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Sunday, 27 February 2022

This morning we came to church on a glorious spring morning, with blue skies and not a breath of wind, quite a contrast from recent times! 

Father Roger was the celebrant at our Eucharist and we very much held in our prayers the people of Ukraine as they battle their invaders. This is the last Sunday before lent and will be having a Eucharist and imposition of ashes ar 7:30 on Wednesday to mark the start of the 40 days.

The Choir sang the Ave Verum in the setting by W.A. Mozart, one of our favourite pieces, and we had coffee in the rooms after the service.

The Lent course, following the Diocesan programme, will be held in the rooms on the following Wednesdays at 7:30:

Wednesday 9th March

Wednesday 16th March

Wednesday 23rd March

Wednesday  30th of March

Wednesday 6th April.

If you would like to join us please sign the list in the church so we can prepare enough leaflets. If you are only able to come to one or two of these dates, that is no problem as the course is designed for personal and for group study. If you come and get the course leaflet you can join us as and when.

Also on the Horizon is the Treasure Hunt on the 19th of March in the afternoon at 2:30pm, also please sign up in the Church, individuals or families can take part, and there is Pirate Treasure to be found!!! Bring a picnic tea, hot and cold drinks will be provided.

2 Corinthians 3:12- 4:2

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

Since we have such a hope, 
we act with great boldness, 

not like Moses, who put a veil over his face 
to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory 
that was being set aside. 

But their minds were hardened. 
Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, 
that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 

Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, 
a veil lies over their minds; 

but when one turns to the Lord, 
the veil is removed. 

Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

And all of us, with unveiled faces, 
seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, 
are being transformed into the same image 
from one degree of glory to another; 
for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, 
we do not lose heart. 

We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; 
we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; 
but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves 
to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. 


This Wednesday we come to Lent, and will soon be hearing of Jesus' temptations, and the opposition and rejection that he met. And in due course his execution - and resurrection. Before the tough part starts, today, on the Sunday before Lent, we read of Jesus' Transfiguration, saying that - however else it may appear at times - Jesus is actually successful, Godly and glorious. One of Dr Allan Jenkins, our former Priest-in-Charge’s, favourite themes, was 'Jesus our example'. We are being told in our Gospel today that following Jesus' example, in a successful, Godly and glorious way, may be tough, and sometimes look to the world like failure. The reward of faithfulness might look, for a while, like betrayal and a crown of thorns.

We – most of whom have met many Lents and Easters - will have that idea well enough, but perhaps not rush to take it on board. Much easier to admire Jesus, be thankful for him, than to actually follow him in a way which is potentially very costly. It was always such. Jesus' first friends, who first met these ideas, were very naturally shaken and uncertain.

If we follow part of Luke's Gospel, chapter 9, from which we read, we can see how Luke portrays this.
Jesus is on a journey to fulfil his vocation. He is on a journey heading for death and resurrection in Jerusalem, and his disciples, alongside him, are journeying on a steep learning curve, trying to understand, and to do the right thing with their own lives. And we, too, are on a journey, both through life and through our discipleship.

We might begin in Luke chapter 9 with the feeding of the 5000. Immediately we are put into a vast scenario. Moses, 1200 years' before, has been the greatest, receiving the Commandments and leading the Exodus towards the Promised Land. In his time, God fed his people in the wilderness with manna in time of need. Now, in time of need, God feeds the 5000 in the wilderness through Jesus. Is Jesus an 'A-lister' like Moses - or perhaps something even more?

Then we read of the incident at Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks the disciples what they reckon about him, and Peter, usually hasty, replies that he is the Messiah, the Christ. A huge statement, to which Jesus does not directly respond, but says he is to be rejected, suffer and die, before a more positive ending. To the disciples this is quite shattering. For their people, the expectation was that the Messiah would be unstoppable, a great success, sweeping all, before him. Certainly not get into trouble and be done to death like a criminal. And to make things worse for the disciples, Jesus says that they can expect a tough time too, and will have to constantly make a brave decision, as to whether or not to continue to follow him, and to keep to a challenging path towards the sort of fuller life with God which Jesus seems to embody.

