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Priest in Charge Revd. Julie Coleman

 

 The Vicarage, North Street, New Romney TN28 8DR - Tel: 01797 362308

email Julie: jvcoleman@btinternet.com

 

Please telephone Julie for Baptisms, Weddings and Banns or

for any pastoral concerns which you would like to discuss.

 

 

Letter from the Vicarage FEBRUARY 2015

The Reverend Julie Coleman ~ Priest-in-Charge  

Dear Friends,

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is soon upon us! The greetings card and confectionary industries go into overdrive. Suppliers of cut flowers, especially roses, will be working overtime to keep up with demand.

The origin of Valentine’s Day and even who Saint Valentine actually was is shrouded in myth and the fog history. Some stories tell of a priest who lived at a time when Roman Emperor Claudius had ordered young men to remain single so that they could fight in the army.

The priest, Valentine, carried out secret marriage ceremonies for young couples. When the Emperor found out he threw Valentine into prison. Whilst there, he fell in love with the jailer’s blind and deaf daughter, whom he healed. On the night before his execution, he wrote the first Valentine’s card to the jailer’s daughter, professing his love and signing it “from your Valentine”. There’s little, if any, historical evidence to support this story, though there have been various priests called Valentine, who may be the real inspiration behind Valentine’s Day.

One such priest was arrested by Emperor Claudius II for giving aid to Christians. At that time Christians were being persecuted and this was illegal. Claudius is said to have taken a liking to Valentine, trying to convert him to Roman paganism. Valentine, full of faith, countered by trying to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity and for this he was martyred.

Whilst the first story is perhaps more fitting for our Valentine celebrations, the second, to my mind, speaks of a deeper love. A Christian who loved the Lord so deeply, that even though it may cost his life, he had to speak out for what he knew to be true. Rather than giving in to fear and just agreeing with the all-powerful Emperor, in order to save himself. He was compelled to tell the Emperor of the God who loves us.  

Saint Paul wrote: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Valentine lived these words, knowing the love that “rejoices in the truth” and “always perseveres”. Ultimately, he knew the love of a God who would come into this world as Jesus Christ, to personally show what love really is. May we all know more of this love.

In Christ,

Revd Julie

Romney Marsh Benefice Confirmation Service

26 April at 10.30 in St. Nicholas Church, New Romney

Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the confirming bishop is open to anyone over the age of 11.

If you have ever asked – ‘What is confirmation?’ ‘How do I get confirmed?’ We will be holding confirmation classes next year, leading to individuals across the benefice being confirmed by the Bishop of Dover on the 26th April. If you would like more information please call Revd Julie Coleman on 01797 362308 or email jvcoleman@btinternet.com

Evening Prayer

I invite you to join me for Evening Prayer every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5.30 pm at the following churches during a particular month. This informal service is a time of reflection, praise and prayer. During one of the evenings I will invite you to join with me in praying along the pews giving thanks for all those who have worshipped and prayed in that place, while also praying for those God is inviting to join us in the future.

St. Peter & St. Paul, Newchurch – March 2015

St. George, Ivychurch - April 2015

All Saints, Burmarsh – May 2015