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Sunday, 12 August 2018
Today we celebrate the feast of the Assumption, the start of St Mary's reign as the Queen of Heaven. As St Mary is our Patron Saint it is one of our patronal festivals. We were delighted to welcome Fr David Twinley as our guest preacher at our 10 am parish Eucharist. Father David is the acting Archdeacon as well as being the vicar of Arundel, and we are very pleased to have heard him preach this morning.
The Gospel for our special day was from St Luke, the glorious song of Mary, the Magnificat. In his sermon Father David explained to us how St Mary is called in the original Greek the Theotokos or bearer of God. He drew a comparison between the Old Testament theme of God  being present in the Ark of the Covenant, constructed by Moses and placed in the Temple by Solomon. Ezekiel had the vision of God leaving the temple, but He returned as his Son through the vehicle of the Theotokos, Mary the mother of God. Her openness to God's grace, to being filled with God is an example to us, we must look to God and open our hearts to be filled with the light of Christ and thus guided through our lives to join Mary and the Saints with God at the end.

Father Stephen read the Banns for 3 couples, two of whom, are to be married at St Mary's in the coming weeks, we wish them well in their new lives together. Father Stephen was the Celebrant.

James Roriston was with us again today, and he played Bach's Fugue in G minor as the Voluntary as we left for our coffee in the new rooms, under overcast skies and the beginning of much needed rain.

Sunday, 5 August 2018
The first Sunday in the month our 10 am service was a family eucharist. The weather has returned to the glorious sunshine so the church was lit with golden sunlight. Joanna was having a well earned sunday off so our organist this week was our good friend James Roriston. The school holidays having started we did not have many families in church, but plenty of other congregants joined us. The gospel was from St Luke and told the story of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Chris Field told us in the presentation that the sunday school had already studied the account in St Mark's gospel earlier in the year. She said the account was challenging for the older children who found it hard to imagine no smart phones to video the events or social media to discuss it!! The essence of the story is the confirmation of the divinity of Our Lord, and by keeping our eyes on Him and following him in our lives will lead us to God.

The Choir are also 'on holiday' although many members were with us, so there was no anthem this morning. James played a delightful organ voluntary by JS Bach which had us dancing in the ailes as we tidied up after the service!  There was coffee after the service in the rooms.

Monday, 30 July 2018
The weather could hardly be more different from last week. Wind, rain, and much cooler this Sunday. Happily the day before, the Fete had been dry and sunny, although also windy. The Fete was a great success and raised over £1000 more than last year. A great thank you to every one who took part and especially Janet, Chris, and Bryan who were the committee!

Our 10 am service was a Eucharist, celebrated by Father Stephen. The Gospel told the story of the feeding of the five thousand, St John's version. In his Sermon Father Stephen told us that the presence of this story in all 4 Gospels and the small details they contain re-enforce each other in their veracity.

The Choir sang the setting of the Sanctus, Benedictus and the Agnus Dei written by Harold Darke in F major. The Anthem was 'The Lord Bless you and Keep you' by John Rutter, and Joanna played the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D as the music after the service. We then moved to the New Rooms to see a slide show of Fete photographes taken by Gill Mason, both this year and over the years since the 1980's, as we drank our coffee.

During August the Choir are on a well deserved Holiday, and this year Joanna will also have a break as our friend James Roriston will play for some services.

Monday, 23 July 2018
We came together for our 10:00 am Eucharist service on another hot and sunny morning. Both the north and south doors were left  open to allow a cooling breeze through the church! The readings this morning from St Paul and St Mark's Gospel, told of the pressure Jesus was under once news of his miracles and teachings spread. He could not get away from crowds of people bringing the sick for healing and to hear his message.He felt this pressure in a very human way, the gospel writer emphasising that he was truly fully human. St Paul reflected on the need to share, resources and spirituality to cope with life, through the grace of Our Lord.

The choir sang  Brother James Air a setting of the 23rd psalm as the anthem. There was tea and coffee after the service

Less than a week to the Fete!!

All hands on deck in the Vicarage Field for putting up tents etc on Friday, Cakes and biscuits gratefully received for the tea tent, return your raffle tickets, and see you all at 2pm on Saturday for the best afternoon's entertainment in West Sussex!!

Sunday, 15 July 2018
Another glorious summer's morning for our service today. We had Mattins as it is the third Sunday in July. Father Stephen took the service and the readings were from Amos and St Mark's Gospel. The latter telling the story of St John the Baptist and his death at the request of Salome. It was this well known story that Father Stephen talked about in his sermon. John was superseded by Jesus, and his disciples joined those following Jesus. John had been outspoken in his criticism of Herod, because he married his sister in law, and lived a dissolute life. It was his stepdaughter, Salome , who asked for John's head, and conveniently ended the stream of criticism. John shows us an example of one who spoke the truth and followed the way to God.
The choir sang the Benedictus in C major by C V Stanford and also as the Anthem Jesu joy of man's desiring by JS Bach.

We continue to prepare for the fete, and all contributions ahead of time can be left with Janet Harland at Russetts. Books, bottles, toys, clothing in good condition, jam jars, both filled and empty! all gratefully received

Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A photo of our newly restored gates, which were put back in place this week
This morning we celebrated our 10 am Eucharist  with Father Stephen as the celebrant. The continued warm weather meant that even with all the doors open the usually cool church was quite warm! The service included the anthem Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck, sung by the choir. The Sunday School joined us for the distribution of Communion, and there was coffee after the service.

We are now with in sight of the Fete, please if you have raffle tickets, return sold stubs and money to the Church Wardens. All is now a hive of activity preparing for Saturday the 28th on the Vicarage field! All offers of help in preparing, and dismantling the fete gratefully received

Don't forget your entry for the Mini Show, classes in the Parish Magazine, the Show will be in the Church this year, so even if you don't enter yourself come and see the efforts of others in the Church!

Next week our Sunday 10 am service will be Mattins.

Sunday, 1 July 2018
The first Sunday of the month is our Family Service, so we decided to celebrate Sea Sunday this week instead of next week. Father Stephen is back with us, and he introduced the presentation by the Sunday School, telling the story of Jesus calming the waters on the Sea of Gallille. We also inducted a new junior chorister, Tilly, and as is our tradition she was 'sung in' by the other choristers, and some adults with Lead me Lord.

The choir sang 'Never Weatherbeated Sail' as the anthem, and the final hymn was 'Eternal Father Strong to Save' continuing our Sea Sunday theme.

There was coffee after the service, this week the soft toy tombolla is appealing for those unwanted soft toys you have!

Sunday, 24 June 2018
Father Roger was still int he driving seat today as we celebrated the birth of St John the Baptist.  Father Roger told us that until recently, his day was celebrated in the week, not on Sunday, but we now recognise the importance of John the Baptist. His birthday is also Midsummer day, one of the legal quarter days, the others being Michaelmas, Christmas and Lady Day.  Jesus' birth is celebrated because he grew up to be a special person, also so did John. Zachariah his father was a descendant of Aaron and so he was a born to be a priest. He worked int he temple.  He and his wife Elizabeth were elderly and childless.  Israel had been occupied for centuries, waiting for the Messiah.  They had not even had a good prophet for centuries. Zachariah was then allowed to burn incense in the temple, a once in a lifetime occurrence and whilst he was fulfilling this, Gabriel comes to him and tells him that he will have a son, a prophet who will precede the Messiah. He is struck dumb by the news.  When the pregnant Elizabeth meets the pregnant Mary, the unborn John greets the unborn Jesus. Prophets had called Jews to the right path, they had a sense of calling and duty, although this was not a job wanted or sort for.  Elijah had to appear again to herald the coming of the Messiah.  John spoke out against Herod and the excesses of him and his family and got beheaded for it. John, because of his heritage, could have had a comfortable life working in the temple, but instead he listened to God and lived in the desert, an uncomfortable and tough life.  But John was more than a prophet.  He brought baptism to the Jews, not a christian baptism, but he rallied people to behave themselves, repent before judgement and prepare for the new times coming.  John's baptism was a new thing for the Jews. In ritual bathing, you immersed yourself, but John immersed other people. Anything we do for God is not forced, it is our choice. God's spirit works in his church, but it not confined to Christian people, for anyone of any faith or no faith can try to take humanity forward in love.

The Sunday school have also been busy. Below is their work on Pentecost.

