In the name of Christ we offer a warm welcome and encouragement in your Christian journey.
Welcome to a friendly, active church with a membership of 204, from various backgrounds and countries, and of all ages.
Come and join us!
10.30 am (with activities for all ages);
6.30 pm (Upper Room)
─ Holy Communion as announced.
12.15 – 12.45 pm (Upper Room)
─ Holy Communion as announced.
1.00-1.30 pm Prayers for healing (Upper Room);
6.00 pm Service in Swahili on alternate weeks (Upper Room).
Check here for details of the Sunday Worship Services during July 2015.
Sunday 26 July 2015
Morning Bible readings: 2 Kings 4: 42-44; John 6: 1-15
Introit: Jesus, stand among us
Anthem: Be still, for the presence of the Lord
Join us for refreshments after the service, upstairs in the Hall – there is a lift
Revd Robert Roberts
Worship in the Upper Room
Sunday 2 August 2015
Join us for refreshments and the Traidcraft Stall after the service, upstairs in the Hall
Revd Helen Freeston
Service of Holy Communion in the Upper Room
Visitors are always welcome amongst us. On arrival, please make yourself known to one of the Stewards or the Minister.
God in the Arts
He gave us eyes to see them:
Amid the hectic, busy lives we lead, many people fall under the control of ‘the hurry syndrome.’ We have to do ‘A’ as soon as possible, and we have to get to ‘B’ as soon as possible. And along the way we have phone calls to make, emails to open, and Facebook and twitter and all the social media to check. It means that we often go through the world without giving the world a second glance. This year in these articles we are going to pause, and, as the poet says, ‘stand and stare.’ Each month we shall be looking at a painting that celebrates the wonder, the joy, the mystery, and the marvel of the created world in which we live.
These words of W H Davies provide the theme for this year. The paintings chosen celebrate creation in all its wonder and diversity, and we are encouraged to take time to look anew and to become aware of the author of that creation. But this month it is the other way round as we sense the animals looking at us in ‘Herdsman with Cows by a River’ painted in 1650 by the Dutch artist, Albert Cuyp.
It is a very ordinary scene of nature. Yet there is a radiance and a tranquillity that strikes us as we see the herd of cows standing in the still waters. Around them is a lot of movement: birds fly in the sky, boats are sailing off into the sunset and two fishermen are busy at their work to the left of the canvas. But the cows and their herdsman are quiet and contented, relishing this moment of the day closing, and contemplating the world going by. And two of those cows seem to be looking out into our own world. In many of Albert Cuyp’s paintings the sun bathes each scene in a golden light. Here the clouds are gathering in the sky as the sun sinks down in the west, but there is still a glowing calmness brought by the light of the sky above.
In this month of July we are probably planning holidays. Some holidays can be a frenetic rush, others are those occasions when we simply sit back and relax, letting what we see around us bring refreshment and renewal. It is the way we are encouraged to savour the joy and delight of Scripture in what is called lectio divina. Monastic teachers compared it to cows grazing in the field. They pointed to four stages: Lectio—we take a bite of Scripture; Meditatio—we chew on that word; Oratio—we savour its flavour and nourishment; and Contemplatio—we digest its goodness to feed body and soul.
The herd of cows in Albert Cuyp’s painting have spent the day doing just that—grazing and ruminating in the fields nearby. The herdsman has brought them to the river to relax in the water. Soon they will take the journey home to the farm and the safety of the cowshed. Tomorrow will bring them the opportunity to graze anew in the gift of another day. Walt Whitman wrote in one of his poems, ‘I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long.’ As we stand and look at the cows in this painting, perhaps we may realise that whether at work or on holiday, in Sunday worship or Bible reading at home, God can feed us through His world around and in His word in Scripture. As long as we take the time and the care to savour the delights He offers us.