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Wednesday, 26 February 2020
This evening we met to celebrate the Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes on the first day of Lent.

The following is taken from The Church Of England website:-

Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which alms giving has traditionally been added.

Now is the healing time decreed

for sins of heart and word and deed,

when we in humble fear record

the wrong that we have done the Lord.

(Latin, before 12th century)

As the candidates for baptism were instructed in Christian faith, and as penitents prepared themselves, through fasting and penance, to be readmitted to communion, the whole Christian community was invited to join them in the process of study and repentance, the extension of which over forty days would remind them of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, being tested by Satan.

Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual in the West to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (not including Sundays), so beginning Lent on the sixth Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday. Liturgical dress is the simplest possible. Churches are kept bare of flowers and decoration. Gloria in excelsis is not used. The Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetareor Refreshment Sunday) was allowed as a day of relief from the rigour of Lent, and the Feast of the Annunciation almost always falls in Lent; these breaks from austerity are the background to the modern observance of Mothering Sunday on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

As Holy Week approaches, the atmosphere of the season darkens; the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, and the reading of the Passion Narrative gave to the Fifth Sunday its name of Passion Sunday. There are many devotional exercises which may be used in Lent and Holy Week outside the set liturgy. The Stations of the Cross, made popular in the West by the Franciscans after they were granted custody of the Christian sites in the Holy Land, are the best known.

Monday, 24 February 2020
On another very windy Sunday we gathered for our Sunday Eucharist.

Father Stephen preached today.  He told us that his first ever sermon discussed the Transfiguration. This was when he was still at college. Whichever version we read in the Gospels, they all tell the same story. Go up the mountain (possibly Ebor).  Whenever you ascend a mountain, you leave behind the noise of everyday life and enter into a different realm. Fear, delight, awe and wonder are all present. In the Hebrew bible, God is encountered on a mountain. Jesus is transfigured on the mountain and joined by Moses, the law giver, and Elijah, the still small voice. During the transfiguration, Jesus's body, face and clothing all take on a glowing white. The disciples find that all is revealed to them in Calvary and the Resurrection.  After the event the disciples are prepared for the future glory that awaits us all

This Wednesday, 26th February, there will be a service for Ash Wednesday at 7.30pm

There are Lenten discussions on Thursday evenings starting in March.  Please sign the list at the back of the church if you would like to attend.

Sunday, 16 February 2020
This morning we made our way through Storm Dennis to our 10 am service of Sung Mattins. The service was taken by Father Stephen, and our readings, from the King James version of the Bible were from the book of Proverbs and the Gospel according to St Matthew. The passage from Proverbs poetically describes how Wisdom was the first thing God created and wisdom accompanied God as he made the world. In the Gospel the passage from the Sermon on the Mount recounts Jesus teaching about the Lilies of the field, an exhortation not to be pre-occupied with material things. Father Stephen developed these themes in his sermon, urging us to use wisdom and to consider our stewardship of the planet above our interest in material things.
The Choir sang 'Thou visitest the Earth' setting by Maurice Green as the anthem. The Solo was sung by Dr Platts.

There was coffee in the rooms after the service.

Lent Course this year, will be held in the Vicarage, on Thursday evenings starting at 7:30 the first meeting will be on the 5th of March. Please sign the list in Church if you would like to attend.

Father Stephen thanked Hilary, and all the team who provided the excellent Hungarian supper last evening. A splendid time with fantastic food, and music once again provided by Peter our piano accordionist friend, has raised 500 pounds for the Church. A splendid effort!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020
We battled our way through the high winds of storm Ciara to our 10 am Parish Eucharist this morning. Despite the conditions we had a good congregation, although some of the older folk had not ventured out! Father Stephen was the celebrant and also preached the sermon. The first reading, from St Paul's letter to the Corinthians and the Gospel from St Matthew were the subject that Father Stephen explored in his talk. Jesus says we are the light of the world, and that this must show through in our daily life as a beacon of God's love, our community of faith, and the Holy Spirit strengthen us for this role in life.

The choir sang 'Fairest Lord Jesus' the words from a traditional German Protestant Hymn and the setting by Schlerisische Volksliede written in 1842.

After the service there was coffee and a jewelry sale in the Rooms.

The Lent Course will take place in the Vicarage on Thursday evenings, starting on the Thursday in the week following Ash Wednesday, more details to follow.
Sunday, 2 February 2020
This morning at 10 am we celebrated Candlemas at our Family Service. We started our service in the Parish rooms, with an introduction including a reading from Malachi and the lighting of our candles. We then processed into the Church singing 'At the Name of Jesus' Once we were all settled in the Church we heard the Gospel of Luke, telling the story of the presentation in the temple. We then blew out our candles. The address was given by Mrs Field, who had wondered about the sacrificial doves that the Holy Family had taken with them to the Temple, and had researched the whole idea of sacrifices in the Old Testament, she gave us an interesting account of the tradition, thankfully now long gone!

Our prayers were lead by young people from our congregation, and then Father Stephen celebrated the Eucharist with us. The Choir sang 'When Mary to the Temple Went' text by John Troutbeck, setting by Johannes Eccard.  as the anthem.

There was coffee in the rooms after the service.

There are still a few tickets for the Hungarian Supper on the 15th February, do come along! You can buy tickets for the 3 course meal from the Church Wardens.

These lovely spring flowers were bought to church for the funeral of our dear friend Gill Cook.

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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