Author Archives: Nigel Chapman

Moving on

We’ll soon be saying “Goodbye” to Revd Liz as she moves on just down the road to go and help in the parish of Eastfield. This has been something on Liz’s mind for some time now and she made the decision earlier in the year to look more seriously at where God was calling her…..so Liz writes to us this month…..

 

“For everything,” said the writer of  Ecclesisastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

A time for England to win the football world cup, and a time for France;

a time for a Briton to win Wimbledon, and a time for a Serb;

a time for prolonged drought, and a time  for an English summer.

 

“A time for every matter under heaven.”

 

There was a time for me to come to Filey in  April 2013,  and now, a time for me to leave. I came because God called me here, and I leave because God calls me away! In the 5 years since I came I’ve taken services in Filey and Gristhorpe, and in lots of other parishes -those in vacancy,  or with a Vicar on maternity leave. I’ve (introduced) prayer-walking here – I hope you’ll carry it on.

I’ve started an “Open the Book” team who, under Pam Roberts’ leadersip, will continue to go into Filey Infants Academy to act out Bible stories. I’ve started a prayer-chain which will continue with Ann Simpson. I’ve been emptying the Food bank boxes which you generous people refill almost immediately – thank you!

 

I’m still running a Laughing Lunch outing to beautiful Wydale Hall every month. I’ve kept up the tradition, established by Mary Williams and myself in 2010, of holding Healing Services. They have recently expanded to become Deanery-wide. The Bible study group which began as an Advent adventure led by me, has grown and changed, being led by Marilyn Briggs and then by each member of the group taking it in turn.

 

Perhaps we all need to try something  (like leading a Bible study) before we say “No, I couldn’t possibly do that.” Perhaps we all need to be a bit less diffident about our talents. Jesus told a parable about that, didn’t he? Perhaps we could think a bit more widely, too, and venture out to see what happens in other parts of the Deanery?

 

I hope to see you there!

 

Revd Liz Kitching

Community of Healing

The Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital, (known to many of you), is the European `state of the art’ centre for Oncology: `oncus’ is the medieval word for `lump’! So this Centre is the study and treatment of our lumps!  In all that we do and say we can be sure that God loves us, lumps and all!

 

Seriously, the Queen’s Centre provokes many thoughts and feelings, especially at first sighting.  Coming by road and parking outside it is like arriving at an airport terminal with all the excitement and trepidation that that holds.  In the parking zone there is great activity, many comings and goings, so too on the overhead pedestrian walkway, while folks share time together in the terraced coffee area.  There is much glass in the building, much light.

 

In the arrival/departure lounge, there are comfortable seating areas, rest-rooms galore, a café, a charity shop, a pharmacy, an information desk and, like the airport, the all important `check-in’ desk; here each one name is sacrosanct and sings; although listed with so many others, like those for Oskar Schindler, each name, maybe your name, is the microcosm of God an His Creation.  The Queen’s Centre, is designed for the through-put of many and yet holds on to the inviolability of the deep reaching roots which take each person to their point of departure, the beginning point of the healing journey, to the beginning of the end of the dis-ease.

 

There was a time when I was ignorant of this world, a time when I thought radio-therapy was listening to `smooth Classics at Seven’!  Now I know differently; the whole process of healing through radiotherapy is an awesome one. It is an amazing example of humanly enhanced divine providence.

 

Like my allotment, like life itself, `healing’ is in process and is always happening, for God wants us to be whole in body, mind, spirit.  As complex microcosms of creation, the healing process impacts on us at every level of our being, in our souls, in our emotions, in our thoughts, in our relationships, in our bodies.  Wholeness lies in the integration of all these human dimensions, it also requires that we can accept and integrate whatever it is that hurts!  So doing is to love selves, lumps and all, as God loves us and importantly that releases us to love our neighbour, lumps and all.

