Last weekend was another special weekend in the life of our parish—with many things to celebrate.
First, it was so good to welcome the family and friends of Steffan and Francesca to celebrate their wedding in St Mary’s Easton on Saturday. Many of us have enjoyed getting to know Steffan and Francesca during the last eight months as they have come regularly to worship in our parish; so it was lovely now to support them on this special day. St Mary’s was ‘’packed to the gills, and the singing of ‘Guide me, O thou great Redeemer’—not least from the Welsh contingent on the groom’s side of the church—was deafening!
I was also really grateful for the way the Revd Russ Gant (their local minister who led the service with me) set such a good example of ‘setting the bar high’ in what he said about marriage. This tied in with Jesus’ words in Matthew which we were looking at the next morning in our Easton Parish Communion, and became a significant part of my sermon (which you can listen to from this link).
Then, at 4.00pm, it was time to enjoy ‘Café Church with a Splash’ by the pool in John and Nicky Barber’s garden. With the children gathered attentively round the tables, Nicky spoke to us all from the important verse in Proverbs (4:23): “Guard your heart: it is the wellspring of life.” How good it has been—since Café Church first launched last September—to have these special times together as a church family of all ages and to enjoy each other’s company whilst also hearing from God’s Word.
Meanwhile, just 100 yards away, people were beginning to gather for the St Swithun’s Patronal Festival Evensong. Again, we heard from God’s Word as the Revd Sarah Tillett spoke, eloquently and clearly, on the call of God our Creator to guard and care for his creation. It’s been so good to have Sarah living amongst us and we are so grateful for the times when she has played a part in our worships services.
And it was also so good, after the service, to celebrate with a glass of wine and to express our thanks to all those who have helped the worshipping life of St Swithun’s to flourish during the last year.
Looking back, we do have so much to give thanks for: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures for ever” (Psa. 136:1).