St James' Church Update - April 2017
When we moved to Melton five years ago (is it really that long?) we
inherited 2 old apple trees, one a Bramley and the other an unknown eater that stores well. They both produced lots of fruit that we were able to share with family, friends, neighbours and the Samworth
Centre (always grateful for use in the café).
However, the apples were not very big and the trees were very congested. So last January we had them professionally pruned, with lots of central branches cut out and many more cut back and thinned. Last year we had far fewer apples, but of a much better quality.
We’ve just finished 3 hours of pruning ourselves, using loppers to cut off myriads of vertical shoots growing heavenwards. It’s been an abnormally warm and sunny February day, with a clear blue sky, so we too have been looking heavenwards to do the pruning. It brought to mind a hymn we used to sing. . .
‘May the mind of Christ my Saviour Live in me from day to day.’
It includes the verse
‘May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe
Looking only unto Jesus, As I onward go.’
At church we have recently been inspected for insurance purposes and the conclusion was that the wooden ladder in the bell tower should be changed for an aluminium one. Normal beings might think one could go to B and Q, have them deliver a new ladder and swop them. But we are dealing with the C of E who need us to apply for a faculty, get quotes from three contractors and then get permission to purchase said ladder. Our Health and Safety rep. has spent some considerable time in the bell tower, measuring the existing ladder, taking photographs, climbing the sturdy old ladder to see how the bell ropes pass through the trap door into the bell chamber BUT facing heavenwards! It feels a bit like “facing a foe”.
I think Jesus knew a bit about pruning, but vines rather than apples. In John chapter 15 he said “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
We pray that as the church moves forward with plans for modernisation we will not lose sight of why we are going through so many hoops. We hope to follow Jesus as closely as a branch is attached to its trunk and may we bring other people into our fellowship and to a loving relationship with Him. May we be as fruitful as our apple trees.
Coming Events at St James’
April 1st Coffee Morning and stalls in the village hall in aid of our refurbishment fund.
April 9th Palm Sunday no service at St James' as we are joining with St Mary's for a 10am service with Bishop Martyn.
April 16th Easter Service at 11.15 with Easter Egg Hunt and special gift day for our project.
April 23rd AGM at 4pm in the church. All welcome.
June 3rd 50/50 Auction following the coffee morning in the Village Hall. Proceeds to our refurbishment fund. Bring items you want to sell!