Messages from around the Benefice

Easter Garden

Holy Saturday. Message from Lyndon
Jesus was taken from the cross. Jewish law decreed that a dead body, even a body of a criminal, must be buried before the Sabbath, Saturday. Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish Council and a secret follower of Jesus, went to Pilate to ask permission to bury Him. Pilate surprised that Jesus was already dead gave permission. Joseph along with Nicodemus, wrapped the body of Jesus in linen and placed His body in a new tomb. A stone was rolled in front of the tomb, and through Pilate’s orders a Roman guard was placed in front.
If you catch a train from Newport eastwards towards Bristol or Gloucester, the train slows down at as it approaches its first stop. You pass, a 13th century church, one seen by thousands of travellers, though few have gone inside, to see its lovely interior. You stop at a newly electrified station called Severn Tunnel Junction. In the middle distance you can see a village. However, neither the station nor the village gives you a clue about their illustrious past.
The station was opened in the late 1800’s, and became a major, marshalling yard, where coal was despatched to London and other parts of the country. It was a hive of railway activity, and must have been a paradise for steam engine train spotters. The yards even suffered a bomb attack during the war. The village you see is Rogiet and was home to many railway families, and the train you would have been travelling on in those days, would probably been driven by a Rogiet man. The goods yard was closed in 1987, and an important chapter of railway history came to an end. There are two churches in the village; the historic St. Mary’s which you noticed as your train entered the station and the Methodist Church, situated in the village itself, both churches are independent of the other, but both supportive of each other. Thankfully, the death of the goods yard was certainly not the death of the community. The village is very much alive and kicking, and is indeed growing.
The churches are at the centre of village life, and are both welcoming and friendly. They always provide a smile to a stranger. Unfortunately, today, like all our churches both buildings are temporarily closed. However, you can see the living church from your train window. Just look at the village. The church is alive in the community, caring for the community, praying for the community, working for the community. God’s work continues through His people. This gives me great pleasure, as I was their vicar and later rector for fourteen years.
Back to Jerusalem, the followers of Jesus are filled with shock and grief. Why did this happen? How could things have gone so wrong? What will their future be. What will tomorrow bring?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5
Yesterday, I had a prayer request from a parent of a shop worker on the tills in a supermarket. We are asked to remember them in your prayers. Keep praying, keep trusting, keep the faith and keep safe. God Bless.