Prayer for those visiting our website 
Almighty and eternal God, 
who created us in your own image and gave us the will to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful,  
especially in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 
we give you thanks for the freedom of communication. 
Grant, we pray you, that through our journies in this website we may be led to  
charity, prayer, patience and greater understanding of each other 
and that we may discern more closely, your will for your pilgrims here on earth. 
To the glory of the Word made Flesh. 
From Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), which is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000. 
Growing Together at St Laurence Church 
Growing Together is an informal discussion group which meets fortnightly on 
Wednesday mornings at 10.00 am. 
Our aim is to explore the Christian faith and relate it to topical issues. Meetings are led by members of the group, and everyone has the chance to talk about their thoughts and ideas.  
Anyone is welcome to come to a meeting; please contact Philip Jones (01725 512204) for details of  
venue and discussion topics, or for any further information. 
Meeting dates are: 
Looking Both Ways 
November 2016 
There is a lot of looking backwards in November. Remembrance Sunday recalls the time one hundred years ago when our country was at war on a huge scale. It also tells of many times since when we have sent away our young people and some have not returned, or have returned damaged in body or mind. Last year on that day, I was in another parish nearby, where we especially remembered a young man from the village, who was killed in Afghanistan. I am amazed now to see how close we are in the wider society to forgetting even that recent conflict. And still we say ‘Lest we forget.’ 
But the end of the year is also a time for looking forward. Advent Sunday on the 27th is a time when we look forward in hope to the end time, when the pains and woes of this world will be healed by God, when ‘Christ will come again,’ as we sing or say in our worship. 
In practical terms, Advent Sunday also marks our beginning again in the three-year cycle of reading the Gospels. We start again with Matthew, the beginning of the New Testament. Matthew was writing for one of the first Christian communities, telling the story of Jesus’ life and teaching, his death and resurrection.  
The Gospel tells Matthew’s story too: 
“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’  
And he got up and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9) 
The one who has been helping the foreign invader to collect taxes sees the opportunity for a new start with Jesus. As our year draws to a close, may we hear the call of Jesus ‘Follow me’ and find for ourselves a new beginning. 
Let us pray: 
O Almighty God, 
whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector 
to be an apostle and evangelist: 
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain 
and the possessive love of riches 
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ. 
This page includes text from Common Worship, which is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. 
Rev Bill Rogers lives in Downton and is a ‘priest in secular employment’.  
Bill tweets for the Forest and Avon Team churches using @forestavon 
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