After all of this, the Transfiguration is described. Jesus seen truly good and glorious, and somehow greater than Moses and Elijah. Moses who'd been the main man, up till now, and Elijah the great prophet of many centuries ago, who was to return when the Messiah was at hand. Even now at Jewish Passover meals each Spring, the Jews, - still hoping for their Messiah, - open the door and pour a cup of wine for Elijah, who never shows up. But for us the Messiah has come.

Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah about his forthcoming ‘departure’, that is ‘exodus’, that is ‘death’, which he is going to undergo in Jerusalem. The picture is of a new and greater Moses, leading a new Exodus, to a greater Promised Land.

It is all a tremendous religious experience for Jesus’ friends. In this case, just the inner group of Peter, James and John. They may be hoping that the special experience won't end in a hurry. But as with all good religious experiences, we cannot stay there, and must get on with life, living in the light of the special time. Jesus' friends come down from the mountain and are immediately brought down to earth, into a situation of great suffering and need, which they find they can't help: their ministry meets apparent failure. So, the sufferers have to seek Jesus' help, and disciples will often need to continue to do so too. Jesus chose a significant number of fishermen for his 12 apostles, and it might seem that he did so because fishermen, in their fishing are well used to persevering through frequent times of failure.
So today, a realistic preparing for Lent. As Archbishop Stuart Blanch was wont to say at the beginning of Lent: May God deny you peace, but grant you victory.

Fr Roger

"You may be wondering why we are still wearing face masks in church?

Wearing a face mask does not protect you from catching Covid 19, but lowers the risk of catching it. The government has decided to cut back on testing.  This does not mean that Covid 19 has gone away, we just won't know about it, especially if you have no symptoms, which in a vaccinated community is likely.  However wearing a face mask will help to stop you passing the virus to anoher person.

Mask wearing is an altruistic thing to do.

We are members of God's church.

It is the Christian thing to do."

Dr Hilary Platts 


Below is a precis from a paper by the Centre for Disease Control, USA:

The use of cloth or paper face masks to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 is a controversial and highly politicised issue.

The American Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a paper that addressed the benefits of wearing a mask. The paper points out that SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, singing, talking, or breathing.

It says that Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”), which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others, and who are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions,” according to the brief. “Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer (“filtration for personal protection”).”

Early evidence suggested that the primary benefit was in preventing transmission by the wearer. Now, research also has suggested a benefit for wearing a mask to keep from contracting the virus. “The community benefit of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these effects; individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly,” the CDC states.

The paper also discusses a range of methods by which cloth masks help protect wearers and others. It notes that multilayer cloth masks block release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, as well as the microorganisms those particles carry.

Cloth masks not only effectively block most large droplets (i.e., 20-30 microns and larger) but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns, which increase in number with the volume of speech, and specific types of phonation. Multi-layer cloth masks can both block up to 50-70% of these fine droplets and particles and limit the forward spread of those that are not captured,” according to the report.

In fact, the CDC emphasizes that as much as 80% blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets with cloth masks; in some studies, the cloth masks recommended for the public have performed as well as surgical masks as barriers for source control.

The new research brief also explains how cloth-mask materials can reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration, including filtration of fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns. Mask types have varied widely across studies, according to the CDC, which verifies that multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers of cloth with lower thread counts, in some cases filtering nearly 50% of fine particles less than 1 micron.

It also describes how some materials, such as polypropylene, enhance filtering effectiveness by generating a triboelectric charge that enhances capture of charged particles and that others, such as silk, help repel moist droplets and reduce fabric wetting, which maintains breathability and comfort.

The brief lists information about a range of studies—including seven that confirmed the benefit of universal masking in community-level analyses—to bolster evidence of “real-world” effectiveness.

Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the article concludes. “The prevention benefit of masking is derived from the combination of source control and personal protection for the mask wearer. The relationship between source control and personal protection is likely complementary and possibly synergistic, so that individual benefit increases with increasing community mask use.”

The CDC calls for further research to expand the evidence base for the protective effect of cloth masks and especially to pinpoint the combinations of materials that maximize both their blocking and filtering effectiveness, as well as fit, comfort, durability, and consumer appeal. It adds, “Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation.”

