My name is Louise and I am the Vicar of St Giles, Balderton, All Saints, Barnby in the Willows & All Saints, Coddington.
I continue to be deeply moved and encouraged as I meet with people and hear stories of what God has done and is doing in their lives and it is great to take part in so many occasions when the church and the community come together.
As we engage with our diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper and continue to reflect on our journey so far. I look forward to all that God has in store for our communities as we serve him and share in his mission here. In the coming months we will together discover more of the love of Jesus as we grow in our own discipleship and invite others to join us.
If you would like to find out more about what is going on in our churches, if you have questions about the Christian faith or would just like to chat then please get in touch. Revd Louise Holliday
From the Vicarage: July 2018
If you’re a football fan it’s an exciting time. The World Cup in Russia, started on June 14th.
Now, I must confess that I am not a football fan and I won’t be following events closely, however, I acknowledge that the World Cup is a wonderful event. It is the defining tournament in every player or manager’s career and consequently there is no tournament more full of emotion and intrigue than the World Cup. Even if we don’t follow football we can all think of great moments, amazing goals, and stunning victories. We can also remember moments of controversy, pain or heartache. Stuart Pearce’s penalty, Gazza’s tears, Iceland… The World Cup is full of many different stories, often talked about for years after. I still have vivid memories of being in hospital after the birth of my son, Oscar, during the 1998 tournament and listening to the animated conversations of the nurses as they discussed how wonderful Michael Owen was and what a disgrace for David Beckham to be sent off.
The Christians in Sport website has an article that is well worth a read.
Ed Mezzetti writes, “One of the standout experiences is that each World Cup begins with bags of hope and expectation, particularly if you follow one of the ‘bigger’ teams like England. This time, they’re going to do it, all those years of failure will be supplanted by one glorious, successful campaign! And even when current form suggests that hope is really thin, it can be hard not to soak up some of it as your team kick off their first match. However, by the time the group stages end, the hopes of 16 teams will have disappeared as they exit the World Cup and their fans ponder a myriad of ‘what if’ questions.
Our English word ‘hope’ so often conveys vague optimism for the future like my team winning the World Cup. But when we go back to the Greek of the New Testament, we see hope in a different light. The noun ‘elpis’ or verb ‘elpizo’ are usually translated into English as hope, but their meaning contains a sense of trusting and waiting with confidence.
Of course, this issue of hope goes far wider than sport. One theme frequently noted by social commentators today is that in the West this type of ‘sure hope’ is in short supply. Increasingly, as we look to the future we feel a sense of uncertainty, even foreboding. Into this context ‘sure hope’ is a valuable commodity.
And while we can never be totally confident of our team winning the World Cup, there is a ‘hope’ we can be sure of if we’re trusting in Jesus. A hope of heaven and an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade as 1 Peter 1 v 4 puts it.”
The article goes on to say, “The same words we use to talk about the World Cup can also all be applied to the amazing story of Jesus Christ:
Expectation: As Jesus came to earth, throughout his life, people asked the question of if this man was the long-awaited king who so many had waited for.
Passion: God loved us so much that he sent his own son to die in our place. What greater demonstration of his passionate love do we have?
Controversy: Jesus divided opinions when he was living and this has continued for centuries. People have always debated was this man just a good teacher, a mad man or the son of God
Commitment: When Jesus came to earth he was beaten, scorned, shamed and crucified. He went to the cross for the sake of those whom the father loved and he died in their place – what greater sign of commitment to his people is there?
Victory: Jesus died on the cross for our sins but death could not hold him. He defeated death and rose again from the grave, proving he is who he said he was and that he had authority to forgive sins and the power to beat death and offer us eternal life.
All of this can be summed up in a verse from the Bible that spectators over the years have held up throughout the World Cup tournament. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16” (www.christiansinsport.org.uk)
We can all enjoy the World Cup, while having a deeper perspective on life. I read today that 87 players are open members of Christians in Sport.
The World Cup unites so many around the world. Let’s hope for a peaceful, exciting tournament. And England?….. well maybe the link there is miracles!
With love and prayer,