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North Kent Group of
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- Monthly Pastoral Letter  

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picture of the Archangel Gabriel at Buscot Parish Church, taken by Lawrence on 29th Jan 2009.

picture of the Archangel Gabriel at Buscot Parish Church, taken by Lawrence on 29th Jan 2009.

Group Pastoral Letter for
March 2018

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord,
‘My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.’ …
… For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and
the serpent you will trample under foot.
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honour them…

Psalm 91.1-2 and 11-15

In the season of Lent we often focus on Jesus time in the wilderness, the 40 days of wandering and testing. Reflecting on our own faith journey of the times when we have wandered away from God, tempted by the ‘devil’ or felt lost and alone. We use this time as a time of preparation, a time of repentance as we journey towards the cross; bearing witness to Jesus Passion and lingering in the darkness of night before the bright dawn of a new day.

But let us pause for a moment and remember Jesus was not alone in the wilderness, just as Jesus was not alone on that frightful walk through Jerusalem to Golgotha.

When Jesus was in times of trouble, times of temptation, God’s presence was known.

At the end of Jesus time in the wilderness, we are told in two of our Gospels – Matthew and Mark – that angels came and waited upon him. While in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus found the strength to walk to the cross – strength which can only come from God Almighty.

Maybe a part of Lent is also about acknowledging where God’s angels are at work in your life, to see where they have held you up. When you have been at your lowest, are going through tough and testing times, what or who helped you through, helped you to keep going and not give up or turn away?

God’s angels live within our midst, in the kindness of a stranger, in the embrace of a friend, often going unnoticed hidden in plain sight.

As we examine our own lives, taking stock of our discipleship and faithful commitment to God’s Kingdom, may we also notice those who have been at work within and around us. Those who have been as God to us, sharing our burdens, and give thanks for the angels of this world.

May the grace of God be with you at this time,


April image Group Pastoral Letter for
April 2018

The resurrection story. It all happened in the dark. No-one knew what was happening. It happened behind closed doors. No-one could predict the magnitude of what was going to happen; well no-one except God.

God the greatest secret keeper. God the best gift giver. Partner, lover, parent and friend. No-one else comes close or compares to the greatest gift given to humanity.

The gift of life. The gift of love. With no limits. Without end. Love given from the very depths of a soul, costing everything to the one who gives and nothing to the one who receives.

The resurrection story full of mystery and wonder. The resurrection story full of pain and tears. The resurrection story full of joy and confusion. The resurrection story God’s gift to the world.

In the quiet stillness of the tomb, God’s love was reborn, took root, and grew. In the early light of the new morn, God’s love stood strong and walked in the garden.

Among the busy streets, the crowded market stalls God’s love stood. Down the dark alleys, hiding behind the dustbins God’s love kneels. In the lives of the stranger and company of friends God’s love lives.

This is the resurrection story. It’s a story not of this world and yet at the very centre of its being, it’s a story of heavenly proportion and yet one which is personal to each of us. It’s a story which draws us together and sends us out. It’s a story that needs to be heard, to be experienced, to be lived.

Before the drawn of the resurrection there was a time of great darkness, a time of sadness, a time of death. As Christians we know this story, we know what that death looked like – our saviour nailed to a cross – but we also know that, that death was not the end of the story. It was the beginning. The beginning of something new, the beginning of something different.

I sit here writing to you with mixed emotions, for this is the last time I will write to you as your minister. I sit here thinking back over our time together – there have been highs and lows. There has been time which have felt like death, times which have felt like endings. But with those ending has come a new direction, there has been growth, there has been the opportunity of new life.

But friends let us not forget, there has also been times of wonderful joy and celebration. There has been times of laughter and smiles. It has not all been about waiting in the dark – unsure of the signs of resurrection – for we have also lived, lived within the light of the Gospel, danced with the abundant overflowing love of God.

 I hand on to you… what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scripture, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with scripture, and that he appeared first to Peter, then to the twelve…
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15.3-5; 58
May you each know the love of God which has no end and has the power to transform life.

With love, and care

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Updated: 16-Mar-2018  
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