It was with a thankful heart that, on Wednesday, I took the Maidenbower Service Register out of the safe and watched Steve write the entry for Messy Church (over 40 present) below my previous entry “Closing Service”. It was poignant that the Messy Church service took place in the same room in the Infant School that had hosted the worship of The Holy Family (the ‘church plant’ in the newly constructed neighbourhood of Maidenbower). Our thanks to the Infant School for facilitating the initiative.
On Friday, sitting with three others at the “Chat & Pray” held in Stepney’s Café, I gave thanks for that gathering that ‘held the baton’ of our church’s presence in Maidenbower, week by week, since it was built. To me it is important, and I pray that it is so for the people of Maidenbower, that we have that record of faithfulness and long-term commitment to them and the community. It might not seem much … but then neither does a mustard seed.
Thank-you to all who have and will nurture this new plant through prayer and practical support. May it grow into a mighty tree, like the noble cedar of our Old Testament reading. For those not fortunate enough to have seen the cedars of Lebanon, the image Ezekiel evokes can be brought to mind by looking at the cedar in the St Nicholas’ churchyard. A noble cedar providing shelter for all reminds me of the desperate plight of Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon today – and so to our parish’s little ‘mustard seed’ of social witness in providing a welcome and hospitality to the Refugee Tales walkers at St Nicholas’ next week. Can any of you help us to welcome and show solidarity with those highlighting the plight of refugees in this country?