More information here »

Sunday, 20 February 2022
This morning we came together at 10 am for Matins. Battling through the high wind which was the tail of Storm Eunice, we discovered that the Yew tree next to the church had lost some branches, but no other damage, and everyone was safe, for which we gave thanks. 
As is usual at Matins the readings were in the King James version of the Bible. The set psalm was 104 vv 1 to 15, and the Choir sang the Benedictus in the setting of C V Stanford in C major. They also sang an anthem , 'Ye Servants of th'all Bounteous Lord' by Samuel Webbe Jr. 
Father John was with us for this service and he preached the sermon, firstly introducing himself and telling us about his fascinating work in the Church of England before he retired, then he went on to discuss the two readings, the first from the book of Job which he recommended as worth reading, and then the passage from the Acts of the Apostles where St Paul performs a miracle, we can use our talents for Gods work in the world too.
There was coffee after the service, don't forget to sign up for the Treasure Hunt on the 19th of March, and also the Lent course will be held on Wednesday evenings in the rooms, we will be following the diocesan course this year, the first meeting will be on the 9th of March, as we have not been able to do this for 2 years we hope many people will join us this year in preparing for Easter.

8am Holy Communion

Revelation 4

A reading from the book of Revelation.

After this I looked, 
and there in heaven a door stood open! 
And the first voice, 
which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, 
“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 

At once I was in the spirit,
and there in heaven stood a throne, 
with one seated on the throne! 

And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, 
and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. 

Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, 
and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, 
dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. 

Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, 
and rumblings and peals of thunder, 
and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, 
which are the seven spirits of God; 

and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.
Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, 
are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 

the first living creature like a lion, 
the second living creature like an ox, 
the third living creature with a face like a human face, 
and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, 
are full of eyes all around and inside. 
Day and night without ceasing they sing,
“Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty,
 who was and is and is to come.”

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks 
to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 

the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne 
and worship the one who lives forever and ever; 
they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

Luke 8:22-25

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

One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples, 
and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” 
So they put out, 

and while they were sailing he fell asleep. 
A gale swept down on the lake, 
and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 

They went to him and woke him up, shouting, 
“Master, Master, we are perishing!” 
And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; 
they ceased, and there was a calm. 

He said to them, “Where is your faith?” 
They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, 
“Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water,
and they obey him?”

10am Matins

Job 28:1-11

1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.

2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.

3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.

4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.

5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire.

6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.

7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen:

8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.

9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.

10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.

11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

Acts 14:8-17

8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:

9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
Sunday, 13 February 2022
On a cold and blustery morning we met today at 10 am for a Parish Eucharist. we were delighted to have with us again Father Luke the Archdeacon as the celebrant. One of the advantages of being in Interregnum and being blessed with help from different clergy with our services is to experience the different approaches and strengths of the individuals to the celebration of the eucharist, each with their own personal way and spiritual gifts to us as the congregation. We are blessed to have such help and do appreciate it.

The third Sunday before lent sometimes called Quinquagesima, reminds us that we are approaching the season of Lent and we turn towards the events of Holy week and Easter. The Archdeacon spoke about this in his sermon, and discussed how the Word of God made manifest in our Lord, is present in our lives through the Eucharist, and it is the hunger for this love of god that directs our lives. 

The Choir sang the Alleluias of St James as the anthem, the Sunday School children joined us for the communion and sang the last hymn with us.

There was coffee after the service in the rooms. 

Next week Father John will be with us for both the 8 am and the 10 am service, we look forward to welcoming him.

Please give your magazine subscription to the Church Wardens, or pay directly into the Bank as instructed in the magazine.

If you would like to join in the Treasure Hunt on Saturday the 19th March at 2pm, please tell the Church wardens, £2 for an individual entry, £5 for a family, in aid of the bird boxes for the church yard. The treasure will be hidden some where in the Church or Church Yard, solve the clues an spell out the place to look!! Bring refreshments, and there will be hot and cold drinks available in the rooms! 

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians

If Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, 
how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 

If there is no resurrection of the dead, 
then Christ has not been raised; 

and if Christ has not been raised, 
then our proclamation has been in vain 
and your faith has been in vain. 

We are even found to be misrepresenting God, 
because we testified of God that he raised Christ—
whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 

For if the dead are not raised, 
then Christ has not been raised. 

