Dear friends,

November is a month to remember. And we remember not to take things for granted. Not taking things for granted helps us have better focus, and better priorities in our life.

On Sunday 13th November at 10am it is Remembrance Sunday service. This is a good opportunity to express publicly the much-needed intention not to take peace for granted. It is nearly 80 years since the end of World War Two. Psychologically many of the younger generations may be thinking such war will never visit us. We can all too easily take peace for granted.

The war resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine reminds us: don’t take peace for granted. Devastating war is closer than we think. And Remembrance Sunday helps us remember.

Jesus taught very clearly that this age, in which we live, will see wars. He was not the sort of humanist who believes that humankind is getting better in all ways, and such bad things are going away. Not at all. Jesus said ‘there will be wars and rumours of wars’ right up to the time of his second coming. He warned us so that we can be ready to face up to the challenges of our times, and to work for peace, and to be ready for war. Many of the Ukrainians are Christians and this has helped them to be resilient in the face of terrible warmongering. We want to be resilient. Being resilient is helped by good remembering.

On Sunday 6th November at 4pm we have a Service to Remember in church. It is a service to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. This is helpful as we come to terms with our loss. And it also helps us to value our close friends and family. Sometimes we take them for granted. A shared experience of expressing our grief at loved ones lost, reminds us how much we valued them, and helps us not to take our remaining family and friends for granted. Remembering helps us value people and cherish people.

On Sunday 6th November at 9am and 10.30am, it is our Thanksgiving Service. We remember that all we have comes from God’s generosity. As we look back with gratitude for a year in which we have completed a hall refurbishment (including new chairs arriving this month) and have improved the hospitality in church with new pew cushions (and a new lighting system this month, as we finally complete the Organ and Lighting Project), we are full of thanksgiving. And thanksgiving is a marvellous antidote to taking things for granted.

As we make plans for next year and face up to our financial challenges as a church, we will remind ourselves that we can’t take St Luke’s for granted. It may have been there for nearly 600 years, but there will only continue to be a church building if there are church congregations who meet in it, who give generously to help it function and grow. Thanksgiving Sunday helps us remember.

November is a month to help us remember such important things. Come and remember. And so be ready and focussed on the things that really matter.

Yours in Christ,


Canon Rob McLaren, Vicar