David Pickup, a solicitor, considers the laws on growing up.
Now every year His parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up as usual… When the festival was ended …the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem …After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. From Luke 2
This familiar story is the only account of Jesus in His boyhood years. Because of her fright, it would have been one family story that Mary never forgot. At the age of 12, in that culture, Jesus would be just about to become a young man, and therefore have been eager to begin adulthood. Jesus knew He was not lost but in the right place. He said, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Children grow up by enormous leaps and bounds. Turn your back for a minute and they have aged years. In Britain, the law does not fix any one age for when a child is suddenly a grown up. Instead, it is a gradual process.
At age 10 you can have your ears pierced, but your parent may have to be with you, and you can be convicted of a criminal offence.
From age 13 you can work part-time. I remember getting a card from a doctor to show I could legally work. I carried it around with me on my milk round and was slightly disappointed the police never asked for it!
At 14 you can enter a pub, but only if the landlord allows it. You cannot buy or drink alcohol, only soft drinks.
At 16 you can marry, with your parents’ consent. You can also ride a moped, and drink alcohol in a restaurant with a meal. You can open a bank current account and get a debit card.
Once you are 17, you can hold a driver’s licence.
At 18 you can vote, get a tattoo, bet, and buy and drink alcohol in a pub.
At 21 you can apply to adopt a child, become a driving instructor and apply for a licence to fly commercial transport aeroplanes and helicopters.
I suppose reading all this you might be wondering “why didn’t I do all these things as soon as I could?!”
Under lockdown, millions of us who rarely walked around our immediate locality are now well acquainted with every nearby driveway, every crack in the pavement, and every pothole in the road. We have developed views on our neighbours’ gardens, on their oddly coloured garage doors, and on their dogs, children and cars. If we go out at the same time every day, we may even be saying hello to the same people we don’t know every day.
For many of us, that daily walk has become the high point of our day. After all, it is one of the few liberties we have left. Some of us go early, to enjoy the relative peace and quiet. Some of us go midday, to at least see other people, even if we can’t talk to them. Others of us opt for dusk, the dark comfort of a street with lit houses and stars in the sky.
Whatever time you most enjoy, make sure you do make the time to go for your walk. Your mental and physical fitness can only improve!
This new book, researched and written by the Local History Group of Holmes Chapel & District U3A, describing the history of St Luke’s, has been published. It describes the key events and people across the centuries, as well as the many historic details of the building itself and its contents.
The book runs to about 166 pages, is printed in A5 format and includes various coloured plates and has been so popular that a second print-run has been required. Copies are therefore now available to purchase.
The book is available at a price of £15 per copy. All profits will go to St Luke’s Organ and Lighting Appeal (see stlukesappeal.uk), managed by St Luke’s PCC which is underwriting the cost of publication.
If you would like a copy please write to me at 15 Jodrell Close, Holmes Chapel, CW4 7HH, or by email to email@example.com, providing your name, address and phone number. I will contact you to arrange payment and delivery.
I hope I find you all well in these unusual times. It’s the point in the year when we focus on Operation Christmas Child and the Marys Meals Backpack project. Operation Christmas Child sends gift filled shoe boxes to children in need in the world at Christmas time and the Mary’s Meals backpack project provides school equipment and clothing for children living in Malawi who need these things to get an education. St Lukes will be continuing to support these initiatives. However due to the current restrictions it will not be possible to have a packing Sunday where the church gets together to pack boxes and backpacks ready for sending to children in need in different parts of the world and so Fiona Pulle and I will be working together to coordinate events.
This year we will only be able to collect completed boxes and backpacks, therefore our launch date for these projects will be on 27th September which is earlier than normal. We have decided on an earlier start date so that everyone has extra time collecting things they need to complete their box or backpack. Leaflets for both projects will be available from church or myself and we can also drop off empty shoe boxes or leaflets if required. You can also get the information on packing a shoebox from: https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/how-to-pack-a-s hoebox/ or alternatively you can pack an online shoe box if you prefer, details can be found on the same link.
To pack a Mary’s Meals backpack all the information you need can be found on this link. https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/the-backpack-project Remember that this initiative encourages recycling so equipment and clothing does not need to be new.
I know that we have some busy knitters and those that sew at St Lukes and we would be happy to accept your beautiful work for sending in additional boxes Fiona and I can make so that children will receive your lovely gifts. Also if you would like to make a monetary contribution towards buying items for additional boxes and backpacks Fiona and I make or towards postage then please provide this in a sealed envelope by 25th October.
Our shoebox and backpack finale will be on 1st November 2020 and the church hall will be open from 8.30 – 9.30 to receive your boxes and backpacks.
Thank you in advance for your continued support of these projects, children in need will find excitement and joy in receiving a shoe box or backpack filled with love.
Terry Warburton speculates on what the future holds for our churches.
Strange times we are living through. The future consequences of coronavirus are going to be challenging, to say the least. How will our churches fare when our buildings are allowed to re-open?
One could say that the reasons for churchgoing can be put into three slots, ‘Culture’, ‘Faith’ and ‘Community’. Many churchgoers would probably recognise in themselves elements of more than one.
Culture is for those who feel comfortable in church. They like the history, the language, the buildings, the liturgy and the music, which have probably been a part of their lives since they were children. All hold comforting memories.
Faith is a link with the meaning of life and its eternal promise, somewhere to seek guidance through worship and sacrament, and on which to lean in times of trouble. A belief in the words of Jesus that they are not on their own, even if sometimes it feels like it in this world.
Community is for those who like coming to church or being associated with it as a flying buttress (a phrase of Winston Churchill, who described himself as someone who supports the church from the outside). They don’t have to have a commitment to the faith of the Church but are sympathetic and don’t mind being with those who do.
It is likely that the ‘old normality’ will not be the ‘new normality’ and this provokes a few thoughts:
* How many people, now out of the habit of regular community worship, will wish to return to it?
* How many people on the periphery of church life, will come back to it, at least in the short term?
* How many of those who have had a regular commitment to the church, for example by serving at the altar or in its refectories, singing in choirs, doing flowers, ringing bells and polishing brasses will feel that this is a good time to make a break and do something different?
As church people, we must consider where we go from here. The Church, everywhere in the infected world, will need to know our answer to its call. To thrive, it needs us back.