‘Microsoft recommends that you reserve your copy of Windows 10’.


Those of you who have your own personal computer will probably recognise these words.  Over the last few weeks this little message has repeatedly appeared on my computer screen to my great annoyance.  I’ve hardly had time to get used to Windows 8 and things are changing again and I’ve no idea what happened to Windows 9.  Technology seems to change at an alarmingly fast pace.  No sooner have you bought the latest gadget or gizmo and it is out of date.


Last month our country celebrated our Queen becoming our longest reigning monarch of 63 years and still counting. What a lot of change has happened during this time yet for many the Queen’s reign provides a reassuring constant in our ever changing lives.  Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the journalist Allison Pearson described the Queen as a 'still point in a tumultuous world', while the BBC Royal Correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, called her a ‘constant amid gale-force changes’.


This month St John’s parish are celebrating the fact that the church building is a Waterloo church (sometimes known as a Commissioners’ Church) in this 200th anniversary year of the battle of Waterloo.  For those of you who don’t know, following the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the government of the day supplied a grant of money to build churches.  This was because there was a concern in society that, following the French Revolution of 1789–99, there might be a similar uprising in Britain. It was considered that "the influence of the Church and its religious and moral teaching was a guard against revolution". So as a result of this money, St John’s was built and consecrated in 1826.  In our area, All Saints Stand Church and Holy Trinity Bolton Church were also built as Waterloo Churches, though Holy Trinity is no longer used as a church building.  (You can come and join the celebrations during our Open weekend.  Details given elsewhere in this magazine.)  What a lot of change has happened in our neighbourhood since the 1820’s.  What a lot of changes have happened in the church’s life and ministry since this date.  Yet the building has stood strong and tall to be a constant and reassuring presence to the local community that God and his church do care about them and their lives.


Also this month at St. John’s we celebrate Harvest.  Again celebrating the seasons of the year provides us with some consistency and reassurance in an ever-changing and uncertain world. In our world and in the church it is right that things do change.  It is necessary for our survival and for our growth as human beings.  Some things too are wrong and need to be corrected.  We need constantly to assess what we do and how we might do it better.  But it is good to have those reassuring points in our life that don’t change.  They give us an opportunity to say thank you to God, to look back, to take stock and to celebrate all God’s marvellous gifts to us.


At the end of the book of Hebrews the writer says, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’. (Hebrews 13 verse 8.)  Change inevitably can cause us to be fearful and suspicious.  Praise God that Jesus, our merciful redeemer and friend, is always a constant presence with us and his love for us never ends.  With him, we have nothing to fear.


Enjoy this month’s celebrations.


Yours in Christ,