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Sunday, 29 December 2019
Yesterday was the feast of the Holy Innocents.  In the sermon preached by Father Roger he spoke of this in relation to the Christmas Story.  He told us the Christ's birth is spoken of in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Matthew's version is not so pretty. Jesus was born into a tough world. The Wise Men visited.  Herod wanted to kill Jesus. This was nothing to him who had murdered various members of his family. Herod killed all the children under 2 years of age in the area around Bethlehem.  The Holy Family managed to escape to Egypt. The Wise Men arrived not as portrayed in all nativity scenes when the child was still lying in a manger, but when Jesus was probably a toddler (hence the killing of the under twos) and the Holy Family would be living in a house. Nowhere in the Gospels does it say that the Wise Men were kings.

These events which happened during the very early years of Jesus reflect Old Testament events, Moses was hidden from Pharaoh, Herod's murders were like those of Pharaoh's killing of children. The murder of the Holy Innocents today would possibly be called collateral damage. Children have always been valued by their families. In days gone by, children were the insurance policy for their parents, They would work once old enough and then look after their parents in their old age.   Today, children matter even more.  In the long list of Herod's atrocities, the murder of children would hardly make a footnote in history, but our Church and God remember them. They have their own day, 28th December, very close to that of St Stephen (26th) who was the first Christian martyr.

When Mary and Joseph returned from Egypt, they moved north to Galilee, well away from Jerusalem, the political centre at that time.

The choir was officially "off duty" today, but those, not suffering from the dreadful virus, came to join in the worship and mixed up their seating arrangements! Despite the small number in church today, we still had our coffee and tea after service. Thank you to the people who make us our beverages every week. Some of the many unsung heroes who make St Mary's go like clockwork!
Thursday, 26 December 2019
After a full church for the 10 am service done in the main by the Sunday School, a smaller group gathered for the 11.15 Eucharist.  Unfortunately the winter bugs have severely affected the choir and only 6 of us made it this morning.  Joanna was able to put in the bass line for Away in a Manger.

We had a very brief message from Fr Roger as Fr Stephen is still unwell.  We pray for his swift recovery.  The Gospel reading was from St John. This attempts to unfold the Great Mystery. The reader attempts to sound very intelligent. However, it is not completely understandable or solvable. John blends philosophies from the Greeks and  Hebrews to try and understand the indecipherable.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all, and a swift recovery to all the unwell.

Monday, 23 December 2019
This morning we celebrated the Eucharist for the 4th Sunday in Advent. Father Roger was the Celebrant as Father stephen is unwell, we wish him better very soon.
The 4th Sunday in preparation for Christmas brings us to the story of the Annunciation, but in this case the gospel tells the story of how Joseph was told in a dream that Mary was to give birth to our Saviour. Father Roger in his sermon talked about the role of Joseph as the earthly father of our Lord, and about his dedication and faith in taking in Mary and bringing up Jesus and seeing to his education, religious and practical.

The Choir sang 'The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came'  the traditional Basque carol arranged by Edgar Pettman.

There was coffee after the service int he rooms..

At 6 pm we came together again for the service of 9 Lessons and Carols, again taken by Father Roger . The full congregation sang together with the choir, some well known Christmas Music, and the readers were drawn from all aspects of the community.
The Choir sang 6 individual items, including 'Adam Lay abounded by Ord, In the Bleak Mid Winter setting by Darke, Still still still, John Rutter's Nativity Carol, and a resounding version by David Willcocks of I saw Three Ships. Emily and James, 2 of the Junior Choristers sang 'The little road to Bethlehem as a solo. Congratulations to all our soloists, Sarah, Val, Jerry, Nigel and the 2 youngsters, and also to Maggie for her reading.
We left the Church ready for the beginning of Christmas

For full details of the music at this and all other services look at our music blog on this site.

We hope to see you over Christmas:

11pm on the 24th Midnight Mass
10 am on the 25th Childrens gift service
11:15 Eucharist with Carols

A Happy and Peaceful Christmas tide to all!








