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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.

Monday, 15 October 2018
After the excitement of last week's Harvest Celebration we returned to our regular Sunday 10 am service of Sung Eucharist this week. On a wet autumn morning we gathered to celebrate the eternal love of God. The Gospel told the story of the young man who, though he obeyed all the rules could not take the final step asked of him by Jesus and give up all his worldly possessions. Father Stephen  expanded on this theme in his sermon, it is common to be attached to the earthly and hard to keep the spiritual in mind, the final words of the gospel tell us the answer, all things can be accomplished through God!
The choir sang the AveVerum in the setting by Elgar, For more details about this and the other music sung at St Mary's see our Music Blog.

There was coffee after the service and Birthday Cake, and we sang happy birthday to Father Stephen who's birthday was on last Friday. We were also given the fantastic news that the Bishop has agreed that Father Stephen can stay with us for the next few years!

Don't forget the Service including the Faure Requim on the 4th of November, If you would like the names of your loved ones who have gone on ahead to be added to the list which reposes on the alter during the service please speak to Father Stephen.

Sunday, 7 October 2018
The church was awash with the most fabulous flower arrangements to celebrate Harvest.

Because this was a children's service, they gave us the talk reproduced below. We started with an extract from TURN!TURN!TURN! by The Byrds:

To Everything There Is A Season

Winter, a time of darkness, cold and snow.

I am January,
A time for looking back over the old year
A time for looking forward to the new year
A time of regrets
A time for resolutions

I am February
A time to sit by the fire in the warm
A time to wait for the warmth of spring and the new growth
A time of hunger

God's promise to Noah
As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.#God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and fill the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the seas; into their hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants I give you everything".

Spring, a time of lighter, warmer days

I am March
A time to get ready for the new crops
A time to plough and prepare bare earth
A time to prune and a time to plant

I am April
A time for new growth and new life
A time when green shoots sprout through the earth

I am May
A time away from the fields while the crops grow
A time for travel
A time for pilgrimage
And sometimes for battle

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart, all to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

I am June
A time for cutting the hay
A time for storing up food for the animals

I am July
A time for summer fruits
A time for strawberries and cream
A time for sunbathing

I am August
A time for harvest and threshing the wheat
A time for storing the grain for flour

Then Jesus told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?" The he said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones and there I will store my grain and goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry". But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?"  So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God".

Autumn, a time for shorter days and cooler weather.

I am September
A time for trees to bear fruit
A time to pick the apples, pears, plums and grapes

I am October
A time to fatten the pig on acorns
A time to pick grapes and make wine
A time to celebrate the harvest

I am November
A time to kill the pig for bacon and make sausages
A time to salt, preserve and freeze for the winter store

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to provide yo with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly is every good work.

Winter, a time of darkness, cold and snow

I am December
A time for celebrating Christ's birth
A time for feasting and festivity
A time to rejoice and be thankful

Oh Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. These all look to you to give them food in the season, when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

Dates for your diary

Faure Requiem November 4th 2018  If you want to sing, rehearsal at 3.30pm, with the service at 6pm.

Nine Lessons and Carols  23rd December 6pm.
Monday, 1 October 2018
We were treated to another feast of music by our very good friend Ton Copper this afternoon. Commemorating the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy, Tom played pieces by the french composer, and by others who had influenced him through out his life. Once again we were also told about the man himself, who was an interesting character, and stories of some of the other composers!
This combined with some sublime performance made for an excellent afternoon of music. Of course the Tea afterwards was, as always, excellent, and served in the New Rooms, which Tom's concerts have done so much to support. We had a retiring collection for the project, as we still need to add some fencing and finish paying for the car park!!

We cannot thank Tom enough for the wonderful contribution he and his music make to St Marys, and we hope to see him again on another occasion.

This morning our 10 o'clock Eucharist was a celebration of St Michael and all Angels. The reading from Genesis told the story of Jacob's dream of the ladder with the angels ascending and descending. In his sermon Father Stephen told us that the angels are around us and supporting us all the time, this spiritual aspect of our christian life is well remembered, as we often do not think about it. Angels are present on the alter during the Eucharist, as the contact point between Heaven and earth.

The Choir sang the Gloria from the setting for communion by Herbert Sumsion in F major, and as the anthem 'Give us the Wings of Faith' by Ernest Bullock.  The Choir will be singing in Chichester Cathedral next Saturday morning in a communion service for the Prayer Book Society. The service is at 10:30 and all are welcome to come along and support them.

There was coffee in the new rooms after the service.

Sunday, 23 September 2018
The gospel reading today described quarreling disciples.  Father Stephen thought it would have been interesting to be a "fly on the wall" to hear what the disciples were talking about on the way to Capurnia.  Many of the disciples were fisherman and they could have been talking about and comparing their boats, nets, catch, who was the strongest, who had the most stamina?  Their language would have been a tad "ripe".  Matthew was a tax collector, was he boasting of his riches? Whatever they were arguing about, it would not have been very high brow. The reporting of the argument suggests to us that the scripture is true and reliable.  After all, if you were just writing propaganda, then you would hardly describe the foibles of Jesus's disciples, instead praising how wonderful they all were. If you want to become great, then you have to become the least of all and the servant of all.  Jesus wants us to become "like a child" as his teaching was radical and counter to the culture of the time when women and children were of no import at all. We should be grounded in the knowledge of God. True humility has nothing to do with self loathing or disgust, but is rather the opposite. Some people have the grace of humility, but most of us have to nurture this, and need prayer to help us achieve it.

Reminder to all of the wonderful concert at 3pm next Sunday in Church by Tom Cooper.  It is a celebration of Debussy and his influences.  Tom also educates us about the music and all his concerts in the past have been amazing.  There will be a retiring collection, and a delicious tea in the Parish Rooms afterwards.  And we really do a good afternoon tea.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Today is also Battle of Britain Sunday and we remembered the people who fought for our safety in our prayers.

In his sermon Fr Stephen talked about Hurricane Florence which is currently battering the south east coast of the USA and that only a few weeks ago there were forest fires around the world. St James says that small fires can spread to forests. St James is not talking about literal fires but about the tongues of men.  Humans can bless or curse.  Unguarded talk and malicious words can cause harm. In the modern world of the internet, trolling and cyber bullying can cause suicide.  Reputations are destroyed by social media, the gossip spreading like wildfire. Once on the net, it can be there forever.

Peter's words in our second reading this morning earned him the rebuke from Jesus "Get thee behind me, Satan!" fearing Peter's words would  quash  the idea of his message which would destroy his teaching thus far.  His followers should be consecrated in truth.  Are we?  We need to renew this often by a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit "Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit".

Please put into your diary the concert inspired by Debussy performed by Tom Cooper on 30th September at 3 pm in church.  There will be a retiring collection and tea in the parish rooms after the performance.  Anyone who has been to Tom's previous concerts will know that an excellent afternoon's entertainment will be had.

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.

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From the Chichester Observer
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