.

Local Traffic

Popular Posts

Sunday, 25 July 2021
On the feast day of St James the Greater, we came together at 10 am for a Parish Eucharist and for the first time in many months we had the joy of singing God's praises together as the congregation can now sing, and the choir was back to nearly full strength. What a wonderful sound to hear the church filled with voices raised! All this despite a very rainy day, much needed after the recent hot spell, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm, of the congregation, who remaining cautious continued to wear masks, use the hand sanitiser, and spread out over the pews in the church.
Father Roger was the celebrant, and in his sermon he talked about St James and the other Apostles and how as the gospel tells us working together is the way of the Kingdom, not looking for a position of authority. 
The Choir sang the Alleluias of St James in the form of a communion hymn. The Sunday School has now finished for the summer. We were also treated to some beautiful flowers which had been part of the Wedding on Saturday.












Acts 11:27-12.2

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

 At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 

One of them named Agabus stood up 
and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; 
and this took place during the reign of Claudius. 

The disciples determined that according to their ability, 
each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; 

this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

About that time King Herod laid violent hands 
upon some who belonged to the church. 

He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. 


Matthew 20:20-28

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

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, 
and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. 

And he said to her, 
“What do you want?” 
She said to him, 
“Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand 
and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 

But Jesus answered, 
“You do not know what you are asking. 
Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
They said to him, “We are able.” 

He said to them, 
“You will indeed drink my cup, 
but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, 
but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. 

But Jesus called them to him and said, 
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, 
and their great ones are tyrants over them. 

It will not be so among you; 
but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 

and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 

just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, 
and to give his life a ransom for many.”


Collect

Merciful God,
whose holy apostle Saint James,
leaving his father and all that he had,
was obedient to the calling of your Son Jesus Christ
and followed him even unto death:
help us, forsaking the false attractions of the world,,
to be ready at all times to answer your call without delay;
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 forever.
Amen.


Sermon

St James. The name James seems to have linguistic links with Jacob. I think that we may have the baptism of a little boy called Jacob later in the year. Then, we had better not dwell on the fact that, in the Bible, Jacob was crafty. Eventually he was renamed Israel and had 12 sons, with the help of two wives and two other ladies. Jacob might not be altogether a role model for the little fellow! However, Jacob’s sons headed up the 12 tribes of Israel, and when Jesus founded his group of followers – the New Israel – he seemed to want it built on 12 apostles. 

St James the Great, then, a prominent member of the twelve. He and his brother John were – like several of the others – fishermen. Two others were the brothers Simon, whom Jesus called Peter, and Andrew, who originally brought Peter to meet Jesus. You might be a bit sad for Andrew, because his brother Simon Peter became the most prominent in the 12, the other fishing brothers, James and John, formed an inner group with Peter, and Andrew was left out of that. The inner group were at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration, and on Maundy Thursday in Gethsemane. 

James and John, were hasty, and Jesus dubbed them ‘sons of thunder’. We see in our gospel that they, or their mother, - whichever account you read - had ambitions for them, and Jesus responds that Christian leadership is about sacrifice and service, not seeking status and power for yourself. 
Undoubtedly, as in our first reading from Acts, James was martyred, which is why, of course, our furnishings are red today. 

It can be tricky remembering the 12 apostles. They do not include important people like Luke the gentile missionary and major New Testament writer, or the great apostle Paul, whom Luke travelled with. There are even uncertainties about exactly who was in the 12, and we know little about some of them. 

Personally, I remember them in three groups of four. Firstly, the two lots of fishermen brothers. Simon Peter and Andrew, James and John. Secondly, the two less prominent pairs, who have to share their feast day. We don’t know very much about them. That is Philip and James the Less and another Simon, not Simon Peter, and Jude. It seems that this James is called The Less not to detract from him, but because he was younger or smaller. Then we have the third group, the four who are left. Matthew and Bartholomew and Thomas and…. Judas. Apart from Bartholomew, who seemed OK, that group had the more controversial ones, Thomas, Matthew, and Judas. Judas who messed up.

The Church knew that Jesus was keen to have 12, to lead his New Israel, so – you remember – they carefully designated Matthias to make up the number, when Judas had gone. 

Some years ago I showed my puzzle to the children. It went a bit like a lead balloon. You have 12 triangles of card each with the name of an apostle. They have symbols to prompt you to sort them out into the three groups. Each group of four would fit together to make a little star. You can envisage the fishermen brothers having something in common, fitting together. The four less prominent apostles might have hit it off together. The other group would be lively, with Matthew, the ex-tax collector being rather suspect, Thomas doing rather a lot of thinking for himself, Judas getting things wrong, and Bartholomew trying to make sense of them.

Yet Jesus did not call them to make three groups, but one. And the pieces of the puzzle will go on to form one big star. Jesus will put us in his Church, not just with those we would have initially chosen, but with those he gives us, in the hope we might all benefit in the end. 

What happened to St James is a good question. He was killed in 44AD in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa, as in the first reading today. An Armenian Cathedral in Jerusalem claims to have his head buried there, which seems reasonable. 

By the year 700, - a great deal later,-  the idea got around that James had preached as a missionary in Spain, before he was executed back in Jerusalem in the year 44. But he Church, on the whole, had not got as far as Spain by the time James died. St Paul doesn’t seem to have thought so, so it remains doubtful that James did visit Spain in those early years, before he was killed. The stories further say, that after his execution, James’s body got back to Spain by rather miraculous means, and is at Compostela, which – as we know – is a major pilgrimage site. 

But focusing on God whilst making a special big effort to travel on a pilgrimage with others is no doubt a worthwhile thing to do, whether or not human remains are there. God is there. 
St James was certainly there, in the Holy Land, chosen to be with Jesus, and then with the Church for well over a decade after the crucifixion, before he himself was executed. So it is right that we remember James. 

Fr Roger
Sunday, 18 July 2021
 8am Holy Communion

Ephesians 2:11-22

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth,
called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—
a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 

remember that you were at that time without Christ, 
being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, 
and strangers to the covenants of promise, 
having no hope and without God in the world. 

But now in Christ Jesus 
you who once were far off have been brought near 
by the blood of Christ. 

For he is our peace; 
in his flesh he has made both groups into one 
and has broken down the dividing wall, 
that is, the hostility between us. 

He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, 
that he might create in himself 
one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 

and might reconcile both groups to God in one body
through the cross, 
thus putting to death that hostility through it.

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off 
and peace to those who were near; 

for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, 
but you are citizens with the saints 
and also members of the household of God, 

built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 
with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.

In him the whole structure is joined together 
and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 

in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.


Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Hear the gospel of outr Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

The apostles returned from their mission.

The apostles gathered around Jesus, 
and told him all that they had done and taught. 

He said to them, 
“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” 
For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 

And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 

Now many saw them going and recognized them, 
and they hurried there on foot from all the towns 
and arrived ahead of them. 

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; 
and he had compassion for them, 
because they were like sheep without a shepherd; 
and he began to teach them many things.

When they had crossed over, 
they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 

When they got out of the boat, 
people at once recognized him, 

and rushed about that whole region 
and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 

And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, 
they laid the sick in the marketplaces, 
and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; 
and all who touched it were healed.


Collect

Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,,
noourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
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 forever.
Amen.


10am  Sung Mattins

Deuteronomy 30:1-10

1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:

10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.


1 Peter 3:13-22

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.


Address

Today brings a reading from 1 Peter - the 1st Letter of Peter. People may remember this year because of football, as they also remember 1966. I remember 1966 as the year that 1 Peter was one of two set books of the New Testament which some ordination candidates were required to study, with close reference to the Greek text. Happy days!

The first letter of Peter. In the early centuries, conventions about authorship were different from today. If you wanted to pay tribute to someone special, and felt that you had some connection with them, and were on their wavelength, or had been their disciple, or knew their friends, you might attach their name to a piece of your writing, without it being thought dishonest. Had people thought that Peter definitely sat down and wrote this short book, it would probably be on page 1 of the New Testament. No one seems to have attached Peter’s name to the main content until 200AD. 

You have to judge date and authorship of this sort of writings by what is in them. And, indeed, judge their value, by what they contain and not by a label on the cover. Which other writers does the author seem to have read? When did those writers live? If the writer was the fisherman, Peter, arguably the very closest friend of Jesus, why doesn’t he quote Jesus and have special reminiscences, and how did the fisherman come to sound so educated? You also need to ask, what sort of society and period of history seems to underlie what you are reading? 

1 Peter is set out as a letter. It has a short opening section. Then a long main section which seems to be someone’s sermon about the Christian life, addressed to people recently baptised in the very early years of the Church. Then there is a very dramatic change in tone and style, leading to closing words. 
The passage we heard is part of the main section addressed to newly baptised Christians. It is smoothly written, but not overly down to earth. If you behave well, it seems to argue, no one much is going to harm you. That might occasionally happen, Christian slaves could be unjustly punished, but things will normally be alright. Good behaviour is going to be respected, generally. People are pretty decent.  
The writer seems over optimistic, inexperienced, naive. No one who had known something like the 20th century Jewish Holocaust could write like that. But towards the end of the short book, it all suddenly changes. The style becomes hastier and more nervous. Do not be surprised by the fiery ordeal that has come upon you. Christians now are into something like the holocaust, a savage persecution. There were 10 periods of persecution in the Roman Empire before the Emperor Constantine became Christian in the early 300s AD. 

