Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.

The Diocese has announced the appointment of the Rev Kate Plant as Priest-in-charge of Breadsall and Morley with Smalley. Mrs Plant will take up her post in the Spring. Please watch for confirmation and place for her licencing, and pray for her and her husband as they prepare for the move.

IN GOD‟S IMAGE

What is your image of God? I don‟t remember many sermons, even if I preached them! But just once I was lucky enough to sit in a pew when Cardinal Basil Hume was standing in the pulpit. He preached something like this: „If we believe that each person is created in the image of God, and if we believe that each person is unique, then each person can teach us something new about God.‟

Once upon a time a boy told his parents that he was going out for the day to look for God. He set off after breakfast and headed for one of the city‟s parks – not very pretty and with too much litter, but it wasn‟t very far from home. He was only a small child, with short legs, and by the time he reached the park it was time for a snack. He sat down on an empty bench and got out his sandwiches and can of Coke from his little haversack. Soon an elderly lady came and sat down at the other end of the bench. She looked old and tired and hungry; the little boy felt sorry for her and plucked up courage to offer her some of his picnic. She accepted his kindness with a grateful if slightly embarrassed smile.

By the time they had eaten, the two of them had gradually moved closer to each other. They began chatting. The boy told the woman about his family, his house and his school; and his hopes and dreams for the future; the more he told her, the younger the woman felt, and the more inspired and energised. She listened to his story with an increasingly loving, knowing smile. Then she told him a few stories of her own, about her husband, her children and her old jobs; and her aches and pains and fears for the future.

When the boy got back home, his mother asked him, “So, did you find God?” “Oh, yes,” he replied without hesitation, “And she has the most amazing smile.” The same evening the old lady told her husband of her day‟s encounter: “I met God in the park today,” she said, “And he‟s very much younger than I expected.”

Who might teach you something new about God this year? What might someone learn about God from meeting you this year?

Geoffrey Marshall

Services