Ss Simon & Jude Church, Cockshutt
We had been assured of a night of storms with thunder, lighting and heavy rains; what we had were two very gentle rumbles of thunder and a smattering of rain! Without a storm to clear the air, the morning dawned grey and humid. Nevertheless, the old church of Ss Simon & Jude, with its thin walls and large windows, allowed the heat to gently permeate through without being oppressive, the ideal backdrop for Sunday’s worship.
As it was the Feast Day of St. Barnabas, the altar frontal had been changed to Red, the colour of martyrdom, and the flowers of thanksgiving subtly picked up on this.
Retired Priest, Father William, led our worship which began with the rousing hymn, ‘For all the Saints who from their labours rest’, which, incidentally, had been composed by William Walsham How, who had been Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, Whittington, Oswestry, our county town in North Shropshire.
Father William’s sermon was based on Barnabas, ‘the son of encouragement’, a man who brought people together and whose generosity was without question. Christian tradition tells of his martyrdom at Salamis, Cyprus.
In his summing up, Father William implored us to reflect on what the Bible itself says about Barnabas, that he “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith”. (Acts 11:24). The question is, on our day of passing, will Jesus say that about us?
Following prayers and Holy Communion and the singing of the wonderful hymn ‘Thy hand, O God, has guided’ we enjoyed a time of fellowship and getting to know Father William.
It certainly was an uplifting and thoughtful morning!