brinkburn road, darlington, DL3 6DX

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A church for people of all ages in the heart of the community



Vicar's Letter of the Month  - June


Reverend Lissa Scott writes …….

Dear Friends,

This month we celebrate Pentecost - one of the “big 3” of church festivals, along with Christmas  and Easter. However, while the first two have mass popularity and are celebrated to a greater or lesser extent by most of the population, Pentecost does not seem to hold the same appeal.

This is not difficult to understand, when you think about it. The Christmas story has the “Aaah” factor, with the birth of a baby in storybook fashion and its message of new beginnings and peace. Easter too speaks of new beginnings, and its message of the triumph of good over evil also has echoes of archetypal stories that resounds with familiar narratives. Moreover, both these festivals have an easily explained theology: in the birth of Jesus, God comes to live among men; in the Resurrection of Jesus, God shows his power over death and evil.

The same cannot be said of Pentecost. For a start, Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit and of the three persons of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is always the hardest to define and explain. The events of the day also lack the clear storyline of Christmas and Easter – yes, there is a dramatic event, but as a story it does not pack the same punch. Peter preaching to the crowds, even with wind and flames and foreign languages thrown in, does not really compare in narrative terms with the birth of God’s son in a stable or his death on a cross followed by the empty tomb.

However, I would argue that in some ways the story of Pentecost is one with which we actually have more hope of relating ourselves. It is a story of ordinary, inadequate, frightened people who want to do the right thing but keep making mistakes and getting things wrong – and who are given another chance. It is a story of people who learn from their mistakes and are helped by God to overcome their fear, and who do amazing things, not in their own strength but through the power of God’s Spirit strengthening them. It’s a story of a small remnant of disciples who work from small beginnings, when things look hopeless, and manage to spread their message throughout the world.

That message seems to me exactly what we need to hear and believe in today.

So, enjoy the feast of Pentecost this year -there’s a lot to celebrate!

With every good wish

Lissa Scott