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Monday, 31 July 2017
The annual Church Fete was held this year in a different location, and in very wet weather! We were unable to use the Vicarage Field this year for technical reasons, and as it turned out we were glad to be in our different location, the Chamomile field further down Church Farm Lane. This field was allready harvested, but the smell of chamomile accompanied every movement and was lovely. Adverse weather conditions, both wind and rain resulted in setting up the tents on Saturday morning from 7 am! Fortunately this was done in the dry and we were all set for the opening when the rain started, gently at first but heavy at times! Non the less the fete went on, the Chichester City Band played, Commander Marshall opened the proceedings and gave us a commentary of events. Lots of people came, the dog show was well attended, teas were served and the mini show was also well attended. As many of our stalls and events were under canvas we were able to keep people from getting too damp, and the bigger field allowed parking adjacent with was very helpful. At 4 pm the Grand Draw and other prizes were announced and the 2017 Fete closed. The tents were too wet to put down, so after packing tables and chairs into a dry (ish) place we departed to return on Sunday afternoon to strike camp! Unfortunately a high wind had damaged some of our smaller tents but the larger ones survived, and the field was clear by 5 pm!
We feel very blessed to discover that our loyal supporters have resulted in a small decrease in takings, but not nearly as great a reduction as might have been feared!!

On Sunday Morning we came to church in sunshine, with the threat of a shower, and quite a high wind! Our Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen, and we were thrilled to discover how well the fete had done despite the weather. Our readings were from Romans and St Mathew, continuing the parables of Our Lord, with the descriptions of the Kingdom of Heaven. Father Stephen in his sermon reminded us of the story of David Koresh and the Branch Dividians who were an extreme group who focused on the book of Revelation, they were killed in the final events of the 50 day siege at Waco in Texas. We read together as a Church and in common with the other major churches the whole Bible in a three year cycle, by reading and considering together we can distill the important messages with out being lead into extremest interpretations.
The ladies and young choristers sang Panis Angelicus setting by Cesar Franck as the anthem. There was a treat at the end of the service when Joanna played the Bach Toccata and Fugue in B minor, and we enjoyed a cup of coffee before returning home to recover from our efforts!

An enormous thank you to Chris and Janet our Church Wardens, who managed the whole changing scenario of the Fete and without whom we could not manage!

Sunday, 23 July 2017
We met today at 10 am for a Sung Eucharist celebrated by Father Stephen. Today's readings were from St Paul's letter to the Romans, and St Mathew's Gospel. They continued the theme of sowing and growing seed. Today's parable was the story of the wheat field which was full of weeds, the workers wanted to remove the weeds, but the owner told them to leave them and only separate them from the good plants at the harvest. Father Stephen enlarged on this parable in his sermon. We are told that disturbing the weeds, a metaphor for evil and wicked people, might disturb the roots of the good wheat. Are we to then accept that evil is among us and God does not act against it until the day of Judgement?  How hard this seems on those who are affected by the deeds of bad people, but we have faith and can strive against that which is wrong, we are not passively growing like plants, we can choose to counteract the bad things in the world.
The Choir sang the Ave Verum in the setting by W.A. Mozart as the anthem. There was coffee after the service. We are counting the weeks now until we can use our new rooms with a fully equiped kitchen for our coffee!

The annual Church Fete is next Saturday from 2 to 4 pm, on the Vicarage meadow and in the Church. Setting up on Thursday and Friday if you can help, but do come along on Saturday afternoon and join in the fun.

Monday, 17 July 2017
This morning at 10 am we had a Sung Mattins as our main service. The service was conducted by Father Roger, as Father Stephen was attending the Baptism of his Grandchild elsewhere. Our readings today, from Isaiah and St Matthew's Gospel were about the sowing of seed. This parable in St Matthew is unusual in that the explanation of the story is given in detail. Father Roger confided in us that he had preached on this reading on  both of the last two occasions it had occurred in the Lectionary, 3 and 6 years ago! On this occasion he still found much for us to think about during the week.
The Choir sang 'Thou Visitest the Earth' by Maurice Green as the anthem. There was coffee after the service.
2 weeks to the fete!please look for contributions, consider entering the mini show and most of all come along on the day!

Monday, 10 July 2017
The sermon today was taken from the gospel reading, with the final 2 verses,

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Father Stephen posed the question " How joyful are these words when there is so much gloom in the world"? He related to his recent holiday in Vienna, which happened to coincide with so many bad news stories in the press.  Joy is a gift from heaven.  When looking to beatification, there is a search for joy in the life of the person under consideration. It is also necessary to have a sense of humour to become a priest. We were told that Martin Luther could be a "bit of a tease" over mealtimes with his family.

Father Stephen mentioned that the Viennese were a "joyful lot".  Vienna is a land of music, both instrumental and opera. There is constant loud birdsong in the city which may be a cause of the musicality. Whilst on holiday, the feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated. In church, everyone joined in the service with joy and young hussars drew their sabres in salute which glinted in the light.

They also had a trip on the famous Ferris wheel, used in "The Third Man" reminding us of the Second World War and the oppressive occupation by the Russians.

When attending services abroad, particularly when in a different language, you can pick out bits of the gospel as the same readings are generally used at the same time of the year. This gives us a sense of unity throughout the world. Language and cultural barriers can become wafer thin in Christ.

The church fete is getting ever closer and there are still calls for assistance. Have a look in the magazine for the contact details of various stall holders.  Don't forget your entries for the Mini Show.

Sunday, 2 July 2017
This morning as the first Sunday in the month, we had our Family Communion service. We celebrated Sea Sunday, when we think about those who work on or around the Sea. We had a guest speaker from the Mission to Seafarers, John Attenborough, the Chaplain to the Port of Southampton, who told us about the work of the Mission in our ports with seafarers. He took as an example our love of chocolate, providing a box for the children to share! When we look at the ingredients we discover how they and so much of what we eat, and use is bought to the UK by ship. These ships are crewed by people from all over the world and when they are in foreign ports the Mission is there to provide practical assistance. Our collection today was in aid of the Mission to Seafarers. We sang some splendid nautical hymns and the Choir sang 'Never weather beaten sail' setting by Charles Wood, as the Anthem. During the Communion James one of our junior choristers sang his solo of 2 verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful.
Regular followers of this page will remember the Knitathon which took place back in March, when we did a sponsored knit of woolly hats, the sponsorship money was for the New Rooms project, and the hats for the Mission to Seafarers. This morning at the end of our service, Father Stephen blessed the 75 hats that were produced by the knitters of the Parish!  These were then given to John Attenborough  to take with him back to the port, to be put to good use by the seafarers.

This afternoon, we were treated to a marvellous concert of  Summer music by the choir Chichester Voices. The church was full as we listened to a selection of music from English folk songs through to
Pallestrina. The encore was 'Tea for Two' and was followed by a splendid Sidlesham Tea. Following our Sea Sunday theme this was in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute,  with a retiring collection for the New Rooms.
Chichester Voices

The Fete is only 3 weeks away, and stall holders are ready to receive any contributions you may have for them, list in the Magazine!    

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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