|Towards the end of April we had a visit from Dr Joe Elders from Church House in London.
He was meeting the churches in the Diocese that have recently been awarded Major Church
Status. The award is a great honour for St Mary’s. It is a recognition not only of our great
history and heritage, but also of our relationship with our living community in Ecclesfield
and beyond, and it is also looking at the potential of St Mary’s for mission in the coming
decades and beyond.
The award will involve a lot of work and thought and prayer. We will spend about a year
developing a Conservation Maintenance Plan (CMP), looking at the history of the Church
for the past 1500 years. We will be working with other groups such as the Archaeology
Department of Sheffield University to record the history of the Church building in its wider
But the Major Church award is not simply about the past, it is about the present and the
future. We will engage with interested parties looking at how the building meets the needs of
those who worship here regularly and the wider community. It is an acknowledgement of
the historical and architectural importance of St Mary’s to our nation.
One exciting part of the process will be to prayerfully see how the building can be developed
by the present generation - just as it has by every generation of worshippers for the past 1500
years - to meet the needs of the community today and in the future.
We are blessed with the care and stewardship of a building that means a great deal to many
people in our city and far beyond; we hold it in trust for the nation and for the future. And in
everything we remember that this is not our Church, it does not belong to the Bishop or the
diocese; it does not belong to the people of the parish. This is Christ’s Church, and everything
that happens here must honour Him: worship and pastoral care, private prayer and times of
fun and fellowship. Church buildings are meant to be ‘sermons in stone’ where those who
enter - whatever their reason for entering - meet with the risen Christ. And as the community
of disciples here in Ecclesfield we are called to embody the Father’s welcome to every person
who enters, whoever they may be, whatever their reason for coming.
|Following Jesus; Celebrating Life; Welcoming All
We are here to help people love and worship God.
We aim to be, and encourage others to become, committed and active disciples of Jesus,
who love God and worship him, who know the power of the Holy Spirit and who show
God’s love in every part of their lives.
|Prayer for the month
|Thought for the month
|Below you will find extracts from this month's Parish Magazine
First Words..., A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
|“Worthy is the Lamb” (Revelation chapter 5)
In what is undoubtedly the strangest and most misunderstood book of the Bible, the Book of
Revelation, the visionary John describes the insight that he has been given into heaven.
His description is very similar to other Jewish visions of God’s throne doing right back to the
Old Testament prophet Daniel. He tries to put into human words a picture of infinite glory
and beauty, holiness and power.
God who occupies the throne of heaven is beyond human words (Rev 4:3). As with other
Jewish descriptions of heaven John makes it clear that there is an absolute divide in reality.
On one side is God the holy and infinite creator of the universe, and on the other side is
Then in chapter 5 comes the shock. God shares His throne, with one who is called the Lion of
the tribe of Judah. We expect to see a royal warrior, looking like a combination of King
David and the Roman emperor. Instead the lion is a lamb, a Lamb who has been slaughtered.
John in recounting his vision is telling us that at the heart of the universe, at the throne of
glory and power is the slaughtered lamb, the crucified and risen Jesus. He is the one who
receives the worship of heaven and earth; He is the one who hears our prayers. He is worthy
because He has died for us and triumphed over the powers of evil and death.
Another New Testament writing, the Letter to the Hebrews draws out the importance of our
knowing that at the throne of heaven stands the crucified and risen Jesus. The one who hears
our prayers knows. He knows “our weaknesses” - He knows the struggles and temptations,
He knows the weakness of human flesh when it is met with the forces of evil, when we face
sin and death; when our lives are devastated by the hardships of life. Jesus knows because He
has lived our life. He who was God with us in the years of His incarnation is now God for us
We can pray with honesty and with confidence. Our faith is not simply that Christ is God
with us; it is that He shows us the true face of God. God is not to be feared, God is not
indifferent to our struggles and our tears. The one to whom we pray, the one that we worship
knows us and loves us.
To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever. Amen (Rev 5:13).
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|May looks as if it is going to be a busy month at St Mary’s. With lots of weddings during the
month. Please pray for the couple who are getting married here this year, particularly those
whose weddings will be affected by the ongoing work on the roof.
The main events this month focus on the end of the Easter period with Ascension Day and
Pentecost both falling in May. On Thursday 10th May at 7.30 pm we will be having a joint
Ascension celebration with Chapeltown and Grenoside. The Ascension is the start of Thy
Kingdom Come, ten days of prayer leading to Pentecost. There will be a short, simple service
each day in Church in the middle of the day. It is an opportunity to pray for the renewal of
the Church in Great Britain and to pray for our Church in our mission and ministry.
On Pentecost Sunday 20th May we will welcome the guides, Brownies and Rainbows for
the annual May Queens’ service (outdoors weather permitting). The evening service on
the 20th May is cancelled as we will be sharing in the big celebration at the Cathedral
which begins at 6pm.
Other events this month for your prayers. Alpha will continue on Wednesday evenings
at 7.30pm. Prayer Breakfast will be on Saturday 12th May at 9.30am and Ignatian
prayer on Monday 28th May at 7.30pm. PCC members please note that due to the Bank
Holiday on the 7th May, the PCC Meeting will be on the 14th, the second Monday in
May at 7.30pm.
On Monday 21st May we will welcome Baptism families and godparents into Church at
7.30pm for Baptism preparation. Please pray for the many families who still come to Church
to have their children baptised. It is a joy and a privilege for us to welcome them into their
God bless you,
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|St. Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield, a Grade 1 listed building, has received confirmation
of a grant of £220,000 for major repairs to the church roof and the installation
of a state of the art security system.
Click here to read the full Press Release
|Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill