Rev. John's February Jottings

27 Jan 20

I have been in the parish for over 18 months, and during that time, I’ve had many conversations with different people about church.  Some of these conversations have taken place at sad times, when preparations are being made for funerals: others are at times of celebration, such as christenings and weddings, and some conversations take place when people are visiting the churchyard.

Everyone has their own idea of what “church” means, and what the place of the church should be in the community.  For some, the church is a special historical building which should be preserved, but that is all it is.  Other people feel that the churchyard is actually more important than the building itself, especially when it comes to upkeep!  For yet others, it is a monument to past generations, often part of their own family history, with relatives who were baptized, married and buried there, and who had stories to tell about their times as choir members, for example.  

Whatever people feel about the physical church building, it is sadly true that for many, faith and God seem to have slipped from being relevant to the extent of not attending church anymore on Sundays.

Our church buildings are loved by all in our regular congregations, and we strive to keep them in as good an order as possible – not an easy task, especially when there is no huge income received from outside the parish.  However, the church first and foremost is people and relationships. 

In our church, people find friendship, comfort, peace, and the presence of God – why not come back to your roots and join us!  As one modern hymn says:
Let us build a house where love can dwell
and all can safely live, 
a place where saints and children tell 
how hearts learn to forgive. 
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, 
rock of faith and vault of grace; 
here the love of Christ shall end divisions: 
All are welcome, all are welcome, 
all are welcome in this place.

With best wishes for February.

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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!