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Message from the Vicar

Have you counted your blessings today? In an account of a Christmas dinner written in 1836, Charles Dickens said “Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” But what is a blessing? Most of us think we know, but it is very easy to take the word, and blessings themselves, for granted. ‘Blessing’ is much more than the collective noun for a group of unicorns!

On the first hand, in Nordic and Saxon pagan cultures, to ‘bless’ something was to make it holy by some ritual act, which in some cases involved marking it with blood. On the other hand is the Norman idea of benediction, which literally means ‘to speak well of’, or ‘to wish well’. Clearly today, our use of the word ‘bless’, as noun or verb, involves both of these two understandings.

In contrast, the Hebrew culture, from which our Bible emerges, thought of a blessing as something coming directly from God. God is either credited with or is invoked in blessing. From antiquity, ministers of God were able to pronounce God’s gracious favour on people and on food and drink. Traditions of Passover and Holy Communion draw on the idea that the Creator is not only the provider of the food and drink in the first place, but that as we acknowledge and thank him for it, particular meals or dishes take on a special divine significance and power. A blessing also entailed protection and conferred approval. Think of Issac blessing Jacob. Today I am often asked to bless homes, wedding rings and people at all stages of their lives. Who are you blessing today?

So as we enjoy barbecues and summer parties and holidays this season, let’s remember to both count and give thanks for all the blessings we receive from God that come in and through our common faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, and look for opportunities to bless the people around you, both family and friends.

Phil Goodey

Services

Holy Communion

Every First, Third Sunday at 10:15 a.m. for 1hr 30m

Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion

Every Second, Fourth Sunday at 8 a.m. for 45m

Morning Worship

Every Second Sunday at 10:15 a.m. for 1hr

All Age Worship

Every Fourth Sunday at 10:15 a.m. for 1hr

Who are we?

What we believe..............

ornament1 The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Our Mission

ornament1to take the love of the living Lord Jesus to all people in our community so that they too may come to worship God

Our history

ornament1Dedicated to St Peter, the church is situated just over the brow of the Quarry Hills overlooking the Weald, as are the neighbouring churches of Linton, Chart Sutton and Sutton Valence.

Safeguarding

Useful Links and numbers

ornament1

Kent Social Services

NSPCC

Childline

Adult social services & health: 03000 41 61 61

Children & Families Information Service: 03000 41 23 23

Children’s social services: 03000 41 11 11

Upcoming Events