April Editorial & Parish Magazine

Here is 'The Messenger' downloable for free: April Magazine.

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Dear brothers & sisters, 

‘The point of the Church is to point to Jesus’, so said a member of our PCC at our recent PCC Away Day. We’d met to spend a day thinking about where as a church we’re going, and how we can ensure that every part of the church family is pointing in the same direction. It was a really helpful day, and it began a process which we hope will set the agenda for the next few years. The Church’s job, and the individual Christian’s job, is quite rightly to ‘point to Jesus’. We see this modelled for us by John the Baptist. ‘When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ (John 1:36). John quite literally pointed to Jesus, and that is what we all should be doing; in our conversations, in our actions, and in the way we love those around us. But there is more, the account continues in the next verse ‘When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus’ (John 1:37). Pointing to Jesus isn’t enough, as one of our other PCC members pointed out, we’ve got to follow Jesus ourselves. We’ve got to be a disciple, a learner, a follower of Jesus. We’ve got to be going deeper in our prayer life, deeper in our study of Scripture, and so deeper into our relationship with Jesus. That is what we’ve been striving to do this Lent with our Lent Devotionals, and this year the church will be putting on a number of events to help people to go even further. On 13th May we’ll be having a ‘Pathway to Prayer’ morning with Archdeacon Mark and his wife Gill, to help people to get better at praying. Beginning in July we’ll have a book club where we’ll study Bishop Jill’s book on discipleship (‘Lighting the Beacons’) to help people to get fired up in their faith. As you can see we’re only just starting in our vision and we’re already taking off. But wait, there is more: ‘Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth’ (John 1:45). Once we know Jesus, a sign that we know Him is that we can’t keep it to ourselves, we’re compelled to go and tell others. This can be daunting, but is a crucial part of our discipleship, and so it’s my hope that as a church we can learn together about how best to do this and help others to come to faith in Christ. All of these ideas began at a PCC Away Day but there are many more people in our church, and there will be many more ideas about how we might best point to and follow Jesus; so what do you think? If you have thoughts please email (vicar@stgeorgechorley.co.uk) or call (01257 263064) and let me know. 

This year April begins with Holy Week the most important week in the whole year. The week we enter into the life of Jesus and slowly walk with Him from His entry into Jerusalem to His resurrection on Easter Sunday. This week, and participating in it, is a crucial part of our discipleship training; I know a number of people who tried it for the first time last year and were blown away by the services (especially Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday). So make the four services (Maundy Thursday-Easter Sunday) a priority this year. The Revd Nick McKee the Diocesan Vocations Adviser will be with us and he is an excellent preacher. My prayer is that this Easter will help each one of us to get to know Jesus better, and to be drawn more fully in to following Him and better able to point Him out to others. Then, strengthened in our faith let us dream together about what our church might do in the months and years ahead to reach Chorley with the Good News about Jesus. Have a fantastic Easter.

Much love in Christ,

Fr Mike.