The Parish of Burchetts Green

but to help raise the profile of church within the community is something we can do without compromising the other demands on our time. The whole process is designed to be viewed long term but with achievable goals being met in the shorter term.

All churches are facing similar challenges and even those regarded as 'successful' ie by attendance numbers still have to work hard to be relevant to the communities they serve otherwise they are merely self-focused and inward looking.

We as a parish are relatively small, with rural village communities which are always ready to support the church's presence. What we have to improve though is making spirituality, ie an awareness of God in everyday life, just as, if not more important, to the health of the community as a whole.

I know we have much to be thankful for but being more aware of community needs is always going to be a positive force for growth. I have just returned from what has now become my annual pilgrimage to Walsingham. It has been encouraging to see hundreds of people filling the shrine church, over the course of a few days, coming from all points of tine compass.

The desire to deepen faith and experience the love of God continues to draw people to church and to share together the benefits of belonging. The ripple effect as the pilgrims return home sustains and touches even more.

I hope all of you have enjoyed the summer and are ready to put faith into action. As the Apostle James says 'be doers of the word and not merely hearers'. Every blessing

Times they are a-changing by Rev Dilys

The signs of seasonal change are already visible. The leaves on some trees are beginning to take on a different hue and the shorter evenings are already noticeable. The change from summer to autumn is not only noticed in physical change but also in mood change. When wc move from winter to spring there is a lifting of mood and a feeling of new energy as we look forward to the warmth of the sun. From summer to autumn though we know that in the weeks and months ahead light levels and sunshine will lessen as winter draws closer.

All this, of course, is subjective, some preferring the glorious colours and smells of autumn and bright, cold, frosty days. We're shielded from extreme heat, monsoons and intense cold other areas of the planet contend with. England's green and pleasant land is something to be thankful for even on wet, blustery days.

The main family holiday season is also drawing to its end, as attention is directed to new school and college terms that are about to resume. We move into a higher gear now when once again we work to timetables and deadlines.

For all of us, opportunities for change and doing new tilings are something we should consider. Church activities start again after the break and the meetings for our 'Mission Action Planning' are almost complete. We hope this will provide a new impetus for integrating church activities into community-focused needs. A lot of thought has gone into these discussions and we hope to see a positive outcome over time.

The important thing to remember is that everyone has something of value to offer and as church we will only make a difference if we all become involved. We are all busy people with lives with many demands made upon us,