Dear Brothers and Sisters
Epiphany is a kind of journey in many ways: from hiddenness to revelation, from prophecy to reality, from darkness to dawn, from ignorance to wisdom and knowledge. For Herod it is also a journey into fear and doubt as he wonders about his own legacy and rule. Who will this “King of the Jews” turn out to be? What threat does he pose to Herod’s position as a despotic ruler?
Like all journeys we are never the same on the return leg. We have been changed both by the journeying and by what we saw once we arrived. We have become a new person in some ways, whilst still retaining many of our old selves’ attributes. I suppose it’s what we call “pilgrimage.”
To be on pilgrimage implies movement and moving from one place to another; to a fresh realisation from old certainties; a change of state, or status and, I suppose, being alive! It is to be searching for the place of the dawn, the source of grace, the reality of God; the meaning of faith, hope and love; and a seeking after knowledge, wisdom grace and mercy.
To not be in movement towards those things (and others besides) implies a kind of death, or at least, a kind of disability; a “satisfied with things as they are” kind of approach – a resignation to the status quo. It has been said many times by many different people that if Jesus Christ IS the Son of God then that simple fact changes absolutely everything. If he is NOT the Son of God then everything is in vain and “we are the most unfortunate of men” to quote St Paul. To be on a journey of faith is to travel into this mystery of revelation who is Jesus.
I suppose to be on pilgrimage in faith is to imply that it is not immediately clear what, exactly, Jesus changes. Or better, how he changes everything. That we believe he does change everything invites us to search out very carefully what is made new by his coming, his teaching, his death and resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church. And what is made irrelevant. Much of what we consider essential in life, once we have discovered Christ, is, in fact, essentially irrelevant. We then have to drop those things and travel on. Only lighter and freer.
With my love
Saturday 20th January
New to the parish? Come to an evening reception for newcomers following the 6pm Mass in Cranleigh on January 20th. If you have recently become involved in Cranleigh or Bramley, for whatever reason, or know of someone who would like to be included, please sign up here. Have you registered with us? – Are you new (or old) to the parish but have not given us your details? Make a note to yourself to tell us about yourself in the new year once Christmas has quietened down a bit. It really does help us communicate with you, visit you, and know who’s who in the Parish.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be observed by Churches Together in Cranleigh from the 18th to the 25th January and notices about the services will be distributed shortly.
Finance Appeal – have you returned an updated Standing Order form to Trish yet? Have you thought about joining the Gift Aid Scheme if you pay tax and are not yet a member? If you do the Chancellor gives us an extra 25% at no extra cost to you. See Trish for further info.
Exploring CAFOD – You are invited to Explore CAFOD with us on Friday 26th January 10:30am-1pm in St Dunstan’s Church Hall, Woking. We will gather for tea, coffee and croissants and take part in activities and presentations about CAFOD. Where does CAFOD work? What do they do? How can we help? These and other questions answered. All are welcome. Do join us and let the local CAFOD office know you’re coming to ensure we’ve enough croissants and for directions. 01483 898 866 firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you spare 2 hours a week to help a local family? Home-Start in Waverley is looking for volunteers with parenting experience to help vulnerable families in Cranleigh and the surrounding areas. Home-Start works with young families who are experiencing difficulties. Our trained volunteers offer practical and emotional support to parents through weekly home-visits and organised events.
Our next Volunteer Preparation Course starts in March 2018 and provides all the knowledge you’ll need to support a local family with young children.
If you have a couple of hours spare each week and would like to find out more, please call 01252 737453 or email email@example.com
Parish Mission – Have you returned your questionnaire yet? Or even looked at it? Can I urge you to, please, as not only are your opinions important to us and the Bishop, but the fact that you are thinking about the mission and life of the Church, and your part in it, will be a great advantage to us.
ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal) – Saturday 27th January 11.00-4.00
You are warmly welcome to a mini-retreat day (or morning/afternoon) of spiritual refreshment and renewal, focussing on Renewal and Mission. At Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton GU34 2NG. 11.00am Rosary; 11.30am Mass; 12.15 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; 1.00pm Shared lunch; 2.00pm Praise & Worship; 2.30 Talk “The Good News of Jesus Christ” by Charles Whitehead; 3.30 Prayer for healing. We end about 4pm.
Or telephone Deacon John Foley on 07769 251747.
Next month’s meeting is on 24th February: “The Spirit has anointed me” – guest speaker Fr Anthony Meredith