Ups and Downs at St Mary’s – November 2019

It has been a month of ups and downs at Billingsley. On the up side, on Remembrance Sunday we had around 30 people from the village attend a service in Lincoln Fields; and around half of those came back to church for refreshments, a chance to ring the bells and to admire the beautiful display of knitted and crocheted poppies around the altar, which was a collaborative work. Tamsin, one our youngest residents, with her grandmother Gwen read an account of the very first Remembrance Day. So far we have raised £50 for the Royal British Legion.  On the down side, a pair of brass vases and candle sticks have been stolen from the altar, following on from the theft of heating oil from our storage tank a few months ago.

We are now making plans for Christmas; there will be a carol service before Christmas, possibly 11th December but this is to be confirmed. There will also be a service in church on Christmas Day at 9.30am and again on Sunday 29th at 10.00am. This will be a benefice service.

So, is it glass half empty or half full? We seem to have had a lot more visitors to the church over the last few months, perhaps because of the fantastic efforts of those who look after the websites and Facebook pages. There is always the risk that amongst these visitors, there will be people who are looking to do harm. But, Jesus had quite a lot to say about making ourselves vulnerable for the sake of the Kingdom of God. An open church is risky, but any act of love is risky; for Jesus, it ended up with a cross. We will do all that we can so that the church remains open; that is our act of love to those who visit it. If just one person finds peace in it, then it will be worth altar fittings and heating oil. And, I pray we might also help those who, for whatever reason, have turned away from their humanity with acts of wrong-doing, to find it again. That would be glass overflowing!

David Poyner, Assistant Curate