Monthly Service Timetable & Vicar’s Letter

CHURCH SERVICES IN MAY 2019

Sunday 5th THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 9.1-20, John 21.1-19 –9.30am Austwick Holy Communion –9.30am Eldroth Holy Communion –11.00am  Clapham Holy Communion – 11.00am  Keasden Holy Communion

Sunday 12th FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 9.36-43, John 10.22-30 – 9.30am Austwick Morning Prayer – 11.00am Clapham Holy Communion – 2.00pm Keasden Holy Communion – 6.30pm Austwick Holy Communion

Sunday 19th FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 11.1-18, John 13.31-35 – 9.30am Austwick Holy Communion – 11.00am Clapham Holy Communion – 7.00pm Keasden Lambing Service

Sunday 26th SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Acts 16.9-15, John 14.23-29 – 9.30 am Austwick Alice in Wonderland’ Festival Service – 11.00am Clapham Holy Communion – 7.00pm Eldroth Evensong

Thurs 30th Ascension Day: see notices

John’s Notes: A world of strange imaginings

Austwick Parish Newsletter, May-Sept 20

The Queen said to Alice, ‘I’ll give you something to believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.’ ‘I cant believe that!said Alice.

I remember once visiting a nursing home where in the lounge an aged lady beckoned me over to her, drew my ear close to her mouth and said to me secretively but proudly, “I’m a hundred and ninety years old, you know.” “Are you really?” I said, playing along. “You look good for your age.”

And something else,” the one-hundred-and-ninety-year-old said to me. “Yes?” “I’m going to give you a donation of a hundred thousand pounds.” “Really?” I replied, “That’s very generous of you.”

I cant believe THAT!said Alice.

Can’t you?said the Queen in a pitying tone. Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.

Alice laughed. Theres no use trying,she said, one cant believe impossible things.

I daresay you havent had much practice,said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!

These days – particularly if we’re in the habit of starting our day with the news – it seems we’re all required to believe six impossible things before breakfast, as mediated to us by tweeting politicians, pay-rolled pundits and ‘reality’ TV stars. In such a slippery world it’s challenging keeping hold of those beliefs we hold dear, those truths we hold self-evident. And yet, though this may sound nonsensical, one of the best ways to do this is to permit ourselves to engage in strange imaginings.

The Judaeo-Christian scriptures invite us to imagine ourselves in a world where, for instance, swords are reinvented as ploughshares, spears as pruning-hooks. And amongst those who have decided to make this their reality are people like Alfie Bradley, an artist who created the 27ft (8m) ‘Knife Angel sculpture currently on display at Coventry Cathedral, made from 100,000 blades handed into police across the country. And Alison Cope, who, in the five years since her18-year-old son Joshua was stabbed to death, has since spoken to over 280,000 people in schools, prisons and groups across the country, inviting her audiences to imagine a world without knife crime, and by imagining it, to bring it into being.

During the weekend of the Austwick Street Market this year, Austwick Church is hosting a special Alice in Wonderland themed flower festival. On the Sunday morning we’re having a special Alice-themed celebration service. Why not? It’s only by allowing ourselves into a world of strange imaginings that we can start to make seemingly impossible things come wonderfully true.

Revd John Davies, Priest in Charge

john.davies@leeds.anglican.org. 01524 805928

Read more from John at bit.ly/johndavies-talks