Little Malvern Priory
(Church of England)

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“SKIN IN THE GAME”

This is a commonly used phrase in the world of finance and investment. Collins dictionary defines it as “an executive in a publicly-traded company who uses their own money to buy stock in that company”. To have "skin in the game" is to have incurred personal risk (monetary or otherwise) by being involved in achieving a goal. It’s probably best understood by the fable of the hen and the pig. A pig and a hen were walking down the road. As they passed a church, they notice that a “bring and share” charity breakfast was under way. Caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the hen that they each make a contribution. “Great Idea!” the hen cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!” “Not so fast.” said the pig. “For you, that’s just a contribution, but for me, it’s a total commitment.” It would mean that the pig would have to put his skin in the game. Shakespeare took this to extreme in his play “The Merchant of Venice”. Shylock agreed to lend Antonio 3,000 ducats on condition that if Antonio failed to repay the loan Shylock would be free to take a pound of flesh from wherever he wished on Antonio’s body. Antonio is so anxious to help his lovesick friend Bassanio that he agreed. He took the personal risk of putting his own skin into the game. When we set out into a New Year there are many who use it as an opportunity to crystallise their vision for their life by making New Year Resolutions. A popular aim is to lose weight. Resolutions require us to make sacrifices to achieve the desired aim. Losing weight requires us to make sacrifices; to give up certain foods. The reason why so many New Year Resolutions are broken is because the cost in terms of effort or time is too high. A sacrifice is by its very nature a gift that costs us something. This can apply as much to giving of effort or time as to giving of our money. A sacrifice is not something that we give because we are not using it, or we have plenty so it doesn’t hurt us, doesn’t cost us anything. What is the value in that sort of giving? We need to have “skin in the game”.

 .When Jesus was teaching his disciples he told them: “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Matthew Ch. 5 vs. 41). This must have been very difficult for his listeners to accept. They would have automatically associated this with their humiliating treatment by Roman soldiers. For example a Roman soldier could order a Jew to carry something for them. This could be quite heavy and they could insist on the load being carried over any distance they chose. When Jesus struggled to carry his cross Simon of Cyrene was “forced”, requisitioned, to carry it for him. Simon must have hated this. He was being ordered by a pagan solider to carry the cross of a criminal. Imagine a Jew in Germany in the 1940s being ordered by a Nazi officer to carry his rifle for him knowing that it was going to be used to execute Jewish prisoners. Or a French aristocrat told by Robespierre to help build a guillotine. What Jesus is telling them is; “if you are ordered to go a mile to help a soldier from the occupying army, then go double that distance.” It may be that for one mile you can accept the humiliation. You can live with it. You can “swallow” it. But the second mile really does cost because you feel you have already given more than you could reasonably be asked to give. Hannah desperately wanted a son. “She wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, O lord Almighty if you will only look upon your servant’s misery…and give her a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” (1 Samuel Ch. 1 vs11). She wanted a son more than anything else in the world, but if she were blest with one then she would give him up for service in the church. What a price to pay! As soon as Samuel had been weaned Hannah took him and handed him over to Eli the priest. He would have been between 2 and 4 years old when he was adopted by the church. But Hannah’s son became the leader of the nation. His wisdom is legendary. Sadly Hannah never knew the outcome of her sacrifice, but she knew the joy of giving. The path taken by Christians is one that is beaten hard by the feet of martyrs, people who risked everything for the sake of their faith. People like Sir Thomas Moore and Archbishop Cranmer. People like Nguyen Van Thuen of Vietnam who spent 13 years (8 in solitary confinement) imprisoned by the communists for his faith. People like the 1000 Nigerian Christians who were murdered in 2019 for their faith and the 6000 that have been killed there since 2015. During Lent the sacrifice we are called to make is one of time and effort to deepen our faith in God and our love for Him. This year at Little Malvern Priory we will be exploring how we express our faith in our daily lives, our life outside the Church; when we go shopping, when we go to the theatre, when we are with our family. We will be doing this in order to more fully understand and value the expression by God of His love for us through Jesus Christ. We will bring this into sharp focus in our Holy Week devotions. God challenges each one of us continually to “incur personal risk (monetary or otherwise) by being involved in achieving a goal”. The question that we have to answer is “am I prepared to put skin in the game”? “Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians Ch. 9 vs. 7.

Eric 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PCC MEETING

3RD JULY 2019

We welcomed Anne Wakefield and Christine Thomas to their first meeting.

The restored organ is safely back in the gallery. The Bishop of Worcester is coming to bless it during the morning service on the 13th October, when Eric will create a suitable liturgy for the occasion.

Frank spoke about the Benedictine Way. The 2020 Malvern Walking Festival are celebrating the many local Benedictine foundations with a route that will take in Mucknell Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Tewkesbury Abbey, Deerhurst, Little Malvern Priory, St Wulstan's, Great Malvern Priory and Worcester Cathedral. The walkers will be visiting the Little Priory on the 28th May and we shall provide sustenance.

The Parish Profile will be finished soon (incorporating the final comments which were received) and circulated to the PCC.

We are looking into the nationally much-discussed possibility of a contactless card reader donation system to encourage visitors to donate when they visit.

We are very grateful to Roger and Sue Johnson for their organisation of the uplifting and lucrative concert giv-en by the Jazz wind band from Catalonia. Next there will be something completely different; an a cappel-la group of nine singers from St Petersburg is giving a concert on Friday the 11th October. The programme will be half sacred music and half Russian folksongs.

Our next PCC meeting is on 3rd October. We invite you to talk to the members of the PCC if you have ques-tions or comments.

The PCC members are Bob Steele, Ken Anstiss, Alex Berington, Anne Whitty, Anne Wakefield, Christine Thomas and your three wardens - Frank, Malcolm and Alison.

.

 

BENEDICTINE WAYS

Next year -2020- the Malvern Walking Festival is going to put the 120 kilometre walk round the Benedictine Foundations in South Worcestershire at the centre of its Festival programme.

Starting at Mucknell Abbey, the group will go to Pershore Abbey then to Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire via the Benedictine tithe barn in Bredon. Crossing the Severn by ferry, the walkers reach out to Little Malvern Priory by way of Deerhurst. They then proceed in short order to St. Wulstan’s Church, then Great Malvern Priory and complete their six day exuberance in Worcester Cathedral at 4.00pm on the last Friday in May 2020.

There is an immense amount of staff work to do in creating a viable and legal route through the wonderful countryside delineated by this Ring. All will be carried out by Festival staff . There will be thousands of splendid colour brochures printed which will send the idea of the Benedictine Way around the country. The map of the route will be given to Little Malvern Priory since it is expected that a permanent pilgrimage route will follow on from this initial adventure and pilgrims will pay a small fee for each to help the Festival in its future work.

The idea of a pilgrim route, “St Wulstan’s Progress”, comes from the monks of Mucknell Abbey. In 1985, 1910 people made the pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella in Spain; in 2018 this rose to 492,000. There is

an untapped market in England for disciplined tourism of this scale and it may be expected that the

Worcestershire pilgrimage will attract 20,000 visitors over a ten year term. We understand that the Abbot and the Bishop are keen on this Benedictine emphasis. The Benedictines have been a recognised Christian order since the death of St Benedict in 547. They are not the largest order but their interpretation of the practical consequences of biblical theology is simple and robust. There are four pillars on which their

wisdom is based:

Hospitality;

Study;

Manual work;

Corporate worship.

The Rule of St Benedict includes many customs and traditions, such as:

forms of prayer;

community living;

mutual service.

