Services

Sunday Services

8.00 Eucharist

10.00 The Parish Eucharist

10.00 Junior Church

18.30 Evening Prayer

19.00 Benediction

Weekday Eucharists

Tuesday 10.00

Wednesday 19.00

Thursday 10.00

Friday 12.30

Saturday 18.00

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Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3JG.
01823 354800
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Wednesday
May292019

Fr Julian writes...

FR JULIAN WRITES…

We have just had one of the most significant and surprising elections in British constitutional history, with the ‘major’ parties being given a thorough drubbing in the European elections.  A party which had only been formed six weeks earlier topped the poll, and once again the complete polarisation of the parties and the nation has been spectacularly exposed.  Regardless of one’s point of view, it is clear that there will need to be a great deal of reconciliation between those of differing views and agendae. 

In a few weeks’ time, we shall be celebrating two of the major feasts in the Church’s year:  Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.  At Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and thus the beginning of the Church.  It is the Spirit that gives life, and the Spirit that unites.  Our Feast of Title, Trinity Sunday, celebrates the unity of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three Persons yet one God.

As we think about what is happening in this country at the moment, with a divided nation and elections for the leadership of both the Conservatives and LibDems, we can perhaps see some parallels within the Church.

When the Holy Spirit initially descended on those frightened people in that locked room, they were empowered to go out and with one voice, yet with many languages, proclaim the one gospel of salvation.  We are told at people’s amazement that they each heard what was being said ‘in their own tongues.’  The Holy Spirit has been described as the ‘spirit of truth and love’ and its gifts unite, not divide.  How can we demonstrate our adherence to truth and love, effectively showing that we are Spirit-led people in our society, our nation, our world?  I would suggest that as individuals, yet members of one Body, we could and should do this by working to bring about reconciliation.

Fine words, I can imagine you thinking.  Perhaps even a good principle, an ideal to work towards. But isn’t it also naïve?  The Christian faith is an ideal, and contains many ‘fine words’ and principles for happy and effective living, but it cannot be said that it has been successful so far.

Maybe it is because we are trying to resolve problems through a world-view prism; we tend to operate by the world’s standards and expectations.  The opposite is to live Spirit-filled lives, where the unthinkable is done and is also achieved.  Again, people may argue that that is like looking through rosy-tinted glasses.  But the unthinkable does happen – Jesus is risen.  Unity is achieved – one of the gifts of the Spirit.  And the Church exists to transform the world not be conformed by it.  Even the central doctrine of God the Holy Trinity can be argued as being illogical, but it is a fact.

There is a saying that ‘truth will out’.  Politically, we’re finding out how very pertinent this is at this very moment.  What is apparent to the political parties is that they have to change, to listen more, and to act on the wishes of the people, whatever their political agenda.  We, the Church, can show how this can be done.  By listening with respect.  By pointing out error without intimidation or threat.  By trusting in something or someone beyond ourselves.  By speaking in a way that all can understand and welcome.

This we cannot do in our strength, and so we rejoice that God gives the means to do so.  What perhaps we are not so good at when we think of Pentecost and its effects, is that God not only gives us the means, but also the will.  Again this is reflected politically, and again we can show ‘them’ how it can be done, why it should be done, and the will to do it.

It remains to be seen what state politics will be in in even a few weeks’ time, but through the gift of the Spirit, the Church is formed, empowered and given her purpose.  Let’s get on with it!