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The Walesby Group of Parishes.

The Walesby Group is now fortunate to be able to call upon the resources of four clergy licensed to their churches, supported by a wide team of lay and retired ministers.  In addition to her role as Vicar for the Market Rasen Group, Revd Claire Burnett is Priest in Charge for the parishes of Brookenby, Claxby, Croxby, Kirmond le Mire, Normanby le Wold, North Willingham, Stainton le Vale, Thoresway and Walesby.  Revd Bryan Dixon, Rector for the Middle Rasen Group, is Priest in Charge for the parish of Tealby and the Barkwith Group of parishes.
(For specific parish enquiries, please see the contact details on the website A Church Near You)

email Revd Claire

email Revd Bryan

The Walesby Group of Parishes - Diary Dates for October

3rd October: 6pm - 1st Tuesday Reflective Service of Holy Communion
(in the Iona Tradition) at Claxby Village Hall

6th September: 10:30am - Brookenby PCC Meeting in the church

8th October: 2pm - Pet Service at Walesby 'Old Church'

12th October: 2pm - Ministry Team Meeting at The Rectory Middle Rasen

13th October: 2pm - Funeral Service for the late Mary Rhyder at St Mary's Walesby

18th October: 10am - Companions of the Wolds meeting at Claxby Village Hall

19th October: 2:30pm - Knitters meeting at the home of Sylvia Kay in North Willingham

22nd October: 9:30am at Walesby and 11am at Tealby - Bishop David of Grimsby will attend the Holy Communion services
(he will be talking about the progress of TTCT in the diocese so please come along and ask your questions)

24th October: 2pm - North Willingham PCC meeting in the church tower

This Weeks Message is by Quin Hough - 1st October 2023, Seventeenth Sunday After Trinity

There are a wide range of theological opinions within the church, this article reflects the views of the author

'A question of authority'

“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you that authority?”

Asked by the Jerusalem Temple authorities in this Sunday’s Gospel, was it a reasonable question? Well, the previous day Jesus had caused chaos in the Temple by driving out all those who were buying and selling animals (for sacrifices), and the Temple money changers, and had then healed many blind and lame people who were brought in to him. The Temple authorities were appalled, especially when children then hailed Jesus as “Son of David”, a title that implied at the very least royal descent, or even that he was the promised Messiah (Saviour), and he hadn’t stopped them.

And so they challenged him and, one may feel, quite rightly so. Except that they already had their answer in the miraculous healings, and the recognition that the “Son of David” name implied. But, of course, they didn’t want to hear that answer. After all if Jesus was a great prophet or, worse, actually was the Messiah, then they would have to yield to his authority. But he couldn’t be, because they believed that “ … no prophet is to arise from Galilee." (John’s Gospel Chapter 7 verse 52).

So what were they after? Well probably that at least he would stop being such a nuisance and go away. Perhaps even that he would make an admission that could be used against him to completely stop his ministry. What they got instead was a public challenge, a question of how they had regarded the ministry of John the Baptist, and that was one of those clever questions to which both possible answers were, for different reasons, unacceptable to them.. In consequence they were unable, or unwilling rather, to give any answer.

Today’s Christians are also frequently challenged by both individuals and authorities, and in some places that challenge is backed by the possibility of death. Fortunately in the UK that latter isn’t a real possibility, but people do want us to stop preaching the gospel. So do we have an authority to do so? Well, yes we do. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew’s Gospel Ch 28 vs 19 & 20).

This is not to suggest that we should all go in for street preaching, though that does sometimes have its place, but rather a call to follow advice (sometimes) attributed to Saint Francis, namely “preach the gospel, if necessary using words”.

Meaning? Well, simply, by being openly Christian. By going out and trying to live a life that Jesus would approve of. Being honest and honourable in our dealings with others. Giving what we can to help others, even when its is perhaps inconvenient. And I’m not talking about money here, though that too has its place, but rather donating time and skills by being willing to help others, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally – sometimes all that is needed is a sympathetic ear, or a quick home visit, or a lift to town. Perhaps it is making a trip to the Post Office for some stamps, or agreeing to deliver food back parcels to needy families in your area. It is called “Generous Giving”, or what an earlier generation sometimes meant by the acronym “WWJD?” or “What Would Jesus Do?” And we do have the authority to do it.

A Prayer for this Week

Lord, we pray that your grace
may always precede and follow us,
and make us continually to be given to all good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Church of England, ministering to the people of Brookenby, Claxby, Croxby, Kirmond le Mire, Normanby le Wold, North Willingham, Stainton le Vale, Tealby, Thoresway and Walesby in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

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