Martyrs of the Church.
Standing up for what is right is not always an easy thing. It is perhaps easy to say, but somewhat harder to do. Especially when standing up for what is right can cost you your life.
This is exactly what happened to St. Charles Lwanga and his Companions in Uganda in the late 19th Century.
The king of Uganda executed Christians ‘for praying from a book’. He killed an Anglican missionary for this simple thing and would carry out dreadful acts on those in his court.
St. Charles rebuked the king and refused to carry out the dreadful acts demanded of him and his fellow Christians. They were burned alive in a group after being subjected to horrendous torture.
Within a year of their deaths – and their example of defiance to evil – the number of those coming to Christ quadrupled.
Through their example young men and women of Uganda found the courage to say, ‘no, not in our name’.
St. Charles is now the patron saint of black African youth and his feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.
The reason this day resonates so strongly with me is that it reminds us so powerfully that the stories of the martyrs are not distant or unrelatable – they don’t exist in the distant past – no – the martyrs of our faith are still out in the world saying ‘No!’ to evil, saying ‘Not in my name!’ to the worst excesses of evil, they are still be persecuted for being Christian.
And so we must pray for them and for a world in which their heroic sacrifice is no longer needed.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thank you very much to Ruth who has offered to run the tea & coffee rota for after church. Please speak to her if you can offer help.
I’m still keen to hear from anyone who would like to be part of the summer holiday Rosary Mission. If you’d like to know more please come and speak to me.
The church is looking absolutely wonderful, all down to the amazing efforts of a dedicated and small team – thank you all very much.
It’s half term (again!) so Fr. Matthew is away this week taking advantage of the more relaxed rules. There is Mass and Morning Prayer as usual on Thursday which will be covered by Fr. Angus, please make him welcome.
Help fund an organist – please consider setting up regular giving with the Parish Giving Scheme. Call 0333 002 1271 with your bank details to hand and quote our Parish Code – 230 623 503 or visit our website www.stanselm.co.uk/giving