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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B Alton Abbey
4 October 2015
Genesis 2: 18-24; Hebrews 2: 9-13; Mark 10: 2-16

I sometimes think that the reason there are two accounts of creation in Genesis is because although each has some good points, neither is entirely satisfactory. For me, the good bit in Genesis 1 is discovering that both boys and girls are made to bear the image of the divine: God created man in the image of himself . . . male and female he created them; while tha...t is not in our reading today, Mark refers to it in the gospel reading we have just heard. And in Genesis 2, which we did hear this morning, there is man’s recognition that woman is not different to him in the way that the cat, dog, sheep, goat, or camel, that he had just named are different for she is identical with himself: ‘bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh’.

That is a lesson that we should extend beyond man in relationship with woman, using the recognition of ‘flesh of my flesh’ as the speculum through which we view all the areas of life in which man is prone to reject the other, the different. Politics, race and physical attributes, class and economic standing, sexual orientation, religion: all these give us opportunities (if we are foolish) to look down on other people as less than ourselves; and when we reject them, we turn our backs on something that we should prize and respect, for when we do so, we reject God’s creative work in the different other, who is, when all is said and done, bone of our bones, and flesh of our flesh.

And that is why the Word of God was ‘for a short while made lower than the angels’ in the flesh of Jesus. For now, when we reject our neighbour and refuse to recognise that he/she is bone and flesh of our bone and flesh, we are rejecting God, who was incarnate in human flesh and born of Mary. But when we accept the other, whoever that other may be as also made in the image of God, also flesh of our flesh and bone of our bones, we are together brought into glory, as the writer to the Hebrews points out, ‘the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock, that is why he openly calls them brothers’.

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Many of our friends will recognise the lady seen in this picture with her husband Cesar. For fifteen and a half years, Barbra Cotelo Gomez has worked at the Abbey, firstly in the Wafer Bakery, and more recently in the Kitchen and Guesthouse. Today was her last day at work with us. Please join us in wishing her well as she moves on to pastures new, with different challenges. Thank you, Barbra, for all you have been for us.

Alton Abbey's photo.

On this day in 1915 a man died at Alton Abbey, and was buried on the following day in the next available slot in our cemetery. He had been living in the care of our community under somewhat unusual circumstances: Josef Wighart was one of approximately 300 German Merchant Sailors interned at the Abbey soon after the start of the Great War. We do not know whether he had any family who were informed of his death; we do know that his body was moved in 1960 to the German War Cemetery on Cannock Chase. Josef died far from home, interned for the duration of the war. We are proud that we were able to care for him. May the refugees fleeing current warfare and social unrest also find places of safety, and care according to their needs.

Prior Andrew's sermon for the
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Alton Abbey
13 September 2015
Isaiah 50: 5-9; James 2: 14-18; Mark 8: 27-35

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Great views at the Abbey this afternoon, which one is your favourite, like it or share it. We love them all.

Alton Abbey's photo.
Alton Abbey's photo.
Alton Abbey's photo.

This morning at Mass, Abbot Giles will bless for use the bowl-paten presented to him yesterday by the Friends of Alton Abbey to mark the 25th anniversary of his election as abbot.

Celebrating 25 Years, congratulations to Abbot Giles

Alton Abbey's photo.
"Lovely to see so many people here."
Alton Abbey's photo.

Today the Community rejoices that, twenty five years ago, Abbot Giles was first elected to the abbatial office that he has held since (with an interlude 2010-13). At Mass today we shall sing the three hymns chosen by our abbot for his service of abbatial blessing in 1990. Please join us in giving thanks to God for all the blessings showered upon us through the ministry of Abbot Giles.

Anyone fancy giving a few quid to this endeavour, in memory of our Brother John Baptist Lott who died in WW1 - it is sited in Suffolk, the county of Brother John's birth?

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Great War Huts

Great War Huts is a First World War heritage project saving eleven original Wooden Army Huts of the kind that virtually every British and Commonwealth Soldier, ...Sailor, Airman and Servicewoman would have lived in at some point during their service.
This is the film we have made about our 'Hut Rescue' crowdfunding campaign and the First World War visitor's centre where the huts are being restored and rebuilt.
Please watch it and help us by sharing this post, and donate if you can to help with the restoration, using this link: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hut-rescue

Thank you for your time.

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