Dear All Saints and St Marys
It has been a week of reflecting on love. The strength of love shown by a family. The strength of love seen in friendships. The strength of love of churches holding people together through practical and pastoral acts of service.
It is then with a little smile that I noticed only the other day that the shops were starting to fill with red balloons, heart shaped chocolates and flowers. Valentines day often passes me by!
Valentines day can be a strange one for many reasons. In the church it is slightly at odds with the secular celebration of it, as there is not much known about St Valentine. It could be that two peoples stories have in fact been combined. He is the patron saint of lovers, epileptics and beekeepers! One thought is that he was a priest in Rome at the time of Emperor Claudius. He was executed (as many were) for his faith. Some stories say that was because he would marry couples who were not allowed to be legally married (marriage could save a soldier from being forced to join the Roman Army) – hence the link to celebrating romantic love on his feast day. Other legends suggest that he wrote to his jailers daughter form prison and signed the letters “From your valentine”. He was also possibly a doctor as well as a priest.
Regardless of the loose links that there may now be between the celebrations that we see around us and the actual Saint that bears their name, it is interesting to consider the different aspects and dimensions that love can have. I have often reflected on how the word love has so many more ways of expressing itself when using Greek and not English. Love in Greek can be eros (romantic) philia (friendship) agape (sacrificial) storge (familiar love). I think that goes a deeper way to seeing the different ways in which love can operate and be expressed. We are made in love, nurtured in love and come to know the deep love of God in our lives as Christians and this week I look forward to worshiping with you all in that same spirit.
Service of Worship this
SUNDAY 13th FEBRUARY – 3rd SUNDAY BEFORE LENT (PROPER 2)
8.00am - Holy Communion – All Saints Church – Revd Lizzie
10.00am – Sung Holy Communion – St Marys Church – Canon Paul Denyer
10.30am – Muddy Church – All Saints Grounds – Revd Lizzie, Elisa and Dave Williams – Celebrating Love (St Valentine’s)
1.00pm – Baptism – All Saints – Harrison Sturgeon – Revd Richard Burbridge and Revd Lizzie
6.30pm – Generations – Cabot Circus Escape Rooms – Revd Lizzie
As we look to the week ahead then we have in the churches
THE WEEK AHEAD Wednesday 16th 9.00pm Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints Church Thursday 17th 10.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Church Sunday 20th 10.00am Creative Church at St Mary’s Church –
Bird feeders for your gardens! 10.30am Holy Communion at All Saints Church 6.30pm Holy Communion at St Mary’s Church
If you have the chance over the next few weeks to come and enjoy being together in our creative all age services at either Muddy church (All Saints 13th Feb) or Creative Church (St Marys – 20th Feb) then you would be more than welcome. They are for everyone and a wonderful way to worship in perhaps a different way. Many of our families worship at both of the churches and so even if you are unfamiliar with the church, you will be familiar with the people!
Each week we gather at All Saints on a Wednesday morning at 9am for Celtic Morning Prayer – we use the meditation for the day form the Northumbrian Community. On the 14th February (St Valentines Day) it is this by Cathy Hutcheon
Your love comes to me
In the silence
Like a child’s treasure
I turn it over
In the nook of my hand,
Warming its smooth
A thought of You,
Drops as though
down a deep
Then turns up
A certainty in the heart.
Blessings and looking forward to worshiping in love with you all. –
Revd Lizzie Kesteven
Vicar of All Saints Church and St Marys Church, Fishponds
Interim Co Area Dean of Bristol City Deanery
Advisor for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction for Bristol Diocese