Chalking the door, a new year blessing

Chouse_blessinghalking the door is a modern take on an old tradition of praying for God’s blessing on a home and those who live there, remembering the wise men coming to Jesus’ house and looking forward to a new year. Bless your home and family this January by chalking the door. 

Chalk is used to mark the door, or the doorframe, or the floor near the entrance, with this mark or something similar: 20 + C  M  B + 17 . 2017 for the year and C M B for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which is Latin for ‘May Christ bless this dwelling’.

You could also say one or both of these prayers:

Loving God, may all who cross this threshold and see this sign know your faithfulness this year and be reminded of the story of your Son Jesus Christ.  We ask it in his name. Amen.

May the Lord watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for evermore. Amen.

You could do this on your own, with younger members of your family, or as a group visiting each other’s homes at the start of the year.

This is an idea from  More details including other prayers and readings are here

Posted in Faith at home, Families, Spiritual life, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

The following note has just come through from the Diocesan Office

ChildrenThe Children’s Ministry Training Course
Come and be inspired! Learn new skills and develop your
practice for working with children

For all children’s leaders and part of the Authorised Lay Ministry qualification

The main aim of this course is to provide a series of spotlights which highlight different aspects of children’s ministry and will enable the delegate to confidently approach a variety of tasks in their local area with a range of skills, techniques and resources to draw on

The training will consist of six sessions plus an optional Basic Safeguarding Awareness Training
Saturday 18 February: Childhood Past and Present and Current TheologyThursday 2 March: Baptism Matters; Bishop’s Study Day
Saturday 11 March: Everyone Loves a Good Story and Child Development
Saturday 25 March: Learning Styles, Multi-Sensory Learning and Creative Prayer
Wednesday 26 April: Basic Safeguarding Awareness Training@7pm
Saturday 6 May: Welcome, Hospitality and Evangelism
Saturday 20 May: Joining the Dots; a Faith for Life

All sessions will be held at the Diocesan Offices, Bishop Woodford House CB7 4DX 9am to 1pm
Led by Debbie Hill, Children’s Adviser and Messy Church Regional Co-ordinator for Cambridgeshire
Baptism Matters will be held at Over Community Centre CB24 5NW 9.30am-4pm
Led by Revd Canon Dr Sandra Millar, Head of Projects and Developments, Church of England

Places are free of charge but should be booked with or 01353 652736

Course tutor: Debbie Hill Department of Mission
01353 652714 or 07837 699016

Posted in Families, Training | Tagged , ,

From Jill and Adrian Chatfield

ChatfieldsDear all at St Mary’s,

We really enjoyed spending our last Sunday here in Cambridge with you – worshipping with you and partying with you!

It has been lovely to get to know you, particularly over the last couple of years – it wasn’t long before you became very much another lovely church family alongside St Mary’s, Comberton. Thank you for your welcome, your acceptance of our ministry among you, and thank you for your fellowship and friendship.

 Thank you too for a wonderful BBQ – to all who contributed and to Jim for being his amazing stamina over the BBQ fire.

 Thank you for your very generous gift – absolutely inspired as Adrian and I love the outdoors and are always in need of the gear that goes with that! Shows how well Tom and Naomi and the Hardwick folks know us!

We never say ‘goodbye’ but ‘au revoir’ – ‘till we meet again’ for non French speakers! We are always joined together in the amazing Body of Christ, we never know when our paths will cross, and we shall certainly meet in heaven.

Here are our contact details:
63 Wesley Street
DE7 8 QW
Tel: 01159 301065

If you are ever passing through – please feel free to stop for a coffee or a meal. We do have space for overnight stays, so please be cheeky and ask.

With love and with prayers for your ongoing ministry in Hardwick

 Jill and Adrian

Posted in Hardwick | Tagged ,

The wind and the coracle 

Chris Duffett recently created this wonderful painting for Beth Cope as a gift to mark her ordination and the start of her new job as Team Pioneer Curate in the Lordsbridge Team. Welcome Beth!

be the light

I was recently commissioned to do a painting for a friend who was ordained in the Church of England. It’s based on the idea of how ancient Christian Celts would get into a Coracle and go where the wind took them.

