Family News issue 5

Family News issue 5

St Cuthbert’s Family News Issue 5
Welcome to another edition of our family news as we approach the most important
festival in the Christian calendar.The situation in this country appears, at long last, to be
improving with the gradual reopening of the church imminent as we go to press. We do
indeed appear to have the promise of better times ahead.
During this time of lockdown I am sure that many of us have spent more time than usual
reading. Amongst the books I have read recently have been two biographies of great men
of God. The latest of these is the story of Dr
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones who, at the age of
26 and newly married gave up a promising
career in medicine at St Bartholomews
Hospital and a practice in Harley Street to
become the pastor of a chapel in Wales.
On arrival at the chapel ML-J found a
fellowship in decline although there were over
100 members, but in the next few years that
membership was to swell to over 500. Within
the pages of this book there are accounts of
some of the people who turned to the Lord.
There was a spirit medium who ran a spiritist
meeting on Sundays who was conscious of a
supernatural power immediately she entered
the chapel. She never held another spiritist
meeting. There was Mark a violent 60 year old
who settled his arguments with his fists who
was arrested by the Spirit of God at his first
meeting. Then there was Bill a foul-mouthed
drunk who found hope in the chapel and never
went back to the drink.
As I read these stories tears of joy were welling up and I had to put the book down for a
few minutes. If you ever have the time I recommend that you read one of the biographies
of these great Christian servants of the Lord. I find them very encouraging at times such
as this.
Let’s come forward in time now and hear a bit more of the Phil Dant story: “1992 what a
year! I saw more live football matches in one season than before or since and Cambridge
United nearly got into the premiership. I climbed more mountains (48 Munros) than in any
other year of my life. At the end of a fantastic two weeks in the summer holidays climbing
37 Munros, I was descending ‘Driesh’ my last one, back down the ‘Shank of Drumfollow’
to the beautiful Glen Doll forest in the Eastern Grampians. Captivated by the beauty of it
all: my great adventure including a boat trip to a wild camp in a a remote glen with two
friends, 3 Munros and a torchlight dinner back at the tent, and the next day a 5 Munro
climb up and down, up and down etc… back to the car over about 20 miles of walking
with full packs – my best walk ever! I suddenly burst out singing ‘How great thou art’ as I
approached from the ‘lofty mountain grandeur’ to the ‘woods and forest glades’. Back down in the glen I read my New Testament by the soft shimmering waters of the river
making it’s way peacefully over the stones and granite blocks. Happy and content there
was just one thing missing, and so I prayed.
The following Easter, on my next trip, I made my way to Ardgartan Youth Hostel (now a
hotel) near Loch Lomond. I walked into the member’s kitchen and spotted my friend Bob
and started chatting enthusiastically about the programme of walks for the week. Sitting
next to Bob was a very pretty girl with a lovely smile. I chatted to her and her friend while
cooking up a curry in the kitchen. Next morning we climbed up Beinn Narnain in the
‘Arrochar Alps’ I ended up chatting to the pretty girl on the ascent. I was particularly
attracted by her warm personality and her yellow shirt and black leggings (Cambridge
United colours). The next day, a Sunday, we got chatting again and I helped her down the
steep path at various points. During the week l led a time of worship on my guitar, singing
among other songs ‘How great thou art’. At the end of the week we swapped addresses
and a few weeks later I ended up at Rye Park in Hoddesdon visiting Nicola. Nearly 28
years later we are still here. God does indeed answer prayer!”
Thanks Phil for that very touching story.
The Hoddesdon Journal for July 1936 reports that “The talk of St Cuthbert’s Church
breaking from its parent body at Hoddesdon aroused much interest throughout local
church circles recently. This separation question has been in the minds of Rye Park
people for years, but up till now they have had to rest content under the governing wing
of the Vicar of Hoddesdon. At the meeting held last month to consider the advisability of
a break, it was evident that Rye Park people were very enthusiastic for a separation, and
were keen to surmount any obstacles that might be brought to hinder the arrival of that
happy state. Judging by what was said at that meeting, the Vicar of Hoddesdon and the
Bishop of St Albans would also be glad to see Rye Park as a separate parish. The Rev.
Frost is apparently due to leave the district, and has intimated his unwillingness to return
as the Vicar of Rye Park, should the separation come to pass.”
A fascinating look at our church history and, we now know, that Rye Park did become a
separate parish.
Happy Easter everyone

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