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November and December 2018

Dear Friends,

At the end of November we will celebrate the close of the church’s liturgical calendar with the Feast of Christ the King.This is a reminder for us all that everything we have done over the previous 12 months is for one person and one purpose - our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the propagation of His Kingdom. I hope that all who consider themselves to be disciples of Jesus can look back over the time spent in his presence and recall new things they have learned and new challenges he has set.

The following Sunday the new liturgical year will begin with Advent Sunday and the process of our discipleship will be renewed and refreshed as once again we are drawn into the mystery of His love.  During the bleak months of December Christians will be preparing themselves once again for the birth of the Prince of Peace whose light will lighten the darkness.

We shall be doing so in the context of a troubled world filled with uncertainty - an uncertainty that is a permanent and evolving condition of our existence.  God, Christians believe, is present in that world.  Scripture and Tradition assure us that if we turn to Him our uncertainty is transformed into hope and hope becomes the foundation of a new life.  That new life is one which seeks Peace and promotes Peace.  Peace isn’t passive, simply the absence of war or conflict, it is active - it is the Way of Life offered to us in Jesus.

The Mothers’ Union annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence will begin on 25th November and continue through until 10th December.  During these days we are all asked to pray for all women and girls who are the primary victims of domestic violence and sexual slavery or abuse and maybe even do something extra to ensure that those who find themselves living in or escaping from horrific situations may find places of refuge, of love, of God’s Peace.  If you haven’t made a donation towards the Barnsley Women’s Refuge then perhaps you might do so in Church on 2nd December.  Perhaps you could join the Mothers’ Union and so help in our on going support of New Hall women’s prison.  Maybe set aside a period of time each day to give thanks for the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the holy women of the Bible and Christian history and to pray for those who live amongst us who may be caught up in a cycle of abuse.

As Christians, it is our task to be on the constant look-out for people whose lives are in need of the healing Peace of Jesus and then to do something, no matter how small, to make Him present in their lives through our actions.

Below is a Poem I came across recently which I will leave with you, without further comment, other than to say that I hope that together, we may continue in our efforts to be a faithful band of pilgrims seeking to follow Jesus faithfully and being willing to be sent out to do his will.

 Fr Stephen


Making Peace

A voice from the dark called out,

“The poets must give us imagination of peace

To oust the intense, familiar imagination

of disaster.  Peace

not only the absence of war.”


But peace, like a poem

is not there ahead of itself, can’t

be imagined before it is made, can’t

be known except in the words of its making,

in the grammar of justice,

syntax of mutual aid


A feeling towards it, dimly

sensing a rhythm, is all we have

until we begin to utter its metaphors,

learning them as we speak.



A line of peace may appear

if we reconstruct the sentence our lives are making,

revoking its affirmation of profit and power,

questioned our needs, allowed

long pauses … …


A cadence of peace might balance its weight on that

different fulcrum; peace, a presence,

an energy field more intense than war,

might pulse then,

stanza by stanza into the world,

each act of living

one of its words, each word

a vibration of light—facets

of the forming crystal

Denise Levertov

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