The United Reformed Church Chesham

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March/April/May 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friends

I am writing this the day after the coronation of King Charles. As the sun had come out, I sat in my summerhouse and read the URC Service for today on my email. I discovered that one of the lectionary readings for this day was 1 Peter 2 v 1-10 which includes verse 9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people"

It brought back memories from the late 80’s when Revd Jesse Jackson visited England and preached at an evening service at Harlesden Methodist Church. It was a packed church with an almost entirely Afro-Caribbean congregation. Dr Pauline Webb writing about the event in the Methodist Recorder said she and the Minister were the only white people present! I recall Revd Jackson was an hour late and the Minister Revd David Haslam had to improvise while we waited. It was worth the wait. The sermon was based on verse 9 above and in particular “you are a royal priesthood”. The emphasis was on the necessity of people liberating themselves by knowing this for themselves whatever their background, many who heard him that day were descendants of enslaved Africans, including the two friends who came with me.

In the Kingdom of God we are all royal and members of the priesthood. As Charles and Camilla are crowned, we are aware of the privileges and wealth that royalty gives. I can still hear the southern drawl of Jesse Jackson’s American voice repeat several times “you are a royal priesthood” it reminds me of the importance of knowing ourselves madly loved by the one who brought all things into being, both to know our place in the Kingdom of God and to enable us to love our fellow citizens.

It impresses me how many people are involved in enabling our church to function, both in worship and our other activities, it is notable that we work so well as a team. I am very grateful for those that do so much. It is encouraging that our worshipping congregation is growing and that we are making new members. It is good that this is reflected in a significant increase in freewill offerings and gifts to the church.

We have inherited a wonderful building in an excellent position. We have an impressive history to celebrate as a Congregational church and now marking 50 years as a United Reformed Church, but we are looking forward, with a Carbon Neutral Group established and working hard. It is planned to review our Church Vision after the harvest lunch on Sunday 24th September this is for all Church Members and regular worshippers at the church, please book the date so you can join in.