Letter from the Manse

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It’s just a lot of mumbo-jumbo?

A few days ago we had some new carpet laid in our hallway. The two carpet-fitters had been told that I’m a “vicar” and it wasn’t long before the subject came up. One of them – we’ll call him Tom – was eager to let me know that he’s a Christian too. He comes from a “very religious family”. His language was colourful; his ignorance of the Bible profound. But he assured me that he was on my side, all the way (though I think he was …

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Sunday School

We’ve had a Sunday-school ever since we began. Right at the beginning, it was organised just for the children of the church. But for many years, we’ve made it our goal to draw in children from unchurched families. And until recently, we have always had such youngsters coming in. The numbers have gone up and down. Sometimes we’ve had a regular fifteen or so. Sometimes it’s been down to two or three. But in the last few months, we’ve not had any unchurched children coming in regularly.

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Unanswered Prayer

2005 is at an end. For all of us this is a time for looking back. What have we learned over the past year? What work have we done for Christ? What mistakes have we made? What sins have shadowed our walk with God? What blessings am I most grateful for?

As part of my review of the year, I try to list out things I’ve prayed for over the past twelve months. In many cases I find I can say happily, ‘Yes, that prayer’s been answered. I was given what I prayed for’. …

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Church Anniversary

It was in autumn 1981 that a handful of folk began to meet in Edgeley, Cheadle Heath and Cheadle Hulme for worship, Bible-study and prayer.

We had left a church that was evangelical in name but divided in doctrine and torn apart by conflicts of personality.  We had no idea what the future held for us.  We met together simply because there was no other church in the area which we could imagine joining. There was no strategy, no plan for the future, no conviction that we were called to establish a new …

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Hymn Books

I’ve been thinking about hymnbooks.  And I’m not the only one. 

Christians everywhere are discussing hymnbooks.  In fact, they’re not just discussing hymnbooks.  They’re having blazing rows about hymnbooks.  Christians are leaving churches because of disagreements about hymnbooks.  Churches are splitting in half because they can’t agree about hymnbooks.  Pastors are being sacked because of their views on hymnbooks. 

Most of the arguments are about how modern a hymnbook should be.  Some Christians argue that since we live in a rapidly changing society, we need to be constantly …

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