5,000 Shrovetide figures invade Ashbourne parish church!

st oswald clay figures 6895 full res

St Oswald's in Ashbourne is now home to 5,000 clay figures, made by schoolchildren and visitors as part of the 'Our Game' project in the town.

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Canon Geraldine Pond Writes

I have just returned from the Church of England’s national Vocations Conference which was 
excellent and despite the narrative that the church is in decline there are some great signs of hope.

We need to work together to engage everyone to become more conscious of their own call and vocation. In Derby Diocese we have a number of people training for Reader ministry and six began ordination training in September. Six new priests will be ordained in July along with eight new deacons. There are a further twenty people who are testing their call to ordination. All this is very exciting and a sign of God at work calling people into His service.

But it’s not just about ordination or Reader 
ministry, it’s about being the person you are -known and loved perfectly by God, who created you and knows you by name.

“I have called you by name you are mine” 

Isaiah 43:1

As we enter this season of Lent we are called to pay attention to our inner lives. It’s a time for renewal of spiritual discipline and personal preparation to meet the risen Christ at Easter. It has long been a tradition to renew baptismal promises on Easter Eve and I suggest that this Lent might offer us an opportunity to use some time to reflect on our own baptism (and 
confirmation.) The moment when we are called to be followers of Jesus Christ; to be his disciples in a lifelong journey. It is in common baptism as Christians that we are all made disciples and full and equal members of the household of God.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last“ 

John 15:16

We are all called. We all have a vocation. We are all equal.

Vocation is about “call”, and for Christians is specifically about call by God to a particular area of ministry or work that is not understood as just a “job”; it is a way of being and living.

We are called to be a fully human. Jesus came to show us what it is to be a human being. Being human is about being able to live in relationship with each other and with God who created the world and loves us. It’s especially about being able to love and be loved.

Vocations come in many shapes and sizes, as many and varied as the people who are called and gifted do them; too many to include all of them here; some called to use gifts of hospitality and welcome, others music, poetry, 
mathematics, sport or the arts.

Our way of being and doing is expressed as a people of prayer. We are called to pray for the vocation of the church, for ourselves and our vocation to be realised and for courage and strength to fulfil this call. Let us reflect this Lent on our baptismal vows, our discipleship and pray to listen well to the God who calls us

We are all called to the be the best we can be for God in the place and with the people He has given us to live and work among.

“I have called you by name you are mine”

 Isaiah 43:1

For consideration this Lent...

What is your vocation?

Canon Geraldine Pond

The Diocese of Derby

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