On the 22nd of September Mark Knight was licensed as an Authorised Lay Minister at Manchester Cathedral. Mark’s life and activity in St Anne’s has always been low key but deeply committed – a regular with his Son, Callum at the 8.00 am Prayer Book Holy Communion Service. Quietly and without any fuss Mark has pursued this course with the support of the PCC over the last couple of years. His story is an interesting one and his connection with this Church came via his role as one of the youth coaches at Sedgeley Park RFC. Anyway, more about that some other magazine! His particular area as an ALM will be on highlighting social need and justice; focussing on homelessness, poverty social problems affecting young people and how not just St Anne’s but the entire Deanery and other Churches might be find common ground in an effective response.

This follows on from Jesus’ reiteration of most basic command to love one’s neighbour as oneself. We wish Mark well and assure him of our prayers and support as he embarks upon this new stage in his Christian life.

Jesus told a parable about Faith relating it to mustard a seed whose hidden growth is not seen but in the end, with correct tending and watering comes to great fruition.

Much of our Christian development goes on “behind the scenes” as it were. We learn things in simple ways and in the course of everyday life. We don’t require a Damascus Road experience to know God’s love or be challenged by the Gospel imperative. I am treading a book at the moment entitled The Joy of God that is a composite of letters and advice given by a Benedictine nun to postulants and others in and outside of her convent about how to deal with people you find annoying, how to live in community and a host of other everyday issues. She remarks that one has to work at goodness, disciplining both body and mind; it simply doesn’t just fall out of the sky.

But in working at it the seed of faith does indeed grow and we are indeed changed. It requires patience, day in and day out and often feeling as though nothing much is happening; the change may seem imperceptible but it is occurring nonetheless. For this to happen we are required to keep the seeds of our faith well tended and watered through prayer, the Sacraments, reflecting on Holy Scripture ,our fellowship and the wonderful support we receive from one another.

Every blessing

The Vicar