May I begin by saying a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who worked so hard giving of their time, their skill and their energy to produce such a wonderful, glorious Flower Festival to celebrate our 125th anniversary. The planning and organisation, the presentation of the floral displays, the provision of refreshments, the gathering together so much of our history and heritage, the staffing of the church and hall, the organ recitals, the production of posters, leaflets and programmes, the male voice choir, the opening ceremony attended by our Patron Lord and Lady Daresbury and the Mayor, Dr. Brian Axcell and Mayoress of Warrington and too many other untold acts of service all came together to provide a truly wonderful event for our community and to the glory of God. It was truly wonderful to have flower groups, WI’s, our parish council and others from all over Warrington, sponsoring and/or presenting such fantastic displays.
The Sunday, I preached on the same passage as at our consecration 125 years earlier, ‘Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us’. Ephesians 3 v20. As the apostle Paul reflected on the whole community of believers who made up the church at Ephesus, the Jew and the Gentile, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the skilled and the untutored, those in work and those unemployed, yet all together being the family of God, he was brought to his knees in prayer. He prayed from a heart bursting with joy that God’s power would root and establish them in love so that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith.
Our floral displays were magnificent, yet we knew that within a few days they would fade and die because the flowers had no root. Paul’s prayer is that our love for each other would not be superficial, temporal, purely for show, but rooted and established in the wideness and fullness of Christ’s love, a love that has no boundaries, no limits and reaches out to every single person. I pray that we would all come to know the limitless love of Christ and experience the limitless power of God in our lives, for what he has begun to do in and through us is just the start, the beginning of something that is so glorious it is beyond even our asking or our imagination. We have a great God so let us praise Him and let us ask great things of Him that He might have all of the glory, now and forever, Amen.
Revd. John Harries