Photograph courtesy and copyright www.henleystandard.co.uk
Dear Visitors and Friends,
Thank you for visiting the Stoke Row Independent Chapel website.
Well, after the winter floods, the spring gales and the summer heat, we seem to be having a bumper harvest, at least with some of the crops, and we thank God for that. A harvest, of course, depends not only on the surrounding events and environment, but on the quality of the original trees, plants and seeds, and the quality of the cultivation. And it’s not just in agriculture that this is true; something similar is seen in the moral world as well. The slaughter of World War One was the harvest of militarist attitudes in Europe, just as the holocaust of World War Two was the fruit of Nazi culture. The present atrocities, from Libya to North Korea, show in a sickening way what can grow from the seeds of murderous and barbaric beliefs. We can be grateful that the relative peace and human kindliness in Britain are, in large part, the results of centuries of Christian living and teaching. Here are the words of Jesus and Paul, put into modern language: “Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy... and love others as well as you love yourself”... “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of the wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting. Love never fails!”
But there can be moral climate change, just as much as physical and geographical. The encroaching desert of barbarism would love to devastate Britain’s ‘green and pleasant land’. More than 200 years ago Edmund Burke wrote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Let us work and pray for the preservation of our Christian heritage. If we think it too much trouble to live real Christian lives, then we can be sure that unscrupulous evil forces will be only too eager to fill the spiritual vacuum.
Take every aspect of our lives, individually and as a community, cleanse us from our sin that we may be used for Your Kingdom and bring glory to Your Holy and Righteous Name. We are not here to do our own bidding, to seek our own fulfillment or our own glory. We are here to please You.
We yield ourselves to You, to seek to know You, to love You, to obey You, and to grow in holy reverence as we seek to reflect Your light in our living in our community and beyond.
We choose today to love and honour You and to live in Your way. We believe and trust in Your promises that You will walk with us and guide us through the coming days.
We long to serve each other and be alongside each other as Jesus taught us - reaching out the hand of kindness and fellowship to each person we meet along the way.
We trust You, Lord to do that which we cannot do for ourselves. We open our lives to be filled with Your Holy Spirit as by his grace he bestows on us His spiritual gifts in your Church.
Teach us, lead us, and empower us to love and fear Your name; keeping us ever in Your constant love.
In Jesus name we pray together,