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Sunday, 23 September 2018
The gospel reading today described quarreling disciples.  Father Stephen thought it would have been interesting to be a "fly on the wall" to hear what the disciples were talking about on the way to Capurnia.  Many of the disciples were fisherman and they could have been talking about and comparing their boats, nets, catch, who was the strongest, who had the most stamina?  Their language would have been a tad "ripe".  Matthew was a tax collector, was he boasting of his riches? Whatever they were arguing about, it would not have been very high brow. The reporting of the argument suggests to us that the scripture is true and reliable.  After all, if you were just writing propaganda, then you would hardly describe the foibles of Jesus's disciples, instead praising how wonderful they all were. If you want to become great, then you have to become the least of all and the servant of all.  Jesus wants us to become "like a child" as his teaching was radical and counter to the culture of the time when women and children were of no import at all. We should be grounded in the knowledge of God. True humility has nothing to do with self loathing or disgust, but is rather the opposite. Some people have the grace of humility, but most of us have to nurture this, and need prayer to help us achieve it.

Reminder to all of the wonderful concert at 3pm next Sunday in Church by Tom Cooper.  It is a celebration of Debussy and his influences.  Tom also educates us about the music and all his concerts in the past have been amazing.  There will be a retiring collection, and a delicious tea in the Parish Rooms afterwards.  And we really do a good afternoon tea.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Today is also Battle of Britain Sunday and we remembered the people who fought for our safety in our prayers.

In his sermon Fr Stephen talked about Hurricane Florence which is currently battering the south east coast of the USA and that only a few weeks ago there were forest fires around the world. St James says that small fires can spread to forests. St James is not talking about literal fires but about the tongues of men.  Humans can bless or curse.  Unguarded talk and malicious words can cause harm. In the modern world of the internet, trolling and cyber bullying can cause suicide.  Reputations are destroyed by social media, the gossip spreading like wildfire. Once on the net, it can be there forever.

Peter's words in our second reading this morning earned him the rebuke from Jesus "Get thee behind me, Satan!" fearing Peter's words would  quash  the idea of his message which would destroy his teaching thus far.  His followers should be consecrated in truth.  Are we?  We need to renew this often by a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit "Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit".

Please put into your diary the concert inspired by Debussy performed by Tom Cooper on 30th September at 3 pm in church.  There will be a retiring collection and tea in the parish rooms after the performance.  Anyone who has been to Tom's previous concerts will know that an excellent afternoon's entertainment will be had.
Thursday, 13 September 2018
You may have noticed these silhouettes in church on Sunday, there are 5 of them and they will be sitting in church until Remembrance Sunday. They represent the Fallen of the First World War. 1,117077 British and Commonwealth soldiers died between 1914 and 1918.
The silhouettes were purchased using donations from the congregation, and the money raised will contribute to the work of
The Royal Foundation
Walking with the Wounded
Combat Stress
Help for Heroes
Project Equinox Housing Veterans and Medical Students
Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

The names of  those from Sidlesham who gave their lives are recorded on the War Memorial in the Church yard and on the Roll of Honour at the front of the Church.

This prayer from the Church of England, to commemorate the First World War might be useful to those who lost family in the conflict.

'Lord Jesus, we believe that you stood beside N and his fellow soldiers 
as they fought to bring peace to your world.
We believe that you have stood among us
as we tried to imagine the fear and pain and loneliness
of the wounded and dying on the battlefield.
We believe that you stand beside us now,
as we remember and honour N.
In your great mercy, bless our good memories,
comfort us when we grieve for the life that might have ben,
and strengthen us in all we do to seek the peace and freedom
which are your desire for the world

You can visit the church and see these moving memorials any day between now and November the 11th

Monday, 10 September 2018
This morning we met at 10 am for a Parish Eucharist. Father Stephen lead our worship and celebrated the Eucharist. The gospel told the story of two of Our Lord's healing miracles, first the healing of a small girl in Tyre at the request of her mother who is described as a syrophoenician woman, she came from an area north of Galilee in what today is Syria, and secondly the healing in Galilee of a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. Despite His injunction not to tell anyone, the stories of these miracles spread rapidly. In his Sermon Father Stephen pointed out that the women in the story was a gentile, and a woman alone, which would have made her unclean in the society where she lived and would not normally have been able to speak to a Rabbi. Our Lord says that the children must be fed first, implying his message is for the Jews, she replies that even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs, Our Lord, is moved by her words and sends her home to where her daughter has been healed. Mercy overcomes all is the basis of this story.

The Choir sang 'God be in my Head' arrangement by John Rutter as the anthem.
The Sunday School is back in session and the children joined us for the communion.
After the service there was coffee in the new rooms.

Don't forget the Concert by Tom Cooper on the 30th September at 3pm followed by tea.

Monday, 3 September 2018
This morning, the first Sunday in September, was our family service, and so we also celebrated the Nativity of St Mary as our Patronal Festival. We had a guest preacher, Father Toby Boutle from St George's Church at Wyke in Chichester. He gave us a very interesting talk about Birthday Parties!
As this was St Mary's birthday he asked the Children about what we need at a birthday party, invitations, presents, cake etc. Our Gospel reading from St Luke was the story of the Annunciation-Mary's invitation to be the mother of Our Lord, the acceptance of which changed her life forever. He went on to point out that Our Lord was our present, offering ourselves to him and following him was our life and our witness. The Children read the intercessions and the Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen, who thanked Father Toby for coming to join us!

There was coffee in the new rooms after the service, and we went home in glorious sunshine.

down the lane to Church!

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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