The life of St Benedict of Nursia (6th Century AD) may not be familiar to you, but he made a lasting contribution to the way in which Christian religious houses [communities] developed. One of his great contributions to the Christian life was to insist on the life balance between work and prayer for all who lived under his rule. From The Vicar’s Column August 2019
In creating this balance Benedict was copying the example of Jesus who was very active in his mission, preaching and healing, but also relied on times of quietness and prayer as we see on a number of occasions in the gospels. His time of communication with his Father underpinned all that he did. This balance between prayer to God, our heavenly Father, and work undertaken in God’s name is a good balance for all Christian people as it roots our activity in the will of God.
When a priest is licensed to a parish, that priest is reminded that it is their duty to pray for the people in that parish as well as work amongst them, and in order to aid them in that task they are reminded that they should pray the daily office of Morning and Evening Prayer. One of the great perks of the job of being a parish priest is that you have access to a building which is set aside for prayer and worship, because although you can pray to God absolutely anywhere it is often easiest to still yourself and focus on the ‘quiet, insistent call of God’ in a place which is dedicated to prayer.
We are so lucky in Ampfield to have the inspiring Church of St Mark and it’s beautiful woodland surroundings, a place where you can feel the many years of prayer as you enter. A truly Holy building in the centre of our community which is open everyday for anyone to enjoy a quiet moment in their busy day. It is perhaps then, even more disappointing that some people felt it necessary to make just a few hundred pounds by ripping the lead from the apex of the roof from end to end. St Mark has a reputation of hospitality and would have helped anyone in need. That few hundred pounds will cost the church £14,000.
Luckily we are insured and we hope that our insurer will pick up most of the cost this time. There is no money from ‘central church of England’ the cost of running a church, keeping it open for the community to use, repairs and restorations are borne entirely by those who worship and those who have pledged themselves as ‘Friends of St Mark’. If you would like to know more about the friends there are some leaflets in church, or contact Sally via the Group office.
A big thank you for all the lovely messages of support we have received, we are keeping you all in prayer as always, please keep us in yours…