The Magazine for the people of the parishes of New Alresford and Ovington is published monthly (except for January). It is on sale at the west end of St John’s Church and at Six West newsagents (both right in the centre of Alresford) from just before the start of the month.
Here we give you a taste of what is in the current issue – we hope you will come and buy a copy. It’s a real bargain at £1 with many interesting articles including: our excellent gardening page by Rose Briar; a recipe in Parish Pantry; details of a bus trip to an interesting location which you can take for free if you have a bus pass; an update of the music-making at St John’s – and the always amusingly quirky Scenes for Alresford Life. We also publish news of Baptisms, Weddings and Successes to celebrate in People Matter, together with obituaries. There are details of many local events, and printed on the coloured pages you will find many useful trade advertisements.
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Editorial from June edition of The Magazine

We are at last allowed to divulge the name of our new Priest-in-charge – quite the opposite from a Stop Press item as I’m sure all our readers already know that it’s the Reverend Julia Myles. She is currently the curate at St Michael’s Church, Alnwick, and has written to introduce herself – see page 28.

Our centre-page spread IS as current as we can possibly be: the Watercress Festival took place on the very day we went to press so it’s inclusion in this issue (on our centre pages) is another example of the team work which went into the day both at St John’s and throughout the town. And weren’t we lucky with the weather? A perfect day especially after the thunder and rain of the preceding days.

The Bells article this month, on page 11, is rather different from usual. There’s news of Sun Hill Infants School on page 24, and information about the weekly Lunch Club on page 23.

We had so many Local Events that they have spilled over onto page 6 and some had to be squeezed in throughout the magazine – see details of the Duck Race, for example on page 21.

If you have any thoughts, opinions or photos you would like to share please send them in to magazine@stjohnsalresford.org.uk (and DO get in touch if you don’t receive an acknowledgement as things sometimes go astray in the ether), or bring it in to the Parish Office.

 

We are at last allowed to divulge the name of our new Priest-in-charge – quite the opposite from a Stop Press item as I’m sure all our readers already know that it’s the Reverend Julia Myles. She is currently the curate at St Michael’s Church, Alnwick, and has written to introduce herself – see page 28.

Our centre-page spread IS as current as we can possibly be: the Watercress Festival took place on the very day we went to press so it’s inclusion in this issue (on our centre pages) is another example of the team work which went into the day both at St John’s and throughout the town. And weren’t we lucky with the weather? A perfect day especially after the thunder and rain of the preceding days.

The Bells article this month, on page 11, is rather different from usual. There’s news of Sun Hill Infants School on page 24, and information about the weekly Lunch Club on page 23.

We had so many Local Events that they have spilled over from their usual pages 4 & 5 onto page 6 and some had to be squeezed in throughout the magazine – two examples are the Duck Race on page 27, and the Ovington Fête on page 23.

If you have any thoughts, opinions or photos you would like to share please send them in to magazine@stjohnsalresford.org.uk (and DO get in touch if you don’t receive an acknowledgement as things sometimes go astray in the ether), or bring it in to the Parish Office.

Judy

 

Leading Article from June edition of The Magazine

What? Jesus? Involved in Politics?

 

A broad definition of the word ‘Politics’ is concerned with the whole of our life in human society. It is the art of living together in a community. It is a parent encouraging a child, or a colleague invitef to liaise.

 

According to its narrow definition, politics is the science of government. It is concerned with the development and adoption of specific policies with a view to their being converted into legislation. It is about gaining power for social change.

 

Was Jesus involved in politics? In the narrow sense he clearly was not. He never formed a political party, formulated a political programme or fostered a political protest. He took no steps to  influence the policies of Caesar, Pilate or Herod.

 

In the broader sense of the word, his whole ministry was political. For he had himself come into the world to share in the life of the human community. He sent his followers into the world to do the same.

 

The kingdom of God  he proclaimed and inaugurated was a radically new and different social organization, whose values and standards  confronted and challenged those of old. In this way his teaching had political implications. It offered a dramatic alternative to the status quo. Moreover, his kingdom was perceived as a challenge to Caesar’s.

 

What was this strange, lovely, compelling conception of a kingdom, here, yet to come; within and yet without us; realisable in this world, yet belonging to another; open to all, yet possessed only by those with insight?

 

To Jesus, the idea of the kingdom was the dominating, blazing idea which lit up the whole of his mind.

 

Although Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God or of heaven, a phrase more meaningful and accessible to modern minds is that of the kingdom of right relationships.

 

It is rather strange that the Church has had so little to say about the kingdom. The creeds do not once mention the phrase, which, more than any other, was on the lips of Jesus. The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England elaborate doctrines about which Jesus said nothing, but they are silent about the main theme of all his words.

 

Although the teaching of Jesus was not overtly political, it subverted unjust political structures, challenged oppression and promised people that there was a new kingdom, characterized by justice, in which truth rather than political promises set people free.

 

Jim Wallis, one of the leading figure at the crossroads of religion and politics in America today, described his discovery of  Jesus’ kingdom, ‘as more revolutionary than anything I had found in Karl Marx, Che Guevara, or Ho Chi Minh…… this  kingdom promised to change everything – personally, spiritually, economically, culturally and politically…I signed up.’*

 

Jesus’ kingdom doesn’t start with this world. It’s from somewhere else, but it’s for this world. Indeed, across the years he has taught his followers to pray, ‘Your kingdom come.’

 

Best selling author Brian McLaren writes, ‘perhaps just as it took eighteen hundred years to have the courage to face what Christ’s kingdom meant for slavery, and another hundred to ask what it means for women, and another hundred to begin asking what it means for the environment – perhaps it always takes time for us to be ready to see what has been there all along.

 

‘If  people believe that wars are necessary and justified, the wars will continue to happen….but if they believe in the kingdom of Jesus, they will believe that there are creative alternatives to war and violence, and by the grace of God, fewer and fewer wars and less and less violence may happen as a result……. And someday, perhaps war will go the way of slavery and colonialism, so that we can say that the kingdom of God has more fully come.

 

If you’re part of this kingdom (of right relationships), you begin to live in a way that some will say is stupid and naïve (“Turn the other cheek? Walking the second mile? Defeating violence with forgiveness, sacrifice and love? Come on! Get real!”) But, others might see in that way of life the courageous and wild hope that could heal and transform the world.’ **

 

Peter Colquhoun

 

  • Seven ways to change the world: reviewing faith and politics by Jim Wallis

**  The secret message of Jesus by Brian McLaren