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Sunday, 2 December 2018
Despite the dreadful weather, the fayre was well attended and the hard workers who produced and sold the wares on offer made a magnificent


Well Done!
We had a very busy Sunday today!  Being the first Sunday in December, it is the first Sunday in Advent and so the first Advent Candle was lit in the Advent ring.

The children from Sidlesham Primary School sang Away In A Manger and Silent Night accompanied on a guitar.
The children from Sidlesham School

We also had the distribution of the Christingles and collection of The Children's Society boxes.

Lighting the Christingles

We sing the Christingle hymn after the Christingles have been lit.

The children of the Sunday School gave the address

As Father Stephen has said, today is Advent Sunday and we have lit the  first  Advent candle. The advent wreath is a symbol of the whole meaning and purpose behind Christmas. Christmas isn’t just about Jesus as a baby. There’s much more to it than just that. The dictionary’s meaning of “advent” is “the coming or the arrival of something important.”
  Jesus didn’t come to this world just to be adored as a cute little Baby and give us a chance to celebrate His birthday every year.  It was so we could celebrate our OWN spiritual birthdays.
We have the Advent wreath, to remind us WHY Jesus came and that He is coming again.
The green symbolizes the new and everlasting life that we can have through Jesus.
And the circle reminds us of God, Who is eternal, Who has no beginning or end, and who has an endless amount of mercy and love for everyone.
The light from all the candles symbolizes the light of God coming into the world. Jesus is the Light that takes away the darkness of our lives and brings us new life and hope.
The candlelight also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we tell other’s about Jesus.

The three purple candles represent royalty.  Jesus is God, AND came from royalty on earth.  Jesus came from the family of King David and is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. But Jesus was rejected as king, and was crucified.  So Jesus will be coming again some day to fulfill this promise.
We don’t know WHEN, but we do know that He WILL.
The first candle that we have lit today stands for hope and we remember the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ancestors of our faith. We hear the message of hope told to Abraham from the book of Genesis.

The LORD had said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’’

Abraham was obedient to God and left his home to go to a distant land. God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed. This blessing would come because he trusted and put his hope in God. The Gospel writer Matthew traces the ancestry of Jesus back through the Old Testament to Abraham.
So it was that the promise was fulfilled, that all the nations of the world were blessed through the obedience of Abraham.

The Second Candle stands for peace.  
It reminds us of the prophets who spoke of the coming of Christ. They told of how a Saviour would be born, a king in the line of King David. The prophet Isaiah called Christ "the Prince of Peace" and told us how he would rule the world wisely and bless all the nations.

The third candle to light is the pink candle of love and we remember John the Baptist. 
In their old age God gave to Zechariah and Elisabeth a son called John. John spoke to the people bravely in the desert denying his own comforts and was prepared to die for what he believed. John taught that we should share what we have with others, treat each other kindly and show God’s love. He did this because he cared for people and wanted them to repent and find God's forgiveness.  

St Matthew’s Gospel.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of
Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This
is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one
calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight
paths for him.'

The final purple candle is to reflect JOY – as in the celebration of Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection and His Second Coming. When this candle is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent we will remember Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Mary had been told by the angel Gabriel that she would bear Jesus, a holy child, the Son of God. We are told that Mary rejoiced and sang a song which glorified God. Just as the birth of Jesus gave great joy to his mother, so his presence in the world gave joy to those who had none before. He healed them and gave them hope and peace when they believed in him. 
St Luke’s Gospel.

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

The white candle in the centre is called the Christ Candle, which will be lit on Christmas Eve.
Jesus is the centre of what we are celebrating and should be the centre of our lives.

We speak of hope - because God keeps his promises to us.
We work for peace - because Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he calls his children to work for peace in his name.
We show love - because Jesus gave everything for us and led us to know the forgiveness of God.
We share joy - because the Holy Spirit fills our hearts and minds with the presence of God
When we light our last candle we remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which we celebrate on Christmas Day.  So hope, love, peace and joy all come from Jesus which brings light to us and to all the world.

The children also read the intercessions. 

Before the Peace, Aleks was admitted to the choir and as is tradition now, the junior choir a few of the adults sang "Lead Me Lord".

Aleks makes his promises.

Aleks is now wearing his cassock

Mrs Chivers and Miss Rodd will now help Aleks on his choral journey .

After the service, we all followed Father Stephen into the Parish Rooms for the blessing of the new wall hanging.

The new wall hanging is blessing and sprinkled with Holy water.

The finished hanging, simple and beautiful.

Sunday, 25 November 2018
This is the last Sunday of the Church's year, and we celebrated the feast of Christ the King. This feast was only instituted in the 1930's as a day on which Christian people can put aside secular ideas and concerns and focus on Christ and his Kingdom, here in the world but not of it. A very good activity for the last Sunday of our year, preparing us to look forward to our New Year starting on Advent Sunday next week.

