Eucharist Service: Wednesdays 7h00 - Friday 9h00 - Sunday 7h00 & 9h00

Link Parish Christmas Message

Dear Friends,

What are your Christmas traditions?  Here in the UK these includethe shopping, the cake-baking, the card-writing, the list-writing, the decorations, the office party … and the annual wrestling with the tree lights!  They never seem to work when you get them out again after a whole year stored away.

In Pinetown I expect that some of your traditions are very similar to ours while others will be very different.  Apart from anything else, it is summer for you but winter for us.

We prepare in countless different ways for Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the light and joy that he brings to a needy and darkened world.  Life can be hard, but the message of Christmas dares to proclaim that even when the darkness is at its deepest we can find light and hope.

Traditions can be just a matter of habit, but they can also be living links with the past, an unbroken chain taking us back through the generations that have celebrated the same, great good news that in Jesus, God himself walks the earth.  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

So, we enjoy our traditions but don’t let’s allow them get in the way of hearing the true Christmas story.  In ways old and new we acknowledge that Christ is born.  In the words of the angels, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”  

Have a happy and blessed Christmas, from your friends in Ravenshead.

Revd Chris Rattenberry




Link Parish (St Peters Ravenhead)

Easter Message 2016


Dear Friends


Our church is dedicated to St Peter and as we look forwad to Easter we see that he is the first person ever to have preached about it!  In the Book of Acts, which tells the story of the first Christians and the early church, he speaks out to the people around him in Jerusalem and says ‘You, with the help of wicked men, put Jesus to death by nailing Him to the Cross.  But God raised Him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him’.


He went on to proclaim the Easter story and the good news for the world to those who would listen and to those who wouldn’t.  When arrested for it, he said ‘We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard’. 


Peter had been through the pain as well as the joy of the Easter story in a very direct way.  He had denied Jesus three times; he had fled in order to save himself; after the Crucifixion he had hidden behind locked doors; and finally he had met with the Risen Christ himself.  Millions of us since then have found our own failings forgiven, our needs met and our fears conquered through the same Christ.


The Easter story is of course at the heart of the Christian message.  If you look at Mark’s Gospel it is 16 Chapters long.  The first 10 chapters tell the unfolding story of Jesus’ life but the final week takes 6 more chapters.  This is where the focus is.  I once read a Lent book about Mark’s Gospel which ended ‘St Mark now says ‘Over to you, the next chapters of the good news according to Mark are for us to write.  We take it on from here.’ 


As we reflect on and enter into the Easter story may we too become people who cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. 


Have a Happy Easter from your friends in Ravenshead.  


Revd Chris Rattenberry


Dear Friends,

St John the Baptist, Pinetown and St Peter, Ravenshead are celebrating our patronal festivals on the same day once again.  It is good to have this in common.  We greet you and pray for you.

One of the biggest changes here in the last year has been the joining together of our church with Newstead Abbey.  As well as being responsible for the village of Ravenshead we take services in the small Abbey Chapel.  I understand that your church dates back to the 1850s.  St Peter’s is very new, being built in the 1970s.  But Newstead Abbey, just 2 or 3 miles from here, goes back much further.  More than 800 years ago it became a centre for Christian worship, the home of an order of Augustinian monks.  We know the names of the Priors of Newstead going back to the year 1216!  The Prior then was Eustace, and he was followed by Richard.

The world has changed so much since Eustace decided to follow Jesus.  But we serve the same Lord that he served.  The Bible is the story of the living God and his dealings with his people.  The Old Testament teaches, ‘I the LORD do not change’ (Malachi 3:6) and the New Testament that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’. (Hebrews 13:8)

I know that you face changes and challenges in your lives of discipleship in Pinetown.  As do we in Ravenshead.  But we trust in the One God - the God of the prophet Malachi, the God of St John the Baptist and St Peter, the God of Brother Eustace, our God.  And he is faithful and will be faithful.

With every blessing
Revd Chris Rattenberry

View the Pew sheet for July here