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Sunday, 18 October 2020
This morning at 10 am we had Mattins, and Father Stephen took the service. The Venite and the Te Deum were said by all, the set psalm for the day and the Benedictus were sung by the choir. The anthem
was 'O Lord, my God, to Thee' attributed to Jacques Arcadelt (1510-1568).  Father Stephen's sermon is set out below.
 We parted on a still dry cool autumn day, refreshed by prayer and worship.


Theotokos of Vladimir, 16th-century icon, St Luke Painting the Virgin

Dear Friends

St Luke’s Gospel begins by an address to ‘dear Theophilus’.  ‘Theophilus’ means, of course, ‘lover of God’, and could refer to a particular person or is perhaps a generic name for a group of Christians.

The Acts of the Apostles, also written by Luke, tells us that the evangelist was the constant travelling companion of St Paul, who could be irascible and impatient at times.  Luke was believed to have been unmarried and without family ties, so could therefore devote his full attention to Paul’s needs – which was probably just as well, since, on his missionary journeys, Paul, who could be rather ‘bull at a gate’ at times, got himself into all sorts of scrapes!  In one of his letters, Paul calls Luke the ‘beloved physician’ – the one who used to patch him up after being lashed, beaten, nearly drowned and unceremoniously thrown into prison several times.

Luke stayed with Paul through thick and thin, whereas others drifted away.  So we can deduce that Luke was a loyal and faithful person,  Probably a gentile, it has often been noted that he seems also to have been deeply compassionate – his gospel is full of kindly references to the humble and lowly, the sick and injured, as well as to women, who, as we know, were not always treated well at the time.  Not only did Luke write beautiful and evocative word pictures, especially about the birth and boyhood of Christ, but, tradition has it, he was also a painter, or ‘writer’ of icons.  It is said that the very first icon of the Madonna and Child can be attributed to him.

Today, 18 October, is dedicated to St Luke and is marked out as the day within the Church when healing ministries are particularly, and gratefully, remembered – not just the healing work of doctors and nurses, but also the spiritual healing work of the Church, which is just as vital today as it was 2000 years ago.

In the Church of England, we tend not to ‘make a show’ of this ministry but, instead, quietly respond to need as it arises, co-operating with the medical profession, and administering laying-on of hands and anointing, with prayer, as appropriate.  In addition, listening to the healing words of the Scriptures, on a daily or weekly basis, can act as a balm, especially during anxiety-ridden times such as those we are currently going through.

St Luke, through his writings and the example of his life, demonstrates that God can work through us in unexpected ways when we dedicate our gifts and talents to his service.

Fr Stephen


Almighty God,
who calledst Luke the physician,
whose praise is in the gospel,
to be an evangelist and physician of the soul:
may it please thee that,
by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him,
all the diseases of our souls may be healed:
through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 55

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; 
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 

Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labour on what does not satisfy? 
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, 
and you will delight in the richest of fare. 

Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, 
my faithful love promised to David. 

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, 
a ruler and commander of the peoples. 

Surely you will summon nations you know not, 
and nations you do not know will come running to you, 
because of the LORD your God, 
the Holy One of Israel, 
for he has endowed you with splendour.”

Seek the LORD while he may be found; 
call on him while he is near. 

Let the wicked forsake their ways 
and the unrighteous their thoughts. 
Let them turn to the LORD, 
and he will have mercy on them, 
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it without watering the earth 
and making it bud and flourish, 
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire 
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; 
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, 
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 

Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, 
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. 
This will be for the LORD’s renown, 
for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

Luke 1:1-4

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

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 

just as they were handed down to us
by those who from the first were eyewitnesses 
and servants of the word. 

With this in mind, 
since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, 
I too decided to write an orderly account for you, 
most excellent Theophilus, 

so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

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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