Vicars Letter

Dear Friends

Once again this year, in the period after Easter, we will be offering across our three churches, a course designed for those who seek confirmation, or are just looking to explore the Christian Faith.  In previous years we have used Christianity Explored, but this year we move to the Pilgrim course, entitled Turning to Christ.

The course helps us to explore such questions as: Who is Jesus?  Who is God?  Who or what is the Holy Spirit?  What impact does sin have on our lives?  Set over six weeks, and led by myself and David our Curate, the course gently guides us, by reading the bible and discussion, to answer some of these questions.

Post Easter is the most natural time to run this course; firstly because our confirmation service this year is in June, and secondly because, as so many join us over the Easter weekend, maybe the celebrations leave you with a lingering question.

This year is the year of Marks’s Gospel.  Mark’s Gospel is the shortest of the three synoptic Gospels, but is also widely believed to be one of the sources for Matthew and Luke’s Gospels; making it the earliest written.  Mark is unique in that it neither has an extended birth narrative like Matthew and Luke, or an extended resurrection narrative.  In fact in its earliest form marks resurrection story ends rather abruptly: ‘so they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.’  Three women had approached the tomb where Jesus lay to anoint him, but, they found it empty except for a young man dressed in white, who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive – the first witness to the resurrection, and according to the short ending of Mark – they fled!

This ending to Mark, leaves us with more questions than answers; which I suspect might be its point.  As in any good story, the reader is invited to ask questions and ponder where the story might lead – this is where Pilgrim begins; what is your question?

So if you are interested in being confirmed by Bishop Martin in June or just want to know more about the Christian Story, then please give me a ring on 01730 812655 or email me at derekwelsman@btinternet.com, or simple talk to me after a service; both David and myself would love to walk alongside you as you explore this most wonderful story – who knows where that might lead?

Derek Welsman