St Mary Magdalene Church, The Holmwood - Magazine
St Mary Magdalene Church, The Holmwood - A meeting place between God and people through Jesus Christ
Our A4 magazine goes free into 1100 homes around the parish.                                             

Revd Barbara Steadman-Allen, General Editor
Revd Barbara Steadman-Allen, General Editor
Maggie Myatt, proof reader extraordinaire
Maggie Myatt, proof reader extraordinaire
[email protected]
Sara Pearson and Kevin Abel, professional Design and Layout
Sara Pearson and Kevin Abel, professional Design and Layout
[email protected]
Kathy Wheeler, chases the adverts
Kathy Wheeler, chases the adverts
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View from the Vicarage
Mary Magdalene wasn’t a prostitute.
If anything she was demon possessed
and Jesus freed her. Demon
possession isn’t a malaise of the body
or mind, it’s a malaise of the spirit.
Whatever you make of that – and it
really has nothing to do with vintage
movies like The Omen – she was so
grateful to Jesus for setting her free
from forces that held her in their
power that she offered him her most
expensive perfume in an act of
Mary Magdalene wasn’t the mother
of Jesus, that was Mary the mother
of Jesus. There are loads of Marys in
the New Testament. She wasn’t the
wife of Jesus either. Thanks Dan B for
the piece of mis-­‐information that
Jesus Christ was married to Mary
Magdalene, they had a child, and
their descendants walk among us
today. Ha ha! Try again.
Now look, I try to make this mag and
my article universally interesting and
as non-­‐churchy as possible. But this
year, Mary Magdalene’s special day in
the church calendar (the 22nd July
every year) is on a Sunday and since
we’re named after her, it seemed fun
to talk about her for once.
So who was she? She came from
Magdala, a village on the shore of
Lake Galilee. When other friends of
Jesus abandoned him at the hour of
danger, Mary was one of the women
who stayed with him, even to Jesus’
crucifixion. She was present at the
tomb and the first person to whom
Jesus appeared after his resurrection.
She was the first to tell the good news
of that miracle. From other texts of
the early Christian era, it seems that
her status as an “apostle,” in the years after Jesus’ death, rivalled even
that of Peter, one of Jesus’ closest buddies.
Holmwood is fortunate to have such a large and beautiful church on its
doorstep and we should be proud of having MM as our namesake. Beare
Green has no such oasis sadly and even though the church building
belongs to all three villages in our parish, it doesn’t feel like that to the
residents of Mid Holmwood or Beare Green. And even Holmwood has
ceased to “see” it I suspect. We will be offering guided tours of the church
and an opportunity to go up the tower to take pics as part of the
celebration weekend. Serendipity are here too on the Sat evening.
A new UK film about MM was released on 16th March this year
starring Rooney Mara. The Guardian gave it 2/5, the Telegraph 3/5. The
Independent described it as, “a depiction of one of "the most
misunderstood spiritual figures in history."
I haven’t seen it but I must admit I struggle with most films depicting
Jesus. It’s like reading the book then watching the film – someone else
incarcerates your mental vision or set of impressions into a single portrayal and it usually doesn’t match. Huge licence is taken with the story and I struggle with that too. I have to admit that the trailer doesn’t make me want to rush out and do the MM experience. But that’s me. At least films make it possible to recognise that Jesus isn’t a cardboard cut out or “pale Galilean” (Swinburne) but someone who has a tone of voice,
facial expressions, a cracking sense of humour and a deeply compassionate
It’s easier, I guess when you see your hero in action, interviewed on the TV, or described (with pics) in your ‘fave’ magazine, Wimbledon champs, the lads on the football field, the Royals.
Our hero of 2000 years ago (JC not MM) even though alive, isn’t visible in
the same way is he? All the more amazing then, that so many across
the world have claimed to know Jesus personally . It’s a claim that doesn’t
seem to be anchored in any one culture or century or temperament.
For me, it’s all about believing the witness of guys who were with Jesus
and who wrote about him. In a letter, John, Jesus’ best friend, wrote this:
“We want to tell you about the Word that gives life -­‐ the one who existed
before the world began. This is the one we have heard and have seen
with our own eyes. We saw what he did, and our hands touched him... We
saw him, and so we can tell others about him... He is the eternal life that
was with God the Father and was shown to us. We are telling you about
what we have seen and heard because we want you to know too.”
It’s hard to argue with quite such a reliable witness.
Love from the very visible

Revd BSA

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