 

I write of the community that heals…Cancer patients form a temporary community as they come together, the late Tessa Jowell said, `we come together….in order to learn to live with cancer, not to die from it’.  In that process of community healing happens.  The many planned and random acts of kindness are healing; community by its nature is the healer.  How much more so is this for the Church, the community of Christ, the Body of Christ. Isolation is broken and community heals.

 

The process of healing only reaches a completion, an omega point, with the giving of thanks.  At the completion of the course of radiotherapy at the Queen’s Centre, there is a ritual of ringing a ship’s bell (hanging in the lobby), three times.  I did it in thanksgiving to our Three Personned God, and to pray for those in therapy, those waiting for therapy and those who performed the therapy.  We recall the tenth leper who turned back to thank Jesus for healing him.  I went out of the building thanking everyone in sight!!

 

So, I also thank my temporary co-travellers through therapy, and I thank you all, my compassionate companions for all your prayers and acts of kindness for Angela and myself. A healthy community exists through thanksgiving, and a wholesome church happens in eucharistica, the Great Thanksgiving.

 

 

May God be with you in all your comings and goings! Amen

 

Reverend Paul Burkitt

Life in the Spirit

So here we are again, ‘Ordinary Time’ in the church calendar. A time to take our foot off the peddle? Not a chance!

 

Having had all the excitement of Pentecost (Acts 2) we must remember why God sends the Holy Spirit. It is not so that we might personally bask in the delights of receiving a spiritual gift, (1 Corinthians 12), or be spiritually self-indulgent. Not so much that we become nicer people, although the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’  (Galatians 5:22-23)  is certainly a part of the indwelling nature of the Holy Spirit. It is not so that we become enigmatic or charismatic and bounce around like Tigger on steroids.

 

God in his wisdom wants each one of us to receive the Holy Spirit not for our promotion, but for the sake of Christ, by transforming us, ‘The Church’ and the world in which we live.

 

When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they found their lives had been changed. The disciples could not hold back and they told everyone about what God had done in Jesus Christ. They were enthusiastic in their ‘witness’. Indeed throughout the Acts of the Apostles, wherever the Spirit is present, their evangelistic work flowed naturally through healing, speaking, challenging, listening and building up the ‘Followers of the Way’ (The Church). Why? Because the Spirit of God is essentially a witnessing Spirit. The Holy Spirit always draws full attention to Christ, not himself. (John 16: 13-15).

 

As time goes by they recognise that the Holy Spirit is not simply random and unstructured but orderly and strategic. (1 Corinthians 14 as well as many of the letters to the churches). They become the Body of Christ. They have an urge to witness and they begin to work hard on their own lives too. They also give instruction to the new churches on how to be followers of Christ. (The letters of Paul for instance). They build one another up, pray together and share what they have. Each day God adds to their number, but it is not without pain and strife (1 Corinthians 1: 10) or persecution either.

 

This baptism in the Holy Spirit is given to us today to empower us to be his witnesses. In effect we become his possession. Christ then works in us and through us. This baptism is a gift, which identifies us spiritually with the death and resurrection of Christ and joins us together as believers. (1 Corinthians 12 :13).

 

Therefore we are to function as Christ in the world. In other words we are to look after His Body, to witness, to bring people to Christ and make disciples. (This is essentially what the 2020Vision is all about). To heal the sick, teach, be an evangelist or even an administrator. To be filled by and focussed on the Holy Spirit means that we become his people more and more each day, where, as John the Baptist said “He must increase but I must decrease”. (John 3.33) . It will require obedience. This is not about a thrill factor roller coaster of a spiritual ride, but the nitty gritty of life as a follower of Christ.

 

Are you hungry and thirsty for the Spirit of God in your life? How might you respond practically? We need people to help in various ways in the life of the parish. Maybe God is calling you to help within areas such as

 

Children’s, Schools and Youth Work

Pastoral Team

Recognised Parish Assistants

Mission and Outreach

Prayer and Healing Ministry

Listeners

Welcome team

Maintenance team …. Etc etc etc

 

If so, please come and talk with me.