Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: St Bartholomew’s Church, Stranmillis


This week for his ecumenical tithing Fr Martin Magill followed the advice of Roddy Cowie and visited St Bartholomew’s Church in Stranmillis.

Readers may remember Prof Cowie’s excellent lecture on peace at the 4 Corners Festival.

Fr Magill draws out relevant points from the sermon and appreciates the contributions from the choir.

Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: St Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis

Having listened to one of the members of the choir, Prof Roddy Cowie, speak so positively about the benefits of Compline in St Bartholomew’s Church, I decided to worship there this weekend. Roddy also spoke more generally about the beneficial effects of a religious service on those who attend – the experience of meeting other people and the opportunity for conversation and the positive feelings which derived from joining in the singing.

The service began with a hymn and we then followed the service for Compline from the Book of Common Prayer.

The reading came from Luke 16 beginning at verse 1, the parable of the shrewd manager.

Then there followed the sermon given by a lay reader – Cicely White.

The following are some of the points and questions she raised which struck me were:

  • The parables of Jesus have meaning on several levels, they are all strong stories with deeper meaning.
  • We should ask, what does the parable teach us?  It teaches us about righteousness.
  • The parable could be applied to our own lives: eg stealing at work in small ways – we can hardly be good stewards of The Lord if we ignore those in trouble.
  • We also heard about the misinterpretation of Genesis 1:28 which is about stewardship and not exploitation.  This could lead to pollution and poisoning. We need to use our resources wisely – are we able to use the small things in our lives?
  • Can we make a good fist of our lives on our earth – or are we too caught up in current lives?
  • The story is personal and direct – who or what are you relying on?  What about the small things?

The sermon was followed by a variety of prayers which very comprehensively covered a lot of different in our world.

Afterwards I had the opportunity to meet members of the choir.

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