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St Anne’s Parish Church West Heath Message from The Pulpit Contact Us
Seeking to make St Anne's a home to invite everyone into!

At St Anne’s, as a congregation, we have a vision that rejoices in the inheritance of faith we have in Jesus Christ, building on the past and looking to the future so we can pass on to future generations the love of Jesus.

As a result of some hard thinking and work in the PCC we have added to this vision as part of the ‘Transforming Church’ initiative in the diocese and have adopted the following:-


‘St Anne’s is seeking to be a home to invite everyone into.


As a part of Christ’s church, we seek to respond to God’s Holy Spirit’s prompting and guiding to share Jesus love in our community.  This Love we try to work out in prayer and action in our own lives and in the life of this parish as a worshipping community of Christians.

As a result at St Anne’s we seek to:

       gifts God has given each of us.



 

The Shepherds’ Story


How hard and brittle seemed the stars in the cold night air,

Against the blackness of the winter sky, high and aloof they appeared to be

Not wanting or needing earth’s company, neutral

Watchers of a world cursed with sin and hostility.


We were the shepherds in the fields that fateful night,

Shivering with the cold, Watching o’er the flocks with the night far spent as our fathers did of old.

Every sense and nerve alert, we stood calm and vigilant

Until suddenly a great dazzling light enveloped us all as the black night sky was rent.


Paralysed with the fear that the unknown brings, we fell upon the ground

Our simple lives, though fraught with alarms, never met with things profound.

Then an angel from the presence of God spoke with commanding voice,

“Fear not for I bring you good tidings of great joy to make your hearts rejoice.”


“Arise, God is with you –this surely you soon shall prove,

For unto you in Bethlehem a child is born, to us a son is given

Lying in a manager, in a stable you will find him, wrapped in baby linen

These tidings are for you and all mankind.”  He finished speaking, then again the sky was riven.


Out of the opening sky appeared a multitude of the heavenly host,

Glorifying God, from whose presence they were sent

Unhindered by space or time or by element

Celestial beings of a higher order enriching the heavens with unparalleled grandeur

To our very dying day this sight we shall ever remember

Even when our minds grow dim.


Excited now we searched and found –just as the Angel had said,

The Christ child in a stable bare, lying in a manager bed.

We stood and gazed in wonder at the holy scene sublime,

And it seemed in that very moment, that eternity merged with time.


Why, here was the greatest of miracles, something fore-ordained

The mighty power and love of God in that tiny form contained,

And creatures of the lower order who inhabited that lowly place,

Knelt and worshipped their creator with muted eloquence.


And we, hard, rough men with unaccustomed tears, bowed down in worship too

With emotions that were strange to us –for we were often cynical and bitter-

Having suffered long under Roman rule with their harsh laws obeyed to the letter,

But now we had seen the Son of God and our hearts were changed for ever.


Sadly we realised that the time had come for us to take our leave

And we stole one more glance at the holy child e’re we finally did depart

And we knew that God had favoured us, we were first to see and believe,

While the young mother, calm and silent, pondered all these things in her heart.


Back once again in the sheepfold we could scarce contain our delight,

And our hearts brimmed o’er with the joy and peace which was ours that holy night.

Surely now there must come a great change through the power of such love divine,

Charged with excitement still we cast our eyes above,

Convinced that those cold, indifferent stars did now more kindly shine.



D.G.Rathbone   2009