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Sunday, 25 March 2018
This morning we met at 10 am for the Palm Sunday Service, having managed to remember to change our clocks! We started the service with a reading of the Palm Gospel from St Mark, and then we processed outside and around the church to the singing of 'All Glory Laud and Honour' carrying our palm crosses and were greeted by members of the Sunday School, waving Palms and shouting Hosanna! We reentered the church for a reading of the Passion Gospel by Father Stephen and members of the congregation. Following the intercessions we celebrated the Eucharist.
During Communion James Bell sang 2 verses of 'All things Bright and Beautiful' as a solo from the Organ loft. The whole Choir then sang 'God so Loved the World' set by J Stainer.

After the Service we had our annual parish general meeting, for the first time in the Parish Rooms. This was well attended and there was lively debate about domestic arrangements and outreach to newcomers to the village. Many thanks were given for the continued work of Mrs Harland and Mrs Field as Church Wardens, and to all who contribute to the worship and family life of the Church here is Sidlesham.

Today we prepared ourselves for the events of Holy Week with a performance of 'Olivet to Calvary' by J.H. Maunder. This Edwardian Cantata on the events leading up to the Crucifixion was the subject of our Good Friday devotions last year. This year we sang the whole work as a performance, with a rehearsal in the afternoon. The performance started at 6 pm, and the Choir, supplemented by some visitors from other choirs were joined by 3 soloists. Sarah Amos (Soprano), Hilary Platts (Tenor) from St Mary's Choir and our good friend Peter Webster (Baritone) sang beautifully for us, Joanna Chivers-Gibb played and directed the whole event, and the audience received the performance with enthusiasm. A vote of thanks was given by Mary Coales. This successful evening was a suitable beginning to our Holy Week devotions.

Many thanks to all who took part.

Peter, Hilary and Sarah, our soloists

Sunday, 18 March 2018
For the second time in 2 weeks we came to Church through snow!! A cold east wind blew through the Churchyard as we came together at 10 am for Mattins. The Church was warm and welcoming despite its Lenten sparsity of decoration. We sang Psalm 51, and the Benedicite, setting by Lloyd, and the Jubilate in B flat by Stanford as the Canticles. Father Stephen's sermon took up the theme from the Gospel reading of the need for death to bring about resurrection, following on from the Gospel reading from St John. The corn seed comes to new life and produces a sheath of corn, The death of Jesus lead to the world wide church, with out it none of us would be at church, a great harvest from the one truly selfless act of Our Lord.

The Anthem was 'O Saviour of the World' in the setting by Arthur Somerville.

There was coffee after the service in the Parish Rooms.

NEXT SATURDAY A performance of J.H.Maunders Cantata OLIVET  TO CALVARY at 6 pm in Church.

Do come and listen!
 if you would like to sing, come at 3:30 for the rehearsal

Monday, 12 March 2018

Today is the 4th Sunday in Lent and thus Mothering Sunday.

Our Family service is normally the first Sunday in the month, but we swapped to today because of it being Mothering Sunday.

The address was done by Chris and Stephen from the Sunday School and we learnt about the origins and meanings of Mothering Sunday. Originally it predated Christianity as a homage to Mother Goddess and hailed the start of Spring. It then moved to the veneration of Mary, mother of God, then the Mother Church, then all mothers.

It was tied up with Refreshment Sunday a day when you were meant to go back to the church of your baptism. Later it was a day when you visited your family, especially for people in service.  Traditionally they went home with flowers and simnel cake. The flowers were wild and picked on the way home, the cake was made from the the stuff in the "big house" pantry that hadn't been used on Shrove Tuesday and meant to be consumed on Refreshment Sunday, but was usually saved until Easter and the marzipan balls were added to represent the disciples.

Where does the name Simnel come from?  It may be derived from the Latin for white flour, but there is also a tale of Simon and Nell who fell out over how to cook the cake, boiled or baked?

Our Gospel reading was of the Annunciation.  This is traditionally celebrated on 25th March, 9 months before Christmas Day, but this year 25th March is Palm Sunday, so we celebrate it today.

Mothering Sunday today is a celebration of the comfort we receive from our Mums, God, the Mother Church, Mary the mother of Christ, all those who care for children in whatever capacity.

Chris finished with a poem, "A Mother's Love".

There were beautiful posies handed out to all the ladies in the church by children from the Sunday School and junior choir, along with pieces of cake for Refreshment Sunday.

The junior choir also lead the choir in the anthem today, "What Wondrous Love Is This" after communion.

Sunday, 4 March 2018
Dr Lesley is away again, so no pictures I am afraid, but the snow had all gone by Sunday (thank goodness).

The gospel reading told of the anger of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem.  He found it full of money changers and people selling sheep and cows for sacrifice.  He was justly angered at the way God's house had been turned into a market place.

Father Stephen echoed the gospel in his sermon  He told us that there are only 2 occasions in the New Testament when Jesus showed his anger, the first as in the gospel and the second when the pharisees refused to answer questions. Jesus is portrayed as being fully human, however he also exhibits his divinity.  It is normal to become angry in certain circumstances, but it would be wrong to think that Jesus' anger is born out of anything but love.  Anger can be a useful emotion, it is harmful to suppress it, but how it is expressed is important. Jesus is in control of his anger rather than the anger controlling him. St James' letter says that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak and anger.

Yesterday a Wine and Cheese evening with Silent Auction was held in the Church Hall. A good time was had by all and the magnificent sum of £868.15p was raised. 

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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