With so many people visiting St Mary’s over the first of our open weekends, many
memories were prompted by visitors recalling previous visits. I know many of you
talk of the legacy left “to you and in you” of the Ministry of previous Rectors,
Ministers and fellow Christians within your own fellowships who have revealed God’s
It made me think of financial legacies - this Partnership has had some over the years
but not many compared to many others.
Have you ever thought about the word legacy? I wonder if it is something you have
ever considered to be evocative? After all, it is not just about gifts we might
make in our wills after death, it is also relates to a lasting effect that a person
leaves to influence this world.
As Christians we try to live our lives in a way that follows Jesus and Christian
beliefs, we also try to influence the world for better as we see it. Once we are
dead, resources that we gathered in this life don’t go with us, but are passed on
and used by somebody or something else.
For a lasting memorial, some people may have a work of art created in their name,
or a bench placed under a tree in a park. Naturally there is nothing wrong with this.
However, why not, instead, help God’s work in this world continue to move forward.
Leaving a legacy to the Church and/or one of its wider organisations is about as
permanent an epitaph as you can get. It allows us as Christians to make a final thank
you to God for all that He has given us during this life above all in Jesus Christ.
In my will, I am leaving a percentage to the Society of Mary and Martha.
So if I leave a legacy, what exactly should I leave it to?
Well that’s entirely up to you. There are many areas of Christian life that would
benefit through a legacy payment. If you decide to leave a legacy, then it is important
to consider all aspects of church life. There are so many important areas. As an
example, it could be to help the development of children and young people’s ministry.
We all hear about problems with young people, problems of crime, drug abuse, broken
young lives and lost dreams. We have all heard of children whose lives are scared
by abuse and difficult home circumstances. Perhaps even worse is the silent loss
of hope and meaning in many young lives.