In 2018 we have spent a great deal of time on our buildings. Thanks to the hard work, time
and commitment of a small number of people we have been able to carry out urgent repairs
on the Church roof. Without their work we would not be able to do all of the things that we
want to do here at St Mary’s in and through our beautiful building. I was amazed at how
little disruption the repairs brought to our Church life. We were able to carry out this work
without having to raise any funds ourselves thanks to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery
Fund and the Ecclesfield Feoffees.

Now that the urgent work on the roof has been completed we can begin the work of
improving the building, starting with providing disabled access. We will have to do some
fund raising for this during 2019.

Our building is a real gift that we hold in trust for the wider community and for the future.
Our Church attracts many visitors every year. People come for the history of the Church and
its beautiful architecture. They come looking for their own family history, to find a place
where they feel that they belong, a place that links them to their ancestors. We were able to
welcome many such people during the recent Heritage weekend, again this very successful
event was the result of the work of a small group of Church members.

St Mary’s also attracts many people every year who come to be quiet and pray, and people
who come at important times in their lives. We hold a large number of Baptisms, weddings
and Funerals throughout the year. It is our duty and privilege to show our guests something
of God’s welcome and we pray that when they visit they are touched by the presence of the
Risen Christ.

As I have been thinking and praying about the future of our Church it struck me that we are
here so that, in the course of their lives, people can connect with God. Our primary purpose
is worship and prayer. It may be the annual visit to a Carol Service, it may be to attend a
funeral or christening, it may be simply to light a candle in the prayer corner in memory of
someone loved and deeply missed; but people come into St Mary’s.

We, the Church entrusted with the care of the building, are also entrusted with the care of
those who come, whoever they may be; whatever draws them here.

Our care for this wonderful building is an important part of our ministry, of our care for
those who come into St Mary’s. We who know the grace and generosity of God in Christ are
called by the Risen Lord who walks among us to share His love and grace by the warmth of
our welcome.

We may be the only contact with God’s people that many who come to St Mary’s have. God
will work through our words and actions to reach them.

Every one of us is called by Christ to be witnesses of His love. A large part of this will be
simply in the way that we receive those who come. As we prepare for the big events that
come at the end of the year, Harvest and Remembrance, Advent and Christmas, many
people will visit St Mary’s. May we receive them as Jesus would; this is in part what it means
for us to be Christ’s Body here in Ecclesfield.

For me who and what we are called to be as Christ’s Church is summed up in the vision
statement that we have begun to use:

St Mary’s Ecclesfield: “Following Jesus: Celebrating Life; Welcoming All.”

God bless you,
Tim
Click here for the Churchyard Burial Records
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.
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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
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This month’s prayer is set as the Collect for the 17th Sunday after Trinity in Common
worship. It was written for the Alternative Service Book in 1980, but its origins are far older
than this.

The prayer is based upon the writings of St Augustine, the fourth century theologian and
Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. In his spiritual autobiography, The Confessions, Augustine
writes, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in
you.”

We are all made by God and for God. That is who we are as humans. We are bearers of God’
s image, and it is relationship with God that we become our true selves. Without this
relationship we are ‘restless’ souls. Seeking peace in our inner being in ways and places
which were never meant to fill that particular ‘space’ within us.

We are all God’s children. Whether we know it or not; whether we acknowledge it or not
does not change the basic fact of who we are. There is a longing for eternity in the depths of
our souls, and nothing other than God can satisfy us.

It is for this reason that many Christians have come to know that if we have the world but do
not have God, we are paupers; conversely, if we have God and little else we have all that we
truly need.

We all know people who have much in material terms and yet are never satisfied; we also
know those who have little but who have an inner peace.

May we all come to know that we are God’s precious and beloved children; may we all come
to know the peace that comes from the risen Christ. Amen.
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First Words
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  • Bishop's Letter - A brief biography to date of Pete Wilcox the new Bishop of
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Most of this month’s events are harvest related. We begin with the Harvest Supper at the
Gatty Hall on
Friday 12th October, tickets are available now. This is a time to get together
informally as a church family, to share food and fun.
On Sunday 14th October at 10am we
have our
Harvest Festival, with offerings of goods and money for our harvest charities: The
Archer Project and Farm Aid. Finally, on
Friday 26th October at 1pm we are pleased to
welcome Ecclesfield Primary School into Church for their
Harvest Service.

On
Saturday 20th October we welcome the return of the Emley Brass Band for a concert
in Church. Tickets are still available if you haven’t bought yours yet.

On
Saturday 6th October we welcome Daniel and Lisa to celebrate the last wedding of the
year.

Other regular events in October include the
Alpha Course on Thursday Mornings at
10.30am
in Church. This follows our weekly celebration of the Eucharist. All are welcome. If
you want more information please speak to someone who has already done Alpha, of have a
word with Tim.

Please also remember that on the
Third Sunday of every month at our 10am Parish
Communion we welcome into Church those who have recently been bereaved. This quiet
ministry is greatly appreciated by the families and is an important part of our Church life.

During October we will also be preparing for the special services in November to mark the
centenary of the end of the First World War. In preparation we pray for the veterans and
victims of conflicts and we pray for peace in our world.

God bless you,

Tim
Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
The Knave and South Aisle
roof works are now complete
and we are once again water
tight
Our Thanks to all those involved in the works and particularly to the
Heritage Lottery Fund and its supporters for their generous contribution.
Thanks also to Ecclesfield Feoffees for their contribution to the work done on
the North Aisle roof
Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill  
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Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen