I would like to take this opportunity to publicaly thank Reverend Robert Williams for all he has achieved for both St. David’s Church and the local community. Rob retired on 30th April so St. David’s is now in an interregnum; literally translated that means ‘between reigns’. It will be an interesting and possibly challenging time for all of us while we await the arrival of a new vicar. It will be business as usual for St. David’s Church. Sally and I will continue to take services including baptisms, weddings and funerals with the assistance of retired clergy; all other activities will continue as usual.
May I take this opportunity to invite you to consider coming to our Monday Lunch Club or Babe and Toddler Group? Obviously depending on your age! We also have a Friday Community Café where you can meet new friends; I would particularly recommend our monthly community event usually held on the first Friday of every month with the assistance of our local councillors. It is an opportunity to meet them in an informal setting.
St. David’s Church building is also home to the Faith Church Ministries Tamil Pentecostal Church and St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. Three different denominations with varying styles of worship but all with a deep faith in God.
Over the Easter weekend a survey was published stating that fewer people are attending church services and so turning their back on God but eighty per cent of people who claimed to be atheists believed in life after death. This seems an absurd contradiction to me. How can anyone believe in an afterlife but deny the existence of God? The Bible states that we need faith to have eternal life.
A newspapers response to ‘why do atheists believe in life after death?’ suggested that many people find it hard to relate to a God of love with living in a world when so many innocent people are being killed by terrorists, whilst others live with the constant fear of violence, hunger, poverty or illness. I wish I knew the answers but it is often the most vulnerable who are able to see God in the time of their dire need.
Another response stated that we should not be surprised because we are living in a culture in which we are encouraged to believe in our own importance. Belief in an afterlife is consoling for those who cannot imagine a life that is not centred around them.
Yes, we are individuals who need to think for ourselves but in doing so we also need to take responsibility for our actions and realise we are part of a community, whether in our immediate family our workplace, or our neighbourhood we should be working together for common good.
We, here at St. David’s, are also part of this community. We are here to help you when we can and we also hope that you will support us in the coming months.
(This article by Rev’d Sheila was originally published as part of St David’s Messenger in May 2016)