The Rector's letter - July 2019
Several years ago a folk song asked questions, "Where are you going? Do you know who's going with you?" Such simple questions, but with so many different meanings.
The simplest of which is the short-term, "Where are you going now? What are your plans for the next few minutes or hours?" This is where most of us live most of the time and there are numerous time management books to tell us how to be most efficient in the use of our time. But this is also the least significant aspect. By next month we will barely remember what we did today.
Another level is "Where are you going in life? What are your goals in life?" When young people leave the nest it is often said they have set out to seek their fame and fortune. Because this form is much more significant and has longer lasting effects we should also ask ourselves "Are these goals worthwhile? Will they truly satisfy? What type of personal legacy will they leave?"
Both history and the tragic examples of many famous and wealthy people is that fame and fortune do not satisfy in the long run, are transient, easily taken away, and exist only for this life. Instead Jesus tells us "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal..." (by the way, Jesus did not just mean giving to the church, but rather not being selfish and self-centred in what we do with our time and money."
Which leads us nicely to the most important apect of the question, "Where are we going when we die?" Many people believe we will simply cease to exist. Others will say that they don't know. The Bible tells us that Jesus is preparing a place for us in his Father God's house in heaven and he will take us to be there with him. The strange and wonderful fact is that God wants us to be with him. But this offer is not without strings for the Bible also says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
And so to the last of the questions, "Do you know who's going with you?" All of us need friends and family. Good relationships don't just happen as is implied in the saying "If you want a friend, be a friend." But with all the best will in the world friends and family cannot go with us on our final journey. Only one person can, Jesus. He promised to always be with us until the end of the age. Not only did he promise there was room for us with his Father in heaven, but that he would come back for us to take us to be there with him.
While we may not know the mechanics of how this is possible, we do know the necessary condition. Jesus said, "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
The work of the church is to try to help as many people as possible to know the presence of Jesus in their lives, not only for that final journey, but as Jesus also said, "That they may have life and have it to the full."
I would be delighted to speak with anyone about any questions they may raise for you. And in the autumn, as part of our 800th anniversary celebrations, we are hoping to have a more formal opportunity to explore the questions of life and faith. More details next month.
Improvements to the Church Building
A new oak door has been installed in the outer entrance to the main porch, and new glass doors with an engraving have replaced the inner porch timber door. This creates a much needed draught lobby, as well as introducing a fine piece of 21st century art to our beautiful building.
All Saints’ new heating system is installed, and the Church is now beautifully warm for our Services in the cooler months! Come and see for yourself and enjoy being warm at All Saints'.
We now have sound enhancement. A system was installed at the end of May 2019, and this will make a big difference at services and events in church.
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
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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