Dear Friends

Happy July!

“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together…” (Ephesians 4. 2-3)

I hope you have been enjoying the warmer weather we have been having. Some of us might be travelling to the coast or abroad, others will be enjoying ice cream and BBQs, and many will be perhaps be spending more time in the garden in the cool of an evening. I am often reminded that even though the seasons change, God’s love for us never waivers.

I recently had the opportunity to do an assembly at Ferndale School on the theme of “unity” – and it was good to reflect with the young children on all that fosters unity in our schools, homes, communities and society. With the many ills ravaging the world today – conflicts, wars, disagreements of all kinds – it is so important that we, as followers of Christ, seek to work for “unity”.

I believe the ingredients for a unity which glorifies God include: humility, compassion, patience, forgiveness, listening well and being prayerful. It’s so easy to point the finger at others, to judge others, to find fault with others — but doesn’t God’s grace remind us of all that Jesus did for us? We are called to build one another up, not tear each other down. We are called to “love one another, just as Christ loved us” (John 13.34). We are called to live in peace with one another.

May we be people who work for “peace and unity” in our hearts, in our lives and in all our spheres of influence. May we encourage one another as we live out our faith. May we bear with one another in love.

Every blessing,

Revd Catherine Okoronkwo

Weekly Activities

  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 am — Morning Prayer: Why not come along? It’s a fantastic way to start your day/week!
  • Wednesdays at 10 am, Coffee Mornings in Barney’s (St Barnabas) at 10.00am. Why not come along and join in the chat?
  • Wednesdays at 7 pm, (Fortnightly) — Contemplative Service: An opportunity for a quiet reflective service. Our next scheduled services are at All Saints Church on: 17/7, 6/8, 21/8, 4/9, 18/9, 2/10, 23/10, 6/11, 20/11, 4/12… Resume January 2025.
  • Saturdays 10-12 noon: St Barnabas Church is open on Saturdays. Refreshments offered. All are welcome!
  • Saturdays 10-11 am: Choir Practice at St Barnabas choir. Why not come along and join in! All are very welcome.
  • Sundays at 10 am — Public Worship: All are welcome to our act of worship on a Sunday mornings at All Saints Church and St Barnabas Church.

Dates for your Diary

  • Wednesday, 3rd July 7 pm: Interregnum PCC Meeting: There will be a joint PCC Meeting, with Archdeacon Adam Beaumont  (All Saints Church).
  • St Barnabas APCM Meeting: Date TBC
  • Sunday, 18th August 12 noon: Benefice ‘Bring & Share’ Picnic Lunch (Vicarage Garden). It would be great to fellowship together. All are welcome.

Discipleship Course

A discipleship course will run in the benefice in the autumn.  We will be continuing with the Pilgrim course, The Beatitudes (Book 4)

The scheduled dates are on Tuesdays 7.30-9 pm

  • Session 1: 24th September
  • Session 2: 1st October
  • Session 3: 8th October
  • Session 4: 15th October
  • Session 5: 22nd October 
  • Session 6: 29th October 

These sessions will be held at Brenda’s house (Thames Avenue). Any further information, please contact Brenda Young (b-young7@sky.com)


Autumn “knitting” Projects

Harvest: We will focus our knitting project this autumn on ‘Harvest’. You are invited to knit a sun (for a brooch or fridge magnet). This will go out in the October benefice magazine. For knitting patterns, please speak to Revd Barbara.
The bible verse for this project: “The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” (Psalm 85:12)


Ministry

Life Events: Please pray for weddings, baptisms and funerals across the benefice. Pray for all the couples/families, and for the ministry teams involved in preparation sessions and visits:

  • Confirmation: Ashley (14/7)
  • Weddings/Renewals: Katie & Ryan (3/8) / Leanne & Kerry (24/8) David & Beverly (25/8)

Prayer Ministry: If you know anyone who would like to go on our Prayer Circle list, be prayed for at our Sunday services, and/or would like a phone call for a prayer — please contact Brenda Young (b-young7@sky.com), our Lay Minister. Please note we do need express permission from people before they are put on any prayer lists. Thank you.

Pastoral Ministry: Please let Revd Cathy or Revd Barbara know if anyone would benefit from receiving a phone call or card from the ministry team (they do not need to attend church on Sundays, but should reside in the parishes of Gorse Hill and Ferndale). Many thanks.

Extended Home Communion: If you know anyone who would value receiving Holy Communion at home, please let Revd Cathy or Revd Barbara know. Thank you.

Healing Ministry: Are you interested in a ministry of healing? If so, why not come along to an initial prayer meeting as we reflect on whether a healing ministry in the benefice might be what God is asking of us… Monday, 5th August 2 pm (Vicarage).

Out of Parish:

  • Holiday: Revd Cathy will be on leave Tuesday, 9th July to Wednesday, 31st July (inclusive). For prayer support please contact Brenda Young (b-young7@sky.com), our Lay Minister. For pastoral support please contact Revd Barbara.

Revd Cathy’s Installation Service: All are welcome to attend this service.

Installation of

Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo

as Residentiary Canon and Steward of St Paul’s Cathedral on

Sunday, 8th September at 3.00 pm 

(Doors open at 2 pm as all guests are expected to be seated at 2.45 pm) 

The Installation will take place in the context of Choral Evensong.

RSVP (by 30th July): cathymarko@yahoo.co.uk

*Please note that Revd Cathy’s final Sunday in the benefice is 18th August and she will be moving on 23rd August.

Notices for July 2024