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Sunday, 19 July 2020
This morning our 10 am Service was Mattins, and on a dull and rainy day it was lovely to be in church again. We were able to spread ourselves out to suitable social distance but were not able to sing the canticles and psalms. We said the Venite and the Benedictus together, the Te Deum in alternate versus between Father Stephen and the congregation, and the set psalm for the day was sung by Joanna from the organ loft. Father Stephen led the service and the prayers from the altar to ensure proper distance was kept. We were delighted to welcome some visitors, as not all local churches have been able to open, it is a pleasure to welcome worshipers to our services.
Janet Harland read both of the lessons, taken from the St James Bible, and Father Stephen preached a sermon on the Gospel, which you can read below.

We will not be having our Church Fete this year, which is a great loss to the Church Family, and the Village and our many loyal visitors. However to try to make up, in a small way, for its absence we have a number of events and offers for you to join in!
The first of these is Next Saturday details below!! The second event is on the 1st of August so watch out for details next Sunday!!!


Taken from Roger Wagner, ‘The Reapers’, c2000

Dear Friends

Today’s Gospel, from Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43, speaks even more overtly about the Kingdom of Heaven than the passage which we looked at last week – but still retains the farming and agricultural analogies.  As with last week’s parable, Jesus begins this one with the image of a sower who is sowing ‘good seed’ in the field.  Then, tellingly, ‘while everybody was asleep’, someone comes along and sows weeds alongside the good crop.  The ‘slaves of the householder’ ask their master what they should do, and how this could have been allowed to happen.  The master replies with the memorable words, ‘An enemy hath done this’ – and the enemy is, of course, the Evil One, the ‘spoiler’, so to speak.

Being a practical man, when the slaves ask him whether they are to gather up the weeds, the master replies that they should be left until harvest-time, since if they attempt to uproot them now, the good plants might also be damaged.

Once back in the house, with the crowds left behind, the disciples ask Jesus for an explanation and, as we have noted previously, this pattern of telling a parable to the crowd, followed by a private exposition of the meaning to the disciples, occurs several times in the gospels.  Some commentators believe that the explanations were added later, but this need not necessarily have been the case, and the details provided resonate with Jesus’ overall message concerning the Kingdom.  In this instance, the one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom.  The weeds are the children of the Evil One, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

The reference to the Evil One working ‘while everyone was asleep’ could be seen as a call to vigilance – a warning, in other words, to be on our guard against the forces of evil, and all temptations which might lure the unsuspecting astray.

Last week, we considered the way in which Jesus emphasised the need not only to ‘hear’ the word, but also to ‘understand’ it, and this message is repeated here, in a different way, with a stress this time upon eschatological judgement, with the promise that ultimately ‘the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father’.

Fr Stephen

Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Merciful God, who hast prepared for those who love thee,
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love towards thee that we, loving thee in all things,
may obtain thy promises which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever.  Amen.

Romans 8:12-25

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, 
not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 

for if you live according to the flesh, 
you will die; 
but if by the Spirit 
you put to death the deeds of the body, 
you will live. 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, 
but you have received a spirit of adoption. 
When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 

it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit 
that we are children of God, 

and if children, then heirs, 
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—
if, in fact, we suffer with him 
so that we may also be glorified with him. 

I consider that the sufferings of this present time 
are not worth comparing with the glory 
about to be revealed to us. 

For the creation waits with eager longing 
for the revealing of the children of God; 

for the creation was subjected to futility, 
not of its own will 
but by the will of the one who subjected it, 
in hope 

that the creation itself 
will be set free from its bondage to decay 
and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 

We know that the whole creation 
has been groaning in labour pains until now; 

and not only the creation, 
but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, 
groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, 
the redemption of our bodies. 

For in hope we were saved. 
Now hope that is seen is not hope. 
For who hopes for what is seen? 

But if we hope for what we do not see, 
we wait for it with patience. 

Gospel Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus put before the crowd another parable: 
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared 
to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 

but while everybody was asleep, 
an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 

So when the plants came up and bore grain, 
then the weeds appeared as well. 

And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, 
"Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? 
Where, then, did these weeds come from?' 

He answered, "An enemy has done this.' 
The slaves said to him,
"Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 

But he replied, "No; 
for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 

Let both of them grow together until the harvest; 
and at harvest time I will tell the reapers,
 Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, 
but gather the wheat into my barn.' " 

Then Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. 
And his disciples approached him, saying, 
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." 

He answered, 
"The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 

the field is the world, 
and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; 
the weeds are the children of the evil one, 

and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; 
the harvest is the end of the age, 
and the reapers are angels. 

Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, 
so will it be at the end of the age. 

The Son of Man will send his angels, 
and they will collect out of his kingdom 
all causes of sin and all evildoers, 

and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, 
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 
Let anyone with ears listen! 

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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