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Monday, 29 December 2014
A sharp frost and a bright blue sky for the first Sunday after Christmas. Our 10:00am service, sung Eucharist, had as its focus the Holy Family. Father Stephen told us a story from East Sussex of a single mother who placed her baby in the nativity crib one cold Christmas night during the first world war, and how that baby was adopted by a couple who had lost their son in the war, who took on the mother as a nanny. Our Lord came to earth as a human baby and shared normal family life with Mary and Joseph, part of his true human experience, which made his sacrifice for us so significant.
We were delighted to welcome James Roriston to play the organ for this service, as Joanna is enjoying a well deserved break. James played some Hubert Howells before the service, and JS Bach at the end. This latter was greeted with a round of applause! We enjoyed a cup of coffee before setting out into the cold bright day.

Please note that tickets for the Silent Auction to b held in January will be on sale at next week's family service.

Friday, 26 December 2014
We had a clear dry day for our Christmas Day services. At 10:00 am we had the children's services with Nativity and blessing of presents, and at 11:15 we had a said Eucharist with Carols.The Choir sang 'Away in a Manger' after communion and we went home to Christmas lunch joyfully!!

Our celebration of Our Lord's Incarnation began with Midnight Mass.The service began at 11:30 in a candlelit church. The congregation and choir sang traditional carols, and Father Stephen, much recovered, was the celebrant. The Christmas Gospel was from Luke, and the old story, so familiar is non the less fresh each year with the wonder of Our Saviour's birth. The Choir sang the Sussex Carol after communion, and we went out into Christmas morning wishing each other a very merry Christmas
the church lit by candles

The organ decorated

Merry Christmas
Monday, 22 December 2014
On Sunday evening we had our Service of 9 Lessons and Carols.The newly decorated and candle lit church had a very welcoming sight for the full congregation who attended this lovely service. Father Stephen was able to join us for the service which followed the traditional pattern of prayers, readings, carols and choir items. We were very pleased to be joined by two great friends of St Marys, who contribute to our music on special occasions, James Roriston, who conducted the Choir and also played the organ, and Peter Webster, who was the soloist in three items, In the Bleak Midwinter (Rossetti; Darke) The Spotless Rose (trad 14C, Howells) and The Three Kings (Cornelius arr Atkins) adding greatly to our service. The Choir also sang Adam Lay Ybounden (anon 15C, Ord),A Maiden Most Gentle (Andrew Carter) and The Sussex Carol. The first verse of Once in Royal David's City was sung by Lucy, the Head Chorister of the Junior Choir, all the Junior Choir took part in the Choir items, it was a great joy to have them with us after a very successful year for them. The congregation sang a number of Hymns including 'While Shepherds Watched' and 'O Come All ye Faithful'. The traditional readings, from the Old and New Testament telling the story of the Birth of Jesus were as fresh and meaningful as ever, read by different members of the Church Family, from the youngest, one of the server team, to Father Stephen himself closing with the opening chapters of St John's Gospel.,   It was a very fitting start to the Christmas period.

The last Sunday in Advent, being a third Sunday, we had sung Matins  as our 10 o'clock service. Father Stephen, who has had a nasty cold, was not with us for this service, so the Churchwardens, ably assisted by Joanna Chivers-Gibb and Margaret Guise lead the service. The choir sang 'Gabriel's Message' a traditional advent anthem based on a Basque carol, english version by Sabine-Gould set by Edgar Pettman. There was coffee after the service.
On Saturday the flower arrangers had decorated the church for Christmas, and it was looking particularly beautiful.

Our annual Christmas Fair was held in the Church Hall on Saturday afternoon. The traditional mixture of stalls,  refreshments and  raffles were all there and the whole event was very well attended. It was a good start to the Christmas events. The stall holders all worked hard and a great many mince pies and other cakes were consumed, not to mention the gallons of tea and some mulled wine! Even more satisfactory news is that takings were up on last year!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Today we begin the season of Advent, A season of contemplation and repentance, with the expectation of the arrival of Our Lord at Christmas. Our 10 o'clock service opened with the Matin Responsory. The words are adapted from the first responsory of Advent Sunday in the early medieval rite, and the setting is by Palestrina.Sung unaccompanied it provided a sense of the urgency of the message of the imminent arrival of the Messiah. The service reflected this with reading from Isiah and from St Mark's gospel. In the sermon Father Stephen, with the help of the children put together the Advent wreath for the church and taught us the meaning of each of the candles, for Abraham, the Prophets especially Isiah, St John the Baptist, and St Mary our Lady. There was coffee after the service.

In the afternoon we had our annual Advent wreath making and tea. We gathered in the Church Hall and thanks to Anwyl and Margery we had a wonderful choice of different greenery to use in the construction of the wreaths. When every one had finished the wreaths were placed on the central table and one candle of each was lit, and Father Stephen blessed them Then we had a lovely tea, many thanks to Deirdre and Shirley  for wielding the tea pots an washing up!!

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. St Mary's Facebook page
  2. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  3. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  4. Prayer for today.
  5. The C of E youtube channel.
  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.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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