St Lawrence Church Bidborough

St Lawrence Church, Bidborough



Know God, Show His Love, Grow His Church

Southborough Team

800th Anniversary

Vicar's View - June / July 2019

Bidborough Church

The great theologian and reformer Martin Luther was once asked what his plans for the day were. He answered - “Work, work, from early until late.” That was 500 years ago, but I suspect that many in our frantic 21st century life might feel the same. At 6.15 one morning a couple of weeks ago I wrote out my to-do list for the day. I’m pretty sure I should have headed it a can’t-bedone list. Somehow, with almost precision timing, our building project, a significant re-organisation of local parishes and the launch of a new group ministry were all coming to a head within a fortnight in which church annual meetings needed to be held. It was becoming a calendar ‘perfect storm’. As if to highlight the ‘work, work, from early to late’ point, at our Project 800 meeting the previous evening, (which ended at 10.30pm) we were looking at final plans and costings which had been emailed to the Project team by our architect at 3.00am that morning!

Perhaps, in the busy times of life, we need to note the second half of Martin Luther’s answer to the question about his plans for the day. ‘Work, work, from early to late’ he said, and then continued ‘In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Suddenly the shape and feel of Luther’s busy day, whatever that entailed, looks very different, doesn’t it, as he commits to those hours in prayer, perhaps responding to a verse in Proverbs - ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed’.

The only thing that is constant is change’. So said Heraclitus, although I don’t suppose even he could have comprehended the speed of change that Martin Luther would witness 2000 years later with the coming of the printing press, let alone us in the technologically crazy 21st century. When there is much change happening, there is indeed much work to be done, and therefore much to pray about and ‘commit to the Lord’.

As you read this edition of Viewpoint you will see that many of the changes and developments that have been talked about in recent months are coming to fruition, or at least moving to the next stage. You may have noticed that, as a result of one of those changes, I have amended the title of this page - technically, as of today when I am typing this, June 1st, I am a Rector and no longer a Vicar! Whilst the change is in name only, it does seem a better fit for a clergyman living in ‘The Rectory, Rectory Drive’!

The point to note and remember, perhaps, which is why I quoted Martin Luther at the beginning, is that here we are not just talking about making a change in the structure of a charity or doing some ‘home improvements’ - we are working from early to late for the glory of God, seeking the growth and prospering of His kingdom, in order that the community that we serve might be blessed by Him. And so, as you read here of the latest developments, I would encourage you to hold them in your prayers, as we commit our plans to the Lord and seek their success.

Stephen Hills


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