortage of skilled masons. This led to wages and prices soaring, which explains why the decoration becomes plainer on the west side of the Church.
Unusually we have a portrait in brass of Reverend John Morden, who was the priest when the Church was completed. His brass records that he gave two bells, one of which had the inscription ‘In Multis Annis Resonet Campana Joannis’ (John’s bell shall sound for many a year).
An interesting ‘rumour’, for which there is some corroborative evidence is that the remains of Sir Everard Digby, hung, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, lies buried in the Chancel.
By the mid 19th Century, the Church was in danger of falling down. Very extensive restoration work was undertaken by the Reverend Campbell Hulton - many of his relations and descendants gave generously to the scheme and are commemorated in the mural tablets and windows which are such a dominant feature of the Church interior. Restoration and improvements continue to this day, with the recent addition of cloakroom and kitchen, as we strive to bring the building into the 21st Century.
Rector: Post currently vacant
Churchwardens: Maddi Forrester, Cedar House, High Street, Emberton, MK46 5JB. 07769 923787
Sheila Watts, 28 Gravel Walk, Emberton, MK46 5JA. 07703 279165
Parochial Church Council Secretary: Janet Gamlen 01234 711729
PCC Treasurer: Warwick Clarke 01234 713174
PCC Members: Louise Cook, Candy Godber, Bill Moody, Hilary Proud, Libby Wemyss
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