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Benefice Safeguarding Officer: Rita Harrison-Roach is the Benefice Safeguarding Officer for Rogate with Terwick and Trotton with Chithurst Benefice.
email@example.com or Rita can be contacted on: (01730 818339)
Rector’s Letter – September 2020
‘Christ Centred – Community led’
In preparing for our annual church meeting, which was postponed from April to October, I have been going through the Churches visitors’ books, and they’re filled with a steady stream of walkers, and genealogists searching their ‘family trees’. There are some seeking solace, saying a prayer, and experiencing the more spiritual dimension to life, others finding the sense of the, ‘holy’, in the busyness of their full lives and exclaiming loud and clear, ‘Thank you for being open!’
It has been good to welcome people once again to enter in our Churches, albeit a little differently with masks and sanitiser, together with a rota system to follow Government guidelines in pandemic. However, our Churches have stood through ‘wars’, ‘civil wars’, ‘black death’, ‘religious divisions’, and it will long outlive any memories of Covid-19.
Simon Jenkins, in his evocative book, ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’, concludes: ‘Late one summer, I found myself outside the little church of ‘Up Marden’, a place of delicious remoteness in the Sussex Downs. I could sense the air filling with the ghosts of villagers climbing up the hill to that tiny building. That shed, called a church had received their faith and offered in return a humble consolation. I could not be immune to the spirits of such a place. I do not experience these spirits in theatres or assembly halls. They do not force me to my knees, but they whisper to me to tread softly. Here in this sacred space we are called to remember – to put our feet with trepidation into the path that others have trodden before us and to hear the echo of praise that the communion of saints engenders.’
In the spaces of our lives consumed by cynicism, doubt, confused by suffering, Covid-19, war, conflict, refugees, homelessness, broken relationships, fragmented and lonely, we are still spoken to, and addressed with Jesus’ message of mercy, forgiveness and hope. Our Churches, these sacred spaces invite each and all, to experience a God who is a faithful companion with us in our wanderings and encourager in our daily lives and is open to all.
Walk past a Church and who knows what you’re missing. Enter in as they are more than nice buildings, for they are built, worshipped in and made use of, not for any ‘man-made’ thing, but to raise us up to look out, to serve and adore the thing that has made us. God is never far away to hear our prayer and our churches are not too far to enter in. Face up to it and put on your ‘mask’ and enter in and who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised!
Our prayers for healing and a speedy recovery go to Ann Arnold (Churchwarden at Rogate), following her recent operation and to the family of Iona Wake-Walker, a former long-term resident of Rogate, who died on 9th August.
Just a reminder that our Harvest Open Air Service (weather permitting!) takes place on Sunday 20th September 10.15am on Rogate Rec. More details below. See you there.
Yours in Christ,
Please note that services, within the United Benefice have now re-started but online worship continues to be available as well.
There are new regulations around weddings and funerals, and for more information,
please contact the rector:
The Revd. Edward M. Doyle 01730 821576 firstname.lastname@example.org
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