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Revd John Cook

Minister's Blog

Notes from Revd John Cook.


June - July 2018

 Church may seem dull and boring, a one-way conversation, even if you’re prepared to listen to  the worship leader for a whole hour! 

But I want to suggest that the more you become involved the more a true conversation arises. As that happens then outcomes can change, expectations will alter, and before we know it a whole new dialogue is creatively taking place where previously none existed 

On some of our coasts shingle is transported along by the ocean’s currents. The outline of the coast is gradually being altered by this conversation between land and sea. Sometimes this can be managed and maintained. At some locations it’s about managed decline - allowing nature to take its course.

Church is about an on-going, moving, relevant approach to life and our understanding of what we mean about God. The conversation is open to anyone who wants to be involved – you just have to come and join in.

I hope I’ll see you in church soon adding to our conversation. 

the Minister's signature








April - May 2018


It’s during April and May, this year, that the church is celebrating what must surely be seen as the most important festivals of the church.

The first is undoubtedly Easter – 1st April. Easter is when we celebrate the empty tomb and all that it means. And that meaning is surely that God’s love is more powerful than even death itself. God’s love transcends all time and space and is therefore available to us today through the resurrection of Christ. It is evident in so many people and all they do through their lives.

The second is that of Pentecost – 20th May. This is when we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit, that ever-present force of life and energy that inspires and encourages us in our faith and daily living. Usually reckoned as “She” (the “Sophia” of more ancient times) the Spirit is also reckoned as wisdom.

It is both these elements – love and wisdom – that we need in our lives today. Why not come and learn a little more about both?

See you in church soon.

the Minister's signature




Minister’s Pastoral Blog - February 2018 – March 2018

At the present time the church is considering some of the more difficult stories associated with Jesus, perhaps notably what is called the transfiguration. It is a time when God’s glory is seen as a brilliant shining light, and patriarchs from the past, Moses and Elijah, are seen speaking with Jesus.

I’m suggesting that this might all be part of the programme for Jesus’ followers to help them get their heads round who God is, how he can act in the world and has the welfare of every person at heart.

It doesn’t require us to suspend rational belief. Instead our challenge is to see what is happening in life and look for God in it. It is never an easy task and that’s why the invitation is out for you to come and share with us as we explore these ideas week by week.

See you in church.

signature of the Minister the Reverend John Cook





Minister's Pastoral Blog December 2017 / January 2018

What better illustration can there be of this time of year than a journey. The first Christmas involved a perilous journey and afterwards exile into a foreign land. Very modern.

Our own lives are a journey; it may be bumpy, smooth or just interesting, but we cannot stop the wheel of life turning. We know the New Year will come round all too quickly.

If so, then it’s right to find space to pause that journey, to enjoy Advent – the time that leads up to Christmas – before we settle to enjoying all that Christmas brings.

Minister's Pastoral Blog October / November 2017

I hope you did enjoy your summer holidays, that you’ve regained your strength and enthusiasm for all that lays ahead. In church we are telling stories of Jesus that help to keep us focused on the tasks of following him every day.

In November we will also be remembering those who have died in war and violence as well as looking forward to December  and the lead up to Christmas.

These things touch all our lives, none of us are immune. So why not come and share with others that self-same journey through the seasons of life?

Minister's Pastoral Blog August /September 2017


August - September 2017

Ah, holidays! Sunshine, warmth, sea, sand, - or perhaps mountains, or railway journeys – whatever floats your boat! It is that time of year. And what do we do? We send postcards home to family and friends telling of all we seen, heard and done.

Minister's Pastoral Blog June /July 2017

We are lucky in this part of the world. Yes, we sometimes take it for granted that we are surrounded by such beautiful hills and countryside.

These hills also provide a vantage point from which to survey the surrounding area. Perhaps one of the better points is Loads Road leading down into Holymoorside. Chesterfield is laid out before you – under your feet is a trivial presumptuous, but nonetheless it seems that way. And it’s worth taking the time on a bright sunny day to go and look and enjoy where you live.

Minister's Pastoral Blog April /May 2017

Easter is coming, but then so is Pentecost. We all know what we mean when we say Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! But Easter? That’s a different story. One many are not prepared to believe. And yes, it does defy all rational expectations.

Yet as Christians we believe that Jesus was raised from dead and lives now forever. We believe that he, God, knows all our worst human weaknesses, and still loves us and wants us to share all the benefits he has to offer.

Minister's Pastoral Blog February / March 2017

In Jewish beliefs the number 7 is significant. It is a number that signifies completeness. We see it particularly in the biblical story of creation.

It crops up in John’s Gospel where there are 7 sayings that Jesus uses beginning with, “ I am ..”

Selfishly we like to use that sort of authority. The government likes to try it too, but the High Court thought otherwise. Unfortunately they are not the only ones who think they have authority to do what they like in the world.

Minister's Pastoral Blog December 2016 / January 2017

There is a common expression that provides a sharp divide between the people who use it and those who are revolted by it. It is euphemistically shortened to, OMG.

Christmas is perhaps one of the times we can use this phrase and really mean it. Oh my God, … what have you done for us by sending this tiny baby to be our Saviour?

We have to say that it is not immediately clear from just the Christmas story. It’s a wonderful beginning  but not the complete picture.

To really understand it we need to engage with the whole story as it unfolds throughout the year.


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