Faith News (Including an insight into the ethos of Ramadhan)

Music at St Lawrence Church, Bovingdon
Music at St Lawrence Church, Bovingdon

All the latest news from faith groups in your area

The ethos of fasting, by Dacorum Muslim Nabil Kahn

The ninth month of the Islamic year - Ramadhan began at the end of June and Muslims around the world will observe fasting from break of dawn till sunset.

In Britain this means abstaining from food and drink for approximately 19 hours, but what is it like to fast and why?

Have you ever felt what it feels like to be alive? That’s the feeling that Fasting gives you. That intense realisation of life itself causes one to contemplate deeply on where you came from. When a Muslim realises that he was created by Allah (God) and that his provisions have come from Allah, it strengthens his resolve to worship Allah and be grateful to him.

Food and water are necessary for life and refusing them, even for 16 or 19 hours, slows down the body and the mind in a way that only the Fasting person knows. The hunger, thirst and fatigue experienced brings a person a step closer to understanding death and only through understanding death can a person understand life.

The pleasure that is felt at sunset and the vitality restored by a piece of bread or a sip of water reminds you of the benefits you have in this life and the comfort and pleasure that you normally have.

In the same way, your own weakness exaggerates to you the magnificence of a God who does not eat or drink or require sustenance in any way and proves the privilege that it is to be His creation, the gratitude we should have for the many provisions he has placed on the earth for our sustenance and how we should be honoured to be one of His worshippers.

Visit St Mary’s, Northchurch for a ‘hymnathon’

St Mary’s Church in Northchurch is holding a ‘hymnathon’ event on Saturday, July 19.

The hymnathon will run from 7am right through to 8pm.

Hymns will be played all day, and the church will be open for people to just pop in.

We have a special hour from 1.30pm when we will have a British Sign Language presentation as well as traditional singing.

We will enjoy ‘seasonal’ hymns all day - Advent and Christmas will end with mince pies at around 11am, Harvest before lunch, the patriotic hymns will lead in to Jerusalem and jam and scones tea at 4pm.

The last hour will be a more formal ‘Top Ten hymns’ in the style of the BBC show.

We really would like to encourage anyone to turn up and have a sing - it is not a service and it really is for anyone to drop in at any time. Donations towards refreshments will be encouraged but it really will be free.

Camerata returns to Bovingdon

The Camerata Chamber Orchestra returns to Bovingdon on Saturday for another evening of delightful baroque music in St Lawrence Church.

Their programme includes favourites such as Handel’s ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ and features two young soloists: Becky Windram, a student at the Royal Academy of Music, will play ‘Spring’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Nina Vinthner a former memberof the St Albans Abbey Girls’ Choir will sing an aria from Bach’s St John Passion.

The concert ends with Michael Haydyn’s Toy Symphony, which has solo parts for nightingale, cuckoo, toy trumpet, rattle and drum. The concert starts at 7.30pm.

Admission is free and there will be interval drinks and a retiring collection for the work of the Friends of St Lawrence Trust, which helps to maintain the fabric of the church and church yard.

For more information contact Revd. Charles Burch 01442 833298 or Amanda Lawes 07891 529970

Christian Viewpoint

A Christian preacher asked a successful actor, “Why do you draw a huge crowd night after night, yet I, proclaiming unchangeable truths of God, hardly get a handful?” The actor said: “It’s simple, I present fiction as truth, but you present truth as fiction”. Christian, does your life match up to your words? If, in a court of law you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty? I am again challenged that my life is often short of God’s ideals, I again resolve to try harder, God willing. How about you?

Robin McEwen, Methodist Church

Sell items at St John’s flea market

If you’re having a summer clearout, keep hold of any bric-a-brac for a flea market at St John’s Church in Boxmoor. The event takes place on Saturday, July 19 from 10am to noon. Funds raised will go back into the church.