Rev John's January Article

27 Dec 19

Taking stock as a new year begins
2019 has now gone.  It can never be lived again. It will certainly go down in history for some very significant events. The question is now, ‘What of the future?’  Who’s holding your life in their hands? Sadly, for some it can be either no-one or someone who shows no real care.

There’s an old chorus whose words have a wonderful answer to, ‘who can hold our hand through 2020?’
“I know who holds the future, and He guides me with His hand,
With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned.
So, as I face tomorrow with its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.”

This year is a crucial year in the life of all our churches in the Benefice of Ansley and Arley, so your support is much needed as the work, witness and ministry continue during another year.

May the New Year bring echoes the words of the poem, ‘The Gate of the Year’, which reached its first mass audience in the early days of the Second World War.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” 
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

These words have remained a source of comfort to the Queen during her life and she had them engraved on stone plaques and fixed to the gates of the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the King was interred. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother was also buried here in 2002, and the words of "The Gate of the Year" were included in a reflection in her funeral order of service.

The words present a challenge for us too – it’s a reminder that in life we need to hold a hand stronger than our own if we are to get through it. There’s none greater nor more loving than God’s Hand.  At the same time, the churches in our benefice extend their hand of welcome to you all in 2020.  You don’t have to go through the year alone.  Why not join us?!

Wishing you every good wish and blessing for the New Year.

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!