Welcome to the website of the Mid-Trent Churches.
Please click on a heading listed on the left of this page to select a topic
 of interest to you.         Do enjoy your visit and come back again soon.

Bumps, boundaries
God's beautiful creation and wonderful promises.

People who live and work in the countryside have a particular connection with the land. Throughout my life …… in the village where I grew up, in my previous ministry in rural Warwickshire …… and perhaps especially this year, among the beautiful villages and countryside of Mid Trent …… I have always been struck by the beauty of God's creation, as summer begins each year.
Of course, I'm not a farmer, so I have the privilege of enjoying the beauty of the land, without all the hard work of taking care of it!

At some point during May each year, the church marks Rogation. This was traditionally a time when Christians prayed for God's blessing on the crops, land and farming work in their parishes. It was called "Rogation" from the Latin word for "asking", because the Bible reading for the day included the words, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give to you."

In the days before maps, Rogation prayers for the parish were often combined with "Beating the Bounds": walking the parish boundaries to remind everyone where they were, and to ask for God's blessing on their land and their work.
Sometimes a boundary stone or tree would be beaten, but traditionally the children of the parish were beaten, or bumped on the boundary stones or markers, to imprint the boundaries firmly on their memories!!!

Whatever else has changed in the world since those days, the Bible says that God's promises never change. Whatever our circumstances, there are times when all of us feel that we cannot continue in our own strength.
One day, when teaching the crowds gathered to hear him, Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me …... For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

The rural folk listening to Jesus would have known that a farmer often yoked together a strong, older and more experienced ox with a youngster. The older ox would bear the greatest load and the younger one would learn from him as they worked together.

Today, as we enjoy the glory of God's creation, let's remember that his promises never fail. We too can rely on Jesus to guide us and lighten our loads. We simply need to ask.

Yours in Christ

Our Team Curate's  Message for January.
Welcome to the website of the Mid-Trent Churches.
Please click on a heading listed on the left of this page to select a topic
 of interest to you.         Do enjoy your visit and come back again soon.

When I was younger, people used to begin to get excited about Christmas when the first Christmas song, by, say, Slade or Shakin' Stevens appeared on the radio.

Now it seems that the Christmas season is ushered in by the Christmas adverts on TV. No longer just the Coca Cola lorry coming into down, but a cute Brussel sprout or a friendly bear persuading us that the only way to make our Christmas great is to buy the perfect present or cook the perfect dinner.

Don't get me wrong. I love everything about Christmas. I start wearing my Christmas jumper on December 1st and make my Christmas pudding even earlier! I am all for celebrating and having the best party.

But I do feel that we can so easily lose sight of what Christmas is all about and stress ourselves out by trying to make Christmas perfect; just like the adverts.

The first Christmas was far from perfect. Mary and Joseph weren't able to go home for Christmas. They had to make a difficult journey with a pregnant teenager, only to find that all the best rooms had gone, and they were left with the grottiest room ever!

When God chose to send his only Son into the world he didn't even try for perfection. Would you have trusted a teenager with the Redemption of the whole word? With every possible resource at your fingertips would you have chosen a stable for the birth? With anyone in the world to choose from, would you have proclaimed the greatest news the world has ever heard to a group of rough workmen?

And yet the birth of Christ was perfect. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, to save us from our sins and give us eternal life, not because we deserved it or were "worth it" but because he loved us unconditionally. Quite a Christmas present!

So yes, Christmas is about family. It is about joy and peace and goodwill  but most of all it is about love.

So remember when you gets socks again from Auntie Flo, and the turkey you ordered is too big to fit into the oven, it's the love behind it that matters and whatever happens, your Christmas is perfect!

It only remains for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a fruitful New Year!

Many blessings,

Revd Vivienne Starkie