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Sunday, 8 January 2017
This morning our 10 am Eucharist was celebrated by Father Roger, as Father Stephen is taking a short break.Now we are in Epiphany we traditionally look at the events of the life of Our Lord and  this morning we  looked at the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist by water and the Spirit. Father Roget in his sermon took up the theme of the Spirit in supporting and inspiring us in our Christian Life. These are difficult times with much uncertainty in the world, but the Christian faith leads us to trust in God for guidance, the Church is active in these times both Pope Frances and Archbishop Justin are working to bring peace to the world, and the spirit takes us along the path of a true christian life if we let it guide us.
The Choir sang the Ave Verum Corpus in the setting by WA Mozart as the anthem. There was coffee after the service.

A new year brings new Parish activities for your diary, Our next event is a Mexican Supper, once again magnificently prepared by Hilary Platts. This will be on the 28th January in the Church Hall. Tickets £12 from the Church Wardens.
A little further off, we are holding a 'Knitathon' at which we shall be knitting hats for the Mission to Seafarers, this will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 5th of March, 3.00pm to 5.0pm. Sponsorship forms will be available in the Church soon keep a look out!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017
The first Sunday in the month, and in the year, was our family service. We were celebrating the Epiphany, as we had with us the Sunday school children. Our organist Joanna was away today, so we were fortunate enough to have Beryl Rodd play the piano for this service.During the service the presentation was about the service of opening or blessing of the house an epiphany tradition, which has become less practised these days. It was an interesting ceremony, marking the house as a christian home, and mirroring the Jewish Passover, but in this ceremony the idea is to show a positive love of Our Lord rather than the identification of families to be spared from the fate of the Egyptians!

During the Offertory, 'We three Kings of Orient Are' the Three Kings, played by the Swain Family, presented their gifts at the crib.

There was coffee after the service.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016
On Christmas eve we celebrated the first mass of Christmas with our service starting at 11 pm. The church was now decorated with gold and white for the festival and the flowers now reflected this with golden flowers added to the greenery. The white candle in the center of the advent ring was lit, and in the liturgy the Gloria was once again sung. The church was full, and the service full of joy. The choir sang 'Oh Little on Sweet' and the Sussex Carol after communion, and we closed with Hark the Herald Angels sing. Leaving the church on an amazingly mild night we wished each other happy Christmas.

On Christmas morning there was a 10 am service for children and families, including the receiving of gifts for children in need. Carols were sung and there were the traditional nativity tableau. At 11 am there was a said Eucharist with carols, at which some of the choir sang Away in a Manger, and Ding Dong Merrily on High.

We wish you all happiness and peace at this precious time of the coming of Our Lord.

Monday, 19 December 2016
This morning we started our Mattins service by lighting the fourth Advent Candle on our Advent wreath. On this Sunday in Advent we turn out thoughts from the second coming of Our Lord to the events of his birth. We think particularly of Our Lady St Mary, and her reaction to the news from the Angel that she would give birth to Our Saviour. In his sermon Father Stephen reflected on the differences in the 2 Gospels with a nativity narrative, St Matthew and St Luke. St Luke was more concerned with the role of women and the coming of Our Lord to the poor and ordinary people, St Matthew was more engaged in the royal credentials of the tiny baby and his position as the long awaited Messiah. We learn from both these views as we await the commemoration of his birth next week.

The Choir sang 'The Angel Gabriel from Heaven came' based on a Basque carol setting by Pettman, as the Anthem.

During this service we were delighted that James one of our Junior Choristers was presented with his light blue ribbon.

At 6pm we held our Service of 9 Lessons and Carols. The Church had been beautifully decorated with greenery, the Christmas Tree was up and lit and the church was lit by candles as we came in. The church rapidly filled up with families coming to start their Christmas and to sing some traditional carols and to hear again the story of the Birth of Christ. Our service follows the traditional form, with readers from the Church and Community in turn. We opened with Once in Royal David's City, with the first verse sung unaccompanied from the Organ loft by Lucy, our Head Chorister, and Amy, the choir and congregation then joined in. The first lesson was read by another junior chorister, Emily.
The Choir sang
Adam lay ybounden Setting by Peter Warlock,
The Holly and the Ivy Setting by John Gardner,
 This Christmas Night words Mary Wilson Setting Malcolm Williamson,
A Spotless Rose Words Traditional Setting Hubert Howells,
Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day, traditional setting David Willcocks,
King Herod and the Cock,  words traditional setting William Walton and
The Three Kings words and music by Peter Cornelius, arranged by Ivor Atkins.

