Our All Age Worship here at St. Oswald’s broke new ground this morning. Our PCC decided that they wanted to focus, this year, on poverty at home: this is the 350th poorest parish in the Church of England. Our harvest collection of food went to Blackburn Food Bank. We listened to the amazing Rev Pam Wise from South Oxhey talking about poverty (on CD, not in person, but we all had a picture of her so we could imagine her talking)! You can see her here -she talked about the invisibility of poor people. We then listened to Alison Moyet singing ‘Invisible’ while we reflected on the past week and tried to identify times when we’d failed to ‘see’ those who seem, so often, to live in the shadows. We prayed for these people as we laid pebbles at the feet of our beautiful crucifix, itself given to us by someone who lived in poverty.
Then we did a church quiz – two actually. The children did this quiz from The Children’s Society; there were some really lively discussions about which might be the right answers. The adults did a quiz from Church Action on Poverty: I think many were surprised at some of the answers. The winning teams got Smarties, asking them to think carefully about how they were going to share them out – at least one person was going around church sharing them with everyone!
Time, then to think about our own greed and ingratitude – wooden hearts were held as we thought about this, them taken up at the offertory procession and God’s love and forgiveness proclaimed. We shared in the Eucharist together – a small but faithful community of Christians, on the edge in many ways.
The remaining items in our All Age Goody Bags were a sweet (to be eaten) and a piece of card with the ling to ‘How Rich am I?‘ This gives your wealth in terms of a percentage of global wealth – it’s very surprising! Why not give it a go?
Afterwards a group of us went to the newly refurbished Britannia Inn for lunch. We were looked after excellently and the food was delicious. This time together is so important for some of our older members who can feel quite isolated in the week. Thanks, Britannia staff for looking after us so well!