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Sunday, 9 August 2020
This morning we met at 10 am for our celebration of the Eucharist on one of the hottest days of the year, but the thick stone walls of St Mary's kept it cool inside. We had music from Joanna at intervals during the service and following social distancing and wearing masks we managed our worship very well, although we all miss singing, and the fellowship of our coffee after the service, we are keeping up the line of worship that dates back to the year 1220 on this site.
once again the flowers were wonderful!


Alessandro Allori (1535-1607), ‘St Peter Walking on the Water’,
c1590, Uffizi Museum, Florence

Dear Friends

The well-known miracle of Jesus walking on the water in today’s Gospel reading 
(Matthew 14:22-33) happens just before dawn.  The disciples had embarked in a boat and were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm blew up – as we know, storms on lakes can be particularly treacherous as the water is confined, as in a bath, and has nowhere to go, and so is blown back and forth.  Jesus had let the disciples go on ahead while he prayed – we cannot know what about, but it may be that he had not long heard of the brutal execution of his cousin, St John the Baptist.  Whatever the case, it was clear that Jesus wanted to be alone and to have the peace and quiet to try, with his Father’s help, to make sense of things.

In Jewish mythology the sea and areas of deep water were the domain of hostile creatures – places where all sorts of dangers lurked.  They were symbols of chaos, and the understanding was that only God could restore calm and tranquillity once the dark forces within them had been unleashed.  One of the motifs of the theologically complex narratives of the Transfiguration (the feast for which was celebrated just a few days ago, on 6 August) is that Jesus is revealed to his disciples in his cosmic role as divine Lord of all creation.  And in today’s Gospel, there are echoes of this as he walks across the turbulent waters to reassure his terrified disciples, and to reveal his mastery over the cosmic powers as the storm is calmed.

Matthew is the only evangelist who describes Peter’s impetuous attempt to emulate his master – he gets out of the boat but then takes fright as he realizes that he cannot, of his own volition, be saved from the waves.  Only Jesus himself can do this, as he stretches out his hand and rescues him.  The narrative is intended to emphasize, not only Jesus’ lordship over the wind and waves, but also the need for all of us to trust in him.  There are echoes of this in the baptismal liturgy when parents and godparents are asked ‘Do you believe and trust in God?’ – in other words, belief alone is insufficient, we need to put our whole trust in him so that we, too, may be saved.

Fr Stephen

Collect for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.  Amen.

Romans 10:5-15

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law,
that "the person who does these things will live by them." 

But the righteousness that comes from faith says, 
"Do not say in your heart, 
"Who will ascend into heaven?' " 
(that is, to bring Christ down)

or "Who will descend into the abyss?' " 
(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 

But what does it say? 
"The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart" 
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 

because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord 
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved. 

For one believes with the heart and so is justified, 
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 

The scripture says, 
"No one who believes in him will be put to shame." 

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
 the same Lord is Lord of all 
and is generous to all who call on him. 

For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? 
And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 

And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? 
As it is written, 
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" 

Matthew 14:22-33

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

Immediately after feeding the crowd 
with the five loaves and two fish,

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat 
and go on ahead to the other side, 
while he dismissed the crowds. 

And after he had dismissed the crowds, 
he went up the mountain by himself to pray. 
When evening came, he was there alone,

but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, 
was far from the land, 
for the wind was against them. 

And early in the morning 
he came walking toward them on the sea. 

But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, 
they were terrified, saying, 
"It is a ghost!" 
And they cried out in fear. 

But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, 
"Take heart, it is I; 
do not be afraid." 

Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, 
command me to come to you on the water." 

He said, "Come." 
So Peter got out of the boat, 
started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 

But when he noticed the strong wind, 
he became frightened, and beginning to sink, 
he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, 
saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 

When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, 
"Truly you are the Son of God." 

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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