The service at 10 am this morning was a celebration of the Eucharist, and Father Stephen was the Celebrant. Instead of the Gradual Hymn we sang Psalm 96. In his sermon Father Stephen spoke of the difficulty in this 'post truth' society of discerning what the Truth is. for us one thing is sure Yesterday, today and forever, Our Lord Jesus Christ is the source of truth and love, and we must hold to this throughout our lives.

The Choir sang the Anthem 'Above all Praise' by Felix Mendelssohn. There was coffee after the service in the Rooms.

Dont Forget the Christmas Fayre in the Church Hall next Saturday, come and find Christmas gifts, food and activities , have a cup of tea or a glass of Mulled wine!

Sunday, 18 November 2018
Our 10 am service today was Sung Mattins. We had a beautiful sunny morning , with a cold wind reminding us of the season. The Canticles and Psalm 16 were sung, and the choir sang the Benedictus in the setting by C V Stanford in C major. The Anthem was ' O Saviour of the World' by Sir Arthur Somervell.
The readings from the King James version were from the Book of Daniel and St Mark's Gospel. In his sermon Father Stephen spoke about the book of Daniel as the first example in the Bible of Apocalyptic writing. The word apocalypse comes from the Greek and means revelation, and these parts of the scriptures, including some Gospel passages and the Revelation of St John the Divine,  show us what is to come and helps us focus on the future and be ready, We can learn from the past, look up to God for grace and guidance and look on to the future as it is revealed. All very appropriate for the approaching season of Advent!

There was coffee after the service.

The Christmas Fayre is not far off!! Contributions for the hamper for the grand draw, the bottle stall, and bathroom stall can be left in Church. The Fayre itself is on the 1st of December in the Church Hall.

Sunday, 11 November 2018
This year we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with our traditional service of commemoration and remembrance. The Church was full when at 10:45 we started our service of hymns, prayers, and readings incorporating the 2 minutes silence at 11:00 am. Father Roger preached the sermon, reminding us that very few families were not touched by losses in both World Wars, and as we honour the sacrifice of those who died, we must ensure that the Peace of our Lord Jesus comes to all the world, and that those of many faiths and of no faith may in fact contribute to peace.

The Choir sang 'My Soul there is a country' a poem by Henry Vaughn, entitled Peace which was set by C.H.H. Parry in his Songs of Farewell. They were accompanied by Joanna Chivers-Gibb on the piano, and conducted by James Roriston.

After the Blessing the congregation processed to the war memorial in the church yard for the laying of wreaths. A bright sunny autumn day greeted us and the laying of poppy wreaths and posies and from the Sunday School some rocks painted with poppies took place.

Monday, 5 November 2018
This morning at our family service we considered our 'local' Saint, St Richard. The members of the Sunday School told us about his life, how he became Bishop of Chichester, and the miracles attributed to him. His Shrine in Chichester Cathedral contains some of his bones, which were rescued at the time of the reformation when many such shrines were destroyed.

The Junior Choir sang 'Mathew Mark Luke and John' accompanied by Joanna on the piano,
During the Communion the whole choir sang the Ave Verum in the setting by Charles Gounod.
There was coffee after the service in the Parrish rooms.

At 6 pm we celebrated a Eucharist in memorial of All Souls. This service was the setting for Faure's Requiem. The Choir were joined by guest singers and our Baritone Soloist was our friend Peter Webster   This service, which has become a tradition at St Mary Our Lady, is a most moving occasion. The names of those who are specifically remembered are placed on the alter during the services, and candles are lit. The congregation and choir leave in silence at the end, and this was particularly thought provoking as we have our silhouettes in church reminding us of those who died in World War One. Next Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, and we will again be thinking of those who gave their lives for our peace.
Please note the service next week begins at 10:45.

On a less sombre note, we are fast approaching the Christmas fayre! Stall holders are waiting to receive your contributions, please look in the Magazine for more information!
Sunday, 21 October 2018
The third Sunday of October, so our 10 am service was Mattins. Another glorious sunny autumn day as we met for our worship and prayers. The Readings were from Isiah and St Mark's Gospel, and continuing the theme of examining Jesus' sayings this morning we were thinking about the vision of the Kingdom where the first and last and the last first. In his sermon Father Stephen developed this concept, looking at the Church and the world and reflecting on how difficult it was for us to retain humility when leading. In particular the difficulty for world leaders and local leaders to keep focused on leading by love and not getting above ourselves as St Paul cautions us to beware!

The choir sand the Benedictus in the setting bu C V Stanford in B flat. They also sang an Anthem 'Teach me O Lord' by Thomas Attwood.
There was coffee after the service, here are some pictures from our current flowers and some more of the splendid harvest decorations.
The list for the names of the departed to be remembered for All Souls Day is now in the Church. Do add your own loved ones. The service for All Souls, to include a liturgical performance of the Faure Requiem, will be on November 4th at 6 pm.

Service Times

Services for the month are as follows:

First Sunday in the Month
8:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
8:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
8:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Mattins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
8:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Other services and variations are listed in the Calendar Section on this page or in the Parish Magazine

Click here to go to calendar.

Local News

From the Chichester Observer
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