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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.
Thursday, 13 September 2018
You may have noticed these silhouettes in church on Sunday, there are 5 of them and they will be sitting in church until Remembrance Sunday. They represent the Fallen of the First World War. 1,117077 British and Commonwealth soldiers died between 1914 and 1918.
The silhouettes were purchased using donations from the congregation, and the money raised will contribute to the work of
The Royal Foundation
Walking with the Wounded
Combat Stress
Help for Heroes
Project Equinox Housing Veterans and Medical Students
Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

The names of  those from Sidlesham who gave their lives are recorded on the War Memorial in the Church yard and on the Roll of Honour at the front of the Church.

This prayer from the Church of England, to commemorate the First World War might be useful to those who lost family in the conflict.

'Lord Jesus, we believe that you stood beside N and his fellow soldiers 
as they fought to bring peace to your world.
We believe that you have stood among us
as we tried to imagine the fear and pain and loneliness
of the wounded and dying on the battlefield.
We believe that you stand beside us now,
as we remember and honour N.
In your great mercy, bless our good memories,
comfort us when we grieve for the life that might have ben,
and strengthen us in all we do to seek the peace and freedom
which are your desire for the world

You can visit the church and see these moving memorials any day between now and November the 11th

Monday, 10 September 2018
This morning we met at 10 am for a Parish Eucharist. Father Stephen lead our worship and celebrated the Eucharist. The gospel told the story of two of Our Lord's healing miracles, first the healing of a small girl in Tyre at the request of her mother who is described as a syrophoenician woman, she came from an area north of Galilee in what today is Syria, and secondly the healing in Galilee of a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. Despite His injunction not to tell anyone, the stories of these miracles spread rapidly. In his Sermon Father Stephen pointed out that the women in the story was a gentile, and a woman alone, which would have made her unclean in the society where she lived and would not normally have been able to speak to a Rabbi. Our Lord says that the children must be fed first, implying his message is for the Jews, she replies that even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs, Our Lord, is moved by her words and sends her home to where her daughter has been healed. Mercy overcomes all is the basis of this story.

The Choir sang 'God be in my Head' arrangement by John Rutter as the anthem.
The Sunday School is back in session and the children joined us for the communion.
After the service there was coffee in the new rooms.

Don't forget the Concert by Tom Cooper on the 30th September at 3pm followed by tea.

Monday, 3 September 2018
This morning, the first Sunday in September, was our family service, and so we also celebrated the Nativity of St Mary as our Patronal Festival. We had a guest preacher, Father Toby Boutle from St George's Church at Wyke in Chichester. He gave us a very interesting talk about Birthday Parties!
As this was St Mary's birthday he asked the Children about what we need at a birthday party, invitations, presents, cake etc. Our Gospel reading from St Luke was the story of the Annunciation-Mary's invitation to be the mother of Our Lord, the acceptance of which changed her life forever. He went on to point out that Our Lord was our present, offering ourselves to him and following him was our life and our witness. The Children read the intercessions and the Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen, who thanked Father Toby for coming to join us!

There was coffee in the new rooms after the service, and we went home in glorious sunshine.

down the lane to Church!

Monday, 27 August 2018
This morning, as we met for our 10 am Eucharist, the rain was just beginning heralding a day of heavy rain and wind. Father Stephen was the celebrant, and in his sermon he discussed the series of Gospel readings we have had in the past weeks from St John's Gospel. In today's reading Jesus message regarding the faith needed to receive the word and follow his teaching  seemed too hard for may of his followers, and when he asked his disciples whether they would continue with him, Peter answered 'but where would we go? You have the true word'  Developing this theme Father Stephen spoke of the importance of faith, and the strengthening effect of the Holy Spirit received through the sacrament of the Eucharist.

James Roriston played the organ again for us this week, as Joanna is on holiday. We are very grateful for his playing. We had coffee after the service in the new rooms

We have two weddings coming up and were delighted to welcome one of the couples to this service. Work continues on the hangings for the new rooms, and at the end of September we will have a splendid concert from our good friend Tom Cooper, commemorating the centenary of Claude Debussy.

Monday, 20 August 2018
The third Sunday in August so our 10 am service was Mattins. We sang the Canticles, and part of Psalm 34, and our Gospel reading was from St John. The passage where Jesus describes the Eucharist in words, there is no description of the events of Maunday Thursday in St John, but this passage explains the symbolism of the bread and wine.
Father Stephen spoke in his sermon of how the news of terrible disasters such as the collapse of the bridge in Genoa, can seem challenging when we ask where was God, why did he let this happen. Our faith needs to be founded in the knowledge that we can see only a small part of the plan, and we must concentrate on getting the small things right, small acts of kindness and caring, and leave the big stuff to the hand of God.

We had coffee after the service, Both Joanna and James were with us this morning, giving Father Stephen an opportunity to  thank them both and to remind us how increadibly fortunate we are to have 2 such talented Organists and musicians involved in our worship!

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!!

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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