View From The Vicarage


The Vicar's Monthly Magazine Articles

  • Rev Jane - July and August 2019 Dear friendsHaving spent almost 20 years as a primary school teacher in my previous working life, the six-week summer holiday was a   treasured time to relax, recharge, regroup, and prepare for the rigours of the next academic year. A fortnight’s holiday to foreign parts was a chance for a much needed break as I immersed myself in a foreign culture – hopefully with some sunshine!From the Gospels, we know that Our Lord periodically took Himself off to recharge both His physical and spiritual batteries, and to give Himself time to hear afresh the voice of God speaking to Him.  Surely if Christ Himself felt the need to take time-out, how much more should we?In the ...
    Posted 2 Sep 2019, 09:30 by Richard Jones
  • John Hartley - June 2019 Dear FriendsThe Anglican Church keeps 24th June as The Birth of St John the Baptist. ‘There was man sent from God, whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the light.’ John 1.6-7.The great fact about John was that he knew what his mission was and he was content to fulfil it. He sought no greater office and sought no greater reward, than that of doing the work to which he had been called. He prepared for the coming of Christ and, as a signpost, he pointed the way to Christ.His task was one of both privilege and responsibility. His modesty was outstanding, as was his candid truthfulness. He was content to ...
    Posted 25 Jun 2019, 04:18 by Richard Jones
  • John Hartley - May 2019  Dear FriendsThe hymn ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ quite plainly has, as its theme, the friendship of Jesus.   Strangely enough there are few hymns that deal with this subject and what’s more, the title ‘friend’ is never directly given to Jesus in the NT.   His critics, in contempt and derision, did refer to him as ‘the friend of sinners’. Even so, the title is true. Jesus was, and is, the friend of sinners, which means He is our friend.Now a friend differs from a relation.   We have no choice as regards our family – bound by blood ties, by birth.   But we are free to choose our friends and such a choice is very important one ...
    Posted 29 May 2019, 09:26 by Richard Jones
  • Reverend Roland - April 2019 My dear friends WHAT DOES EASTER MEAN FOR YOU ? For me this is a very important question for all of us to consider...is it just another chance to have a holiday...to indulge with a few chocolate eggs or maybe buy something new to wear for Spring ?  BUT no matter what we think .. the CROSS, EASTER and THE RESURRECTION remain pivotal to our Christian Faith. As a young boy (a long time ago) I remember how on GOOD FRIDAY along with my mother we would stand in a queue at Bennets Bakery waiting to buy freshly baked ‘Hot Cross Buns’ they were special....those days have gone as now you can buy them all year round...also I remember ...
    Posted 14 May 2019, 23:43 by Richard Jones
  • Letter from the Area Dean - March 2019 One of Jesus' most memorable sayings, found in Saint Matthew's Gospel as part of the Sermon on the Mount is, 'blesséd are the peacemakers'; which was misheard in Monty Python's Life of Brian as 'blesséd are the cheese makers'. No doubt cheese makers are as deserving of being blest as anyone else, especially if they make creamy Lancashire(!), but in reality it was peace and not cheese that Jesus was thinking about when he taught the crowds who had gathered to hear him on a Galilean hillside nearly 2000 years ago. The dictionary defines peace as; freedom from war, noise, disorder, or mental agitation. It describes it as quietness, calm, serenity, and harmony. Not surprising therefore that Jesus ...
    Posted 2 Apr 2019, 02:37 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - December 2018 “What’s in a Name?” Well surprisingly quite a lot. For instance, “P.G.Tips” , the tea monkeys loved to drink, started out in the Second World War as “Digestive Tea” which eventually became “Pre-Gestee”, a variant of the name, and then abbreviated to P.G. “Hovis” – once our favourite brown bread - started life in 1887 as “Smith’s Patent Germ Bread” – hardly a mouthwatering prospect. So a competition was arranged with the winning entry being “Hovis” – taking the Latin words “hominis vis” (strength of man) and then subtracting the middle bit! “Jelly Babies” began life in 1864, invented by an Austrian immigrant working at Fryers of Lancashire and were originally marketed as “Unclaimed Babies”! By 1918 they ...
    Posted 10 Jan 2019, 02:51 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - November 2018 View From the Vicarage “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana 1863 -1952)  Wise words and certainly needed in our world today because it’s reckoned that since the end of the Second World War there has never been a day in which there has not been a conflict somewhere in the world. That is why this year, the celebration of Remembrance is especially poignant because with the ending of the First World War there was the hope that this would indeed be ‘the War to End all Wars’.  But why do wars begin? After all, you would have thought that the human race would have realised that conflict inevitably leads to misery with ...
    Posted 9 Dec 2018, 01:26 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - October 2018 View From the VicarageDo You Weed? Excuse me?  Do you weed? Well that’s what a parishioner of ours thought he heard when having just moved into his new home a neighbour unexpectedly called. But when he replied yes, he did quite like gardening, she asked again, slightly exasperated with a lisp, no do you READ?! Oh yes he replied. Good she said, next Sunday in church, 1st Lesson! Well that certainly makes a change to the bouquet of flowers, freshly baked cake, helpful practical advice or simply an invitation to come round for a cup of coffee which we might normally hope to receive, but in fact it is a very good question. ‘Do you read – the ...
    Posted 30 Oct 2018, 01:55 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - September 2018 View From the VicarageLooking for a Hero? That was the title of a hit single some years ago by Bonnie Tyler and heroes come in all shapes and sizes. For some it may be parents, for others a teacher, or a film star, a politician or even a football player. Whoever it is, there is usually something special about that person which arouses our interest or encourages our respect.And in the church’s calendar there are a number of heroes remembered each month and one, on September 15th is Cyprian. So what is distinctive or special about him?Cyprian was born around the year 200 in North Africa. Of his earlier life, before he became a Christian ...
    Posted 14 Oct 2018, 02:30 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - July/August 2018 View From the Vicarage “What would be worse than being born blind?”  That’s the question Helen Keller (the American writer, 1880 – 1968, who became deaf and blind at 19 months) was once asked.  She replied “To have sight but no vision”. And she’s not alone, for in the Book of Proverbs we read ‘A people without vision will perish’ (Proverbs 29:18 AV). Surely that is why as part of the Blackburn Diocese Healthy Church self- assessment tool, there is a section entitled ‘Clear vision that gives direction to the church’s ministry and mission’.  “A healthy church has a clear sense of purpose and direction based on seeking to find out what God wants. The church prioritises ...
    Posted 3 Sep 2018, 07:48 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - June 2018 View From the Vicarage Empowered to Serve  Sunday June 10th at 11am at St Leonard the Less, Samlesbury will undoubtedly be a very special day for everyone who is present. That’s because  this is the day when we will be welcoming the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev Philip North who will be presiding at a Service of Confirmation, and we hope as many as possible from our three churches will be there to support the candidates and to welcome him. But what is confirmation and how did it begin?  Well, like many things it has a long and complex history! In the Bible children and adults were welcomed into the faith either through circumcision in the Old ...
    Posted 12 Jul 2018, 01:33 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - May 2018 View From the Vicarage Aim for nothing – and you’ll be sure to hit it!  So runs an old adage.  And if that’s true then it may explain why so many businesses and organisations have a strategy for growth because they know that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And spring provides an opportunity to take a fresh look at all that we are doing before planning for the future.  Now back in the 1990’s the Church of England and, in particular, the Diocese of London began to realize that something also had to be done if church congregations were to develop and survive. This was the inspiration and motivation for MAP – Mission Action Planning ...
    Posted 29 May 2018, 23:48 by Richard Jones
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