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Wednesday, 28 December 2016
On Christmas eve we celebrated the first mass of Christmas with our service starting at 11 pm. The church was now decorated with gold and white for the festival and the flowers now reflected this with golden flowers added to the greenery. The white candle in the center of the advent ring was lit, and in the liturgy the Gloria was once again sung. The church was full, and the service full of joy. The choir sang 'Oh Little on Sweet' and the Sussex Carol after communion, and we closed with Hark the Herald Angels sing. Leaving the church on an amazingly mild night we wished each other happy Christmas.

On Christmas morning there was a 10 am service for children and families, including the receiving of gifts for children in need. Carols were sung and there were the traditional nativity tableau. At 11 am there was a said Eucharist with carols, at which some of the choir sang Away in a Manger, and Ding Dong Merrily on High.

We wish you all happiness and peace at this precious time of the coming of Our Lord.

Monday, 19 December 2016
This morning we started our Mattins service by lighting the fourth Advent Candle on our Advent wreath. On this Sunday in Advent we turn out thoughts from the second coming of Our Lord to the events of his birth. We think particularly of Our Lady St Mary, and her reaction to the news from the Angel that she would give birth to Our Saviour. In his sermon Father Stephen reflected on the differences in the 2 Gospels with a nativity narrative, St Matthew and St Luke. St Luke was more concerned with the role of women and the coming of Our Lord to the poor and ordinary people, St Matthew was more engaged in the royal credentials of the tiny baby and his position as the long awaited Messiah. We learn from both these views as we await the commemoration of his birth next week.

The Choir sang 'The Angel Gabriel from Heaven came' based on a Basque carol setting by Pettman, as the Anthem.

During this service we were delighted that James one of our Junior Choristers was presented with his light blue ribbon.

At 6pm we held our Service of 9 Lessons and Carols. The Church had been beautifully decorated with greenery, the Christmas Tree was up and lit and the church was lit by candles as we came in. The church rapidly filled up with families coming to start their Christmas and to sing some traditional carols and to hear again the story of the Birth of Christ. Our service follows the traditional form, with readers from the Church and Community in turn. We opened with Once in Royal David's City, with the first verse sung unaccompanied from the Organ loft by Lucy, our Head Chorister, and Amy, the choir and congregation then joined in. The first lesson was read by another junior chorister, Emily.
The Choir sang
Adam lay ybounden Setting by Peter Warlock,
The Holly and the Ivy Setting by John Gardner,
 This Christmas Night words Mary Wilson Setting Malcolm Williamson,
A Spotless Rose Words Traditional Setting Hubert Howells,
Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day, traditional setting David Willcocks,
King Herod and the Cock,  words traditional setting William Walton and
The Three Kings words and music by Peter Cornelius, arranged by Ivor Atkins.

We were delighted to be joined again by our friend Peter Webster as the Baritone soloist in The Spotless Rose, Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day, King Herod and the Cock and The Three Kings.

The congregation joined the choir to sing:
O come o come Emmanuel,
Long ago Prophets knew,
It came upon the midnight clear,
While Shepherds watched their flocks by night,
The First Nowell,
and the service finished with a rousing rendition of O come all ye faithful.

The Organ Voluntary was the Choral prelude 'in dulci jubilo' BWV 729 JS Bach

A splendid start to our Christmas celebrations.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Our 10 am Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen, we opened the service by lighting the third candle sof the Advent wreath, which reminds us of John the Baptist. In his sermon Father Stephen spoke about John, being in prison and sending his followers to as Jesus if he was the one of whom the Prophets spoke. We know now that indeed he is the Messiah, and we await his return.
The choir sang a communion hymn, and there was coffee after the service.

In the Afternoon the Sunday School had a sale of home made sweets, which took place in the Church. Also on display were a large number of cribs from all over the world and in different styles. at 4pm  Sally Pomme Clayton told stories of Mary. The whole afternoon was greatly enjoyed by everyone.

Sunday, 4 December 2016
This has been a busy weekend at St Mary our Lady! On Saturday afternoon we held our Christmas Fair in the Church Hall. A very busy 2 hours of customers for the stalls and refreshments resulted in a healthy profit, only slightly down on last year! Well done to every one involved in a lovely festive fair!

This morning our 10 am service was, as the first Sunday in the month our Family Service. We were joined by the children of Sidlesham County Primary School, and this was also our Christingle service.
The Sunday School children made a presentation about Advent, the Primary School Choir sang, the Christingles were lit and handed out, and the Christingle hymn was sung. Then before the peace, a new junior chorister Maggie was admitted to the Choir, and Lucy was presented as the Head Chorister, after which the Junior Choristers accompanied by Joanna Chivers-Gibbs on the piano and with 2 members of the adult choir, sang 'Lead me Lord'.

During Communion the whole Choir sang 'How beautiful upon the Mountains'  words from Isaiah  music by John Stainer (1840-1901) as the anthem. There was coffee after the service.

Next Sunday afternoon the Sunday School are holding a special event in the Church. There will be an exhibition of different Christmas cribs, a sale of sweets, and at 4 pm there will be a Story Teller telling us stories about Mary the mother of Our Lord. This event starts at 3pm do come along and join in!

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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