Sunday 26th July
We were able to celebrate Holy Communion in church last Sunday, which was a real blessing. The service was shorter than usual, as there were no hymns. Matthew played the organ during communion as people came up one by one to receive the bread into their hands. I was certainly conscious of what I’d been missing all these weeks.
We’ll carry on with one service at 10 am for the time being. We are working out a way of holding baptisms on Sunday without having to deep clean the church beforehand.
During the lockdown, we learnt that we’d achieved the Eco Church Silver Award. This was a surprise as we thought we were only in line for a Bronze Award! Many congratulations to Jan B for steering that through. When we are meeting properly again we will have to see what we’d need to do to move up to Gold. We’re the only church in Bolton Archdeaconry to have won an award and have already been asked to talk to other churches about how we did it.
Today’s gospel is a collection of parables. Stories with a hidden meaning that Jesus told to make people think for themselves. The disciples often asked Jesus to explain what he meant after the crowds had gone home. I think that’s very human. We’d also like someone to tell us what to think, whether it’s our parents or friends, teachers or people we look up to. When it’s our newspaper or social media we have to be very careful to pick out the bias they are carrying so we can take account of it. Fake news or manufactured outrage is all too common. If we keep close to the principles of our faith, we should be on safe ground.