Dear Church member
I write this on St Patrick's Day. Living in Britain in the 5th century, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates aged 16, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Whilst captive, Patrick prayed daily for his freedom and God answered his prayer, miraculously helping him escape Ireland. Later, God revealed to Patrick in a dream that he should return to Ireland and preach the Gospel to the people who had once held him captive, and so he returned, later becoming a bishop. Patrick is largely regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland.
The missionary spirit of Patrick lives on in God's people called to share the good news of Jesus with friend and foe, at home and abroad.
This week we draw attention to the work of longstanding mission partners David and Heather Sharland who have been sharing God's love in word and deed through their work in agriculture and healthcare in the West Nile and Uganda for many years, but who are planning to return to the UK this year. Click here for their latest newsletter.
Another itinerant minister of the gospel and great friend of many in Chilton and Harwell is the late Bruce Keeble, who died in January after a long illness. Alex Reich has written an obituary, which can be found here.
We continue with our weekly church prayer meetings on Saturday mornings from 9.30-10am by Zoom. Everyone is welcome to join in either regularly or occasionally to give thanks and praise to God, to seek his will, pray for our needs, and for the wider world. This is a relatively informal time, with some sharing of scripture, silence, and open prayer, and there is no pressure for anyone to pray out loud. Do please join in on the link found here.
The Church annual meetings this year will be by Zoom once again, 7.30pm on Thursdays 29th April for All Saints' and 6th May for St Matthew's. Ahead of these meetings we are revising the Electoral Rolls, which are the lists of those qualified to vote at the annual meetings and stand for election to the PCCs. Please click here for more information about the electoral roll and how to register (between 27th March and 9th April).
Do please continue to pray for the work of the Church in Harwell and Chilton, the UK and beyond. Reflecting on the words of St Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, Bruce wrote in his memoir of his increasing conviction of 'God’s persistence in accepting me and calling me to serve Him and others, with all my weaknesses and failings'. God has a plan to use each one of us in his service, however weak or unqualified we feel. All God's people are his saints, have 'good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do' (Eph 2:1), and will only find true purpose and fulfilment when we respond to his call to serve Him and others, as Patrick, David, Heather and Bruce have done.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton