Monthly Message Feb 2023

Dear friends,

“…contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”  Jude 3

Some of you reading this are deeply troubled.  You are concerned about the tensions in the church today in the whole area of same-sex ‘marriage’ and gender identity.  There may be other problems, too, that seem to be handled in such a way as to lead only to compromise and/or division.

When our starting point, as is so often the case, is human opinion and expediency then tension is bound to follow.  We must, rather, “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2).  In him is both grace and truth (John 1:17), and, hard though it may be, we who seek to follow him must aim to demonstrate both.

Grace: we need to guard against, or even repent of, a lack of love towards those with whom we disagree.  We can reject a viewpoint without rejecting the person who holds it.  To love someone is to want the very best for them, and surely we want the very best for those we deem to be in error. We are to embrace such people but that does not mean we affirm them.

Truth:   we also need to be sure we take our agenda, our core values, from the Scriptures and not from the world. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” writes Paul in Romans 12:2, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

These are critical days, and if the people of God are going to stand firm for grace and truth they will face opposition and attack in various ways. But if the church is to avoid further spiritual and numerical decline but rather rise up to greater holiness and powerful gospel proclamation let us resolve to commit ourselves to prayer for repentance, renewal and revival as individuals, churches and a nation.  Let us pray, too, for the gift of discernment so that we might carry out the command, and heed the warning, of Jude 3-4:

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”.

Finally, may I remind you of the Spring Event coming up soon on the 11th March. Due to limited space places should be booked by 28th February ( We shall meet at the Salvation Army Hall in Abbey Lane, Saffron Walden from 10.00am to 12.00 noon, with the theme: “Elijah – a man for our times”.  There’ll be opportunity for fellowship, discussion and prayer. I hope to see you there.

Yours, in Christ,

Tony Mason

Monthly Message Jan 2023

Dear friends,

Several people have kindly (and, I assume, sincerely!) wished me a Happy New Year.  But can it really be happy in the light of Ukraine, rail strikes, mail strikes, nurses’ strikes, the NHS and care service crisis, the cost of living and so on?  We may not be able to do much, or even anything, about our circumstances but we can do a lot about our approach to life.

In Psalm 119 verses 153 to 160 the Psalmist asks God twice to renew his life and then to preserve his life.

  • v154 “renew my life according to your promise

I am told there are 365 promises in the Bible (I haven’t checked) so that makes one for every day of the year.  Let’s make 2023 a year for reflecting on those “very great and precious promises” (II Peter 1:4).

  • Joshua 23:14 “…not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
  • Philippians 1:6 “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
  • v156 “renew my life according to your laws”.

This world’s values are empty and deceptive and its standards lead more to corruption than to health and holiness.  Where do we turn for a guide to life and to eternity but to God’s laws, God’s principles, God’s Word.

  • Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
  • Psalm 19:7 “…the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” 
  • v159 “preserve my life according to your love

Renewal is necessary, but by definition it constantly needs to be renewed!  Preservation means permanence, God in his love keeping the believer in eternal life.

  • John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

How might we enter, and stand in, this new year?  By being renewed through claiming God’s promises, and by living according to his Word and being secure in his love and grace.  I sincerely wish you that sort of happy New Year.

Tony Mason

Do you have our Spring Event firmly in your diary?  Sat., 11th March, 09.45, Salvation Army Hall, Abbey Lane (next to URC), Saffron Walden.  Theme:  “Elijah – a man for our times”.

Hope to see you there!




Monthly Message Dec 2022

Dear friends,

One of the many accusations often leveled at governments (of whatever persuasion) is that they are out-of-touch with ordinary people. Similarly, it is sometimes felt (however unjustly) that public servants lack empathy with the general public whom they are paid to serve. On the north coast of Scotland is the Castle of Mey, once owned by Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In the parish church of the nearby village of Mey there are three rather grand-looking chairs in a special section reserved for the late Queen Mother and those accompanying her. Behind these chairs a door led from the outside straight into the ‘royal enclosure’. However, so I was told when I visited some years ago, the Queen Mother did not use her privileged door, preferring rather to enter the church through the same door as everybody else.

How fitting that, when entering church to worship God, the Queen Mother chose to come in alongside the common people. What a picture that is of how Christ our Saviour came into our world. But not only how, but why. Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, says: “…you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (II Cor 8:9). And how rich!

To those who leave everything for him and the gospel Jesus promises all that we need for this life, “and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:30). So confident is Paul that he can assure us that “(his) God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). And – wonder of wonders! – “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions”.

Christ became poor so that, in him, we might become rich. He stooped down to where we are, in order to raise us up to where he is!

I pray that you may realize afresh this Christmas-time the riches of his grace.

Tony Mason