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Living God's Love...

.is an invitation to journey

It's an opportunity to discover new things about God, ourselves and the world, to look with fresh eyes and explore new ways.

In particular, it is a call to the parishes, schools and people of the Diocese of St Albans to Go Deeper into God,Transform Communities and Make New Disciples.

Click here for current Mission Action Plan (MAP)

Voting for the Common Good

I expect you, like me, were taken by surprise by the Prime Minister's decision to call for a General Election which will take place very soon on June 8th.

Our society is facing some fundamental challenges - rising levels of poverty and inequality, declining social mobility, squeezes on both personal and government budgets, the prospect of climate crisis, and , of course, Brexit. Whoever forms the next government has a tough job and key decisions ahead. These will ultimately shape the type of society that we become.

When Jesus began his ministry, he announced that he had come to bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). Jesus spent most of his time among the poorest of the land, teaching, healing and restoring them to full inclusion in their community. Jesus directly confronted the economic inequality of his day.

This means that there is a unique role for the churches as we lead up to the General Election. The Christian traditions of love, human dignity, reconciliation, family, community and sense of place are needed now. This is a time for mutual respect: to discover who we are, to build real relationships with people who may hold different views and live different lives, to be ready for what may yet unfold.

The PM's decision to hold June's snap General Election gives voters a chance to act on behalf of the poor, church figures have said. The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith said, "I encourage all Christians to quiz their candidates about their views on the poor, the marginalised, and those in need of refuge."

In a letter to all parishes and chaplaincies, regarding the General Election, the. Archbishops of Canterbury and York have raised concerns over poverty, housing, the NHS and education. The three-page letter calls for "cohesion, courage and stability" to help close the divisions caused by the political turbulence of recent years. The letter, signed by Justin Welby and John Sentamu, speaks of the concern for "the weak, poor and marginalised" and the need for a "radical approach for education", and a 'just economy".

The archbishops highlight the importance of "the need for urgent and serious solutions to our housing challenges, the importance of creating communities as well as buildings, education for all, and a confident and flourishing health service that gives support to all - especially the vulnerable – not least at the beginning and end of life­

It calls on politicians to give refugees and migrants a "generous and hospitable" welcome but says that they should not be "deaf to the legitimate concerns" about the impact of immigration on communities.

The letter continues, "These deep virtues and practices - love, trust and hope, cohesion, courage and stability - are not the preserve of any one political party or worldview, but go to the heart of who we are as a country in all of its diversity. An election campaign, a Parliament and a Government that hold to these virtues give us afirm foundation on which to live well together, for the common good".

Here at Great St Mary's we have been praying for all those standing for office and for God's guidance as the election approaches. We pray that we may seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community. We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who will work for the common good of all.

Debbie Hore  

Associate Minister of Sawbridgeworth

 

 

Details of the dates are in the calendar of events ("This Week") here on the website and in Church & Town. If you would like to know more about what is available for children or adults at Great Mary's, then do please contact us. Our contact details are HERE.  

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