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Sunday, 22 November 2020

Christ Pantocrator, detail from Deesis mosaic,
12th century, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Dear Friends

The Feast of Christ the King emerged in the 1920s as a Christian response to the secularizing influence, first and foremost of the Communists in Russia, and to the parallel emergence of the Fascist dictators, Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain and ultimately Hitler in Germany.  Their strutting, posturing and inflammatory speeches were given credibility, in the view of many, by the swingeing reparations demanded by the Versailles agreement, following the First World War.  Germany was largely starved into submission and economic ruin at that time, and suffering from galloping inflation.  So Hitler’s early land-grabs, notably of the Czech Sudaten lands, were not immediately seized upon by the former Allies, who had had enough of war, although there was horror at the slaughter of civilians at Guernica during the Spanish Civil war.

It was during this time that the Pope promulged the Feast of Christ the King as an antidote to such totalitarianism, reaffirming Jesus Christ’s kingship over all – a Kingdom of peace, love and freedom, whose King rules from the Cross of Calvary, not by force of tanks, artillery and bombs. Many Anglican parishes adopted this feast during the 1970s and it grew in acceptance within the wider Church, becoming ‘officially’ accepted within Anglicanism at the beginning of this century with the publication of Common Worship Times and Seasons.

We, of course, have continued to benefit from the liberation from tyranny which was won, at such cost, by those who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War, but sabre-rattling  between the big powers is never far away, which is why we, as Christians, must continue to pray for peace, and to ask Christ the Universal King to keep us steadfast in the ‘peace which passes understanding’.

Fr Stephen

Collect for Feast of Christ the King

Eternal Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
   that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 Ephesians 1:15-end

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus
and your love toward all the saints, 
and for this reason 

I do not cease to give thanks for you 
as I remember you in my prayers. 

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation 
as you come to know him, 

so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, 
you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, 
what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power 
for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 

God put this power to work in Christ 
when he raised him from the dead 
and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, 
and above every name that is named, 
not only in this age but also in the age to come. 

And he has put all things under his feet 
and has made him the head over all things for the church, 

which is his body, 
the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Matthew 25:31-end

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

Jesus said to his disciples:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, 
and all the angels with him, 
then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 

All the nations will be gathered before him, 
and he will separate people one from another 
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 

and he will put the sheep at his right hand 
and the goats at the left. 

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 
"Come, you that are blessed by my Father, 
inherit the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world; 

for I was hungry and you gave me food, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 

I was naked and you gave me clothing, 
I was sick and you took care of me, 
I was in prison and you visited me.' 

Then the righteous will answer him, 
"Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, 
or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 

And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
or naked and gave you clothing? 

And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison
and visited you?' 

And the king will answer them, 
"Truly I tell you, 
just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, 
you did it to me.' 

Then he will say to those at his left hand, 
"You that are accursed, 
depart from me into the eternal fire 
prepared for the devil and his angels; 

for I was hungry and you gave me no food, 
I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 

I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, 
naked and you did not give me clothing, 
sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 

Then they also will answer, 
"Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty
 or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, 
and did not take care of you?' 

Then he will answer them,
"Truly I tell you, 
just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, 
you did not do it to me.' 

And these will go away into eternal punishment, 
but the righteous into eternal life."

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion (said)
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
10:00am Parish Eucharist


  • The 8:00am said Holy Communion will recommence for all Sundays beginning Sunday 2nd May 2021

  • 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. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  2. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  3. Prayer for today.
  4. The C of E youtube channel.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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