View From The Vicarage


The Vicar's Monthly Magazine Articles

  • 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
  • Rev'd Charles - April 2018 ‘Fools for Christ?’  April 1st is here again and with it All Fools Day but what lies behind this unusual event? Well its origins may lie in several pagan festivals. For instance there was the Roman end of winter orgy ‘Hilaria’, and the Celtic celebration when the god Lud cured the curse of demons by spraying them with a brew of crushed insects in water! There is also the story of Persephone. In this Greek myth she was snatched away by Pluto, the god of the underworld, from her mother the corn spirit Ceres who followed the trail of Persephone’s indignant shrieks across the land to no avail – the original ‘fool’s errand’!  Or there again, All Fools may ...
    Posted 8 May 2018, 07:36 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - March 2018 View From the Vicarage Back from the Dead!  A few years ago, BBC2’s ‘Horizon’ programme reported on what has been called the archaeological discovery of the century. In the early 1990’s high in the Alps, two climbers stumbled across a mummified body inside a glacier. At first it was assumed that the death must have been recent. Only later did it emerge that this body had been entombed for more than 5,000 years.  As the body was examined, it became clear that he was aged between 35 and 40 years. He was roughly 5’ 2” tall and weighed around 7 stone. It appeared that he had first been wounded by an arrow, and then overcome by the ...
    Posted 13 Apr 2018, 04:49 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - February 2018 View From the Vicarage  “All you need is love!”  Ah, those were the days when we were young and the Beatles were all the rage! For then love (or what we thought was love) was very much in the air. And yet of course as February 14th approaches something of that still survives,  for on St Valentine’s Day the discerning romantic will be able to offer his beloved heart shaped cushions, hot house freesias, jokey boxer shorts or gift wrapped champagne, together of course with the obligatory Valentine card! But.. Who was St Valentine?  Well, it appears that he was a Christian beheaded at a pagan festival of love in the 3rd century but it wasn’t ...
    Posted 1 Mar 2018, 06:05 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - January 2018 View From the Vicarage ‘Respect’  For some that’s a greeting, for others a political organisation but for many of us respect is something which seems to be sadly lacking in today’s society. In years gone by we would certainly have respected the elderly, the police, doctors, teachers and even politicians! But now in the world of twitter and emails many appear to think they can voice any opinion without considering the effect this may have on others and sometimes that opinion shows a distinct lack of respect.  Unfortunately, this attitude is not new. Back in the first century Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that they should obey the governing authorities and give respect and honour to those ...
    Posted 2 Feb 2018, 01:20 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - December 2017 View From the Vicarage Describe Christmas in Three Words! Now that’s a challenge, so what might we say? Last minute shopping, eating too much, filling a stocking, holly and ivy or simply friends and family. But what about the words ‘Christ is born’? Where do these three words fit in? For many, the answer is they don’t, and yet for Christians there are three other words about Christmas that we would like to share with our families, friends and neighbours, and these are: Historical, Joyful and Essential!  1 Christmas is Historical: it really happened. Jesus is not some mythical make believe character. St Luke, who based his account on information from eyewitnesses, carefully investigated everything (Luke 1:1 ...
    Posted 2 Jan 2018, 06:56 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - November 2017 View From the Vicarage LIGHT UP THE FIRE! Winter is certainly here with the approach of November 5th for no matter how dark and cold it may be outside the sky will soon be ablaze with the whiz and bang of fireworks because that’s the day we remember the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. For it was around midnight on November 4th 1605, just a few hours before the official opening of Parliament, that Guido (or Guy) Fawkes (born 1570) was caught red handed in a cellar under the House of Lord’s, surrounded by 32 hundred weight of gunpowder. He had hoped to ‘light up a fire’ which would change the face of England. But the ...
    Posted 4 Dec 2017, 08:13 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - October 2017 View From the Vicarage“Sticks and stones . . .  May break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Well whoever wrote that had never come across the web or twitter because although sticks and stones can leave bruises, words which are particularly unkind can sometimes leave far more lasting and permanent damage.  And words feature prominently in the Bible because God knows the power they have –  to heal or to hurt.  So why should Christians be especially careful about the words they use? Well the message of scripture is very clear.  Paul for instance writes, “You must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. Do not ...
    Posted 3 Nov 2017, 04:46 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - September 2017 View From the Vicarage‘Do something religious!’  Perhaps you know the story told by Bob Hope, the American comedian. He’s on a plane when it’s struck by lightning. The passengers begin to panic and one turns to him and says, ‘Do something religious!’  ‘So I did’, he said, ‘I took a collection!’ Why? Because our churches often appear to be only concerned with money even though Jesus himself said, “Our Father in heaven will give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11) and Paul was confident that “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  So while recognising that the ordained ministry has ...
    Posted 1 Oct 2017, 07:25 by Richard Jones
  • Rev'd Charles - July & August 2017 View From the Vicarage  -  Why Worship?             It’s a fair question because so many of us do it. Whether it’s a football team, a loved one, our family, the car or even our job, worship is a common experience. But what is special about Christian Worship?            It is Personal not Private. The question Jesus asked Simon was, ‘Do you love me?’ Not, do you believe in me, or agree with me or even like me. But do you personally ‘love me’ (John 21). And if the answer is yes then that love for Jesus is to spill out into a love for others (Matthew 28).            It is Christ Centred not Self-Centred. ‘Why do you call me Lord, Lord ...
    Posted 4 Sep 2017, 05:59 by Richard Jones
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