Welcome

A Prayer for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,

we pray for the people of Ukraine today.

We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.

We pray for those who fear for tomorrow,

that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.

We pray for those with power over war or peace,

for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.

Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,

that you would hold and protect them.

We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Amen.

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast Cluster web site 

We are living in strange times, and we are permitted to open our churches for private prayer and worship.
The Churchwardens are working hard to ensure that the churches will be safe places for people to visit.

Currently there are no Sunday Services being held in the cluster, one line services are aviable, via zoom or on the audio page of this site.   

If you wish to obtain the zoom link for Sunday worship please email atlanticcoastcluster@btinternet.com  

if you know of someone who has not got internet access then the daily service can be
accessed by phoning 01872 308750 it is charged as local call,
the service will start after a moments pause, please share this with those you know who may like this.  

I will contine to post things that I have found helpful below as well as the Sunday Reflection

above is a photo the blessing which is in my hall, the celtic blessing,
produced by the wonderful calligraphy artist, Tess Cooling

Useful links

From the Times - Ways to Improve your Mood

A 3 minute meditation 
Singing out loud or joining a virtual choir
A kitchen disco - 35 minutes of dancing
Drawing for 45 minutes
Take a hot bath - May be more beneficial than exercise for people with depression
Gardening - 20 minutes of gardening can reduce stress and boost cognitive function
Deep sleep  - 7 hours at least 3 times a week
A 20 second hug - if you’re lucky enough to live with someone or some creature that can provide it.
One to one phone calls. (Happier people have more meaningful conversations with much less small talk)

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Reflection for 3rd Sunday after Trinity
(you can listen to this reflection as part of the Service of the Word for 3rd Sunday afterTrinity can be found on the Audio page of this site) 

Reflection

I don’t know about you, but I think the reason so many people like Thomas, is because we can easily relate to him.  For I am sure, at some time or another we all have had doubts.  Now these doubts can be small niggles about life, things we have to say or do, or have done and now wonder, was it the right thing? Or they can be massive concerns, about things, which overtake our lives and mean we cannot focus on anything else.  So, we can understand Thomas, he makes sense to us, he is very human, and I would like to suggest that doubt is something integral to our human nature and therefore our faith.

It has been said that we arrive in this world in a state of ignorance, relying solely on others for our survival, and then after some years, many reach the point of arrogance.  A place where self is everything, what we believe and trust in is only ourselves.  We believe in ourselves over everyone and  everything else.   When this happens, we can become so full of self, so full of pride, that belief in anything else is impossible.  We are certain we are right, and others are wrong, there is no room for doubt.  We are the wise ones.

Saint Bonaventure warns against the pursuit of ‘devilish wisdom’. Wisdom which results in a person taking pleasure from being superior to others, becoming full of pride, and pride cannot be a foundation stone for faith in Jesus.  Too often, human beings become wrapped up in the accomplishments of their own, becoming full of pride, and lacking any doubt.

From a faith perspective, doubt is inevitable. For, as humans, we do not hold the key to knowledge of this universe, let alone what happens next.  While for some this doubt can be at odds with faith, it is there, and we have it, to test and challenge our doctrines, which we need to do.   We need to  question what we believe and what the church is saying. This openness to questions is an integral part of faith itself.

Next week, I will head to York for General Synod.  I have some doubts about some of the things we will discuss.  I am not sure how I will vote, in some matters.  Some I am sure about but wonder if my certainty is such a good thing.  The object of faith is not to know, but rather to love.   Doubt is an  integral part of this love, it causes us to look beyond our own perspective, to 

take a step back from a self-viewed life, to ask, is this right?  Where is the God of Love in this?

Thomas needed to ask, is what the others say right?  His doubt reflected the thoughts of all those not in the room.  Those there, who first saw, could not doubt, they were self-assured, they knew.  The only problem with this vignette is that Thomas gets the proof he needed.  Those not in the room, those who come after, like us, need to live by faith, but a faith that has an element of doubt.  Doubt which allows us to question  ourselves, faith which leads to humility, which stems from love and compassion and service in the name of Christ.

Yes, I think we like Thomas, because there is a bit of Thomas in all of us, well at least I hope and pray there is,

Loving God, help us to use our doubts wisely for the good of your church and our world.  May our doubt lead to concern for others and inspire us to love as you have loved us, unconditionally and sacrificially.  In the name of Christ, Amen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Cubertus by Sue Parkington
Written about her favourite church.   
Photo taken from happier times when the church was open

“Tis closed”, the old man said,

“Locked and cold within”, 

‘Why’s that?’I asked

‘I can’t make sense of thee’.

“Tis the virus; and the Bishops,

So they say, 

They’m scared we might get sick.

 I’m only ninety three”

‘Let’s chat outside a while’ I said,

Though raining heavily. 

“No good”, he said, then added,

“Just come along with me,

‘Tis cosy in the south porch,

And sheltered from the breeze”.

And so we shared our crib there, 

Saffron bun and mug of tea.

Keeping social distancing!

A friend and company.

 

 

Precious Life   (An Acrostic for Easter Time 2020) by Liz Cleves 

Perhaps we are listening, and

Remembering what is dear to us

Each of us recollecting Spring times, and the promise of nature bringing its gifts

Conscious too that the beautiful Earth is suffering from our ‘overload’.

In the morning I listen to the robin and the wren guarding my garden, and

Out early I see the mighty sun lift over the horizon

Unfettered and free in it’s course.

Softly I give thanks for all in my care and all that I receive.

 

Let me give thanks

In every way let me treasure my life and all that is dear to me

Fearing only fear itself and

Enjoying all while I may.