|We are privileged to have in St Mary’s, just by the side door, one of the most important
historical artefacts in the area. It is the shaft of a pre-Saxon Standing Cross.
The first Church built on the site of St Mary’s would have been a small wooden building,
used mainly by the monks for their daily prayers. Larger gatherings would have been
outside the building - the people would gather at the Cross.
Every time I enter St Mary’s and see the shaft of the cross it reminds me that Christian
prayer and worship have been offered on this site for over a thousand years. It reminds me of
those who have come here to pray and worship, to be baptised or married, or to be
remembered after their deaths.
It also reminds me that the Gospel is not simply for one time or one people, but that the
Gospel of Christ is universal. It is God’s good news for every person whoever they are,
wherever they come from, whatever their history.
Paul emphasised this universal application of the Gospel when he wrote: “There is no longer
Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you
are one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).
When I see the Cross it also reminds me that so much has changed over the course of the
centuries. The way in which the Church has organised its life and worship has changed
many many times over the centuries as the circumstances in which it is called to witness and
worship have changed.
As we know we are living in a time of change. We are challenged about how we organise our
life and ministry to meet new situations. We are challenged about how we reach our nation
with the Gospel of Christ; how we organise worship in a way that speaks to the lives of our
What does not change is the Gospel that the Church’s life and worship point to, that in Jesus
God is reaching out to the world with love and mercy, with healing and grace.
Church is not a hobby for a small group of people. It is God’s good news for all. We, as the
Church are entrusted with this treasure. Paul, writing to the Corinthians speaks of the Good
News of Christ as God’s treasure which is entrusted to the Church. “We keep this treasure,”
he writes “in clay jars” (2 Corinthians 4:7). The jars - our style of worship, the way we
organise ourselves as the Church, are not important. What matter is the treasure that we
carry, God’s good news for all people.
In our generation we have been handed on the baton of faith, the same faith that St Mary’s
Church has witnessed to over many centuries. Who will we pass it on to? How will we ensure
that the Gospel is heard? What will we have to do to ensure that the same Gospel speaks to
God’s people today, that it meets them and speaks into their lives?
In Christ we are given hope, a sure and certain hope, not for ourselves, but for those who
have no hope in this life. Our calling and our responsibility is to make sure that this Gospel of
God’s love and salvation in Christ is heard afresh in our generation.
This is our calling and our challenge. we live in times of change, but God has not changed;
God’s love and grace have not changed. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and
|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
|The Twenty Third Psalm is one of the most loved and prayed prayers in history. It is the
subject of hymns and worship songs as well as countless sermons.
It was written by or for David, the Shepherd who became a king and who recognised in his
own experience of caring for the family flock something of God’s care for the people.
The idea that the king should be the shepherd of his people, modelled on both David and on
God distinguished the people of Judea from the surrounding nations. The king does not
simply have authority and power. He also has responsibility. the king has obligations to the
people that he rules. He is held to account by God.
The idea is that the king leads and guides the people on behalf of God; that God is the true
ruler of the people, and the king reigns for and on behalf of God.
After a series of disastrous kings who cared nothing for the nation, but rather exploited God’s
people. God said through the prophet Ezekiel, “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep”
(Ezekiel 34:15). This promise was fulfilled in Jesus the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
Psalm 23 is a prayer that I return to time and time again. It reminds me that God is always
with me and always has been. I have faced nothing alone.
As I look back on my life it is often only in the looking back that I can see God at work,
leading, guiding, caring, pursuing me through the days of my life.
As I look back and see God with me, so I can look to the future with confidence that even
when I am brought to a place of desolation and despair God will be with me.
Psalm 23 is a prayer for the pilgrimage of our lives. It is for this reason that it is so often
prayed - or sung at funeral services. It is a prayer of trust and hope in God at all times and
seasons of our lives.
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|I cannot believe that it is almost July! After the wettest June that I, or anyone else can
remember, let’s pray for a warm and sunny July and August. The schools will soon break up
for the long summer holidays and many of us will find time to get away for rest and
refreshment and hopefully sunshine.
There are rotas in the Church porch for those who are able to sign up to Church-sit so that
we can have the Church open during the summer months. Please have a look and see if you
are able to help with this.
On Monday 1st July at 7.30pm the PCC meets. If you have any matter that you wish to
have raised, please let Tim or one of the wardens know.
On Sunday 7th July from 12 noon until 3pm the Outreach Team will be putting on
‘Lunch with Fun’ after the morning service. Tickets are still available.
The Healing & Prayer Ministry team are meeting on Monday 8th July 7.30pm in
Church for a time of prayer, worship and reflection.
Prayer Breakfast will be on Saturday 13th July from 9am - all welcome. Also, at that time
the Diocesan Synod will be meeting at All Saints Woodlands. Please pray for our Church
and our Diocese, for our mission and our ability to reach out with the hope of the Gospel of
On Monday 22nd July at 7.30pm the Mission & Discipleship Team will meet in Church.
On Sunday 28th July The Mother’s Union will be hosting an Afternoon Tea in Church
followed by a ‘Songs of Praise’ service at 6.30pm.
Finally, during July the Discipleship Explored course continues at 7.30pm on Wednesday
evenings in Church.
|Twitter - keep in touch with Tim Gill @RevTimGill
|The Knave and South Aisle roof works are now complete
Our Thanks to all those involved in the works and
particularly to the Heritage Lottery Fund and its
supporters for their generous contribution.
Thanks also to Ecclesfield Feoffees for their contribution to
the work done on the North Aisle roof
|Facebook - keep in touch with Tim Gill
|General Data Protection Regulation
Please see the links below
Data Privacy Notice and our Data Protection Policy
|The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
He shall refresh my soul
and guide me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil
and my cup shall be full.
Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
|Safeguarding at St. Mary's
|The Parish of St Mary’s Church Ecclesfield is committed to high standards in the
safeguarding care of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Andrea Whittaker , who can be contacted by email:
Our Parish Safeguarding Policy with further information can be read in full by following
this link Safeguarding at St. Mary’s - Ecclesfield