St Mary the Virgin, Maulden

The Rector's Letter

Each month the Rector writes an article for the Parish Magazine

To download a copy Click Here for April

 I am writing this letter towards the end of my two and a half months Study leave. It has been good to catch up with reading, administration and also to take time out of parish life to think and reflect.

Also I have enjoyed walking along the Greensand Ridge walk and trekking in Northern Cyprus. I find walking gives me space to think and pray as well as other physical benefits too.

However the highlight of my tame away from the parish was my trip to Ethiopia. It is a fascinating country no least because it has never been colonised. I was surprised to learn that they use the Julian calendar and so Ethiopia is seven years behind the rest of the world. . They have twelve months of 30days and an additional thirteenth month with 5 or 6 days.

They also tell the time differently too. As Ethiopia is so near to the Equator daylight is pretty consistent throughout the year many Ethiopians us a 12 hour clock with one cycle from Dawn to Dusk and the other from Dusk to Dawn.

The economy of the country is also behind much of the world .With regard

To religion they are also proud that little has changed over the centuries.

There is a tradition  that after the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon she

Bore a son. He became the first King in the Ethiopian Dynasty of which

Hailie Salassie was the last.

There is another important tradition that the lost Ark of the Covenant is

now housed in a Church in Axum. .As it is guarded day and night by a priest

it can neither be proved nor disproved. Whatever the truth this helps to

explain why Ethiopian Orthodoxy places a heavy emphasis on the Old

Testament. So shoes have to be removed on entering a Church as Moses

removed his shoes when he met with God at the burning bush (Exodus 3)

Women have to wear scarves to cover their hair in accordance with St 

Paul’s teaching (I Corinthians 11)

The Church traces its origins right back to the New Testament. There were

From Ethiopia present on the Day of Pentecost and we know that Philip

Baptised an Ethiopian Treasurer whom he met on the road to Gaza.

Although Christianity came to England later than Ethiopia we too have a

long tradition of which we are proud.

However over the years attendance at regular worship has declined and

many small village churches are under threat of closure.

Of course we recognise that life is busy and with Sunday sport and Sunday

Shopping there is a danger that we will become a secular nation.

That is why we believe it is important for the church to be open every day

 for Prayer and quiet reflection. We also have a variety of services so that there is something to suit everyone.

We have seen an increase in the number of people attending Christmas,

Easter, Harvest and other important Festivals as well as our monthly Family

Services too.

Se we hope that you will always feel welcome to join us.

As Christians believe that it is important to come to church or there is a  

danger that we can squeeze God out of our lives. God

Easter is the most important Festival in the Christian Calendar as we

celebrate the joy of the resurrection

We have services throughout Holy Week.

 There is an Agape Communion on Maundy Thursday, The Walk of

Witness son Good Friday in the morning and “The Last Hour “at 2pm

On Easter Day there is a Dawn service as well as services of Holy

Communion and Sung Communion too.

Even though Christianity was brought to England later than to Ethiopia we

like them are proud of our heritage.

With all good wishes

Lynda Klimas