We can perhaps pick out some useful ideas in the book.  
We might think that there is health and health. We may well have known people with significant ailments or disabilities. In an obvious sense they were not fine. Yet in a deeper sense they might be very fine. Genuine, human people with attractive characters, somehow inspirational, and undefeated by their circumstances.

So, similarly, 1 Peter seems to say there is getting into trouble and getting into trouble. People can be harmed unjustly, persecuted, punished, for being decent Christians, but, in a deeper sense, they can also be unharmed and strong at a spiritual level. That, says the writer, is very different from being in trouble for criminal activity, which does go with spiritual harm and weakness. Furthermore, those good people who are punished unjustly, simply because they are Christians, have a special fellowship with Christ, the good person who suffered unjustly, and yet is alive and triumphant for evermore.

Two other ideas might stand out. If challenged about what we believe, we must be ready to give a proper explanation of our Faith. Be ready to give an account of the hope that is in you. Perhaps, for us, that means actually engaging with the Jehovah’s Witnesses if they come to our door undermining Christian ideas of the divinity of Christ, and misunderstanding God as the Trinity. Perhaps that means some studying first.  

The other idea is, the one about us, as baptised Christians, being born again into a ‘living hope’ by the Resurrection of Christ. Sometimes we read that part at funerals. Living hope. You might think that all hopes were ‘living’, - had a measure of life in them. But there are hopes and hopes. We may work to make education, or the environment, or farming, or the legal system, or racial and religious freedoms, or even the Church of England, better in the years ahead. Which is commendable, although we might never live to see all the results. ‘Living hope’, on the other hand, is a hope for us, not so much for the future of society. We being personally linked now and forever to the Risen Christ, who is already beyond death.  

Fr Roger


Sunday, 11 July 2021
 Ephesians 1:3-14

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesions.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who has blessed us in Christ 
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world 
to be holy and blameless before him in love. 

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, 
according to the good pleasure of his will, 

to the praise of his glorious grace 
that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, 
the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of his grace 

that he lavished on us. 
With all wisdom and insight 

he has made known to us the mystery of his will, 
according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 

as a plan for the fullness of time,
to gather up all things in him, 
things in heaven and things on earth. 

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance,
having been destined according to the purpose of him 
who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 

so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, 
might live for the praise of his glory. 

In him you also, 
when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, 
and had believed in him, 
were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 

this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption 
as God’s own people, 
to the praise of his glory.


Mark 6:14-29

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ accrding to Mark.

King Herod heard of the healings and other miracles,
for Jesus’ name had become known. 
Some were saying, 
“John the baptizer has been raised from the dead;
 and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 

But others said, 
“It is Elijah.” And others said, 
“It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 

But when Herod heard of it, he said, 
“John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, 
bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, 
his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 

For John had been telling Herod, 
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 

And Herodias had a grudge against him, 
and wanted to kill him. 
But she could not, 

for Herod feared John, 
knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. 
When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed;
and yet he liked to listen to him. 

But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet 
for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 

When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, 
she pleased Herod and his guests; 
and the king said to the girl, 
“Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 

And he solemnly swore to her, 
“Whatever you ask me, I will give you, 
even half of my kingdom.” 

She went out and said to her mother, 
“What should I ask for?” 
She replied, 
“The head of John the Baptist.” 

Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, 
“I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptiser on a platter.” 

The king was deeply grieved; 
yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests,
he did not want to refuse her. 

Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. 
He went and beheaded him in the prison, 

brought his head on a platter, 
and gave it to the girl. 
Then the girl gave it to her mother. 

When his disciples heard about it, 
they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.


Collect

Merciful God,
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things,may obtaini your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ your ons our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.
Sunday, 4 July 2021
2 Corinthians 12:2-10

A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

 I know a person in Christ 
who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—
whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; 
God knows. 

And I know that such a person—
whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; 
God knows— 

was caught up into Paradise 
and heard things that are not to be told, 
that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 

On behalf of such a one I will boast, 
but on my own behalf I will not boast,
except of my weaknesses. 

