Following the successful ‘Faith in Question’ series, we shall now recommence our monthly meetings of the ‘Good Book Group’. ‘The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 3rd May at 8 p.m. in Compton School.
We will be looking at ideas of the atonement, or, put another way, how the cross brings salvation.
Bag2School is a free fundraising scheme that works in partnership with schools, community groups and charities to help raise money from textile donations. It operates throughout the UK, collecting and selling unwanted textiles to many countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Africa and Asia where items are recycled.
If you have any unwanted bedlinen, curtains, towels, clothing, hats, scarves, soft toys, belts, jewellery, handbags or shoes you would like to donate, Compton All Saints’ Primary School has a collection scheduled for Friday 5th May. Any money raised will be shared equally between the school and All Saints Church, Compton.
Items can be left in Compton church anytime before 5th May, in any type of bag and labelled ‘Bag2School.
On the Sunday before Palm Sunday Passiontide begins. The word passion comes from the Latin, passio, meaning suffering; and in our context, Christ’s suffering.
I would guess that the Passion has been the most pictured event in Western art of all time. Our galleries contain many representations of the agony in the garden, the trial, the crucifixion and the empty tomb. From the 2nd century to the present day what happened to Jesus of Nazareth has inspired artists from Paul Gauguin, to Rogier van der Weyden.
There are a number of explanations for why Christ’s passion is so important; they range from the ancient and simple to the modern and complex. Some work purely on a metaphysical level. For example, for some people, God’s justice required a price for the sins of mankind and the only perfect sacrifice possible had to be provided by God himself, his sinless son. Salvation follows because the wrath of God has been averted by the sacrifice of the Son.
Such an idea makes perfect sense in a culture used to the regular offering of various sacrifices in order to maintain or repair the worshipper’s relationship with his god. In this explanation the perfect sacrifice has been offered, once and for all, and now faith in what it has achieved is all that is required.
Other explanations work on a more worldly level. For example, the dreadful suffering and death of Jesus flowed from his stubborn refusal to give up his teaching and calling the authorities to account. His message was so contrary to the interests of those in power that he was bound to suffer crucifixion as a dangerous revolutionary. But if he had withdrawn from the public stage and lived quietly and safely, then all he had said about the true nature of God, and what he hopes of us, all that makes for the kingdom of God, would have faded into rapid obscurity.
We are saved through his life, his teaching, his acceptance of its consequences and finally, God’s affirmation of his life at his resurrection. The sacrifice of Jesus is real, and suffered voluntarily, not to appease God’s wrath, but rather as mankind’s inevitably vicious and violent response to what is good, fearless and challenging, what is truly a reflection of the love of God.
I shall try to illustrate some of the different approaches to the crucifixion, in art, film, music and in various theologies during our three hour service on Good Friday (see the page opposite for details). If the crucifixion, and why it is so important to Christian faith and practice, has always puzzled you, come along and find an approach that speaks to you.
In the end though, whatever way of looking at the Passion inspires us, it is what we do with it that counts. Whether it is to cause us to worship the God who loves us without end, or to move us to follow Jesus’ teaching that bit more seriously. Such a sacrifice should not leave us without a response.
You are invited to share with us in this greatest of all Christian festivals.
Benefice services are taking place as follows:
Wishing you a joyful and happy Easter.
A Parish lunch is being organised for 1pm on Sunday 30th April at the King Rufus pub in Chandlers Ford. Tickets and further information can be obtained from Vera Oldham and are priced at £10 for a one course meal or £15 for two courses. Everyone is most welcome so please come and join us.
There are a few tickets available to visit Winchester Cathedral. They are valid until August.
Please let William know if you are interested in obtaining tickets.
The recent coffee morning held at St. Matthew’s Church room raised a total of £150 in aid of Breast Cancer locally. Thank you to everyone who supported this event.
Our new Lent series will begin the week after Ash Wednesday and end the week before Holy Week. We will use sections from films to illustrate and provoke some thinking about questions of faith and life. Each session will be free standing – come and join us when you can.
There will be the option of either a morning or evening group.
The morning group will meet at the Otterbourne Church room at 10 am on Thursdays – beginning on 9th March. The evening group will be held in Compton Primary school at 8 pm on Wednesdays – beginning on 8th March.
We are having a special service for Ash Wednesday at 7.30 pm in Hursley. This service marks the first day of Lent, and will include a short communion with hymns and the imposition of ashes.
A unique interfaith musical experience as you, the audience move around the cathedral encountering music groups and soloists singing for peace. Community choirs, schools, faith groups and soloists join forces to create a montage of sound, working together, demonstrating that peace is possible. Thursday 26th January 2017 at 7.15pm in Winchester Cathedral. All welcome. Free admission.