A message from The Rev’d Lyn McRostie, Rector of Northwood.

Posted by Admin on 22 March 2009, 12:00 am

A story I often like to relate is that of remembering my father tell me how, as a young boy he had stood and watched the first aircraft ever to fly from England to Australia as it crossed over the family farm. In his lifetime my father – and so many of his generation – saw enormous change. They went from seeing open cockpit planes with fabric wings which took 28 days to travel from England to Australia to making the same journey themselves in huge aircraft taking less than 24 hours. At home they went from horse and buggy transport to driving cars, they embraced new domestic appliances, they started to communicate in a range of different ways, no longer restricted just to letter writing; computers were also coming in in large numbers and revolutionising lives.

The one thing that always seemed constant was the church; unchanging and ever present. Yet if we look at what’s happened in churches in the last 100 years there has been massive change as well as stability. Modern language services are one change; more modern music, the use of technology, the introduction of women clergy in the Church of England. All these developments have transformed church and worship.

At the same time, I think we have realised that alongside change the foundation of the church has not changed. Our core beliefs and principles are still in place. We may present them in slightly different ways and with different people in a range of roles but our foundations are still there and still in place. We still value and honour the traditional ways and approaches but we draw also on what is good in contemporary society. Having experienced a whole 1552 Communion Service on my knees (for that was what was expected then) I’m glad we’ve had change. I’m glad that we are able to be generous enough to know that a form of worship which nurtures us may not nurture a neighbour and so we have scope in Sunday Worship to reach out to a range of people with different ways of relating to each other and to God.

Some people have recently asked me why at present we are not having the twice-monthly Evening Services at Northwood. I want to let you know that this has been an experiment to which the Church Council agreed after a review of Sunday evening attendances. When we took the decision we also agreed to review it in the 1st half of 2009. If you have a view which you’d like us to take into account I’d be glad to hear from you – and please include your contact details so that I may talk further with you if necessary.

One of the questions that intrigues me out of all of this is – what do people think the church is for? It’s a question that’s taxing many of us right now and I’m sure there are as many answers to that as there are people in Northwood plus some. The questions of service times and service content are aspects of this wider question.  As we wrestle with the enormous social change happening around us and the pressure of increasingly straitened financial circumstances, some answers will clearly emerge.  Others may take longer but whatever does appear we will still hold true to the joy of that first Easter Day and the gift of Eternal Life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A happy and blessed Easter to you all


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