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Sunday, 17 October 2021
This morning our 10 am service was sung Mattins, as this was the third Sunday of October. Father Roger took the service, and the Choir sang the setting of the Benedictus by CV Stanford, and as the anthem 'Jesu Joy of Man's desiring' by JS Bach. 
In his address Father Roger discused the reading from Luke, and you can read his interesting thoughts at the bottom of this post.
There was coffee after the service in the parish rooms. We left church to a mild and sunny October day.

Next Sunday, at our Eucharist service, we shall be celebrating Bible Sunday, and we are having a visit from our Rural Dean Rev Martha, as our guest preacher, we are looking forward to welcoming her.

Holy Communion

Hebrews 5:1-10

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

Every high priest chosen from among mortals 
is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, 
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 

He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, 
since he himself is subject to weakness; 

and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins 
as well as for those of the people. 

And one does not presume to take this honour, 
but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, 
but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, 
Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, 
with loud cries and tears, 
to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 

Although he was a Son,
he learned obedience through what he suffered; 

and having been made perfect, 
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 

having been designated by God a high priest 
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Mark 10:35-45

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

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, 
came forward to him and said to him, 
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 

And he said to them,
 “What is it you want me to do for you?” 

And they said to him, 
“Grant us to sit, one at your right hand 
and one at your left, in your glory.” 

But Jesus said to them, 
“You do not know what you are asking. 
Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, 
or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 

They replied, “We are able.” 
Then Jesus said to them, 
“The cup that I drink you will drink; 
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, 
you will be baptized; 

but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, 
but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the ten heard this, 
they began to be angry with James and John. 

So Jesus called them and said to them, 
“You know that among the Gentiles 
those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, 
and their great ones are tyrants over them. 

But it is not so among you; 
but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 

and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 

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


Isaiah 54:1-14

1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

Luke 13:31-35

31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.


Tomorrow, 18th, is St Luke’s day. Advent Sunday in six weeks’ time will begin the year for our Communion gospel readings to major on Luke’s Gospel. For rather abstruse reasons, we also have St Luke as our second reading this morning and can pay attention to it.

In it, Jesus’ ministry is getting him into trouble. One of the favourite themes in the Old Testament was that, when the great day came, the Day of the Lord, perhaps the Messiah arriving, all sorts of people from everywhere will come to feast and to worship in Jerusalem. But by Jesus’ time, many of the Jews had rather forgotten about all sorts of people, and were focussing on themselves, their God, their nation, their land. But Luke, himself a gentile, has said early on in his Gospel that Jesus is ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Israel’ – all people. The Jews needed to remember that when the Jewish faith began, with Abraham, Abraham’s family were to be a blessing to all nations.

When the Jews were fed up about the Romans controlling their Holy Land, they comforted themselves by thinking, ‘when the big banquet comes, we’ll be in, the rotten Romans and the other foreigners will be out. They will be looking in through the windows with envy.’

And then comes Jesus, saying, ‘The Kingdom is here, join up with me. You must make a decision about that, you can’t drift in any time, it’s a narrow gateway – you have to make a decision and an effort, to be with me. Or….. you Jews who think you’re safe, will miss the boat, you’ll be the envious ones looking in!’  Needless to say, Jesus’ message didn’t go down well with the Jewish establishment, but better with the common folk.

Jesus was, at the time, in the territory controlled by Herod. This is not Herod the Great who was around when Jesus was born, but Herod Antipas, one of his sons who had only a smaller territory. This Herod rather wants Jesus off his patch, he’s getting too popular, but Herod doesn’t want to be seen to be attacking Jesus. So, in our reading, some Pharisees approach Jesus in an apparently friendly way, ‘we’ve come to warn you that Herod wants to kill you, you’d better leave’. But Jesus realises that crafty Herod, ‘that fox’, as Jesus calls him, has put these Pharisees up to it, to trying to warn him off.

‘Tell Herod I’m carrying on with what I have to do,’ says Jesus. ‘Prophets get killed in Jerusalem, I’m off there soon, out of your territory, Herod. God has bigger things are afoot.’

And then comes the lament, 
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Is it God pictured as speaking here, or does Jesus say these words? In any case, it is a very feminine, motherly sort of image, about a mother hen caring for chicks. There is another rather similar passage in the prophet Hosea. 

When some of us were young, we learnt to walk using reins, which helped you to avoid falling. I think they have been in and out of fashion with mothers over the years, but I did see some only this week. We have this very feminine, motherly, image in Hosea, where God says: 
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realise it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:3-4
A reminder, perhaps, not to make our image of God narrowly masculine.
And then Jesus, - or more likely,-  the Almighty, says in our reading:
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

That is: those who reject Jesus cannot expect God to protect their city and their Temple, which might become desolate. They will, perhaps, only see God again when they are ready to welcome their Messiah, with the psalm used at festivals,  “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
This psalm was, in fact used at Palm Sunday, at Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem – but only by the limited number who had eyes to see, - not the whole nation. 

