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Monday, 12 March 2018

Today is the 4th Sunday in Lent and thus Mothering Sunday.

Our Family service is normally the first Sunday in the month, but we swapped to today because of it being Mothering Sunday.

The address was done by Chris and Stephen from the Sunday School and we learnt about the origins and meanings of Mothering Sunday. Originally it predated Christianity as a homage to Mother Goddess and hailed the start of Spring. It then moved to the veneration of Mary, mother of God, then the Mother Church, then all mothers.

It was tied up with Refreshment Sunday a day when you were meant to go back to the church of your baptism. Later it was a day when you visited your family, especially for people in service.  Traditionally they went home with flowers and simnel cake. The flowers were wild and picked on the way home, the cake was made from the the stuff in the "big house" pantry that hadn't been used on Shrove Tuesday and meant to be consumed on Refreshment Sunday, but was usually saved until Easter and the marzipan balls were added to represent the disciples.

Where does the name Simnel come from?  It may be derived from the Latin for white flour, but there is also a tale of Simon and Nell who fell out over how to cook the cake, boiled or baked?

Our Gospel reading was of the Annunciation.  This is traditionally celebrated on 25th March, 9 months before Christmas Day, but this year 25th March is Palm Sunday, so we celebrate it today.

Mothering Sunday today is a celebration of the comfort we receive from our Mums, God, the Mother Church, Mary the mother of Christ, all those who care for children in whatever capacity.

Chris finished with a poem, "A Mother's Love".

There were beautiful posies handed out to all the ladies in the church by children from the Sunday School and junior choir, along with pieces of cake for Refreshment Sunday.

The junior choir also lead the choir in the anthem today, "What Wondrous Love Is This" after communion.

Sunday, 4 March 2018
Dr Lesley is away again, so no pictures I am afraid, but the snow had all gone by Sunday (thank goodness).

The gospel reading told of the anger of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem.  He found it full of money changers and people selling sheep and cows for sacrifice.  He was justly angered at the way God's house had been turned into a market place.

Father Stephen echoed the gospel in his sermon  He told us that there are only 2 occasions in the New Testament when Jesus showed his anger, the first as in the gospel and the second when the pharisees refused to answer questions. Jesus is portrayed as being fully human, however he also exhibits his divinity.  It is normal to become angry in certain circumstances, but it would be wrong to think that Jesus' anger is born out of anything but love.  Anger can be a useful emotion, it is harmful to suppress it, but how it is expressed is important. Jesus is in control of his anger rather than the anger controlling him. St James' letter says that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak and anger.

Yesterday a Wine and Cheese evening with Silent Auction was held in the Church Hall. A good time was had by all and the magnificent sum of £868.15p was raised. 
Sunday, 25 February 2018
This morning on a bitterly cold sunny morning we met at 10 o'clock for a Eucharist service. In the Gospel for today, from St Mark, Jesus tell his Disciples that they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him. Father Stephen discussed this in his sermon, telling us that Lenten discipline helps us to do exactly what Jesus tells us to do.
There was a communion hymn this morning instead of an anthem

There was coffee after the service.

The Silent Auction with cheese and wine is next Saturday, tickets available from the Church Wardens or on the door!

On Saturday the 24th of March at 6 pm there will be a performance of 'Olivet to Calvary' by J.H. Maunder. This Sacred Cantata covers the events of Holy Week, and we would like to invite singers to join the choir and take part. There will be a rehearsal  at 3:30 that afternoon, followed by Tea, £5 for singers, copies for rent £2:50. For the audience there will be a retiring collection. This enjoyable work is a good sing for anyone who sings regularly, so do
                                          COME and SING ( or listen!)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018
This morning our service for the first Sunday in Lent was Mattins. The Canticles for Lent were the Venite, the Benedicite and the Jubilate Deo, and the set Psalm was Psalm 25. The Choir sang the Jubilate Deo in the setting by C.V. Stanford in B flat. The first reading, from Genesis, and the Gospel, from St Mark were explored in Father Stephen's short sermon. The story of God's promise to Noah after the flood and the sign of the rainbow, and the story of Jesus baptism in the river Jordan, call to mind the covenants God made in the Old Testament, and how Jesus in his life, death and Resurrection, fulfils all God's promises and gives us the way to Heaven. Good  to think about these things in Lent. The Choir sang 'Lord for thy Tender Mercies Sake' Words by Bull music by Farrant as the Anthem.
There was coffee after the service.

Don't forget to get your ticket for the silent Auction on 3rd of March, there will be cheese and wine provided to encourage your bidding!! In the Church Hall, tickets from the Church Wardens.

Our Ash Wednesday Service, a Eucharist and imposition of ashes, took place on a wet, cold and windy evening. Those who managed to get to the service through the terrible weather, were reminded that 'of dust you are made and to dust you will return' as the ashes were applied.
The Choir sang, 'Lord for thy tender mercies sake' words from J Bull's Christian prayers and holy meditations (1568) setting by Farrant. as the anthem.
 A lovely moving service for our start of Lent.
Monday, 12 February 2018
We met for our ten o'clock Eucharist on a bright sunny but cold winters morning. There was much discussion and praise for the Moroccan Dinner of the evening before and good news in the notices that we had also raised a good sum of money, which will go towards the finishing touches to the new Rooms.
The Church had beautiful flowers from a wedding during the week, especially appreciated as it tis Ash Wednesday next week, so our last flowers until Easter.
The Gospel for today, from St Mark, was the story of the Transfiguration. In his sermon Father Stephen spoke about the deep mystery of Christianity, at once a very down to earth faith, with Jesus coming to live among us and calling his disciples from working people, and at the same time this unfathomable mystery of God, made manifest. The symbolism of the Transfiguration, the appearance of Moses and Isaiah, the voice of God, all part of that more profound aspect of Christian faith. Father Stephen told us he had been a Christian all his life, and in Ministry for 30 years, and he felt he was not yet near understanding it all, but as he said The Adventure Goes On!

The Choir sang Ave Verum by Gounod as the anthem. There was coffee after the service in the new Rooms.

Our next 'Event' is a Cheese and Wine evening with a Silent Auction, on March the 3rd in the Church Hall, tickets from the Church Wardens.

I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all, and after the sale of dinner tickets, raffle and sale of the beautiful table decorations, we raised £610 for ongoing expenses in the Parish Room. The tables were looking splendid thanks to Ann Wade.

I would like to thank our lovely church wardens who were the last to leave (very late) after doing ALL the washing up and cleaning the kitchen.  How they made it to church Sunday morning I have no idea.

I am thinking a French Supper will be good for next year - so watch the Parish Magazine for details.

Hilary Platts (Chef)