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Sunday, 17 November 2019
We had a beautiful Autumnal morning today.

Fr Stephen preached the sermon today.  He talked about the devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. With the first reports we didn't fully realise the extent of the damage.The French government have now agreed to fund the cost of the rebuild. The total loss of Notre Dame would be unimaginable. Our rich tradition of church music started in Notre Dame during medieval times. We know about the destruction of Herod's temple in Jerusalem, but its potential loss foretold by Jesus  was unthinkable by the Jews in Jerusalem. But in a few years it had gone leaving only the foundations, now the Wailing Wall. That sense of loss has been real in recent years in parts of the Middle East and Africa due to war. It is shattering to the faithful.  Jesus had been a faithful pilgrim, but knew not to put his trust into buildings, but in God.
The devastating fire at Notre-Dame - Wikipedia

Notre Dame was built so beautifully to represent Heaven, not to be worshipped for itself.

Religious art and architecture are much loved by Fr Stephen, but churches are there for us to be able to worship in relative comfort so we are not rained upon.  We cannot consider the loss of our church building, but it likely to come to an end eventually.

The Sunday School had also been very busy, learning about God being always with us.
Sunday, 10 November 2019
Today our service started later at 10.45am, so that we could observe the two minutes' silence at 11am.  We had a packed church today, but the sun shone so we weren't too chilly when we moved out to the war memorial at the end of the service for the laying of the commemorative wreaths.

Although Fr Stephen officiated, Fr Roger gave the sermon. He told us that the first reading was from the beginning of the bible and told of Abram (later to be called Abraham).  God told him to go into the unknown about 4000 years ago. He heads towards the Holy Land and retreats to Egypt, when he seems to go off the rails a little. He returns to the Holy Land a rich and prosperous man and becomes embroiled in war. Abraham divides his lands with Lot. Lot has spotted the rich plains around the plains of Jordan and claims them. He then gets in with a bad crowd and is captured and loses all the best land. Abraham get a force of his men and friends and they rescue Lot and his family. Abraham finds he is good at war, and wonders if that is the path God has planned for him? However he decides against it. Abraham refuses this share of the spoils of war.  A stranger appears who is a priest of God Most High and offers Abraham gifts of bread and wine.  He accepts these rather than gold, reflecting the bread and wine which are to come. Jesus joined in with the life of the people around him, but kept himself apart from the badness of people.
We also have to try and make these distinctions.
Belief tends to arise when society becomes organised and civilised. We need a shared belief in God for society to hold together. As belief lessens, society starts to fracture. Jews, Christians and Muslims all come from Abraham and should unite in our similarities rather than fight over our differences. A British architect is designing for the UAE, a church, synagogue and mosque on the same site, with a shared garden when the people of the three different faiths can mingle.

Video of  trio of temple designs for multifaith complex in Abu Dhabi

We remember today the meaning of peace. We relate to people of God. We think of the members of our armed forces who put themselves in harm's way for our benefit.

Representatives of various organisations from Sidlesham laid their wreaths at the memorial.  The children of the Sunday School had painted poppies onto rocks which were also laid at the end of the service.

Monday, 4 November 2019
This morning at our Family Eucharist we celebrated All Saints day with a presentation by the Children's Church on St George. They told us that he wasn't English, but came from present day Turkey, that he was a roman soldier and not a knight, he was a martyr and that the story of the dragon was added in medieval times!
The Choir sang Oh for the Wings of Faith by Bulloch as the anthem. There was coffee after the service

At 6 pm, after an afternoon rehearsal, A Eucharist of Remembrance for All Souls Day was held. As in previous years Faure's Requiem was sung Liturgically and the names of those to be remembered were placed on the alter during the service, and votive candles were lit for them. We were fortunate to have our good friend Peter Webster as the baritone soloist and Sarah Amos from St Mary's choir sang the Pie Jesus during communion.

This service was particularly important to the choir who recently lost one of their number, and was greatly appreciated by all who attended.

Peter and Sarah our soloists with James one of the basses.

Joanna, oranist and choir leader

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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