The Rev Jonathan Jeffery, the vicar of Leigh Park and Warren Park, looks ahead to St Francis’s Day
THE popular saint, St Francis, is well known for embracing all creation as one family.
He believed that every living thing was God’s creature and therefore they were brothers and sisters together, with one heavenly father.
He is known as ‘the saint who loved animals’ because he embraced them as part of his family.
He even went as far as recognising a relationship with the elements.
His world-view was that everything was related and so everything was connected.
Each component part really mattered, and in today’s world he is seen as the patron saint of environmental issues.
The parish church at Leigh Park is dedicated to St Francis and so carries his name.
It is important to us to see our community as connected, and to make those connections and ‘build bridges’ throughout Leigh Park.
Members of our church family are involved in our community in so many ways.
For example: in schools, helping children to read, or acting as school governors; in care homes or acting as carers; as volunteers in community groups and clubs; as Good Neighbours serving across the estate.
In addition we are busy with all the usual things that connect the church to people’s lives: christenings, weddings, funerals, school assemblies, visiting and worship.
Our community hall also reflects a wide variety of interests and seeks to hold them all together.
Rainbows and brownies, keep fit, genealogy, Car Club, Karate, Slimming World, bingo, plus all the family parties are regular users of the hall. They belong together in our community.
The worldwide church remembers St Francis on October 4 on the anniversary of his death.
So this Sunday (Oct 2), and during the week, we will be celebrating his life in the parish church.
Our worship will be joyful, with a party on Sunday.
And we will be celebrating that – like St Francis himself – St Francis Church at Leigh Park recognises that we are brothers and sisters together, living and working together as part of God’s family.
The service and party are at St Francis Church, Riders Lane, from 10am on Sunday.