PRACTISING RELIGION - AND GETTING BETTER AT IT!
There's an old joke: 'Why was the patient's cough better in the morning? Because he'd been practising it all night!' How we practice religion is a theme of today's Gospel. Jesus comments on outward laws kept by the pharisees, who had 613 laws, which reminded them how to behave in various given situations. In particular this is about the ritual purity laws which had developed, as the pharisees believed certain practices kept them holy, but others defiled. Jesus is criticised because he fails to keep one of these laws. However, he says in response that true holiness is to do with the condition of the heart. One might keep all the laws in the book, but if the heart is not right before God, it is all a waste of time. Jesus reminds us that where sin and defilement begin is in our thoughts and our attitudes to God and others.
It is not that the practices of religion are dismissed. They can be helpful, and habit-forming in a good way: prayer, for example, needs discipline, or it too easily gets lost. The habit of church-going helps us faithfully gather to worship God. Our liturgies, which take us through confession and absolution, the reading and preaching of scripture, the intercessions, the Eucharist, help us engage with the heart of our faith once more. But there's that word again: the heart. We can practice religion, but neglect the heart. Jesus reminds us keeping our heart soft before God is crucial if God is to renew our attitudes so we may reflect God's loving intentions for his world. As we practice God's love in worship and in action, and in our attitudes to other, we will indeed find that practising our religion in this way, will make us better at it!
HOLY TRINITY, MINCHINHAMPTON
8.00 a.m. Said Eucharist
10.00 a.m. Sung Parish Eucharist except First Sunday - All Age Service.
5.30 p.m. First & Third Sunday: Evensong (BCP).
Second, Fourth & Fifth Sunday: Said Evening Prayer - Common Worship
8.00 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday: - Said Eucharist
11.00 a.m. Wednesday: - Eucharist (BCP)
4.30 p.m. Friday: - Said Evening Prayer in the Lady Chapel
5.30 p.m. Monday - Thursday and Saturday:- Said Evening Prayer in the Lady Chapel
ST. BARNABAS, BOX
9.00 a.m. Eucharist with hymns.
8.00 a.m. Wednesday – Eucharist
For additional services please use the Calendar.
As usual at Minchinhampton and Box, our autumn Stewardship Appeal will conclude on Harvest Sunday, 20th September, which will also be our Stewardship Sunday. It is appropriate that as we think of the Harvest being gathered in and give thanks for God's provision to us, we in turn think about our own giving, and how we give back out of all that we receive. This year, as we discussed at the APCM, and wrote about in the Parish Magazine, we are focusing on having joined the Parish Giving Scheme.
This is improving the way we are able to give money to our churches. It is a very successful scheme run by the Diocese of Gloucester. It costs us nothing to be part of it, and there are many benefits to it.
Helen Bailey - Rector
Further information is available on our Stewardship page
We are looking to grow our choirs! Please consider joining at the level of commitment / frequency you feel able to offer. The choirs (adult & junior) sing a wide range of music not only for regular church services but also for weddings, funerals, carols in church, special events and even a recent film! Junior singers are trained according to the RSCM's Voice for life scheme – recently a chorister was accepted by Gloucester Cathedral choir. Choral scholarships available for over 16-year-olds still in full-time education. Adults singers commit only to what they are able to do. Details on the church website and on the Choirminch Facebook page. If you think you might enjoy singing, contact Julian Elloway for an informal chat
Takes place every week from 2:30 until 4:00pm in the Porch Room or if really nice weather outside the church as in the picture.
Church members attend as well as non-church goers and a warm welcome and good cake awaits you. The Wednesday walkers often join us as they finish ready for a sit down and a cuppa. It is a good social gathering of friends and all are welcome to come and chat and meet new people.
Every day in Minchinhampton, at 7.55am and at 5.25pm, our sanctus bell, 500 years' old this year, is heard ringing out, calling people to our morning Eucharist and to Evening Prayer. It is also the bell which is tolled three times during our communion services, when the priest holds up the consecrated bread and wine. On 27th September at the 10am service we are celebrating its 500 year-old history, and delighted that Bishop Martyn is coming to preach and preside at our service! As part of that service, he will rededicate the sanctus bell, and also dedicate its new chiming rope - the bell's 'birthday present'! After the service, we will be celebrating its 500th birthday with special cake and wine!
The sanctus bell, cast in 1515 by Thomas Lawrence of London, has a fascinating history. It probably began life as a chapel bell on the current site of the church, moved to the Market House, then a community home for girls, and finally, back to Minchinhampton Church. A benefactress of the church, Dame Alice Hampton's name is inscribed on the bell. As she died on 27 September 1516, our service falls, to the day, 499 years since her death.
The bell has been an important part of the history of the town of Minchinhampton, and we hope that many from the town will come to join us for this special celebration! There will also be a quarter peal rung by our bell ringers at 11.30am that day, to further the celebrations! Do come and join us!
An invitation ... for Young People and Adults across the Benefice
For young people when you were baptised as a baby or small child, promises were made on your behalf by Godparents. Now you can make these promises yourself. You are invited to come and learn more about these promises and explore any other questions you may have about faith.
Each year we hold a series of classes for anyone wishing to be Confirmed or even just exploring what Confirmation may mean to them. These classes are open to any young people, over the age of 10.
A Confirmation Service will take place on Sunday 15 November, 10am at Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton to be led by Bishop Rachel @BishGloucester.