66, Aske Road
Tel No. (01642) 490700
email : [email protected]
Welcome to the website of St Peter’s Church in Redcar. We hope that you will discover all you need to know from the information here but the best way to get to know a church is by visiting. Whether you choose to pop in one lunchtime for a time of quiet and to light a candle; or if you would like to come along to one of the services, please be assured that there will be a warm welcome awaiting you.
I believe that as Christians we need lots of opportunity to join together to worship God, explore the bible and learn about our faith whilst sharing in social activities, providing a place to build relationships and friendships. This is what church is for and throughout a year St Peter’s offers all of those opportunities.
We also take very seriously our commitment to care for the community and the wider world. Locally we support the Churches Together Foodbank and there are regular events to raise money for charity.
You are welcome to come along at any time.
LETTER FOR OCTOBER
If I said to you ‘October 31st’, I wonder what your immediate reaction would be. Due to the recent political upheavals I guess for many it would be ‘Brexit’, whilst for those of us steeped in the church calendar it would be All Saints Eve, more commonly known as Halloween.
Halloween, the evening around which many superstitions have built up over the years, an evening which is now associated with children dressing up as witches and ghosts and knocking on doors asking for treats or threatening a trick. The tradition has moved far away from what the day was initially thought to be about.
All Saints Day on the first of November evolved from earlier traditions as the day on which all the saints of the church would be remembered, especially those who have no specific date to be celebrated. The eve of the day would be when devout Christians would prepare for the feast day by fasting and praying. Gradually local custom took over until we have arrived at the commercial Halloween of our time. Harmless in many ways when children dress up and party but quite unsavoury when it gets to the other end of the commercial market and in some of the horror films that take Halloween as their theme.
As Christians we often have to make decisions about how much we engage with popular culture whilst continuing to observe our Christian ethic and I would suggest that Halloween is one of the challenges. It may well be that it is parents of young children who face the biggest questions but perhaps we should all think about it for ourselves. I understand fully the attraction for children; the dressing up, making lanterns and pretending to be scared of ghosts.
Indeed most of the primary schools seem to host a Halloween disco, but for me the question is where does the fun end and real horror begin. The real horror when adults terrorise the weak and vulnerable of society, play on people’s fears and generally introduce a sense of wickedness into the community. Something that begins as fun can easily take on a life of its own and induce fear, growing into a real monster, not simply a scary plastic mask. Fear is a real and a powerful emotion induced by perceived danger or threat.
Fear and anxiety are real emotions that many people experience and anything that adds to that should be considered wrong but St Paul gives some very useful teaching on the subject.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Things in life can be scary but we have that assurance of God’s faithfulness and protection against all evil. To accept the teaching of Jesus and to commit our lives to him does not herald the end of fun, or dressing up for that matter, but I would encourage you to think carefully about the things that on the surface may seem harmless but that might lead to something else. Let’s be wise in our decision making about popular culture and what we will or will not engage with.
Through Jesus we have been taken from the darkness into the light and we should be mindful of ensuring that light stays bright and pure to illuminate the world.
Your friend and vicar