If Christ has not been raised, 
your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 

Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 

If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
 we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have died.

Luke 6:17-26

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

He came down with them and stood on a level place, 
with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people 
from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 

They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; 
and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 

And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, 
for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.

Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, 
and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you
on account of the Son of Man. 

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, 
for surely your reward is great in heaven; 
for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.

Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you, 
for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets."
Sunday, 6 February 2022
This morning at 10 am we had a Parish Eucharist, celebrated by Father Roger. Our thoughts were very much with Her Majesty the Queen on this the anniversary of both the death of her father and her accession to the throne. Later in the year we will celebrate her 70 years of service, but today we were focusing on the 25 year old newly ascended Queen. Father Roger and Janet our Church warden had put together an exhibition of memories and artefacts from 1952 and 1953. They had been in Primary School at the time and had vivid memories of the events. They shared their experiences during the service, and Father Roger told the children something of his memories when they joined us for communion and the end of the service.

The Choir sang the Ave Verum in the setting by Sir Edward Elgar as the anthem. After the blessing we sang the National Anthem.

There was coffee after the service. On a showery morning we headed home in the brief dry moments.

Next week we will have Father Luke, the Archdeacon with us.

If you have not yet paid your subscription for the Parish Magazine, please do so either by giving cash to the church wardens, or by direct bank transfer details in the magazine. If you would like to receive the Magazine please contact the Church Wardens.

We are hoping to make some additions to the church yard, in the form of bird boxes, part of an initiative to encourage more wild life. There will be a fundraising event to help buy the materials for the boxes on Saturday 19th March. This will take the form of a Treasure Hunt in the Church Yard. There is a box of Pirate Treasure to be found!! Families or individuals can enter, and if the weather is nice bring a picnic tea, hot and cold drinks will be available in the rooms. The entry fee is £5:00 for families and £2:00  for individuals. Solve the clues and find the Treasure!!

Glorious flowers, memories of the time

 Revelation 21:22-27  22:1-5

A reading from the book of Revelation.

I saw no temple in the city, 
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, 
for the glory of God is its light, 
and its lamp is the Lamb. 

The nations will walk by its light, 
and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 

Its gates will never be shut by day—
and there will be no night there.

People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 

But nothing unclean will enter it, 
nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, 
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, 
bright as crystal, 
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 

through the middle of the street of the city. 
On either side of the river is the tree of life
with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; 
and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 

Nothing accursed will be found there any more. 
But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, 
and his servants will worship him; 

they will see his face,
and his name will be on their foreheads.

Luke 22:24-30

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Chrsit acording to Luke.

A dispute also arose among the twelve 
as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 

But he said to them, 
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; 
and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 

But not so with you; 
rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, 
and the leader like one who serves. 

For who is greater, 
the one who is at the table or the one who serves? 
Is it not the one at the table? 
But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; 

and I confer on you, 
just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, 

so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, 
and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


On Wednesday 6th February 1952, exactly 70 years’ ago today, King George VI died unexpectedly. Princess Elizabeth became Queen. She was away in Africa at the time but returned to England quickly. The Coronation took place the next year on Tuesday 2nd June 1953. We were still then having rationing after the war. Today we are focussing - not on the whole of the Queen’s 70 years, - but on memories of the beginning, in 1952 and 1953, when Janet and I and others were 8 or 9 years old.

Memories of 70 years’ ago from Janet our Churchwarden:

I was 8 years old when King George VI died. I remember that the announcement came on the wireless as I and my classmates were taking part in a Music and Movement lesson. The broadcast was interrupted by the solemn voice of John Snagg. This is London. It is with the greatest sorrow that we must make the following announcement. His Majesty the King has died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. The other classes joined us in the hall, and we sat cross-legged on the floor and quietly watched as the flag on the church opposite was lowered to half-mast. Our teachers had hankies to their faces, and their grief was palpable. As the days and weeks followed, our thoughts began to turn towards our new Queen and her Coronation.

My parents ran a County Council home for about 20 children in Winchester, and they decided that we should enter a float for the procession to be held on Coronation Day in the city. The title would be: The old woman who lived in a shoe - that is the one, who had so many children she didn’t know what to do. We certainly had the numbers for that!

