The Rector's letter - December 2017
“Suicide rates are higher at Christmas than any other time of the year.” True or False? --- FALSE. In fact, some studies show a decrease in suicides in December. Why? A number of reports indicate that it may be the proximity of relatives and other loved ones acts as a buffer for those suffering suicidal thoughts.
That leads to another common belief. “God is watching – from a distance.” as says one line of a Bette Midler song. And that is how God is seen to many - remote, unknowable, uncaring. But the message of Christmas is something entirely different. When Jesus was born God became a human being – to be with us. He was given the name “Emmanuel” which means God with us.
And just as the proximity of loved ones seems to sustain a more positive attitude, so too the presence of God in our lives can greatly transform even the darkest times.
This Christmas, I hope everyone will look beyond the tinsel, the lights, the angels and the favourite carols to the true story of Christmas. God loves each and every one of us and chose to come and live with us. He wants to be close to us and give us strength to live life to the full. Through faith in Jesus he still does.
One way to discover more about God’s love is to try our Alpha Course. This is an introduction to the Christian faith, giving people a chance to ask questions and share their point of view in a fun, relaxed environment. If you might be interested, please contact me.
God bless you this Christmas and in the New Year,
All Saints’ regularly supports the MK Food Bank, the Tearfund, and Crisis at Christmas.
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 Village Embertones 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: Revd Richard Caddell, The Rectory, High Street, Haversham, MK19 7DT. 01908 312136
Churchwarden: Maddi Forrester, Cedar House, High Street, Emberton. 07769 923787
Parochial Church Council Minutes Secretary: Janet Gamlen 01234 711729
PCC Treasurer: Warwick Clarke 01234 713174
PCC Members: Louise Cook, Sandra Cortez, Ken Harris, Bill Moody, Hilary Proud, Sheila Watts, Libby Wemyss