These combine to enable a peaceful life allowing the monastics to focus on God. It has been suggested by the organisers of the Walking Festival that participants be provided with these sorts of insights for each day of their future walk so that the weight of physical endeavour is balanced by a lightness of spirit. The war-dens of Little Malvern Priory and the monks of Mucknell Abbey will be preparing these disciplines during Au-gust 2019. We understand that the Benedictine Way section of the Walking Festival has already sold out even before the official publication of the programme.

 

FEATHER WATCH

 

“The wonder of the world,

the beauty and the power, the shapes

of things, their colours., lights, & shades,

these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.”

“BB”, author & wildlife artist

After the sunlit skies of dry spring, much of June has given us a real soaking with weeks of low pressure causing flooding in some parts. With few insects about, birds have struggled to find enough food for their young. Providing extra food on bird tables has ben a life-saver – well done all of you for making a difference,

The energy of spring is now dying and at last we can hopefully look forward to some more sum-mery weather. July brings a fading away of the birdsong which we have become so used to. The blackbird with its flute-like song and the song thrush with its exquisite repeated notes, will now generally fall silent until next February, only occasionally singing before Christmas. Wrens are probably the only exception with their song bursting out from the undergrowth throughout the year.

On the Hills the pink rosebay willowherb is making a show. It has long willow-like leaves and is popular with walkers. The plant used to be quite rare and had a special mention in books on the flora of the area.

Many of our favourite migrants have been over in smaller numbers, particularly swifts, willow warblers and whitethroats. Bad weather on their journey up has probably made a significant difference to their numbers. Kids, whatever the weather, it's time to start making friends with birds and learning about them as we move into summer.

Philip Kedward

Philip Kedward

 

Rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing

download our app to help get birdsong into the charts for the first time and show your passion for nature’s recovery

 

PRAYER FOR THE LYTTELTON WELL

AUGUST

Please pray for all those who are visiting Malvern during this holiday period and vis-iting the Tourist Information Centre and coming into the Well.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

FUND RAISING EVENT

QUIZ EVENING

SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER

REFRESHMENTS (DONATIONS) AVAILABLE

FROM 7.00, START 7.30PM

£2.50 ENTRY

COME AS A TEAM OF 4 OR JUST TURN UP

AND WE’LL MAKE A TEAM ON THE EVENING

 

ON GOING TO CHURCH

Some go to church just for a walk

Some go there to laugh and talk

Some go there for speculation

Some go there for observation

Some go there to meet a lover

Some the impulse oft discover

Some go there to meet a friend

Some go there the time to spend

Some go there to learn the Vicar’s name

Some go there to mock his fame

Many go there to doze and nod

But few go there to worship God.

Submitted by a member of the congregation

 

LUNAR LANDING MEMORIES

‘It made me a citizen of the cosmos’

I WAS 19 in July 1969, when the first men walked on the Moon. As I look back, I remember it as if we stood at the threshold of a new era in history. I echoed Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.”

But my clearest memory is not the day of the Moon walk itself. We didn’t have a TV; so I followed it on the radio and in the papers (which made it an oddly aural and literary experience, while it was the video footage that everyone else was talking about). What I recall as if it were yesterday is walking along a north-London street one evening. The full moon hung in the darkening sky. My companion nudged me and pointed to it. “Isn’t it amazing that we have walked there?” he said. I distinctly remember the pronoun. We, not other people. This was about us.

I gazed up with a kind of religious awe, experiencing a youthful version of what Freud calls “that vast oceanic feeling”. I echoed the psalmist’s ecstasy at the sight of the starry skies above: “O Lord our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8.1).

It seemed bewilderingly irrelevant’

I KNOW exactly where I was. I was a grass widower in rural Bengal. It was the hottest of the hot weather and the rains were late, but in the hills, where, for six weeks, my wife and small daugh-ter has been sharing the hospitality of the Mennonites, an unusually heavy monsoon had brought down vital roads, houses, and telegraph lines.

