Central Church Newsletter August 2022
Sports lovers have had their fill of competitions over the last couple of months, what with Wimbledon, Women’s European Cup football, World Championship athletics and now the Commonwealth Games.
We were lucky enough to get tickets for the men’s semi-finals on Centre Court and watched Cameron Norrie put up a good fight. Really disappointed not to see Rafa Nadal, though, who, unfortunately, had to pull out due to injury. Such is life and we have to take the highs with the lows! We will be cheering on our home teams for the Commonwealth Games and hope our athletes do us proud.
Linda and Malcolm Johnson
This may not sound like a very jolly subject for my letter, but I need to be honest with you. The word ‘groaning’ has summed a lot of my reaction to life over the last few weeks. First of all, it’s my response to the political scene in this country: party-gate, barefaced lies, childish infighting amongst politicians and so on. I won’t go on (I promise you!) and I am sure that I have no need to do so because we’ve all become heartily sickened by the low level of political life and discourse. I think you will understand why I have felt that the word groaning is so appropriate.
I’m interested to see that groaning is also a biblical word. In Romans chapter 8 Paul talks about the groaning of creation. Our world, amazing and beautiful as it is in so many ways, is groaning. The apostle Paul spoke of the way in which our world is “in bondage to decay” and described it as “groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Our present experience of climate change is just one more illustration of the fact that our world is fragile and broken. The ridiculously hot weather that we endured for a while last month, the huge forest fires that have been experienced in many parts of the world together with the widespread flooding earlier in the year are all clear evidence of the groaning of creation.
Paul went on from creation to talk about us. We groan because we live in a world that is out of joint. Look at any aspect of our society’s life and you will see plenty of evidence that this world is far from perfect. And that imperfection is certainly part of our own personal lives as well. We live in a world that has rebelled against God and so, at every level, we face struggles and difficulties. If you long for a life that is totally free of tension and difficulties, then be sure that you are dreaming of something beyond this world. Groaning will always be an aspect of life here on earth.
Happily, Paul didn’t leave his message there or we might all become thoroughly depressed! He went on to observe that the Holy Spirit meets with us in our weakness and helps by praying for us “with groans that words cannot express.” I love the fact that God not only recognises that we live in a world of groaning, but then sends his Spirit to groan alongside us! If we were alone with our groaning that would be deeply depressing. But we are not. As we pray, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and gives us the help that we need.
May God bless and encourage you as you serve him this month.
With warmest greetings.
Yours in Christ,
Sunday services at 10.30 am
7th August: Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)
14th August: Revd Tony Barnes
21st August: Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)
28th August: Revd John Roe
Dates for your diary
4th August at 2 pm: Bible Study. Please note that this will be our only bible study meeting in August. We will resume meeting fortnightly in September.
7th August, following worship, Church Meeting to discuss LGBTQ Policy.
Big Breakfast Plus/Alternative Angels
It is now 6 months since Big Breakfast Plus started feeding the homeless and those in need from the cafe. They started serving breakfast 2 days a week and since mid-July this has increased to 5 days, Tuesday – Saturday inclusive. They serve approximately 30 meals per session.
Alternative Angels feed a similar clientele to Big Breakfast but 2 evenings a week (Monday and Tuesday). They have been doing so for 6 years from the car park below the Wyvern but since the beginning of July have operated from the Pilgrim Centre. Their meals are brought in already cooked, and hot, to be distributed. They feed about 60 people per session.
We are really pleased that everything is going so well for both groups and that we are able to host them here in the Pilgrim Centre.
Become a member of Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Being a member is not an onerous role but is an essential part of our future as an NHS Foundation Trust. Through the Council of Governors, members are given the opportunity to influence how the hospital is run and the services we offer.
Membership is free and you can have as much or as little involvement as you choose.
As a member, you will:
- Receive information about the Trust’s activities and member events
- Have an active involvement and share ideas for how we can improve our services
- Have the opportunity to influence the way we provide and develop our local services
- Have exclusive online access to Health Service Discounts
- Be invited to attend free events for members, e.g. behind the scenes tours and health talks
- Play an active role in deciding who will be elected as a Governor for your constituency by voting for Governors in elections
- Be eligible to stand for election as a Governor if you want to be more involved
To join, you can apply online at www.gwh.nhs.uk/about-us/membersandgovernors/members/ or email Sharon.Scott27@nhs.net for more information or a membership leaflet.
Judith is currently a GWH Governor and comes up for re-election in the autumn. She is happy to talk to anyone about the role. She has some leaflets – just ask.
Christian Aid Update
This Christian Aid Week thousands of people joined together to give, act and pray in solidarity with Jane and Jessica in Zimbabwe.
They would like to thank everyone who has contributed to help in anyway. They were provided with chicks to rear and were also given food. Jessica has received agricultural training and has joined the village savings group which has helped her through some tough times. They continue to work hard and can now look forward to the future. They send their grateful thanks to all Christian Aid Supporters who have enhanced their lives.
Thought for the day:
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.Mahatma Gandhi
Deadline for September Newsletter: Tuesday 30th August 2022.