How easy it is for us to become absorbed with everyday things, going about our busy lives, often with little care or concern for what others are facing. Sometimes we find ourselves absorbed to such an extent that we don’t even give a thought to the pain or predicament with which others are confronted. In similar vein we become absorbed with a limited approach to the world, what with our horizons confined to the news presented to us. Recently we have been presented with daily news about the developing situation in Libya, whilst at the same time the plight of so many people in the Horn of Africa continues to be deplorable. In the same way we shall shortly observe the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York, that most awful and terrifying act of terrorism which was to lead to war and recrimination on a global scale. How ironic that with the welcome of high speed communication and marvellous advances in technology we should find ourselves faced with a world of suspicion, of resentment, and of vengeance. Not that the story is always a grim one.
Sometimes we may be forgiven for being downcast and pessimistic. But there are often very many better stories and developments. The advances in medical science are staggering. Once life-threatening diseases are eliminated, terrible living conditions are reversed, and some of the most barren and parched countries have seen great advances. Even in our large and multi-ethnic communities great steps forward are being taken and a sense of belonging and inter-dependence thrives. In similar guise we might often think that the Christian Gospel is all but dying out in our communities. But there are some special exceptions to the bad news when, and only when, people abandon territorialism and seek to embrace other people sympathetically and mutually. This has to be an altogether better way than becoming entrenched, territorial and defensive. Perhaps too many towns, cities and communities have become cautious and defensive. But the challenge to such entrenchment is overcome by the gift of God’s love. For early Christians there was a similar hostile and defensive world. In fact, in very many ways it was more divided, more terrifying and a place where the embracing of the poor was looked upon with amazement. But those self same Christians found in their fellowship with Jesus Christ both strength and refreshment. It was not academic. It was merely the resolve and faith of people who looked to Jesus—the Jesus who crossed the road to embrace the poor, to feed the hungry, to rescue the lost, to heal the sick, and who brought to people in every possible situation something of the vision of a Kingdom of love and joy. It wasn’t always easy, and for his endeavour he was to die. But in his rising he was to change the world—yours, and mine.
Fr Jeremy’s installation as Dean of Monmouth and Vicar of St Woolos will be shown ‘live’ on a big screen in the Priory Centre so those who cannot be at the Cathedral can share in the day. We’re aiming to supply copies of the Order of Service so the Priory Centre congregation can join with the Cathedral congregation. Tea and coffee will be available after the service. Doors open at 2pm, the service starts at 2.30pm.
Parking is very limited at the Cathedral, so a bus is being organised to take parishioners to the installation service. Please contact Mrs Sheila Davies 853729 asap.
The Ladies Fellowship will meet in the Priory Centre at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 13, when Richard Morgan will talk about his Nepal Trek
People of the Black Mountains
A day school on People of the Black Mountains, the last novel of Raymond Williams, will be held at the Priory Centre on October 8—full details from the Tithe Barn. Raymond Williams was a distinguished intellectual, critic and son of Abergavenny. Speakers include Professor Simon Dentith (reading University), Dr Elizabeth Allen (Regent’s College, London) and writer Merryn Williams, daughter of Raymond.
Boyan Ensemble of Kiev
The Boyan Ensemble of Kiev returns to St Mary’s on its 20th anniversary tour on October 31—tickets from Clive Jones or churchwardens.