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Benefice of Long Ashton with Barrow Gurney and Flax Bourton -VACANCY for a RECTOR

October 8, 2019

Benefice profile final

Role Description Long Ashton Benefice Oct 2019

Here’s the advert in the Church press:

RECTOR

Benefice of Long Ashton with Barrow Gurney and Flax Bourton

Are you funny, peaceful, imaginative, enthusiastic and environmentally friendly? Can you let us ring the bells, make church exciting?  Can you make Jesus come back?

That’s what some of our children said when asked what they would like from our new Rector!

We are looking for someone who…

 Is creative in their thinking, who can reach out and develop our work across all generations

  • Is able to lead our ministry team and inspire our three parishes, building a mission-centred benefice out of the energy and enthusiasm of our individual parishes
  • Can communicate the gospel with imagination and understanding, and be a visible presence in our communities
  • Is comfortable with a diversity of worship and expressions of faith.

What we offer

 A Benefice comprised of three villages set in countryside on the SW outskirts of the vibrant city of Bristol

  • Lively, active communities, embracing both farmers and commuters
  • An established ministry team – clergy, readers and lay
  • An opportunity to grow in this post, to meet with God in new and surprising ways, and to enjoy the challenge with the support and care of the communities that you will serve.

  

Benefice Profile, Role Description and application pack available from:
Mrs Denise Blake, PA to The Archdeacon of Bath
01225 873609 or denise.blake@bathwells.anglican.org
Closing date for applications:…..
Interviews: 26 & 27 November 2019
An enhanced DBS disclosure is required

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Stations of the Resurrection: 16. Pentecost

June 8, 2019

16 Georgia O'Keeffe Blue and Green Music

Blue and Green Music, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1921

The square tomb gape of Nicholson and Tissot is turned into the walls of the upper room, hiding place of the disciples who, disturbed by the second loss of their Lord, are once again pitched back into a grave of fear, unknowing and shivering with anticipation. But now the Spirit erupts into their enclosure, exploding the walls, brimming over with the breath of life, seeding a new hope, dancing a fresh tune into existence. Blue and green, the colours of the Holy Spirit in Rublev’s icon of the Old Testament Trinity, the colours of earth and water, life and vitality, sends the eternal song rippling out across all creation. This is music with no end.

Read: Acts 2:1-4

Pray:
Living Lord,
risen, ascended, returning,
through this way of light,
you have reminded us that darkness is part of the journey.
You have shared with us the revelation of your glory,
you have challenged us to be
the next chapter in your resurrection story.
Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us,
that we might tend and light
the fires of your love throughout all creation.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.

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Stations of the Resurrection: 15. The Ascension

May 30, 2019

15 Paul Nash Cumulus Head low res

Cumulus Head, Paul Nash, 1944

There is something unseemly and incongruous about classical depictions of the Ascension with their tendency to portray a group of neck craning disciples staring up Jesus’s billowy skirts as he flies heavenwards. It is an awkward moment – physical and yet spiritual. It has to be physical – the resurrection has been described so solidly, the Jesus who is resurrected is flesh and blood, no ghost, mirage or hallucination. But the flying upwards aspect removes it from grounded experience. Nash’s Cumulus Head offers another possibility – it retains a towering physicality – as monumental as Moore’s Sheep Piece – but invests it with fresh spiritual potential. Clouds are real, molecular, measurable, but they are also constantly shifting, shape-changing, parting to offer, closing to obscure the lady blue vista of space beyond.

Read: Mark 16:19-20

Pray:
Eternal God,
through your birth and death,
resurrection and ascension
you split open the veil that hides heaven from earth.
In baptism you reach out your hand
to draw us home into your gracious presence.
Emboldened by your Spirit
may we proclaim the Good News with faithful passion,
encouraging others to break through their own fears
into the never-ending embrace of your love.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.

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Stations of the Resurrection: 14. At the Sea of Tiberias

May 29, 2019

0334289
Piet Mondriaan
Zee na zonsopgang
Post restaurtie 2011

Sea after Sunset, Piet Mondrian, 1909

Mondrian offers a liminal moment, the betwixt time when night and day shade one into the other, shadows shift and change, what is seen and unseen swithers back and forth, dreams erupt into daylight, the veil separating heaven and earth seems torn and limitless possibilities overflow. The horizon stretches to infinity, the waves ripple outwards, the Resurrection is unbounded and yet held in a moment as the author of life sits on the shore cooking fish for his friends.

Read: John 21:1-6, 9-13

Pray:
Lord Jesus, Bread of Life,
we give thanks to you,
for out of your compassion,
out of your own humanity,
you understood the needs of your disciples
and gave them both sustenance and hope.
We pray that all those who cry out to you in hunger
will be satisfied in body and spirit.
May all peoples be guided to share your riches
and so be brought together to feast
at one table in your heavenly Kingdom.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.

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Stations of the Resurrection: 13. Thomas Meets his Lord

May 29, 2019

13 Duccio Christ Appearing to His Disciples

Doubting Thomas, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-1311

The architectural inverted V-shaped arch draws the reluctant disciples in towards the centre, places them on the edges of the space occupied by Christ and Thomas, who are themselves drawn together by the smaller smoothly rounded arch of the doorway. Christ raises his hand in blessing, but also to offer his wounded side to Thomas’s tentatively questing fingers. There is calm wonderment on the faces of the disciples and puzzlement on that of Thomas, but his gaze is unflinchingly on his Lord, who stares back with love, willing him on towards revelation.

Read: John 20:24-9

Pray:
King of glory,
while we doubt, we fail, we turn away,
your faith in us remains strong.
May we experience that divine strength
coursing through our souls, bodies and minds,
so that our doubts may become the source of new knowledge,
leading us to see you more clearly,
and be drawn into the heart of your love for all creation.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.

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Stations of the Resurrection: 12. Jesus Appears to the Disciples

May 28, 2019

12 William Blake Christ Appearing to His Apostles low res

Christ Appearing to his Apostles after the Resurrection, William Blake, c1795

There is often something ethereal about the way Blake renders figures – a transparency of colour – yet also a weighty physicality to them – an emphasis on musculature – which in the case of his resurrected Christ, powerfully portrays him as ‘in the world but not of it’. Adoring, awe-struck, fearful or just simply exhausted and asleep, the disciples are only just awakening to the possibility of a post-Easter universe. Christ offers his hand – a sign that he is real, the scars a reminder of the cost of that reality, but he is there to pull them upwards, towards their own destinies.

Read: Luke 24:36-43

Pray:
Christ, the Son of Righteousness,
the first resurrection gift you offered your disciples
was ‘Peace be with you’.
We pray that you will breathe your peace
over a world disfigured by conflict and disaster,
bringing comfort, rest and hope to all who are suffering,
and filling us with the faith, the vision, the compassion,
to go forth into the hard places
as agents of your peace.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.

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Stations of the Resurrection: 11. Jesus and Peter

May 28, 2019

11 Henry Moore Sheep Piece low res

Sheep Piece, Henry Moore, 1971-1972

Henry Moore’s sheep sketchbook shows how closely he observed the relationship between ewes and lambs. This monumental bronze distils that bond into a moment of suckling – the lamb intent upon its task nuzzles hard at the teat, the ewe arches in acknowledgement of her offspring’s needs. She gives, the lamb takes. More than that, she knows that this one is hers, called home to the only place where it can be truly nourished and grow. Jesus is the ewe calling Peter, his errant lamb back to him, allowing them both to acknowledge their need for the other. The antithesis of this image would have been Damien Hirst’s Away from the Flock.

Read: John 21:15b-17, 19b

Pray:
Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy on us.
We, like Peter, often stray,
we boast, or we dissemble, or we run from responsibility.
Speak to us, as you spoke to him,
so that we may know that we are forgiven
and may strike out to share
that forgiveness with all we meet.
Amen.

Further reading: Stations of the Resurrection: from Easter to Pentecost, Richard Q. Greatrex, Redemptorist Publications, 9780852315453, from which this illustration and prayer was taken and which contains fuller reflections and much more.