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A Message from Our Vicar -March 2019

        ‘Working as Christ’s presence within the world’

The film: The Greatest Showman has generated all manner of followings that are understandable, as it was the most successful film in UK cinemas in 2018. It tells the tale (although it takes quite a liberty with the truth) of Phineas T. Barnum, who looked for opportunities in a world that was hungry for hope. The Greatest Showman looks at this world through the eyes of the outsider, of those who have no self-respect, because the world has no respect for them.

In this portrayal of Barnum’s Circus, he takes on a world of prejudice and gives the outsiders a voice. All seems to be going so well, until he is blinded by his own success and strays from all that is faithful and true in his life.

We live in a world where there is still so much prejudice and where we need to stay true to ourselves and to what we believe, however difficult this may be at times. Jesus stood by the outcast. More than that, He spent His ministry actively seeking them out and giving them His time. He stood beside the poor, the disabled and anybody who was considered a ‘second-class’ member of society. He was a faithful Jew, but He understood the value of every member of God’s creation: His creation. He came to share God’s love and to show us that all are worthy of that love. Nothing that is created is worth more or less or should be loved more less than any other thing that has been created. God created all things and ‘saw that it was good’ Genesis 1:1-3. And, when it came to humanity, God didn’t create some of us as superior to others; He granted us all different gifts, this is true, but they are gifts for us to use and to share in the knowledge that we are all equal.

We all have hopes and dreams and we all have an equal right to see these realised, for our own personal goals to come alive. The Greatest Showman was set in the 1850s and 1860s. It would be hoped that in the 2019 we have moved on considerably from the intolerances of those years and it will be good to challenge ourselves within the themes of faith, hope and redemption as we move through the season of Lent.

In the film, Lettie Lutz sings ‘This is me’ – a song that has been re-sung by so many people since the film was first shown and is regularly heard on the radio. Its message is powerful: we are who we are, we are who God created us to be. So, come along just as you are, and we hope that we will all ‘Come Alive’ in our faith as we move through the course and the season of Lent.

The five weeks offer us an opportunity to reflect upon our faithfulness to God and to His creation and to tackle some challenging questions raised by the film. You do not need any theological training or deep knowledge of either scripture or the film to join in our discussions. You need only an openness and a willingness to grow in faith and understanding alongside other people.

You are welcome to come along and throw yourself headlong into the discussion, or merely listen and then reflect quietly on your own, following the meeting. And if you can’t make every week, that’s also fine.  Please don’t miss out just because you can’t make every one. We will re-show the excerpts from the film each week as we discuss them.

Looking forward to a reflective and exciting Lent.

God Bless




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