I was working as the Leprosy Mission’s education secretary for India, busy writing, printing, and distributing the annual report and materials for Leprosy Sunday, which went to all the Indian churches with which the Mission had contact. I was travelling, preaching in Hindi and in English, as well as organising the distribution of clothing and blankets sent from the UK and New Zealand.

I was also doubling as temporary acting superintendent of the hospital while the splendid superin-tendent, who had been brought out of retirement for the job, took a break. At the time, the posi-tion of missionaries was precarious, the future completely unknown. After preaching in Delhi Ca-thedral, I was hoping to join the family for a couple of weeks, having already missed my daugh-ter’s second birthday.

So, when I was told by a rather excited American missionary that they “they” had landed a man on the Moon, I was somewhat underwhelmed. It seemed bewilderingly irrelevant. “Whatever for?” was the first thought that came unbidden into my mind. Then I wondered at the immense cost which must have been incurred, just a fraction of which would have dealt such a blow against leprosy, which, despite massive advances in treatment, was still on the increase.

 

LITTLE MALVERN PRIORY & LITTLE MALVERN COURT GARDENS OPEN DAY

MAY 6TH 2019

Concerns had been expressed regarding the weather for our Open Day but we were blessed with a dry if cloudy afternoon.

Our visitor number were slightly down on the pervious year but still very good with over 300 being rec-orded.

The gardens of the Court looked beautiful and were very much appreciated by the visitors and ‘staff'. The tasty cakes on the Teas tables, the pretty array of flowering greenery on the Plant stall, the wide selection on the Book stall and the Card stall all contributed to the success of the event. Many compli-ments were also made about the flower displays within the church, and the atmospheric sound of the organ music all added to the feeling of tranquillity.

The organisers of the event wish to express there sincere thanks to all those who helped in any way to make this annual occasion so successful.

£1,776.37 was raised for the Friends of Little Malvern Priory.

Sarah-Ann, Prue and Roger

 

THE BISHOP’S CERTIFICATE

This past year I and four others in Malvern have been studying the Bishop’s Certificate course. The sessions took place in Saint Peter’s church ,North Malvern on Thursday evenings. We were taken on a journey through the Old Testament and on into the New. Very lively discussions took place during these meetings .Our knowledge of the background to many of the Bib-lical stories was explored in great detail and our understanding of events greatly enhanced. We also explored different types of Christian worship and compared them with non Christian faiths.

Each week we took it in turns to prepare a short act of worship which we could use to express whatever we thought appropri-ate for the topic of the evening. We also had to read often long and complicated passages of scripture to the rest of the group . This was very challenging for me as I shy away from reading and leading others in worship. It was also good for me as I gained much in confidence from the experience. It was very interesting to see how the others tackled the same problems and came up with very varied acts of worship. As a group we melded together and formed a great fellowship which is still continuing .

Our three tutors were excellent. All being specialists in different aspects of the Bible. Each brought a different aspect o help-ing to discern several meanings of the same passages from each one of them.

The course covered too much to go into it all but if you feel inspired look out for the date of the next course.

Age is no bar I was, and still am, at least 20 years older than my fellow students !!!! Valerie

 

Presents

THE STAGES OF LIFE

Poetry, prayers and music to celebrate the journey of life

from childhood to old age

SUNDAY 18th AUGUST 6.30pm

GREAT MALVERN PRIORY

ALL WELCOME

 

South-east facing, clothing a gentle slope

A home to those who seek,

A haven from the earthly world of sweat and toil.

Apple resting low whilst pear aims high,

The best fruit always out of reach.


Red Admiral, wasp and shimmering fly,

Late summer drunk from fruit’s sweetest wine

Are all around.

In winter snow , black boughed and stark,

As wandering Field-Fare call to find,

 

Kind Autumn’s gift.

Old taffy ,Yet perplexed and sadly still,

Imprisoned and aware that once,

He could have cleared this wall,

And suffered surfeit’s pain

Since then at fruiting time

This orchard home is his no more,

And sparse adjacent stubble

Hones his aging hooves..

