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Rector’s Letter June 2017

What a month June is going to be!

On the first Sunday of June (4th), our observance of Eastertide will end with the great feast of Pentecost (Whitsunday). At Pentecost we celebrate the beginning of the Church – the moment when a small band of men and women, apostles and disciples of Jesus, were transformed into the Body of Christ by the coming of the Holy Spirit. From that moment on the Good News of Christ began to spread throughout the world.

On the very next day (Monday 5th) we will remember the beginning of the Christian life here in Llandudno by keeping the feast of our founder and patron, St Tudno. Tudno, we believe, was the first to bring the Christian faith to this place. We can imagine him arriving and planting a cross on the Great Orme, so claiming it for Christ.

The fact that Pentecost and St. Tudno’s Day fall on consecutive days helps us to make the connection between the moment when the Church began and when it arrived in Llandudno some 5 or 6 centuries later. But when we celebrate both these days, we are also aware that we’re not just marking two moments in the past – two historical events – however important. The Church of God is not a historical society! Both days tell us that what happened then in the first and sixth centuries remains of supreme importance today in the early twenty first century.

When we keep the Feast of Pentecost we celebrate a reality in which we share today. Like the apostles and disciples gathered together in the upper room, we too have a share in the divided tongues of fire. These tongues, which descended on them that day also descended on us on the day of our Baptism. We share in the life of the living Body of Christ just as did they. We have the same responsibility to live the life of Christ and to proclaim that life to the world.

And when we celebrate St. Tudno’s Day, we are not just remembering a historical figure and the moment of his arrival here. Tudno is also our contemporary – in heaven he is part of the great Communion of Saints in which we too share. He is, one might say, our special friend in heaven, who continues to support us in our the going July local efforts to carry on the work he began in our own time. We can turn to him for his prayerful support in all that we do.

So, these two special days help us to remember who we are as members of the Body of Christ in 21st century Llandudno and where the source of our Christian life is to be found. We see ourselves as part of an ongoing historical tradition but also are aware our share in the eternal now of our life in Christ. So we take courage!

A few days after we keep these two important days there is something else to challenge us – the General Election. It is not my task as your parish priest to tell you how to vote (I suspect you wouldn’t take much notice of me if I did). It is my responsibility though, to ask you, before you cast your vote, to think deeply about how your faith informs your political thinking. What does your life in Christ have to say to you about the kind of society you wish Britain to be? How do the manifestoes and the philosophies of the various parties clamoring for your vote tie in with the values of the Kingdom of God expressed in the Gospels? Quite a lot to consider before June 8th.

Finally, to let you know that on Saturday July 1st I will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of my Ordination as Priest with a Eucharist at 12 noon, followed by some refreshments afterwards. I hope that you’ll be able to join me on that occasion to celebrate God’s gift of the ministerial priesthood to his Church.

Fr. John

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