On this rock I will build my church – (June 2017)
Fishbourne Church has as many of you will know two patron saints. St Mary and of course St Peter.And you may well ask, what is a Patron Saint and why do we have them. In a nutshell, it is a saint chosen to be the special ‘intercessor’ in heaven for a particular place or organisation, such as a parish church, cathedral or hospital. In fact there are patron saints for just about every aspect of life from actors, dentists, musicians, to nurses, refugees and even the weather.
St Peter was the man on whom Jesus said he would build His church, the one who was given the keys to the kingdom.
Now when we think of the Saints, we imagine them to be very holy perfect people. But this is not so. If you read through the New Testament you will come across a great deal about Peter, much of which depicts him as a man who was unsure, a person who could be rash, irritable and at times for too hasty for his own good.
Yes, Peter is a great encouragement to us all, yes he fell short, yes it seemed as if he really did not understand Jesus very well at all and ‘let’ Him down by denying that he knew Him. But Peter was also gentle and firm, a man of great loyalty and love.
It’s quite incredible really, that the man who was a fisherman, married and not well educated would be chosen by Christ to build the church of which we are a part of to this day. Despite his somewhat wobbly start, peter was the one who addressed the crowds at Pentecost and worked miracles in Christ’s name. he refused to be silenced by the Jewish council and went on to admit the first gentile to baptism.
He encourages us to understand, that in Christ we can all do amazing things, and we are privileged to have him as one of our patron saints for Fishbourne. Many parishes hold what’s known as a patronal festival, an occasion of celebration to honour the Saint of their church.
And so, this year, on Sunday 2nd July, there will be a special service at Fishbourne, this service will involve and include the people of Apuldram and will be held at 11.00am. After the service we will have a lovely shared lunch in the hall, where there will be games, fun and hopefully lots of laughter.
So please do join us on this day, bring your family and friends as we give thanks for our patron saint, who not only intercedes on our behalf, buy encourages us even when we get things wrong.
For on this Rock, our churches are built.