In six weeks’, then, it is Advent Sunday, the new Church Year. In the old days we didn’t make use of a lot of scripture with our big three-year cycle of Communion readings, but had the same readings every year. But one thing we did do, was to start each new Church year at Advent, with that Palm Sunday story, as we looked hopefully towards another Christmas, Passiontide and Easter. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

And at just about every eucharist these days, just as the bread and wine are being blessed, we use the words to welcome Christ, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”

Fr Roger
Sunday, 10 October 2021
 On an autumnal morning we met at 10 am for a Parish Eucharist. Today we were delighted to welcome again the Archdeacon, Father Luke, who also preached.
The Gospel was from St Mark (see below) and Father Luke talked about how easy it is for us to become distracted by our possessions and loose sight of the way to the Kingdom, which we can only achieve through God's love. He gave us much food for thought!
The choir sang Tantum Ergo in the setting by Vierne  as the anthem. The Sunday School children joined us for communion and our final hymn, Love Divine all Loves Excelling was a rousing send off from the service. 
There was coffee in the rooms after the service.
We are lucky to still have our Harvest flowers in the church.


Hebrews 4:12-16

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

The word of God is living and active, 
sharper than any two-edged sword, 
piercing until it divides soul from spirit, 
joints from marrow; 
it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

And before him no creature is hidden, 
but all are naked and laid bare 
to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Since, then, we have a great high priest 
who has passed through the heavens, 
Jesus, the Son of God, 
let us hold fast to our confession. 

For we do not have a high priest 
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, 
but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, 
yet without sin. 

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, 
so that we may receive mercy 
and find grace to help in time of need.

Mark 10:17-31

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

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, 
a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, 
“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good?
 No one is good but God alone. 

You know the commandments: 
‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; 
You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 
You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” 

He said to Jesus,
“Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, 
“You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, 
and give the money to the poor, 
and you will have treasure in heaven; 
then come, follow me.” 

When he heard this, 
he was shocked and went away grieving, 
for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 
“How hard it will be for those who have wealth 
to enter the kingdom of God!” 

And the disciples were perplexed at these words. 
But Jesus said to them again,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle 
than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 

They were greatly astounded and said to one another,
“Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said,
“For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; 
for God all things are possible.”

Peter began to say to him, 
“Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, 
there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters 
or mother or father or children or fields, 
for my sake and for the sake of the good news,

who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—
houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, 
with persecutions—
and in the age to come eternal life. 

But many who are first will be last, 
and the last will be first.”
Sunday, 3 October 2021
We come to the first Sunday in October and our Harvest Festival, happily combined with our Family Service. The decorators had been hard at work and the church was resplendent with flowers and produce. The traditional Harvest hymns were sung and during the Offertory gifts were bought to the alter, starting with gifts from a farmer, a small holder and a gardener as shown in the photographs.

The children did a small presentation and Father Roger gave a short impromptu address. 

During Communion the Choir sang 'Thou Visitest the Earth' by Maurice Green, Dr Platts sang the solo introduction beautifully.

After the service there was coffee in the rooms.

In the afternoon we had our Harvest Tea in the Church Hall. A traditional Sidlesham Tea, for which we are renound!!   A fiendishly difficult quiz, set by Dr Platts, was won by the church warden's table. Father Roger said grace  and after we had eaten sandwiches and cakes and drunk lots of tea, we sang some old favourites from the last night of the Proms accompanied on the flute  by Dr Platts.
A splendid afternoon greatly appreciated!

We will have Father Luke, the Archdeacon with us again next week.

Harvest Tea

 1 Timothy 6:6-10

A reading from the first letter of Paul to Timothy.

There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 

for we brought nothing into the world, 
so that we can take nothing out of it; 

but if we have food and clothing, 
we will be content with these. 

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation 
and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires 
that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, 
and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith 
and pierced themselves with many pains.

Matthew 6:25-33

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

Jesus said to his disciples,

 “Do not worry about your life, 
what you will eat or what you will drink,
or about your body, what you will wear. 
Is not life more than food, 
and the body more than clothing? 

Look at the birds of the air; 
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they? 

And can any of you by worrying 
add a single hour to your span of life?

And why do you worry about clothing? 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; 
they neither toil nor spin, 

yet I tell you, 
even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, 
which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, 
will he not much more clothe you—
you of little faith? 

Therefore do not worry, 
saying, ‘What will we eat?’ 
or ‘What will we drink?’ 
or ‘What will we wear?’ 

For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; 
and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 

But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well.


Apologies as this is taken from notes during the address, not his actual words.

During the previous inter-regnum, some wit provided an "hour glass" which ran for 10 minutes as it was thought my sermons were too long.  However, a server would quietly turn it over for me.

Today is Harvest Thanksgiving. Obviously we give thanks for crops, our food, but also other plants which we just enjoy looking at, our gardens.  This is the same for animals, we have the source of our meat, but also out pets.  My first parish was in Lancashire in the 70s. As well as the mountains of potatoes, there would also be coal and salt to remind us of things that come out of the ground. Fish are another gift from God from the sea. We wear wool, cotton, from God's bounty. The building over us is made from wood from trees and stone from the ground.  If it wasn't for all of the natural stuff around us we would be here with no clothes, no food and no building. 

We are not too different from the animals.  God wants us to be a good crop. We are meant to be God's gift to each other.

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

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