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The Prodigal

Dear Church Family,

“Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.”’
Luke 15:31-32

The story of the Prodigal Son is one that always fills me with joy and delight. In it, we read of the son returning home after years of squandering his birthright and abandoning his family. His long-suffering father is so delighted that his son has returned home that he throws the finest feast and celebrates his son’s redemption. This story came to mind this week, not because it is the appointed reading for Sunday but because of a stray cat that appeared in the Rectory garden.

On Wednesday afternoon I noticed a black cat limping across the lawn. He was a little nervous and wanted to get away from me when I approached him, but he was unable to run and he couldn’t climb the fence either. Alice and I eventually coaxed him into a blanket and popped him in the car with our son Isaac as a carrying companion. A quick visit to the vet found that our poorly visitor was in fact, a seventeen-year-old cat known as Sooty. Thank goodness for microchipping. His owner was contacted, and we felt that our good deed for the day was done.

However, the story had not concluded! It turns out that Sooty had been missing from his home for FIVE years and his owner had presumed that she would never see him again. She was thrilled to have her cat back at home and couldn’t believe that he had been found.

It does beg the question, what was Sooty doing for the last five years? Who had adopted him, where had he been living, and is there now a family missing the cat they’ve loved since 2015?!

However, Sooty is now where he should be: with the family who has missed him for so long, back with his loving owner who couldn’t believe the phone call she received last Wednesday evening.

The parallels with the Prodigal Son are, hopefully, clear! I won’t attempt to hit you over the head with a drawn-out explanation. But I would like us all to dwell on just how much our heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return home to Him. His love cannot be matched.

During this lockdown, we are meeting online via Facebook to pray for the nation on Thursday evenings at 6 pm. There are other ways you can join us too:

  • Make a plan or set an alarm to take part in a pause for prayer at 6 pm every day. We don’t need to be gathered together physically to do this and it doesn’t have to be for long.

  • Please also consider joining in with the call to fast on Thursdays. You can fast from anything that may help you to pray or make space – meals, TV, social media, caffeine, etc.

This weekend:

We gather for our Morning Worship at 9.30 am this Sunday, live on Facebook ONLY. Please do not come to the building as only those involved in the service are permitted to attend.

This week sees us celebrate the great Feast of Christ the King. It is the last Sunday in the church’s year where we reflect on all Christ has achieved through his death, resurrection, and ascension and the glories of His Kingdom, now and to come. Our parish ordinand, Lisa Whymark will be preaching as Fr Tony leads us in worship.

The pew sheet can be downloaded from here:

If you need any technical support to access our online services, please do be in touch with me.


Looking ahead:

The upcoming Advent season is one we are looking forward to, but we have had to amend some of the plans we have put in place in order to keep the community as safe as we can when coming into our buildings.

This means that the Christmas Celebration in the café on Saturday 12th December has had to be cancelled. However, we will be offering Christmas Afternoon Teas instead - which can be ordered for collection or delivery. The raffle will still take place, so please buy your tickets! Further details to follow.

With every blessing,

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