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Sunday, 24 September 2017
This morning we met at 10 am for the Eucharist in lovely late autumn sunshine. Today's gospel was from St Mathew and told the story of the workers in the vineyard. This story only occurs in St Mathew, tells of the workers being hired all through the day but at the end of the day every one received the same pay! In his Sermon Father Stephen suggested that this approach to industrial relations was unlikely to be very successful, but of course the story, which seems so unfair is in fact a demonstration of the fact that God's grace is available to all who come to him, whether at the beginning of the day or the end. It is not about what we deserve, but the fact that God gives us his grace, when we turn to him, whether we have been good or not, not an excuse to behave badly however!!

The Choir sang the Ave Verum in the setting by W.A. Mozart as the anthem.
There was coffee after the service in the new rooms. Next Saturday the Choir will sing in Chichester Cathedral at 10:30 at a Eucharist in celebration of the Prayer Book Society, do come along and support them. Next weekend is also our Harvest Festival. The Harvest Supper in the Church Hall will be on Saturday night, tickets available from the Church Wardens. Next Sunday we will have a Family Eucharist of Harvest Thanksgiving at 10 am. Please note this is the only Harvest Service this year.

A touch of Autumn in our flowers this week
Friday, 22 September 2017
As it is the third Sunday, we had Matins.

Father Stephen's sermon was about forgiveness, echoing the readings today.

If someone does something horrible, human nature wants revenge. But as Christians, we should not want revenge.  Revenge is up to God. Christ spoke of forgiveness.  In recent years we have witness amazing acts of forgiveness.  Gordon Wilson lost his daughter Marie in the Enniskillen bomb attack. Marie's last words were "Daddy I love you very much". He prayed for the terrorists every night, drawing on his deep Christian faith to forgive.  It can seem impossible to forgive, but as we are forgiven, we can also forgive.

In the parables, Jesus uses exaggeration to show forgiveness.  We must forgive "77 times", echoing Genesis cursing 77 times. Jesus is the second Adam, restoring us to God.

Forgiveness is a free gift from the Lord, there for us to take.

The Anthem was "O Lord My God" by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.
Sunday, 10 September 2017
This morning at our 10 am Eucharist  we felt 'back to normal' after the excitement of the visit from the Bishop last week! The gospel reading from St Mathew included those words so important to us 'where ever two or three are gathered together I am with you' Father Stephen in his sermon reminded us that we are still in the Year of the Bible. He told us something of the assembling of the Bible as we now have it at the beginning of the 4th century, the test for inclusion being that the book  gave sight of the real Jesus. There were many other accounts circulating at the time, but the 4 Gospels and Acts, the Epistles and the Revelation of St John were decided on by the Holy Fathers as meeting these criteria. Worship in a community we are promised makes Jesus present with us in Word and Sacrament, although private prayer is commended to us in other parts of the Gospel. We strive to have Jesus present in our lives every day and to be guided by Him to a christian life.

The Choir sang 'A New Commandment' an anthem by Peter Nardone during the distribution of Communion.
One of the delights of having the new Rooms open is that the Sunday School were able to join us at Communion and stay with us to the end of the service. We then all repaired to the Rooms for coffee and to look at the work the Sunday School have done during the morning.

Our good friend Tom Cooper will give us a recital of Russian piano music on the afternoon of the 15th October from 3 pm followed by Tea in the Rooms. A retiring collection will be made. Tom has dedicated this concert to Alfred Lytton, who recently died, and the collection will be divided between St Wilfrid's Hospice and St Mary's. Please do come along.

Sunday, 3 September 2017
This morning we were truely blessed to reach a moment that sometimes seemed as though it would never arrive! Bishop Martin came to St Mary our Lady, to celebrate the Eucharist, and to bless and officially open the new Parish Rooms. It was also our celebration of the birth of our Patron, St Mary Our Lady, and finally as the first Sunday in the month it was very much a family service!
Bishop Martin pointed out to us that the Bible didn't mention much about committees, but was very keen on the creative and artisan activities that lead the Israelites from their tabernacle of the exodus to Solomon's Temple and the glory of God. All these activities which had contributed to our new building, but of course committees have their place, especially when issues of fairness and justice are to be decided. He also told us of the tradition in the Eastern Orthodox Church that St Mary was educated in the Temple, and was involved in the weaving of the Veil that separated the public area from the Holy of Holies. This veil was riven in two pieces at the time of the Crucifixion symbolising that the Holy is no longer separated from us, Our Lord is amongst us, in the Eucharist, and every day through the Holy Spirit, this is our belief and by this we pass along our Christian Journey.

After his sermon the congregation followed the Altar Party to the door of the new Rooms, where Bishop Martin blessed the threshold, and marked it with the sign of the cross with Holy Oil, we then all entered the building and the main area, the Kitchen, the Office, and the 'facilities' were all in turn blessed. We then returned to the Church, with the peace, and our Eucharist proceeded.  During Communion the Choir sang Ave Maria, setting by Ricard Dubra, The service ended and everyone repaired to the Parish rooms for a Champagne  Reception, Chris Field said a few words of thanks to everyone who had helped, with activities, donations, design and building skills, to produce these new facilities. She told us that the earliest reference to providing lavatories at St Mary's was in a PCC minute from 1974! She was followed by Dame Jenny, who thanked both Chris and Janet our Churchwardens for all they had done and they were given flowers and presents. A call for three cheers for Dame Jenny and the two Church Wardens jolly nearly took off the new roof!!
As is traditional at Sidlesham, there was plenty to eat to soak up the champagne!!

The Bishop stayed and spoke to members of the congregation of all ages, and at the end we were able to test out the new dishwasher!!

Congregation members from the youngest to the most senior!

Janet, Chris and Jenny without whom non of this would be here!

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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