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From the Rectory
April 2007

Jesus told Mary Magdalene to "Go and tell!" She knew beyond doubt that Jesus was alive. That message was too precious to keep to herself. She had to tell others. The passion in her voice when she spoke would prove to them that what she said was true.

Women were forbidden to give evidence in court in Jesus' day, because they were not considered to be reliable witnesses. But Jesus chose Mary, a woman, to tell the others that he had risen and had left the tomb.

Have you witnessed his resurrection? You may not have seen him, but every time you pray you speak to him. Did you think that he wouldn't hear you, perhaps? Maybe you felt a presence. Were your prayers answered? Did you get what you asked for? Maybe the answer surprised you, or perhaps you felt an inner strength which helped you to deal with a problem or situation. None of that could have happened if Jesus simply died and no resurrection took place. Your experience of him in your life is proof of that resurrection. So you see, just like Mary, you too are a witness to the resurrection. God bless you and be with you and all those you love this Eastertide.

Yours for Christ's sake.

We have been very fortunate in recent months to welcome as regular members of our Sunday congregation young mums with their babies. They have joined us following the success of the 'Tick-Tock' Parent Toddler Group. We now have over twenty families registered with us and on most Tuesdays we have between eight and twelve babies with their parents and, in some cases, their grand parents. It is a very lively group and a real tangible sign of resurrection for our church. We have had several baptisms as a result and may have a couple of confirmation candidates waiting in the wings as well.

Children are sometimes spoken of as being the future of the Church. I do not believe this statement to be entirely true - children are with us NOW, they are the NOW of our Church just as much as we older ones are. We like to think of ourselves here at Christ Church as being a place of welcome, I've heard it said many times. But is that always true? Some of these new mums feel that they are not welcome, they feel that because their children make a noise they should not be here. I have assured them that we can and will accommodate as much noise as they wish to make. These children are used to coming to 'Tick Tock' and making a noise, so when they come on a Sunday they feel at home, they are only babies after all. They are welcome among us, we thank God for their presence here worshipping with us, and believe that God himself has sent them.

If you find the noise difficult, particularly if you usually sit at the back, why not move nearer the front? There are always spare seats. Surely, with a little thought, a little give and take, we can accommodate each other. Heaven forbid we should lose one of them. God forgive us if any of them feel unwelcome. That would indeed be a sad day. We can and we do usually make people welcome, that is our calling. Let's try to do it with everybody.

In the autumn Lys and I will become grandparents, at last, alleluia! I pray that my grandchild will be brought along to Church. And if it makes a noise I'll be delighted, a Church with children and young people has a future. Jesus said, "Do not keep the children from me", then he took them in his arms and blessed them. Let's see if we can do the same.

"To bring up a child in the way they should go, travel that way yourself once in a while."

"If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them."