Notes from Canon Bennie

Thank you everybody who kept things going while I was on Holiday.

I had a great break, thank God. I spent all of my time in County Cork after travelling to see friends in the Dublin & Leinster area.

May God reward you who give God and His Church of your time.

Praise indeed! From our Local Authority.

Bishop Peter, a few years back, asked us to question ourselves….. what impression do our Churches give to outsiders who do not worship in any Church ?

A few weeks ago there was a By-election in Biggleswade. In recent years our Church has been used as a Polling Station. During this By-Election the Returning Officer had occasion to visit as part of her duty. She was fulsome in her praise of us. Compared to many such Election Day venues we stood out for our facilities (clean toilets, kitchen etc. Enthusiastically we have been booked for the Local Elections next May!). So well done folk who help in any way to give a very, very positive response to Bishop Peter’s query.

[Extracted from the 12 Aug 18 newsletter by Chris]
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Modern Day Slavery and Trafficking – Conference Saturday 13 October 2018

The Northampton Justice and Peace Commission is holding a conference on Modern Day Slavery and Trafficking on Saturday 13 October 2018 at St John's Parish Hall in Luton, starting at 10 for 10:30. Please see the poster below for details.

Chris

J&P conference poster Oct18
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How to be Perfect

Not that it's easy, of course, and only our Father can be perfect, but we can try:

1. In Character – aspire to like Christ as much as possible.

2. In Holiness – devote ourselves to God's desires, carrying his love and mercy into the world.

3. In Maturity – mature in our love and devotion to God, learning as we try to live in Christ Jesus.

4. In Love – we seek to love other as completely as our Father loves us.

[Paraphrased from a footnote to Matthew 5:48 in the Life Application Bible.]

Chris
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The Gospel of Luke in video clips

I have the YouVersion Bible app on my iPhone and iPad; it's a great way to read the Bible, particularly when I'm away from home and I'm not carrying my own heavy Bible from home (NIV called the Reflections Bible).

Today I received an email from YouVersion suggesting that I watch video clips of St Luke's Gospel. The videos are very well done (I've watched the first three so far) and I recommend them to anyone; they could be the basis for a prayer session.

You can find them here:
https://www.bible.com/en-GB/videos/3280/series

God bless

Chris
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A Lovely Request

A REALLY Lovely Request came my way this week!

The request was in the form of a Question “Why do we not have any of the tickets that are out at Shefford for the Summer Fete?” I was, I need hardly say, overjoyed. So, this weekend there are plenty of our Tickets. Here are some Details of our Summer Fete.


    Each year we have 2 big fundraisers in Shefford: Our Church is a Grade 2* Listed Building. It is perhaps the nicest Church in the Diocese – indeed one of the nicest Catholic Churches in the whole Country!

    But these Lovely Listed Buildings need constant high maintenance. In recent years we have had to pay out £200 thousand (yes! – not me pressing a wrong key!) for compliance and necessary Repair. Now we are being hit with a new list of NECESSARY repairs which will set us back another £50 thousand (yes, my fingers are not touching the wrong keys!).

    So thank you folk who have come forward to ask this Question. It has, I assure you, warmed my heart. Well done.

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    Confirmations

    Pray for our Confirmation Children and for all who helped them.

    We had a lovely Ceremony during the week. Both our and the St Francis’ Parish united wonderfully for the Evening…… thank you Will and the Servers & your Parents who arranged to get ye to Shefford, Nick and the Singers.

    A great Big Thank You to all involved in the Formation of the 21 Candidates – especially Liz Carey-Sheill, Deacon Peter Hyde, Eddie O’Callaghan and Neil Spencer. Thank you too to those who did Sessions, particularly Deacon John and Sue Armstrong.

    And a huge “gratias” also to our Social Committee for taking on the task which would have been done normally by our Union of Catholic Mothers (they were in Swanwick for the UCM annual National Conference – this year it was the turn of OUR Diocese to lead the National Annual Event, which very much involved Bishop Peter and our own Diocesan President – who happens to be a Parishioner at Shefford. And – bless them – the Shefford Ladies went to support their local Lady as she ensured the National Committee and various Diocesan Committees got a welcome at Swanwick for their AGM!

    So thank you Social Committee – it was a huge relief to Liz when ye selflessly answered her call to help in the Catering for the Confirmed and for their Parents, for their Sponsors and for their Guests.

    Bishop Peter was effusive in his compliments to me as he left the Evening. Deo Gratias.

    May God reward everybody who can give of their valuable time to evangelise our Young.

    Canon Bennie
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    Churches Together in Biggleswade Joint Service for Pentecost

    At 6pm on Sunday 20th May 2018, Churches Together in Biggleswade are holding a joint service of Pentecost Praise supporting Christian Aid.

    It will take place at St. Andrew's Church on Shortmead Street with refreshments beforehand from 5:15pm.

    All are welcome to the event which will take outdoors (weather permitting!).

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    A Priestly Prayer

    In today's Gospel, Jesus, the great High Priest, show us his prayer, a prayer for all time. John 17 is the High Priestly prayer that teaches us God's plan for our lives.

    You can read the whole chapter
    here.

    Chris
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    From Canon Bennie

    I want to repeat my thanks of last week for the lovely Easter Liturgies that we had.

    “He who sings prays twice” said St Augustine. Certainly, our Music here was outstanding for both Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The latter lasted well over 2 hours. Normally I would notice when a Liturgy ‘drags’ (and just goes on for too long). When I hopped on my scooter (to get back to Shefford) I was sure the clock on my bike had lost its brains…… I just could not believe it lasted for so long and yet I had never noticed. Thank you all our Musicians. AD MULTOS ANNOS.

    Both of our Parishes – at Shefford and here – thoroughly enjoyed joining each other. Obviously, it would have been much lovelier if we had the usual complete Masses and Liturgies in each Parish. But, as with many areas in the Dioceses, nowadays, Parishes are increasingly having to share a priest. Thank you very, very much to those of you who came across for Holy Thursday to St Francis. And thank ye too for the great welcome that you gave folk from St Francis at the Holy Saturday Liturgy. Our Servers – just like the Musicians – made a huge contribution to the “feel great” factor that was present during and after both Thursday and Saturday.

    And – finally – thank you…. each and every person for the very generous Easter Collection. ***
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    The Kerygma

    Acts 3:11-26

    One of the central truths is the basic gospel message, the kerygma. It is this initial proclamation of the gospel that has the power to change our world our culture and our society – but most of all ourselves. It is first and foremost the message of God's mercy, the message that: "God loves you, Jesus forgives you your sins and the Holy Spirit gives you strength. God has a plan for your life, and you are son or daughter of God, who pours out upon you every spiritual blessing, grace and gift."

    Chris
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