A dangerous missionary strategy but one that took them to distant islands and ‘far off’ lands.

The words in the wind are from John’s gospel:

The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.

I enjoyed layering the paints to give the effect of how the wind would feel:

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Posted in Lordsbridge, Spiritual life | Tagged , ,

The servant Queen and the King she serves

Picture2The Sunday Club have this term been looking at some specific figures and thinking about how they served God, and how their faith in Jesus inspired them to do what they did.  People like Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Mary Seacole.  Our Queen is someone else whose faith in Jesus shows them how to live.

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.  These words of Jesus that are often used as a reference point for how to live.  You can read more of the passage here.

Picture1When Elizabeth became Queen more than 60 years ago she promised to serve her people.  In fact, on her 21st birthday, still Princess Elizabeth, she said this in a special broadcast from South Africa.

I declare before all of you that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.

She has served her people for more than 60 years.  But every year in her Christmas message she reveals that she also serves someone else – Jesus Christ.  She bows her head to receive God’s forgiveness through Jesus just as those of us who meet at St Mary’s do and she kneels at the altar at communion just as we do.

Do you ever watch the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day?  It is one of the few places where the Queen can be explicit about her Christian faith and how it informs and motivates her.  In 2002 she said this:

I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad.  Each day is a new beginning.  I know that the only way to live my life is to try and do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings and to put my trust in God.

In her Christmas messages she often talks about Jesus.  Jesus who she says is a great comfort, a profound teacher, the Prince of Peace and a Saviour with the power to forgive.

Picture3Six months before her coronation, Elizabeth asked the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to do this:

Pray that God may give me the strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve him and you, all the days of my life.

Clearly the Queen has relied on Jesus since before she became Queen: as her role model, as a source of inspiration, as the way to forgiveness and being closer to God.

I wonder who you rely on to be the person you want to be?Picture4

The Queen made promises to serve God and serve her people when she became Queen.  Many of us have made promises about our lives.  If you have been baptised and then confirmed, or if you were baptised as a young person or adult you will also have made promises about how you live.  They will have been something like this –

Will you:

  • Live in the way that Jesus and the apostles teach
  • Gather with others in church to learn together and pray
  • Stand against evil and wrongdoing, and ask forgiveness for yourself
  • Proclaim in what you say and do the significance of Jesus
  • Serve all people, loving your neighbour as yourself
  • Seek peace and justice

With the help of God I willPicture5

If you were baptised as a baby and were not confirmed when you were older you may not yet have made those promises formally for yourself, or if you have not been baptised at all, it is not too late, get in touch if you’d like to think about it.

Take a few moments now to think about the promises that you have made about how you will live or that you might like to make.  Think about who you rely on to help you keep those promises. 

In church we invited people to dip a finger in the water in the font and make the sign of the cross on their forehead as they reflect on their baptism or confirmation promises.  At home, you could do that too with a little water in a glass.

“With the help of God I will”

Posted in Hardwick, Reflections | Tagged , , , ,

Papers for St Mary’s Annual Meeting – 24 April 2016

The Annual Parish Church Meeting (APCM) for St Mary’s Hardwick will take place on Sunday 24 April after church at 11am, coffee from 10.45ish.  Papers for the meeting can be downloaded here.

APCM 2016 Agenda

APCM 2015 Minutes

2015 Annual Report


Posted in Hardwick, Meetings | Tagged ,

The Bishop’s visit to Dry Drayton

In Dry Drayton last Sunday we welcomed Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, to a buffet lunch to celebrate the end of the 14-year development and re-ordering project at St Peter and St Paul’s. Lunch was followed by a service of thanksgiving and prayer for the future of the church community and for all that this iconic building enables in the village and beyond.  Here are some photos from the event.

You can look at the words and prayers we used in the service here

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