Please pray for General Synod, which is like the parliament of the Church of England, as it meets next week from 13th – 15th November. We are very privileged as a church since two of our members, Daniel Matovu and Gracy Crane, are elected members of the General Synod. There will be a number of items discussed including safeguarding, the conservation of church buildings, and potentially clergy pensions. The most contentious item will be the ongoing debate about the bishops’ proposal for the blessing of same-sex couples. Please pray that Gracy, Daniel and many others will be filled with wisdom, grace and courage, and that even at this late stage in the debate decisions will be made which are in line with God’s word in the Bible.
In addition to asking us all to pray, I’d like to highlight three resources to help us think biblically about the issue of same-sex relationships and the Church of England.
A Beautiful Story – Jesus, Sexuality and Culture
Saturday 2nd December 9.30am-1pm at St Peter’s Church
This is a morning to explore God’s word and especially to help us see how Christ’s teaching on sexuality and relationships is good and life-enhancing. We will think about how, in a culture which increases clashes with God’s word, we can talk positively to friends and family about these things.
The speaker is Andy Robinson, the Training Director of Living Out and the South Central Gospel Partnership. Andy has preached twice at St Mary’s in the last year. He is a faithful Bible teacher who is able to apply God’s word very helpfully to our lives and our culture in this whole area of sexuality and relationships.
The event is hosted at St Peter’s Church in Furze Platt and organised jointly by evangelical churches across Maidenhead. It is hugely exciting that churches are working together to put this on. I hope that as many as possible from St Mary’s will come along to support this partnership and to learn together from God’s word on this vital issue. No need to book, just turn up!
Same-Sex Attracted Support Group
This is a St Mary’s church group which exists to support those who are same-sex attracted and are wanting to follow Jesus faithfully. The group meets every couple of months to chat through issues and help one another. It is a great place for fellowship and practical support. This group is confidential and no member’s details are known outside of the group.
One member has said: “The Same-Sex Attracted Support Group meeting for me is welcoming and a safe place to speak with other people who are feeling the same way as me, and I can be myself and get support from others.”
If you want to find out more please get in contact with Rachel Meynell.
Consultation about St Mary’s and the Church of England
Saturday 3rd February 2024
In light of the debates at General Synod a number of us have questions about what it means for St Mary’s to be part of the Church of England, about our relationship with the Diocese of Oxford, and how we can best contend for biblical truth in our denomination. On the morning of Saturday 3rd February there will be an informal consultation for those who would like to discuss these things with Jon Drake and others. More information will be shared nearer the time, but for now please save the date if you’d like to be part of this discussion.