The Lambfold Benefice

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Welcome to the website of
The Lambfold Benefice

A group of five Anglican rural parishes

in the geographical centre of England

Reverend Carolyn Oley and the leadership team


Reverend Carolyn writes...

As we approach Christmas this year it may seem hard to notice the goodness of God amidst the never ending bad news. The baby in the manger is in danger of seeming a rather sentimental story in the face of war and disease. So I want to encourage us all to open our eyes to those other events that are going on across the world. I have one example but if we look, there are myriad others.

Father Bernard Kinvi arrived in London this week. He received an award from Human Rights Watch for "unwavering courage and dedication" in protecting civilians in an easily forgotten conflict. A smiling, slight 32 year old, Father Bernard recounted how in 2010 the peaceful community in the Central African Republic where he is a Christian priest, slowly slid into violence and ethnic division. The cleric acted with one aim to save anyone - regardless of creed. When a Muslim rebel movement, known as Seleka, reached the town, the priest treated not only those from his church who survived their murderous raids, but also injured fighters.  They were offered shelter in the church. He ran the gauntlet by collecting casualties and corpses. He negotiated with the militia to spare lives, including his own. He said, "I had moments of great fear, but I had taken a vow to help the sick even if my own life was at risk. When the moment arrived I had to keep it, to stay and help. Some 1,000 Muslims were treated in the small hospital and helped to escape to neighbouring Chad.  Father Bernard said that the symbols of the church carried enough authority to give pause for thought. He said, They are scared of my clothing, the long robe with a large red cross. When I saw this, I made sure I always wore it". 

In the face of overwhelming odds, goodness is recognisable. Even when those who fear it, try to destroy it, it returns with gentle power. Jesus, newly born was taken from Bethlehem to Nazareth to escape those who would have destroyed Him. He came to show us what God is like and what Love can do even when the world is at its worst. He came for all of us whatever creed, colour or race, young or old. Knowing Him is the greatest gift we shall ever receive.

I wish you love and peace in your hearts and homes this Christmas and beyond.



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