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: October 2018
From Revd Louise… As a child one of my favourite times of year was autumn; I enjoyed the start of a new school year with new uniform, bag and pencil case and catching up with friends after the summer break. A big part of the first term was the Harvest Thanksgiving. I loved preparing my box of gifts to take to church, alongside my friends, for the school Harvest service. I’m especially reminded of that time now as I welcome children from our schools in to church for their own Harvest services. So much hard work goes in to preparing for them and our churches look wonderful, full of autumnal colours and aromas. In September we enjoyed wonderful Harvest services at All Saints, Barnby and St Giles, both followed by a shared lunch, these being great opportunities to come together and share in the fellowship of the occasion. The Harvest service at All Saints, Coddington is on Sunday 7th October at 4pm; please do come along.
Harvest season offers us an opportunity to reflect on just how much in our lives we have to be thankful for: our families and friends, our homes, the food on our plates, the clothes on our backs. It is out of our thankfulness that we offer our gifts to God to be used for the benefit of others.
Giving is a part of Thanksgiving and it is right to renew our commitment to it during Harvest season. Bringing our worship, time, energy, abilities and gifts – and our financial blessing – back to God is simply a response to what he has already given us, and continues to give us.
What is really interesting is that the Bible spends a lot of time focusing on giving, and Jesus himself was far from quiet on the subject; interestingly, 16 of the 38 parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, one out of every ten verses deals with money (288 verses in all), and the Bible itself offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 on faith, and over 2,000 on money.
If the Bible spends so much time talking about it, then we shouldn’t avoid it. It is said that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’, but of course it’s much more complicated than simply putting some money on the collection plate. It is more a question of investment – is your church worth investing in?
You see, not only does your giving keep us on the road, but more importantly your giving is a statement that you believe in what we are doing; that you want to see our plans – which we pray are God’s plans – blossom into reality.
All three of our churches have served their communities for many generations and the support you offer, financial, as well as your time and talents, will ensure that they will continue to spread God’s love and care among many more people well in to the future. But we can’t do it without you and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the many who have already given generously to the churches in our benefice – and those who continue to do so – whether it be at St Giles, All Saints Barnby or All Saints, Coddington.
Going forward, I would also like to encourage you to prayerfully consider how you can support your church, whether financially or in other ways, and I would welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with you if that would help. We must all remember that, though Harvest is but once a year, the need for thankful sharing continues year-round.
With love and prayer, Revd. Louise