|One of my resolutions for the summer months, when things at church are not as busy as
usual, is to take more time to pray and to worship.
I am more and more convinced that prayer and worship are the most important and
distinctive things that we do as Christians. Like most people I want to pray more and more
‘effectively’. I am very conscious that in my work I often encourage people to pray, but do
not really help them to pray.
Like many people I feel a little guilty when it comes to prayer. I acknowledge its importance.
I want to pray, but somehow it is always easy to find something else to do, something more
Prayer matters because in prayer we meet with God. Supposing someone told me that they
were married; they had a wedding certificate to prove it, but that they didn’t spend time with
their wife, never spoke to her or listened to her. I would very quickly wonder what sense, if
any they could be said to actually be married!
And so with prayer. In prayer both alone and with others, I meet God as He speaks through
scripture; I meet God as I pour out my hopes and fears for others and for myself; and I meet
God as He draws near in the Eucharist.
As we meet with God so we deepen in our relationship with God and so we grow as
Christians in faith and hope and love.
The summer might be a good time to develop your relationship with God through prayer.
You could join the Diocesan Prayer fellowship, reading a few verses of Scripture and praying
the Diocesan Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer every day.
Alternatively, you could try coming to the monthly prayer breakfast or the Thursday
morning Communion, meeting with others in fellowship and meeting with God in silence
In the Autumn we will be running The Prayer Course in St Mary’s. The book that is based
on the course is sub-titles “a simple guide for normal people.”
We need a “simple guide” because we often make prayer and the relationship with God our
Father that flows from prayer too complicated.
We need a guide for normal people because we were all made for a relationship with God
our Father. It isn’t only for spiritual super-humans or living saints.
I would urge everyone at St Mary’s to come along in September to the first session and join
The Prayer Course.
|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
|Paul writes from prison in Rome where he is chained to a Roman soldier. He writes to the
small and vulnerable community of disciples in the city of Colossae.
The Church there consisted of new Christians who were beginning to face pressure and
persecution for following Jesus. Paul writes to encourage them and to help them to continue
faithfully as Jesus’ disciples in a hostile environment.
In his prayer for the church Paul emphasises three things that the Colossian believers have
which will sustain them:
their faith in Jesus Christ; their love for all the saints and the hope that they have “laid up in
Their faith is in Jesus Christ, and not in themselves. They belong to one who has suffered and
who has won a victory not only over human evil, not only over the power of the Roman
Empire, but who has defeated death and the devil on the cross.
As Christians we have a saviour who is greater than any problem or opposition that we will
The faith of the Colossian Christians is seen in the love that they have for all who belong to
Jesus. Christians in different parts of the Empire supported one another in prayer and in
practical ways, such as the collection for the suffering Church in Judea. In Christ though we
are many and diverse, yet we are all one.
As Christians we know that nothing divides us: we are one body in Christ irrespective of the
differences of race or class, of nationality or gender. We are all children of the one Father in
heaven that Jesus revealed to the world.
Finally, the Colossian Christians have a hope in heaven. In the world they faced opposition
and ridicule; they faced oppression and persecution as Jesus’ followers. But as Jesus followers
they are assured of an eternal kingdom which cannot be taken from them.
In Christ we are citizens of heaven, in Christ we have a life which cannot be taken from us.
Like the Colossian Christians in the First Century we too have a sure faith in Christ, we are
called to a love that transcends divisions and barriers, and we too have a hope “laid up in
heaven.” May our faith, love and hope shine in the chaos of the world, may we shine for
Christ, bringing His light to the world that He loves. Amen.
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|As usual August this year is a very quiet month. We have a couple of weddings towards the
end of the month and visiting bellringers at 10.30am on Thursday 22nd August.
The monthly Prayer Breakfast is at 9am on Saturday 10th August.
Apart from that there is little on the Church Calendar.
The mid-week Communion is every Thursday 9.30 to 10.15am.
This quiet month is a good opportunity to relax and refresh. It could also be a time to come
along to the Prayer Breakfast or the Thursday communion.
Many people - myself included - will be away on holiday during August.
I intend to use the time for prayer and study. I always see August as an opportunity to
prepare myself for the very busy quarter from September to Christmas.
I hope that you find time this August to relax and refresh as well as to re-connect with God.
The Prayer Course
By Pete Greig
We will be holding the course on Wednesday Evenings at 7.30pm in Church starting on
Wednesday 11th September
Everyone is invited and encouraged to come along.
For more information see Tim
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|The Knave and South Aisle roof works are now complete
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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|In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have
heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the
hope laid up for you in heaven. (Colossians 1:3-5:)
|Safeguarding at St. Mary's
The Parish of St Mary’s Church Ecclesfield is committed to high standards in the
safeguarding care of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Andrea Whittaker , who can be contacted by email:
Our Parish Safeguarding Policy with further information can be read in full by following
this link Safeguarding at St. Mary’s - Ecclesfield
|A prayer for St Mary's for 2019