Today is one of my “special” days. The anniversary of the day I was christened in St Mary’s Church in Northolt in 1953; a Grade 1 listed church, parts of which are thought to date back to the 13th century. According to wikipedia, it stands on a slope that originally overlooked the old village of Northolt and is situated adjacent to the site of a 15th century manor house.
It is one of London’s smallest churches but, despite its small size, the church has played an important role in the ecclesiastical life of London; from the 13th century to 1873 its Rector served as the Bishop of London. It was the first Anglican parish to appoint a female Rector, the Reverend Pamela Walker.
Interestingly, the mouldings of the doors and windows are made from Reigate stone and a number of years later my father started work as an accountant and later an electronic data processing manager for Redland Holdings (a building materials manufacturer) in Reigate in Surrey.
I like the words doors and windows. I am reminded of Revelation 3:7-8 The Faithful Church – 7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
I remember doing a “prophetic storyboard” with River of Life group at Jacob’s Well in Guildford in November 2009.
From a selection on one table we chose pictures that we liked, or which represented key things in our life and from another we chose some words. I had “chosen” a photo of some open french windows amongst other things, but when I “chose” the words, I chose them blind (i.e. with my eyes closed), all but the word HOME. I was interested to see that I had the words “open the door” to go with the photo of the open french doors. So this was something to ponder on. On the photo that I had chosen the grass through the open doors looked very green and pleasant. My prayer was that God would open the door to that green and pleasant future, but later I believed that He wanted me to open the door, or was it that He simply wanted me to walk through the door that He had opened. Anyway, on the weekend of 20-21 February 2010 I believed that God was telling me it was time to walk through that door and to leave Surrey and move to Derbyshire – to pastures new, with the sure knowledge that the Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23) and I shall not be in want. I did not know what the future held, I had a home and a church fellowship to go to, but I did not know what job the Lord had for me. But that is the “walk of faith” that God encourages us into as Christians. Just as Peter walked out of the boat to meet with Jesus so many thousand of years ago, we must take note to learn from his courage (to get out of the safety of the boat) and his mistake (don’t look down when you are attempting the impossible).
Today is St David of Wales day. After being Christened in 1953 on St David of Wales day at St Mary’s Church in Northolt, I was Confirmed in 1965 on St Joseph of Nazareth day at All Saints Church in Banstead. At Whitsun (or Pentecost) in 1965 we went on holiday to Wales (Llandudno) and during that holiday we visited Llangollen. Almost 22 years later I met my husband, who was Christened in Llangollen and whose mother was brought up on a farm there. In March 2001 (on the anniversary of my Confirmation) I was at an Aglow meeting in Southport, staying in a room that had originally been booked for a lady called Joan from an Aglow chapter in North Wales (see my story of Psalm 139).
Tonight I am attending my church home group at the home of a lady called Joan, where a lady who was originally from Wales is due to bring some teaching.
I remember my mother telling me that, because St Mary’s Church in Northolt was so small and she had such a large family, she only invited the women to my Christening. However, her aunt Joan who was married to a Chinese man said “I don’t go anywhere without my husband”, so he came too. 45 years later – St George’s day 1998 I was given the gift of “speaking in tongues” and my “tongue” sounded like Chinese.