Revd Mark’s October Notes

Dear friends

What a lot of things are happening this month: harvest, the book festival, our Gurdwara visit, the Diocesan conference, St Luke’s Day and All Hallows’ Eve (a very special occasion for All Hallows’ Church). In the midst of all this, we might miss something happening in the weekend when the clocks go back. Sunday 25 October is Bible Sunday. We’ll see from our visit to the Gurdwara that the Sikh scriptures are revered like a living Guru. In fact the sacred book is called Guru Granth Sahib. In synagogues the Torah scrolls are treated with the utmost reverence and replaced at great expense if they suffer any damage. Muslims similarly revere the Koran.

Sometimes it can feel in Anglican worship as if the reading of the Bible is merely a preliminary to the main event: the Eucharist (Holy Communion). I hope our celebration of Bible Sunday this month, however, might make us approach this wonderful gift that we have with renewed reverence and enthusiasm. Just as we believe Christ is present in bread and wine, so I think it is a holy expectation to expect to encounter the Word of God in the word read and preached. That’s not to ask, as a preacher, for one’s words to be held as above critique or correction, but to say that in approaching the Scriptures, we are drawing close to God.

Sometimes the Bible feels like our friend: it brings comfort and encouragement. Sometimes it feels like a puzzle: it is not always easy to understand or relate to our everyday lives. Sometimes the Bible feels like an irritant or even an enemy: it confronts our cosy ways of being with wisdom from another world and time and holds us to account.

There are all sorts of ways we can read Scripture, whether that be studying it on our own, participating in a reading or study group, hearing it read in church or sharing in Dwelling in the Word. But whatever else we do this month, I hope our thanksgiving for the gift of the Bible will encourage us to seek God in its pages and allow it to do its work of transforming us.

At the beginning of November, we’ll be visited by two friends from Sk?vde in Sweden. Here are a few words or phrases you might like to try out:

Hello – Hej (hay)

Goodbye – Hejdå (haydoh)

Yes – ja (yar)

No – nej (nay)

Thank you – tack

Thank you very much — tack så mycket (tak so mick-et)

You’re welcome — varsågod (var-sho-good)

Please – vänligen (ven-lee-gen)

Welcome — välkommen (vell-commen)

Nice to meet you trevliqt att träffas (trev-lee-get treffass)

Sorry – förlåt (furlott)

Coffee break — fika (fee-kuh)

Peace be with vou — frid vare med dig (fridd varruh med


God bless you – Gud vålsigne dig (Gude vell-seen-yuh day)

Together – tilsammans (till-sam-mans)