My father set about constructing the ‘shoe’ to sit on the top of a flat-top lorry. He used chicken wire for the basic shape and covered it with canvas painted white. Meanwhile my mother and her staff of ‘aunties’ began thinking about costumes for everyone.

When the day finally came, I remember that it was very cold! We had to use a step ladder to climb onto the lorry, and then we were driven to the army barracks parade ground where we waited until we were able to join the procession. Given that there were 20 children trapped on board, and the cold weather, it was fortunate that my mother, practical as ever, had remembered to bring a chamber pot!

The most exciting part of the day was slowly travelling down Winchester’s High Street. (This would not be possible today as it is now a pedestrian precinct.) We were awarded a prize, and a photograph of our float was on the front page of the special supplement of the local paper.

As with all such events, it was over in a flash, but the memory of that day stays with me still.

From Roger:

When we came to the Coronation, my Father, who worked for the Armament Department, obtained some surplus flags and went to some lengths to stretch a very large Union Jack high up across the front of our house. A certain little boy, who had studied these things deeply in the Cubs, then pointed out that the flag was actually upside down – a sign of great distress, - so Father had to do it again. A neighbour then arrived to advise that one of our most colourful flags meant that the Sovereign was actually in residence, so action was again urgently needed. 

News arrived on Coronation Day that Mount Everest had been climbed for the first time, just before, on 29th May.

Our house was at the top of a cul-de-sac, so the stage for entertainment and the street party were close by. I was dressed as a Pearly King for the fancy dress competition.

A large important man from the Town Council, came to the School to bestow a commemorative Coronation cup and saucer upon each child. When I approached his table, I saw a dodgy substandard cup at the top of the box. ‘He’s surely not going to give me that one, is he?’, I wondered. But, oh yes, - although I felt that I had better not argue!

Many people got their first, rather primitive, television to watch the Coronation with their neighbours. Christina’s family did that, but mine was not in that league. 

A new edition of the Book of Common Prayer was published around that time, with Queen Elizabeth’s name in the prayers. My parents gave me one at Christmas 1952 as my first service book.

On 15th June 1953, shortly after the Coronation, great numbers of the Navy’s ships lined up between the shore and the Isle of Wight and were lit up in the evening for the Queen to review. My family and many others watched from Stokes Bay.

Three months’ later, on 7th September 1953, Neville Duke, who had been a fighter pilot in the War, set a world air speed record. I was 9 years old and saw the picture in the paper but had no idea then that I would be the priest leading the famous man’s funeral 54 years later at Tangmere in 2007.

Around Coronation time I was given an innovative plastic money box. Plastic light switches and radios had been made of brown Bakelite, but now we could have shiny blue marbled hard plastic. We might reflect on where hard plastic has brought us in 70 years! 

Today seems the time to say something about authority. Whether it be in the State, the Government, or the Church or in other institutions. There is, firstly, institutional authority. Someone has an appointment, a position. Great. But something else needs to coincide, which is moral authority. Where we feel that they are up to the job, they know what they’re doing, they care about those they serve, they are a good person and trying hard: they earn our confidence and our respect. 

If you have someone in a post who doesn’t also have moral authority – disaster. But you can have someone like Jesus, who had the moral authority – but no normal institutional position at all. He was not trained or ordained as a Rabbi, but was recognised and followed because he knew what he was about.

We have had a Queen who inherited the job, which has a Christian content, and who happily also embraced it and measured up to it. There is no guarantee that successors always will. Institutional authority and moral authority need to coincide. And even when appointments are by election, it does not always work.

There are other things that need to coincide too - glory and holiness. Jesus at the Transfiguration is seen as glorious. But he was fundamentally holy, - the holiest. Glory is not something to seek, it only properly comes as a result of holiness and Godliness. There are those, like Hitler, and some other political leaders and some unfit royals who seek glory, but are lacking in holiness, and that spells disaster. Any glory must follow on from holiness, or it is spurious and dangerous.

Our readings remind us that the only very true and genuine kingship and community will be in the heavenly Jerusalem, and that the mark of monarchy and leadership, in Christian terms, is service, not the seeking of glory and privilege.

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. 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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