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Letter from the Rector – April 2016

“Today is the day of salvation for the world…Christ is risen from the dead: arise with him. Christ returns to himself, you must also return to him. Christ has come forth from the tomb – free yourselves from the fetters of evil. The gates of Hell are opened and the power of death is destroyed. The old Adam is superseded, the new perfected. In Christ a new creation is coming to birth – renew yourselves.” (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – April 2016

It was the former Bishop of Ludlow, John Saxbee, who I first heard describe a Deanery Synod as a group of Anglicans waiting to go home.

Those of us who have attended our share of such meetings can, I think, be forgiven for understanding such a definition, and might want to extend it to Diocesan Synod as well. (more…)

Letter from the Curate – March 2016

In the very early Church, Easter was regarded as the principal occasion for baptism. It was the great high feast, on which day the bishop would baptise all those wishing to become Christians in his city (dioceses being somewhat smaller back then), and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the church for any serious faults. Thus the period of Lent, immediately preceding Easter, was characteristically described as one of (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – March 2016

There is some discussion taking place among major church leaders as to whether to change to a fixed date as with Christmas. Press coverage has noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury has shared in these discussions. However Easter remains at present a moveable feast linked to the full moons of the Jewish Passover as it has done for over 1000 years. (more…)

Letter from the Rector – February 2016

In spite of the excitement of our extra day this leap year, February remains a short month. And yet in terms of the calendar of the Church it is an important moment of transition, of balance between the great Christian themes.

It opens with the underemphasised feast of Candlemas, known variously as that and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and probably most properly as The Presentation of Christ in the Temple on the 2nd February. The episode upon which it is centred is the passage in Luke 2: 22 – 38, (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – February 2016

This time last year, I wrote some of my first impressions of the Diocese of Hereford. Here’s an update.

Some impressions remain the same, only more so: what I described as the “heroic, faithful and imaginative Christian ministry being exercised across the diocese, by clergy and laity alike”; the warmth and friendliness which Kay and I experience – I enjoy living and working here more than I would have thought possible, and thank God every day for that privilege. (more…)

Letter from the Curate – November 2015

For many people this is their very favourite time of the year. For me, once summer is over, I look forward to the crisp, cold winter mornings and
thoughts of making sure that there is enough coal and wood to burn on the fire. In fact, as the temperature dropped recently, we made our first fire of the season and it soon attracted our dogs, drawn to the warmth it gave off. (more…)

Letter from the Dean – November 2015

Remembering our departed loved ones – thoughts for November – the month of ‘remembering’.

When Chaplains returned from the Front in the First World War, they came relating the most terrible experiences. They came also, perplexed that the Church offered them very little official encouragement to pray for those who had died. Relatives and friends of those whose lives had been so cruelly taken away in war desperately needed – in their confusion and perplexity – such re-assurance as prayer could give. (more…)

Letter from the Rector – September 2015

As I write the machines are passing back and forth in our fields bringing in the harvest, always a moment of tension in the farming year. It has been wet and so far the work, always hard, has been more difficult because of it. So often we can believe that we can control our lives, harvest proves that this is not really so. Not only is the weather variable but so often equipment that is only used once a year is got out of the barn and then promptly breaks down! (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – September 2015

FOLLOW! I have been immensely heartened and encouraged by all the conversations that have been taking place under the overall theme of Follow!

By the time you read this, we will have had most of the Follow! meetings and gatherings. But it is essential that the conversation goes on, so that people right across the diocese can be part of a process whereby we build on our rich Christian inheritance in a way that is sustainable and realistic as well as inspired by faith and vision. (more…)

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