St Lawrence Church Bidborough

St Lawrence Church, Bidborough

Know God, Show His Love, Grow His Church

Southborough Team

800th Anniversary

Vicar's View - April / May 2019

Bidborough Church

One evening last week we watched a film called ‘The Way’, in which Martin Sheen is the lead character. The film tells of a father who travels from America to Spain to collect the body of his son, who has died in a storm whilst walking a pilgrim way. The man ends up himself walking the 500 mile route - the Camino de Santiago (way of St James), that crosses northern Spain from east to west.

I have a friend who walked the Camino a few years ago. It takes about a month and he said that the experience changed his life, and from watching the film I can see how that might happen. Wide open spaces, no hustle and bustle, sometimes walking alone, sometimes walking with others, plenty of time to think. In the film a little band of pilgrims slowly forms - they bump into each other along the way, and in time become a unit that walks together. They share stories, get to know each other, fall out with each other, forgive one another, and over the days and weeks, grow affection for one another. Sometimes they carry each other’s loads - the heavy rucksacks that one needs to carry for a month’s walk.

There is a passage in Paul’s letter to the Galatians in which, within a few verses, Paul refers to ‘carrying one’s own load’ and ‘carrying each other’s burdens’. The early Christians were sometimes knows as ‘the people of the Way’ - picking up on Jesus’ well-known words - ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. The journey of faith is rather like walking the Camino. It is both a deeply personal journey, but also one that one always makes with others - people that you only meet and get to know because you are walking the same path.

Watching the film made me think of conversations I had had both within our church family at St Lawrence and also out in the wider community. Through living in this place, and being part of this church, you and I are people who have bumped into each other along the way, aren’t we. We have shared our stories. We have got to know each other. Occasionally, some of us have said or done things, or not said or done them, that have hurt each other, and then sought and offered forgiveness. We have grown affection for one another, reflecting a great biblical call from the apostle Peter to - love one another deeply, from the heart.

It is always a humbling joy to see people carrying each others burdens as they travel the way together. May we continue to grow in love and friendship in our church and community, and be thankful for those with whom we share our lives in this place.

Stephen Hills

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Crisis Recovery

The Day Centre would be happy to receive donations of second-hand clean clothes and shoes for their guests (particularly men’s clothing). If you can help please get in touch with Alan Richards on 528916.


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