You are here20th February 2022

20th February 2022


By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 17 February 2022

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

“When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high – and don’t be afraid of the dark” words from the Musical Carousel of course – though notable taken on by fans of the Liverpool Football club with its chorus of “You’ll never walk alone!”

But this week we shall have been through two storms in Britain, named Dudley and Eunice. Steph and I have recently seen the tremendous effect of storms in a Forest park in Northumberland, sometimes looking as though a whirlwind had battered down various sections. The power of nature can be awesome indeed – and we take it for granted at our peril.

This week’s gospel is a familiar tale: St Luke’s version of the tale of Jesus stilling the storm. The experienced fishermen are unable to cope with one of Galilee’s violent events and, in deep distress, they wake the Master who has been sleeping through it all. As he saves them, his question to them is “Where is your faith?”

It seems to me that this can be taken in many, many different ways. At one level it’s a nature miracle, underlining the fact that the Lord is in charge of his creation. But perhaps we can be forgiven for looking at it slightly differently. It seems to me that we, as a Church, have been shaken by recent events. Our congregation numbers have been sadly depleted (though building again, I am glad to say), our National Finances have been depleted and the number of posts for stipendiary clergy has been reduced yet again. It would be easy to shout at God “Master, we are perishing!”

Yet, if we are doing that, perhaps the gentle question comes back again “Where is your faith?” The fact is that we should have an ultimate trust in God for the future. The Church began with hopeless disciples, no financial structure and an organisation that had to be sorted out as we went along. However, in God’s hands we went on to change the shape of history. Perhaps that anthem “You’ll never walk alone” is still inspirational for a Church that looks beyond today and into the eyes of our Lord!

 

Ian Cardinal

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone

186                              174

            315                              64

                        226                              226

127/442                       442/426

188                              188

 

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Elsie Richardson, Vera Tomkinson, Gary Kelsall, John Richardson, Peter Bowler, Catherine Ritchie, Miles Brain, John & Ann Shuttleworth, Margaret Wright, Molly Wright, Norman Latham, Gillian Wright, John Hargreaves, June Stringer, Pam Miles, Jean Gulliver, Margaret Tomlinson, Dave McGlynn, Sue Kenchington, Carl Hartley, Mike Thompson, Helen Tallent, John Ecclestone, Toby English

 

For the recently departed, remembering their families and friends:

Sheila Evans, Graham Little, Monika Delonge, Irene Walker

Remembering their families and friends at this time

 

This week:

Tuesday 22nd 11.45am- 1pm DROP INN CAFE St Michael’s Hall

Wednesday 23rd 7.30pm Messy Church planning – listen for venue

Thursday 24th 10.30am Holy Communion – St M&W

 

LATEST COVID GUIDANCE

The latest advice from Government to churches is that Social Distancing and mask wearing is still strongly advised

 

ORGAN FUND:The PCC has been offered an extremely high quality instrument at half the cost (£20,000) for full installation. A unanimous decision has been made to purchase this – but so far, we have only £4,000 in cash. Donations are now urgently sought and, if you have pledged money, please may we receive your money?  Thank you very much

 

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER Service to be held March 4th at 2pm, the Church at the Crossing (Station approach - former Youth centre)

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