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Dear Friends

The month of May at St Mary's begins with a Book Sale, continues with Christian Aid Week, and finishes with the beginning of nine days of prayer for God's Kingdom to continue to grow here in Whalley and across the world.
I don't know when the first Book Sale took place in church, but there is no doubt they have become a fixed feature of the annual calendar, helping both to raise funds and provide a welcome to a steady stream of visitors. Some of those visitors of course may well be here for the first time, and so it is especially pleasing when they find the church not only open, but also full of activity and life.
Fullness of life is of course at the very heart of the work of Christian Aid, as they work to preserve life and restore dignity to the countless men, women and children who benefit from their care around the world. This year there is a special focus on childbirth in Sierra Leone, with the tag line; 'believing in life after birth'. The Ebola crisis left the country facing huge debts and drove the very limited health services to breaking point; support is therefore needed to ensure, that among so many other things, expectant mothers can receive the assistance they need to give birth safely and give to their children a positive start in life.
God's Kingdom also has fullness of life at it's heart, and for the fourth year running the Thy Kingdom Come novena of prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost will unite Churches throughout the world in praying for the Holy Spirit to inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Either alone at home or together in church, we will be encouraged to join our prayer with countless others as we follow our Lord's example to pray that the 'Kingdom will come here on earth as in heaven...'
Please also continue to pray for Jane Lee, our new curate, as she prepares for her ordination on the 29th of June.
Jonathan
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