St John the Evangelist Walton

From Revd Anita

From Revd Anita

For months — indeed for years, apart from the ‘Bake off’ phenomenon —

Britain’s most popular television programme by some distance has been the Sunday night ‘Call the Midwife’. The competition for top spot encompasses the whole range of human obsessions: comedy, drama, murder, rape, quizzes, food, fashion and sport — something for every taste. Yet a homely drama about some midwives working with an Anglican order of nuns in London’s East End 60 years ago beats them all. The BBC clearly recognises its value — several more series have been commissioned. I think it’s worth wondering why. The first two series of ‘Call the Midwife’ closely followed the best-selling books by Jennifer Worth about her experiences as a young midwife in precisely those circumstances. The example of the sisters in the Order and their unquenchable faith amidst the squalor and poverty of the area in those post-War years eventually led Jennifer to embrace the Christian faith herself. Sadly, Jennifer Worth died just as the first series was being aired, and some feared the story line might lose its authenticity. But it hasn’t. These are stories of some nuns and midwives struggling to help people in need. Without ever being preachy, it faithfully depicts a very mixed group of people putting faith into practice. I think the nine million viewers, most of whom are probably not regular church-goers, appreciate seeing prayer, faith, hope and love at work, even if not every practitioner is saintly, not every sick baby saved, nor every human problem solved.

Prayer is a very important part of the Christian faith and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are calling Christians of every denomination to join in with Thy Kingdom Come, a prayer initiative between Ascension and Pentecost (25th May to 4th June), to pray for our nation.

Praying for others is one of the most powerful things we can do. Persistent prayer for others brings transformation to their lives. As Paul writes: ‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4: 2).

One of the ways we at St John’s will be praying during Thy Kingdom Come is through a Prayer Walk around our parish on Saturday 3rd June. Are there issues and concerns that you would like us to pray for? Do send any requests for prayer to Revd Anita (vicar@stjohnshigherwalton.org.uk) or phone her on 01925 262939