|“If only David could have been here. He would have loved it!”
I guess I am not the only person who thought that as we said goodbye to our friend David
Banham on Tuesday the 29th of May. A week after he would have turned 80 years old.
The worship led by our own augmented choir with Simon Lindley playing the organ was
supplemented by a choir from the Cathedral who sang the two anthems, Thomas Tallis’ If Ye
Love Me, and The Russian Kontakion of the Departed. It was a fitting tribute to a man who
has been at the heart of both St Mary’s Church and Ecclesfield village for so many decades.
As one man said to me as we waited at the Crematorium “I have known David for over fifty
What would have meant more to David than the music and the worship would have been
the people, so many people, who came to celebrate his life, to give thanks for all that he
meant to them and to grieve at his loss. I hope that he knew the love and respect in which he
was held by so many people. We all miss him. At some point we will find a fitting memorial
to him in the Church that he so loved and did so much for.
Since David’s death I have been amazed at the number of people from the Church and the
village who have said to me things such as, “I have suffered from depression too,” or “I once
suffered a breakdown.” It is like a hidden epidemic.
As well as a monument in Church, perhaps another memorial to David might be that we
begin to speak about such things openly. If we who have suffered from depression talk about
it, it could give confidence to others to share their own burden.
I often say that it is a pity that depression does not make a person break out in spots! If it did,
we might take it more seriously as an illness. It is as wrong to feel ashamed or embarrassed
about it as it would be to be ashamed of catching the flu!
At times we do hear unhelpful things. Years ago I once heard someone say that a Christian
should not get depressed - which is as foolish as to say that Christians should not become
short sighted and wear glasses!
As a Church family let us continue to be open about our own struggles; let us be ready to
listen to others without judgement. We do not have to have answers, just a friendly ear, an
assurance that we will keep confidences and that we will not judge. The best time to offer a
listening ear is usually over a cup of tea and a piece of cake - perhaps at the Coffee shop on a
Tuesday or Friday morning?
God bless you and God bless our friend David.
|Following Jesus; Celebrating Life; Welcoming All
We are here to help people love and worship God.
We aim to be, and encourage others to become, committed and active disciples of Jesus,
who love God and worship him, who know the power of the Holy Spirit and who show
God’s love in every part of their lives.
|Prayer for the month
|Thought for the month
|Below you will find extracts from this month's Parish Magazine
First Words..., A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
|“In His hands He wraps and holds us.
He enfolds us for love and He will never let us go.”
These are the words of Julian of Norwich from her vision of God’s love. Julian lived in the late
14th and early 15th centuries. When she was still a young woman she fell seriously ill and
was not expected to live. She did survive her illness and dedicated the rest of her life to God.
While ill she was given a powerful vision of God’s love in Christ. After she had recovered she
wrote an account of her vision. “The Revelation of Divine Love” (1395) was the first book
written by a woman in the English language.
At the centre of her vision is the revelation that God is as He is in Jesus. He is compassionate,
self-giving love. She is convinced that God’s love is greater than our sin and our failings. It is
greater than the evil in our world.
It was because of God’s great love in Christ that Julian was able to famously write that “All
shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
The revelation of God’s love that Julian received enabled her to trust God in all circumstances
and situations, and to encourage others to trust.
We are always held in hands of love; hands that have been scarred by nails for us. We may
face adversity and opposition; life may turn against us and friends may desert us. But we can
know that the God whose love is seen in Christ will hold us and never let us go.
Julian tells us that the love of God holds all of creation - including our lives - in existence. As
we read her words we know that the most fundamental truth about every one of us is that
we are loved and cherished and held by God who is not just our infinite creator but is also
our loving Father and our compassionate saviour.
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|Having celebrated Trinity Sunday at the end of May we have now entered into what is
sometimes called ‘Ordinary Time.’ We have had the big celebrations of the Church’s year
which runs from Advent Sunday in December to Trinity Sunday in mid to late Spring.
Each year we see the circle of time moving from Spring to Summer to Autumn and Winter
and then round to Spring again. We also celebrate the Church Calendar each year; from
Advent at the start of December through to Christmas and then Epiphany in January.
Spring brings Lent and Holy Week followed by the joy of Easter, and then Pentecost and
Trinity Sunday. And then we wait for it all to begin again with Advent Sunday.
The year and the seasons are always the same and always changing; Every year we have
Spring, every year we celebrate Easter, but each Spring, each Easter is different.
Similarly our Church has welcomed the people of Ecclesfield into God’s presence in the
whole of life, from Baptism to Marriage to Funerals and it is here for all the people as it has
been for centuries. A sign and reminder of the love of God in Christ, for all people and for all
During June’s ordinary time the Alpha Course will continue to meet on Wednesday
evenings in Church at 7.30pm. Prayer and Praise will be on Sunday 24th June at 6.30pm.
Before Prayer and Praise we will have the last meeting of the Youth Fellowship until
September (Sunday 24th June 5.15pm).
Prayer Breakfast is on Saturday 9th June at 9am and we have weddings on the 2nd and
9th of June.
During the summer we will continue to invite funeral families to a Sunday Morning service
at which their loved ones will be remembered and prayed for. This month it will be on the
16th of June when we will welcome families from May.
One special event for me in June is the Diocesan Conference from the 12th to the 14th
June at Swanwick.
During all this work will continue on the Church roof, and the Body of Christ will continue to
meet week in and week out as we celebrate the love of God on special occasions and in
God bless you,
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|St. Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield, a Grade 1 listed building, has received confirmation
of a grant of £220,000 for major repairs to the church roof and the installation
of a state of the art security system.
Click here to read the full Press Release
|Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill