chaplain's log

  • 21 APRIL 2019: SIMON WRITES... easter

    EASTER, by Ann Lewin:

    In the beginning

    The Lord God planted a garden

    Facing the rising sun.

    Adam was the gardener;

    And all was very good

    Until, worming its way

    Into his mind the idea

    Came that he could

    Do things his way.

    And the rest was trouble.

    But in another garden,

    The risen Son, Adam renewed,

    Appearing as a gardener

    Brought new beginning,

    Showed that through God’s grace

    All can be life.

    What a wonderful poem!  I love the way the poet brings together Eden, the first garden, and Jesus as the first fruits of the new creation in the Easter garden.  Despite the trouble caused by Adam (& Eve) the risen Son brings a new beginning, ‘all can be life’.

    Yesterday, my friend and mentor died.  Richard was the priest I first worked with - he taught me most about ministry & was also, first & foremost, a church member.  One of the saints, taking his part in the Body of Christ.  He was just 72 and had not been ill for very long.  It comes as rather a shock!

    Easter is a celebration of our confidence that Jesus has overcome death.  As St Paul writes But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

    1 Corinthians 15:57         Amen to that!




    As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, “Why are you doing this?” say, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.”’

    4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, ‘What are you doing, untying that colt?’ 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,  ‘Hosanna!’   ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’  10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’  ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’                   Mark 11:1-10

    As I reflect on this passage I am left asking myself…where would I have been on that first Palm Sunday?  Would I have been cheering with the crowds & welcoming Jesus into the city?  But also, where would I have been later in the week?  Still supporting Jesus?  Or now shouting ‘crucify him!’?


    By now you will probably have heard that, at the ACM last Sunday, I announced my upcoming retirement.  Ann & I will be moving on from Tervuren and returning to the UK to start our next phase of life.  Our final service here will be at 10:30 on Sunday 16th June. 


    I am sorry if this comes ‘out of the blue’ for you, but there is never an easy way to make this announcement!  It is the 3rd time that we have told churches that we are moving on – and it does not get any easier.  We have been so blessed by our 6 years with you and delighted to see how God has been at work amongst us.


    As I have prayed about this, I have been reminded of Jesus’ Easter day appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:17-18)….. 

    Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.

    The Risen Lord challenges us not simply to hold on to what we know but to tell others that ‘Jesus is alive’ & to take this out into the wider world.  If you have any questions about what happens as I leave, please ask…me, Nathan or our church wardens, Ann & JF!

  • 31 March: Simon WRITES...This Sunday

    This Sunday 31st March we need to move our clocks forward one hour.  Please do not forget so you don’t miss out on church (& all the rest of Sunday)!


    I am looking forward to our Annual Church Meeting after the 10:30 service in the BSB on Sunday.  I do hope you will be able to stay for this important gathering as we take stock of what God has been doing amongst us and as we commit ourselves to the way ahead.


    Please don’t fall into the temptation to think that others will be there and so the meeting will be quorate!  We need enough members of the electoral roll to attend for the meeting to be valid! Why not bring your sandwiches and munch during the meeting….& then we will have time for questions and reflection.


    We will have various presentations on issues such as Mission Support, our own Trust Fund, the Finances, the Diocese & St Pauls and on A Culture of Invitation.  It should be very interesting and engaging.  We will also vote on the new version of our Constitution & you will have the opportunity to ask questions too!


    This is what it is all about & it is my message to you, Philippians 1:3-6


    3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  

  • 24 March 2019: Simon Writes...THREE THINGS

    Three things to mention this week….


    *1  for some (long) time I have been wondering whether we really need to produce so many service sheets for the 10:30 service – so, we are going to try an experiment (for the next four weeks).  In an effort to save trees we will print very few copies.  If you can not see the screen please ask for one.  If you have any thoughts or comments about what we are doing – please talk to me about it!


    *2  next Sunday 31st March we need to move our clocks forward one hour.  Please do not forget so you are on time for church!


    *3  after the 10:30 service in the BSB on the 31st March we will hold our Annual Church Meeting.  Please attend!  We need enough members of the electoral roll to be quorate & we are having an important gathering in the life of the church.  Please bring your sandwiches and munch during the meeting….& then we will have time for questions and reflection.


    If you have any business for the AOB slot please tell me – we want to address your concerns & issues, if we can!  As I write this, we have 2 candidates willing to stand as Church Warden, Ann Start & JF Sourdoire, and 2 (for the 3 places vacant) to join the Church Council, Alex von Franquemont & Elaine Dunn.  I am aware that at the moment other people are prayerfully considering standing as candidates to join the council too!  It should be a good meeting!