Roger Johnson

 

ORCHARD

 


The orchard at Low-Mills farm was a magical place. We climbed the trees, made dens and overdosed on Victoria plumb and greengages. Taffy was an ancient pony, barred from grazing the orchard at fruiting time, overdosing on ripe fruit would have made him very ill!

 

CALLING ALL ROTA MEMBERS

Our church is heavily dependent upon everyone sharing the load. So we have a rota for this and a rota for that. If there isn't a rota then we have lists for people to volunteer to help. This is an appeal to all of you who are on a rota (that is probably all of you). For everyone, there is always a time when a duty clashes with some other activity. Please would you kindly NOT ask a churchwarden to sort it out? Would you kindly take responsibility yourself and sort out a swap with someone else? Yes, emergencies can arise when you need to attend to something else at very short notice and the churchwardens are always sympathetic to such an occasion and will help. But it is far better if you deal with it yourself particularly as you are probably the one who has caused the difficulty. Once you have carried out a swap then please let a church-warden know what is happening. If you need to find someone to carry out a reading then please let me know as well. I may need to change the reading that is set and therefore have to con-tact whoever is reading.

I take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of you. Without you sharing the ministry of the church it wouldn't happen! Eric

 

EVENTS

6th October, 11.00 am. Harvest Thanksgiving

Preacher the Very Revd N Groarke (Archdeacon of Dudley),

11th October 7.00 pm Concert by the Resurrection Choir of St. Petersburg,

The choir was founded in 1993 in St. Petersburg and since then has been performing in the UK, France, Austria, Germany and Italy. There are 9 female and male vocalists in the choir – some of the best current students and graduates from Music Conservatory of St. Petersburg.

13th October 11.00 am Dedication of the Organ by the Bishop of Worcester the Rt Revd Dr John Inge. This will be a special service in place of Matins.

26th October Autumn (Spring) Clean

10th November 10.45 Remembrance Sunday

Please note the time for the service. This will allow us to hold the 2 mins silence at 11.00 am.

1st December Advent Service (Please note this will not be a Service of Holy Communion)

15th December 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm.

Christmas Carol Singing at Welland Village Hall. Please look out some appropriate items for this.

Readings, music and even sketches are all acceptable.

Bring family and friends and also a “Bring and Share” offering.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES

22nd December 11.00 Family Communion

24th December 11.30 pm Midnight Communion (CW)

This service will be candlelit so please bring a small torch.

25th December 8.00 am Holy Communion (CW)

11.00 am Christmas Service (Family Service ~ everyone welcome)

12.00 noon Holy Communion (BCP)

29th December 11.00 am Holy Communion (BCP)

6.00 pm Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. This will be candlelit so please bring a small torch.

EVENTS NOT YET RATIFIED BY THE PCC

21st September Concert by Linda Tolchard

2nd November. Organ service following the programme used for its first dedication;

 

LECTIONARY

PLEASE READ THESE BEFORE COMING TO THE SERVICE IF POSSIBLE

AUGUST 4TH

COL.3. 1-11

LUKE 12. 13-21

SEPTEMBER 1ST

HEB.13.1-8,15-16

LUKE 14.1,7-14

AUGUST 11TH

GEN.15. 1-6

HEB.11. 1-3,8-16

SEPTEMBER 8TH

DEUT.30.15-END

PHILEMON 1-21

AUGUST 18TH

HEB.11.29.-12.2

LUKE 12. 49-56

SEPTEMBER 15TH

1.TIM.1.12-17

LUKE 15.1-10

AUGUST 25TH

ISA. 58. 9b–END

HEB. 12. 8-END

SEPTEMBER 22ND

AMOS 8.4-7

1.TIM.2.1-7

SEPTEMBER 29TH

REV.12.7-12

MATTHEW18.1-10

OCTOBER 6TH

HARVEST THANKSGIVING TBD

 

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