February 2018

Once again we are very much looking forward to our Toolbox sessions on Sunday evenings, 18th Feb, 25th Feb and 4th March. These sessions take place at 6.30pm on a Sunday evening and replace our normal Sunday evening Service. On each occasion we offer three or four seminars designed to help us to think through how best we can apply our faith in Christ in a modern world. I do trust that you will be able to join us – please get in touch with the Church office to indicate which seminars you will be attending if at all possible so that we can allocate suitable sized rooms for each seminar.

There are a whole range of seminars available this year, but focusing on external speakers we are specially looking forward to the following:

Persecution and the suffering Church – Asif Mall (Release International)
Together with Philip James from Grace Church we will be looking at the reality of persecution both in the Old Testament and also in the current experience of many around the world. How should we look at this whole subject of the suffering of God’s people? How can we support and encourage those who are experiencing persecution around the world today? It is an important subject – please come!

Bishop Andy Lines – What’s happening in the Anglican Communion?
Sunday 25th February we have a visit from Bishop Andy Lines. He is already well known to us as the Mission Director of Crosslinks, but recently he has been consecrated as a Missionary Bishop for Europe under the auspices of GAFCON. We will be exploring what is happening across the Anglican Communion and we will be in the hands of someone who has first-hand knowledge. Significant things are happening within Anglicanism and it is important that we keep abreast of them.

Depression – speaking words of hope and help – Helen Thorne
Sunday 4th March we are once again joined by Helen Thorne who joined us a couple of years ago to speak on the issue of eating disorders. She is now working at London City Mission and she has great experience in helping people to think through the complex causes of depression and the difference that gospel centred care can make. Many of our friends experience depression and therefore once again this is an extremely important topic for us to engage with.

Addiction and gambling – Justyn Rees Larcombe
Also Sunday 4th March we have a visit from Justyn Rees Larcombe who has himself been through the trauma of coping with a serious gambling addiction. He will be speaking about the issue of addiction and especially gambling, and how we can offer support and advice to those coping with gambling addictions. In places like Sevenoaks this may well be a hidden problem, but it is a serious one and it is important that we think through how best we can be salt and light within our community.

There are lots of other Toolbox seminars which we will be running over the coming weeks, but I do trust that across our congregations we will make maximum use of these opportunities. In Romans 12:1-2, the apostle Paul tells us that we are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but rather we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is what Toolbox is all about – helping us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we are engaging as Christians with the world around us. I do trust that you will join me at these sessions.

With very best wishes,

Yours sincerely in Christ

Angus MacLeay
(Rector, St. Nicholas Sevenoaks)

February 2018