The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Joy Cousans, Vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since June 2017
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Vicar's Letter

May 2024

Reverend Joy Cousans, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

One of the good things about village ministry is being able to meet with people socially at various community events. There are the annual events like Edlefest in June, St Mary's Village Carnival in July and Heritage Open Days in September. And there are more regular times such as the Coffee mornings at St Mary's. We meet on the first Saturday of each month (except July when St Mary's Village Carnival takes place) for delicious home-made cakes and scones, coffee, tea and chat. The Book Swap is open for people to bring a book and exchange it for another one, to meet the Book Swap Team and to talk about books they've enjoyed or would recommend to others. And there is a raffle. It is a great way to catch up with friends and to make new ones and has become a real community event.

Continuing this theme of meeting, greeting and sharing, on 21st April at St Mary's we are launching an exciting new initiative on a Sunday morning called Café Church. This will combine coffee, croissants and chat with worship in a new way. The aim is to create a relaxed and welcoming space for all ages to meet. The worship element will be informal in a relaxed café style setting. There will be Bible readings, prayers, a couple of songs/hymns and the chance for reflection. Over coffee and croissants, we will have the opportunity to chat to each other.

After the first Easter, when Jesus had ascended to heaven to return to his Father, his followers continued to meet together for prayer and companionship. The followers of Jesus increased in number as more people heard the message and the word of God continued to spread. You can read all about this in the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke who also wrote one of the four gospels. At that time there were no church buildings. They didn't have a set form of worship and the early Christians met in houses, probably of those wealthy enough to have room to accommodate a number of people. Large groups may well have had to split up into different venues to enable everyone to fit in. In the early days, the Lord's Supper also known as Holy Communion took place in the course of a communal meal. Everyone brought what food they could and it was shared together. Meeting and eating, sharing food and sharing worship were at the heart of the early church. The Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion, is still central to the life of the church today, but it is a more formal and ritualised affair than in the early church.

The introduction of Café Church links back to those early days of meeting, eating and worshipping together in a less structured and formal way than most church services. It is an opportunity to come and explore, to find out more about Jesus in a relaxed setting.

We hope you will come and join us for Café Church, which will take place on the third Sunday of each month at 10am, starting on 21st April. As one advert for Café Church puts it, why don't you give it a shot?

Joy, Vicar of Eaton Bray with Edlesborough

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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.