Today they were learning about the fishing boats being buffeted on the sea of Galilee and made their own boats which they sailed in a tank of water.

Friday, 22 June 2018
Father Stephen is still away so Father Roger took the service today.  His sermon reflected that the readings today were congenial to those who grow things.  There are many horticultural images in the bible, sowing, pruning, grafting and harvesting. Seeds can be incredibly small like specks of dust, so gathering them can be tricky as can sowing them, so one is very happy if they grow. When Jesus chose his 12 apostles, they seemed a rather unlikely bunch, but were very successful.  They worked hard, antisocial hours as most were fishermen and these were good attributes for the apostles.

Matthew was a tax collector, Thomas questioned things, Judas was a Jewish nationalist who wanted to expel the Romans.  So the apostles were a mixed bunch much like our cabinet 2000 years later. We must let God further his kingdom through us, unlikely as it may seem. Parents can only sow seeds of Jesus in their children and try and nurture them, but other people will also help move things onward. Outcomes are not always in our hands. 

Certainty can mean a lack of faith.  If we know for certain, then there is no room for faith. We sow for God as best we can.

Stall holders are welcoming things for their stalls for the forthcoming Summer Fete.  Details in the magazine and church porch.

We are also looking for donations towards the silhouettes to commemorate the end of the First World War.  Details also in the church porch.
Monday, 11 June 2018
This morning our Eucharist was celebrated by Father Roger, as Father Stephen is away. We had a lovely summer morning, with sunshine and the church yard looking beautiful as we came into Church.
The Choir sang 'Lord for they Tender Mercy's Sake' setting by Farrant ed. Greening as the anthem.
There was coffee after the service.
The Fete is fast approaching, Stall holders are ready to recieve your donations, Jars, bottles, clothes for the boutique, all welcome! This year the Fete is on the 28th of July, and we hope to see you all there!!

Sunday, 3 June 2018
This is our Rogation walk Sunday.  We tour the locale around the church and ask God's blessing for the fruits of the earth.  As Father Stephen pointed out, Rogation is from the Latin, Rogare meaning to ask or ask for. God was kind to us and we had a beautiful morning to wander around and Joanna treated us to the piano instead of the organ.

Monday, 28 May 2018
A glorious sunny day for our Trinity Eucharist, and so we reach the ordinary time with the great feast of the Trinity. In his Sermon Father Stephen told us about his favourite subject, Religious Art! He drew on the Great altar piece of Ghent painted by the Van Eyck brothers in the 15th century, and depicting God in His three persons, as well as Adam and Eve and many other Biblical and Church characters. He pointed out that in this painting Adam and God have the same face, an indication that God is with us and in us always perhaps. The Trinity remains a glorious mystery, and yet is also present in our daily lives.

The Choir sang 'God so Loved the World' in the setting by John Stainer as the Anthem.

There was coffee in the rooms after the service.

The Fete is fast approaching, the stall holders are ready to receive, your donations for their stalls, details in the Parish Magazine and in the Church.

Next week is the Rogation Walk, so please come in suitable footwear!!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018
This morning our 10 am service celebrating the Holy Spirit's arrival was Mattins. As is our tradition we took our readings from the King James version of the Bible, and the Choir sang the Te Deum in the setting in B flat by C.V Stanford, and as the anthem 'To Father Son and Holy Ghost' by Christopher Tye (1505 to 1573)

There was coffee after the service in the new rooms.

This evening at 7:30 pm St Mary's was the host for a Confirmation Service for Churches in the Chichester Deanery. The Church was filled with the candidates, their parents and godparents and other family, and members of the church family at St Mary's. The confirmation was performed by Bishop Mark of Horsham, who preached a most inspiring sermon. After the confirmation the Bishop celebrated the Eucharist, and after communion the choir sang 'Blessed by the God and Father' by Samuel Wesley, the soprano soloist was Sarah Amos, with Lucy and Emily 2 of our junior choristers singing the responding solo part. The newly confirmed followed the Bishop out of the church carrying a lighted candle to signify that they were going out into the world to spread the light of Christ.
There was a reception after the service in the new rooms, magnificently catered by Anne and Marilyn. Every one rejoiced in the presence of our new full members of Gods Church.

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
© 2017 Johnston Publishing Ltd