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 can’t 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 can’t 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. “There’s no use trying,” she said, “one can’t believe impossible things.”
I daresay you haven’t 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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 01524 805928
Read more from John at bit.ly/johndavies-talks