But if I wish to boast, 
I will not be a fool, 
for I will be speaking the truth. 
But I refrain from it, 
so that no one may think better of me 
than what is seen in me or heard from me, 

even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. 
Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, 
a thorn was given me in the flesh, 
a messenger of Satan to torment me, 
to keep me from being too elated. 

Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, 
that it would leave me, 

but he said to me, 
"My grace is sufficient for you, 
for power is made perfect in weakness." 
So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 

Therefore I am content with weaknesses, 
insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; 
for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 


Mark 6:1-13

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

Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 

On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, 
and many who heard him were astounded. 
They said, "Where did this man get all this? 
What is this wisdom that has been given to him? 
What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary 
and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, 
and are not his sisters here with us?" 
And they took offense at him. 

Then Jesus said to them, 
"Prophets are not without honour, 
except in their hometown, 
and among their own kin, and in their own house." 

nd he could do no deed of power there, 
except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 

And he was amazed at their unbelief. 
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two,
 and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 

He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; 
no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;

but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 

He said to them, 
"Wherever you enter a house, 
stay there until you leave the place. 

If any place will not welcome you 
and they refuse to hear you, 
as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." 

So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 

They cast out many demons, 
and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 


Collect

Almighty and everlasting God,,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the church
    is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
thay may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you, 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.


Address

On the front cover of the church magazine we have a picture of the church, an attractive old building. Many years’ ago I was in touch with a church in Africa, and they sent me one of their calendars with a picture of their church. They held services in a rough looking tin hut. Not very photogenic (or photo hygienic as some would say). But you could hardly see the hut on the calendar, because in front of it were a hundred or more black faces. The people were the real church.

Many church buildings and some people’s homes are insured by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group. Ecclesia is a Greek word for ‘church’ – that is ‘congregation’ – the people, not the building. And the word means something to do with being summoned, called out to turn up somewhere. We are those whom God has called out of the community to come together to think and pray and worship. Church is not so much a leisure activity which we fancy doing with friends and family – with the people we know and like. It is, rather, something God calls us to, and we may not always feel like going, to be with people we don’t necessarily know or choose, and may not always like. There is a bit of discipline needed for Christians. 

One thing Jesus did, when he chose his 12 apostles was to get a mixture, who wouldn’t easily get on. Peter and the fishermen, who worked hard, would not like to be working with Matthew, who’d previously been a tax collector, and who’d had a comfortable life taking their money and giving it to the Romans, until Jesus called him to do something different, and told them all to work together nicely. James and John, those brothers, could be a bit hasty and ambitious. Jesus nicknamed them Sons of Thunder. And Peter was a bit hasty and a bit unreliable.

In the reading, Jesus is planning his mission, his plan to travel round and teach and preach and heal, and try to get people in touch with God his Father, to help them.

He tells his twelve apostles to go ahead in twos to local villages to tell people that they must think about God, and behave themselves, and get ready, because God was about to do something special now that Jesus had come. 

Go ahead in twos. You can imagine it. One says, I want to go with Thomas, he has interesting ideas  – no, you go with Philip like I told you to. Another says, I want to plan what I’m going to wear – plan for all eventualities, I look nice in so and so  and it might rain. Never mind that, Jesus might say,  – just get on with it.

The people in the east were hospitable to travellers. So if someone gives you food and accommodation, says Jesus, don’t say, to your partner, (or co-worker) ‘I’ve seen a big expensive house down the road, let’s leave these folk, we’ll get better food down there!‘

Don’t take a bag with you, bags were for putting things in that you had begged. Jesus’ helpers weren’t to be beggars. Have a bit of discipline, says Jesus.

We’ll end with two pictures of the church, the community of people. In a parish it should be like an extended family. An extended family will have children in it. If a parish has no children it is in trouble. A parish church needs people from all age groups. But if you have children at home, you have to take care of them and provide for them continually. You can never just forget about them for a bit. So it is in the Church. And the church is the place where you should be able to have friends of all ages.

The last picture is of the Church is being like a pilgrimage. There might be a lot of people on a long walk to some holy place for worship. You walk a bit talking with some others, then they might go ahead, or you might slow down, and you then spend time with some different folk you’ve come next to, who are heading to the same special place.

Church life is a bit like that. As a child in the 1940s, I remember being with a particular group of people, many of them born in 1800s. Then alongside other Christian people in 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. Like on a pilgrimage, there were times of sharing, with particular people, then we or they move on.

It is the people who are the church, not the building. The church is gathered here today, but tomorrow, the real church, the people, will be all over the place. Or as the saying goes, the church is what you have left when the building burns down.

Fr Roger

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. 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

Blog Archive

Archived posts by year: