January 2011 The Ministers Community Letter

Janus, the Roman god of January, had two faces.  He looked forward, and he looked back.  It was to remind the ancient Romans that January was a time to look forward to the New Year and back on the past.   In Britain, this last year we have various things to look back on with sadness.  One was the unnecessary violence used by students in Westminster.  It worries me that such people are being educated and trained to lead our country when they have such scant regard for the democratic process and the rule of law.   Another was the failed bid by the F.A. to win the World Cup, but if that is the only disappointment we have in this country, we should count ourselves lucky.   

We have a democratic process and can have a change of government without people having to be killed, shot or imprisoned; everybody this year will have enough food to eat, freedom under the law, a free press and so many other things that we take for granted.  Perhaps one of the highlights of the year was the engagement of Prince William of Wales to Kate, and I would want to join with the majority of the clergy in the Church of England in wishing them well and congratulating them on doing the right thing, i.e., a public declaration of a life-long commitment to one another.  We need more young people to do this and to make marriage and society work well by so doing. It is also time to look forward.

Sadly, we have to look forward to more cuts, and the loss of essential services.  Bury is not exempt the Davers Court Home and Focus 12, the rehabilitation charity, do sterling work and it is important for the community that we keep hold of them.  On the other hand, we have the excellent Oxslip House and the prospect of improved facilities in terms of a football centre coming to our estate.  These things are to be welcomed. However, do we need another Chemist in addition to Sainsbury’s and Croasdales not if it means local people losing their jobs?

In 2010 our church has much to give thanks for, especially the generous giving of our members.  Because the Lord has really blessed us, we feel confident enough to go forward in faith for the New Year.  It is our intention to improve our facilities, improve our welcome, and to draw closer to God in the weeks and months that lie ahead.  We have found at Christ Church, Moreton Hall that the only way you can be sure about the future is by looking to the past.  Because of what Jesus Christ did upon the cross by dying and rising again, we can be forgiven our sins, and we have a place in heaven.  It is our commitment this year to tell everybody this good news and to make our church a place where anybody can come and find a welcome. 

We hope that you will take up the opportunity this year.  So look out for a new service called “Worship Together” and our special baptism Sundays.Why not Support our Present aid cake stall on the 23rd after the service as advertised. Finally, you saw that I began this article with a reference to a Roman god, a strange thing for a Christian to do.  However, this year we will be welcoming many Roman re-enactors to Bury St. Edmunds as we commemorate Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday.  As we do so, we see that, although the world has had hundreds of thousands of false gods, the one true God, Jesus Christ, has triumphed over them all.   

We wish you a very happy, prosperous and above all faith-filled New Year.   

Yours sincerely,  

Revd. Canon Jonathan Ford.

Minister Christ Church Moreton Hall