Rev. John's September Jottings

02 Sep 19

Rev John's Jottings - 'One season following another, laden with happiness and tears'

 Living in Ansley at harvest time and enjoying the church's flower festival is something quite special.  St Laurence has been host for the 55th year to a spectacular flower festival which never fails to delight all who attend.  A huge amount of effort has gone into ensuring another wonderful event, with flower displays contributed by many in and around the village.  A big THANK YOU to all who contributed or helped in any way.

To see the harvest 'safely gathered in' is not only a welcome sight, but an opportunity to be thankful for all who farm and work the land to provide for our food.  THANK YOU to all who have been working so hard on the land to bring in another harvest.

In times past, in most rural places, churches and chapels would be full of people celebrating the harvest and giving thanks to God for 'all good gifts around us'.  Today, sadly, the picture is rather different.  The busyness of life tends to put attending church low on the list of priorities and corporate worship seems less important than it once was.  Those who used to come to Sunday school often lose connection with church and the spiritual dimension of life linked to church seems to be regarded as irrelevant.  However, church is different today and more relevant than ever.

Our theme at the flower festival this year was 'rest'.  Each flower display depicted an aspect of rest mentioned from a variety of Bible passages. Amongst them includes the invitation, 'Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest' - a very relevant word for today.

Also, giving thanks for the Harvest is a good time to take stock and remember not to take our provisions for granted.  As someone has said, 'If God did not exist, there would be no-one to thank.'  Not only can a community come together and enjoy singing the familiar harvest hymns, but also consider the fundamentals of life.  As one of the challenging passages in the Bible says, 'What does it profit a person if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul' and, 'Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'

 May this month be a time when you can 'rest and be thankful'!

 Rev John

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Personal Profile
Rev. John Langlands

 It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!