On Friday 23rd April we celebrate both St George's Day and Shakespeare's birth and if you happen to count yourself as pure- bred English you may well have stirrings of patriotic pride and might even sport a red rose. Patriotism is regarded at its best as a noble quality and at it struck me that Prince Philip, who was certainly not pure-bred English, was very much a true patriot revealed in his extraordinary sense of dedicated duty and steadfast service to the Queen, her Kingdom and her Commonwealth. And never forget, St George is traditionally held to have had Greek parents and been a Roman soldier and never came anywhere near these shores. And whereas Shakespeare was at least English one of his immortal lines was 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.' And thinking about this I am reminded that whoever we are, whatever nationality we may claim, we are all, each and every one of us, part of the family of God. The family which began with Abraham who was told 'I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.' We can be proud of our individual heritage but how much more pride can we take in being a member of the family of God and of serving him with steadfastness and humility, playing our infinitesimally small part in helping bring about the kingdom of heaven here on earth.
Bless our beautiful land, O Lord, with its wonderful variety of people, of races, cultures and languages. May we be a nation of laughter and joy, of justice and reconciliation, of peace and unity, of compassion, caring and sharing. We pray this prayer for a true patriotism, in the powerful name of Jesus our Lord. Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Virginia Smith 19th April 2021
St James' is now open for private worship on Wednesdays from 2pm to 5pm - look at the Diary here for formal and Zoom (virtual) services with this recurring link.
You can see here some that would have been heard at Saint James' and other Benefice churches, including all the weekly thoughts that you see here. Also, you can see from Coldharbour here.
Early in the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, the Abinger & Coldharbour Parish News was published electronically. It is now published physically and distributed within the parishes. Electronic versions from May 2020 are available here as a PDF version.
See the Covid-19 page for the latest on the impact of Covid-19 on the parish, and where to look for help (supplies, support, etc.).
Press Ctrl+F5 to refresh this page so you see the latest. See Site Map for all the information available on this site (parish registers, history, pictures, music etc.). Click on the address header to see a random page.
As you will gather as you browse over these pages, we are a church with a long history and, as a community, Abinger goes back even further. Even if we take the Domesday Book as a start point, we have been a Christian worshipping community for a very long time. So, we are very proud of our church building. It has had a very chequered history, not least in the 20th Century. But now we are doing our best to meet the challenges of the 21st both for our building and church community.
Worship, praise, prayer and the reading of God's word are all part of our regular Sunday services, and if you are ever passing and would like to join us, we'd love to see you and make you feel welcome. But we don't believe that our church building any more than our faith, is just for Sundays. We are always looking for ways which enable the building to be a community resource during the week. We use the church for a Café morning on Wednesdays in term time from 8.30am until 10.00am. We also believe in developing our understanding of the Christian faith, so we meet in small groups to study what practical things the Bible has to say about living out the Christian faith in today's world.
Again, if you would like to join us you are more than welcome; you should be able to find the dates somewhere on the website, failing that then do by all means get in touch. Thank you for visiting the website; I hope you find it helpful, informative and enjoyable, and we look forward to giving you more than a virtual welcome when you visit us for real!
Tony Berry, Rector
Click on a diary entry for more information - including links for Zoom servives.
For more details of music in (sung) services, see the Services page.
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