Sunday, 15 December 2019
This morning we came together at 10 am for Mattins, as we have reached both the the third sunday of December, and the third sunday of Advent. We started our service by lighting the third candle of the Advent wreath. We have reached the Sunday where both St John the Baptist, and St Mary our Lady are in our thoughts.

Our Advent season involves different canticles, we sang the Venite, The set psalm for the day Psalm 146, the Benedicite Omnia Opera (setting by Lloyd) and the Jubilate Deo (setting by C.V.Stanford in B flat) was sung by the choir.

In his Sermon, Father Stephen spoke of the transition of St John the Baptist's ministry from that of a Prophet in the old testament style, to a Harbinger, a visionary of the light to come in the form of Our Lord. He told us that the committed christians look forward to the second Advent, when Jesus will return in Glory, but in the meantime we have to work in the here and now for social justice for all.

The Choir sang the Magnificat in B Flat by C.V. Stanford, remembering the second theme of this third sunday, St Mary Our Lady.

After the Service we moved across into the Rooms for the Sunday School Sweet and Cake Sale. This year the proceeds of the sale will be shared between the 3 Charities supported by the children, The Snowdrop Trust, The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Goodwill Villages.  The event was well attended and the raffle, cakes, sweets, and Jewelry on sale were well patronised and the stalls looked quite empty at the end!

 Next Sunday we shall have our normal 10 am Eucharist and in the early evening at 6pm the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, all are welcome to start the christmas period with this traditional service.


 
Monday, 9 December 2019
After the hard work and enjoyment of the Christmas Fair, we met at 10 o'clock for the second eucharist of the Advent season in slightly more solemn mood. After lighting the second Advent Candle we proceeded with our service

The readings were from Isaiah and St Matthew's Gospel. In his sermon Father Stephen talked about St John the Baptist and his role to prepare for the ministry of Our Lord.
The choir sang 'How beautiful upon the Mountains' words from Isaiah as set by John Stainer as the anthem.

There was coffee after the service in the Rooms.

Do look at the Calendar for our Christmas Services, we hope to see you there!




Our Annual Christmas Fair took place between 2 and 4 on Saturday afternoon in the Church Hall. All the usual stall were there, cakes, books, bathroom goods, presents and treats, a bottle tombola and 2 raffles! On the way in you could buy your christmas greenery and get some roasted chestnuts for a snack. There were refreshments and cakes, and also Mulled Wine in side!! It was a very jolly afternoon with a lovely community spirit. A big thank you to all the stall holders and especially to the Church Wardens, Janet and Chris, for the organisation. At the end of the day the grand total raised was just a little more than last year.











Sunday, 1 December 2019
Next Saturday the 7th of December is the Christmas Fair, 2pm to 4 pm in the Church Hall

This morning we combined our Family service with the Christingle service, and lit the first candle of the Advent wreath.

Advent Sunday is the start of a new Church year, and it was lovely to welcome the children and parents of Sidlesham County Primary School to our service.
Father Stephen opened the service by saying the prayers and lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath, to remind us of the Patriarchs.  We then proceeded to the Gospel for the day and this was followed by the Primary School singing to us. Mrs Field then explained the story of the Christingle, in a very visual way as you can see from the pictures below!! After Father Stephen had blessed them,the candles on the christingles were then lit and each child received one. During the offertory the Children's Society boxes were taken up and placed in front of the altar.

We then proceeded with the Eucharist, and the choir sang 'Oh thou the central orb' by Charles Wood as the anthem.

After the service there was tea and coffee in the rooms.

A lovely happy family event to start off our thinking about the coming of Our Lord at Christmas .

Next Saturday the 7th of December is the Christmas Fair, 2pm to 4 pm in the C
Church Hall










Service Times

10:00am Sunday Service

Useful links


Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:


  1. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  2. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  3. Prayer for today.
  4. The C of E youtube channel.
  5. We will be updating Fr Stephens Message page on a regular basis.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.