CLERGY TEAM

   

Rector  


The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

 jmath@btinternet.com

Associate Rector   


The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843
revstephenbroadie@
gmail.com

Assistant Priest  


The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624
wsmullenger@
idnetfreemail.co.uk

 

September Leader

In many ways this has been a year when it has been hard to watch the news. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the related crisis in the global economy, the death of George Floyd and its aftermath, and the tragic explosion in Beirut have each in their own way been profoundly shocking and hard to comprehend. At the same time, there have many stories both in the news and anecdotally that have given us encouragement and hope in these dark times.

One particular story that has encouraged many Christians around the country and, indeed, around the world, has been the story of the ‘UK Blessing’. Towards the end of April an Anglican vicar, Rev. Tim Hughes, was contacted by another pastor, Pete Greig, and the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, Nicky Gumbel. They encouraged Tim to try and get in touch with other churches around the nation to try and record their own version of the song ‘The Blessing’ which had been released earlier in the year by Elevation Worship in America. As he has said in an interview, at that point Tim Hughes contacted lots of friends from lots of different networks and denominations, to see if they could each send in a video of someone from their church singing this song. Apparently he contacted these churches on a Friday and Saturday and had heard back from all of them by Tuesday. If only all church communication could be that fast and efficient! Tim Hughes and his team then edited together all the different footage from over 65 different churches and on the 3 May they released the video on YouTube. It instantly became an internet sensation, and has so far received nearly 3.7 million views online. A few weeks after its release Tim Hughes himself was awarded the ‘Point of Light’ award from Boris Johnson himself for outstanding volunteering and received a personal letter from the Prime Minister.

Perhaps one of the most encouraging things to come out of this story is to see how in this time of crisis churches have been able to come together across different denominational boundaries to produce something that has literally ‘blessed’ the nation. Whereas at times in the media the church can be portrayed negatively, as being ‘out of touch’ or perhaps ‘judgmental’, it has been powerful to see how the church can in fact be a force for good in the nation. The words of ’The Blessing’ are taken from Numbers 6, and form part of the God-given instructions that Moses is to pass on to Aaron and his sons. This short passage, written thousands of years ago, clearly continues to strike a chord with people today from all sorts of different backgrounds. At this time of uncertainty and crisis, this blessing is a reminder to us of how we can be a blessing to our friends, neighbours, and our community. They are words that we might want to use to pray for those we know, whether they realise we are praying for them or not! If you want to watch the video yourself, just type ‘The UK Blessing’ into Google, and you will find it easily enough. Otherwise, the YouTube link is: https://youtu.be/PUtll3mNj5U

I will close with the words from Numbers 6, and my prayer is that they will be a blessing to you and to those you know at this time. ‘

The LORD said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons, “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:22-26)

Stephen