We were delighted to be joined again by our friend Peter Webster as the Baritone soloist in The Spotless Rose, Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day, King Herod and the Cock and The Three Kings.

The congregation joined the choir to sing:
O come o come Emmanuel,
Long ago Prophets knew,
It came upon the midnight clear,
While Shepherds watched their flocks by night,
The First Nowell,
and the service finished with a rousing rendition of O come all ye faithful.

The Organ Voluntary was the Choral prelude 'in dulci jubilo' BWV 729 JS Bach

A splendid start to our Christmas celebrations.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Our 10 am Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen, we opened the service by lighting the third candle sof the Advent wreath, which reminds us of John the Baptist. In his sermon Father Stephen spoke about John, being in prison and sending his followers to as Jesus if he was the one of whom the Prophets spoke. We know now that indeed he is the Messiah, and we await his return.
The choir sang a communion hymn, and there was coffee after the service.

In the Afternoon the Sunday School had a sale of home made sweets, which took place in the Church. Also on display were a large number of cribs from all over the world and in different styles. at 4pm  Sally Pomme Clayton told stories of Mary. The whole afternoon was greatly enjoyed by everyone.

Sunday, 4 December 2016
This has been a busy weekend at St Mary our Lady! On Saturday afternoon we held our Christmas Fair in the Church Hall. A very busy 2 hours of customers for the stalls and refreshments resulted in a healthy profit, only slightly down on last year! Well done to every one involved in a lovely festive fair!

This morning our 10 am service was, as the first Sunday in the month our Family Service. We were joined by the children of Sidlesham County Primary School, and this was also our Christingle service.
The Sunday School children made a presentation about Advent, the Primary School Choir sang, the Christingles were lit and handed out, and the Christingle hymn was sung. Then before the peace, a new junior chorister Maggie was admitted to the Choir, and Lucy was presented as the Head Chorister, after which the Junior Choristers accompanied by Joanna Chivers-Gibbs on the piano and with 2 members of the adult choir, sang 'Lead me Lord'.

During Communion the whole Choir sang 'How beautiful upon the Mountains'  words from Isaiah  music by John Stainer (1840-1901) as the anthem. There was coffee after the service.

Next Sunday afternoon the Sunday School are holding a special event in the Church. There will be an exhibition of different Christmas cribs, a sale of sweets, and at 4 pm there will be a Story Teller telling us stories about Mary the mother of Our Lord. This event starts at 3pm do come along and join in!

Sunday, 27 November 2016
The first Sunday of the new church year and we opened our 10am Eucharist with the Palestrina Matin Responsory sung by the Choir. Our service continued with the lighting of the first candle on our

Advent wreath, and then we continued with the form of the Eucharist for Advent, omitting the Gloria. Father Stephen spoke in his sermon of our need to wait and be prepared for the second coming, which will come when no one expects it, as well as looking forward to the approaching festival of Christmas.
During Communion the Choir sang 'This is the truth sent from above' setting by R Vaughn-Williams.

There was coffee after the service.

In the afternoon we had our traditional afternoon of making Advent Wreaths and tea in the church hall. the wreathes were gathered together at the end of the afternoon and blessed by Father Stephen. then we had a splendid tea before setting off home with our wreathes. This was a splendid occasion many thanks to Anwyl, Janet, Chris, Anne and Marilyn for the organisation and the tea.

Next Saturday afternoon is the Christmas Fair, come along and buy your christmas present or enjoy some refreshments! On the 11th of December in the afternoon the Sunday School is holding a charity sale, a display of Christmas cribs from all over the world, and a wonderful story teller will finish off the afternoon, do come along to the Church for this event