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Harbour Churches Sofa Service 24th May

Harbour Churches Sofa Service: ‘Touching Places’

Today’s Sofa Service opens with the song by John Bell ‘Touching Places’ sung by the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir, as we reflect on the significance of the Ascension and how, in Christ, we are connected in and to the love of God. The scripture passage is taken from Acts 1. 6-14.

Christ’s is the world in which we move:

Christ’s are the folk we’re summoned to love;
Christ’s is the voice which calls us to care,
and Christ is the one who meets us here.
To the lost Christ shows his face,
to the unloved he gives his embrace,
to those who cry in pain or disgrace
Christ makes, with his friends, a touching place.

Feel for the people we must avoid –
strange or bereaved or never employed.
Feel for the women and feel for the men
who fear that their living is all in vain.
To the lost………….

Feel for the parents who’ve lost their child,
feel for the women whom men have defiled,
feel for the baby for whom there’s no breast,
and feel for the weary who find no rest.
To the lost…………..

Feel for the lives by life confused,
riddled with doubt, in loving abused;
feel for the lonely heart, conscious of sin,
which longs to be pure but fears to begin.
To the lost……………..

The opening prayer is taken form the Post Communion prayer for the Sunday after Ascension. We continue to bring before God in prayer the needs of our world during this time of pandemic. We are asked to pray by name for Clive, Derrick, Margaret and Judith. We pray for those who have died in recent days and those who grieve their passing and we thank God for the lives of Paul Hodges and Dorothy Chapman.

Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The service closes with ‘10,000 Reasons’ written and performed by Matt Redman.

Next Sunday we’re hosting a ZOOM service for Pentecost. Details of how to join in with what we hope will be an amazing time of virtual prayer and praise can be found by visiting our website:


Information about our links to Bo, Sierra Leone and all we can do to help our friends there can also be found on the website.

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Harbour Churches Newsletter 24th May

Last week, during the Wednesday Mediation, I spoke of appreciation, not just of what we have but also of what we are missing during this time of restricted movement and temporary closures.

One of the things I am missing is visits to National Trust houses and gardens. I miss being able to pop up the road to the Weald and Downland Heritage Museum. I miss being able to pop into a church building, and of course I miss being able to meet with you all, the church in this place.

But missing being able to visit my favourite houses, missing being able to sit in a beautiful place and watch nature at its best, has not stopped me from renewing my membership of the NT, as tempting as it was, because I don’t pay to be able to visit, as much as I enjoy indulging my love of all things historical. I pay, I invest, to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy, learn, and appreciate the beauty of antiques, gardens, beaches and woodland. If the National Trust, and all other heritage charities, had to rely solely on ‘at the door’ entry fees to survive they would have folded a long time ago. During this period of lockdown, they are able to keep going, able to plan for the future, because they know they have a secure income, from people like me, who don’t look for an immediate personal return for our support, but who are happy to be investing for the future. Yes, I will visit my favourite haunts as soon as I can, but if I can’t visit at all this year, I will still consider the membership fee to be money well spent!

Churches are in the same position now. Regular giving, planned giving, enables us to look to the future, to be able to prepare for when we are once again throwing wide our doors and welcoming you, or the couple down the road who have had to postpone their wedding, or the family and friends holding a memorial service for a loved one whose life they couldn’t celebrate because of lockdown. Just as with the National Trust, there are still bills to pay, repairs to be planned for, less financially secure parishes to be supported through our Parish Share, just as smaller, less commercially viable NT Stately Homes in Derbyshire are supported by membership fees from me, way down south.

We are united when we put something in the collection bag, when we offer our gifts, I understand that, but collection bags won’t be available for quite a while, even after lockdown ends. A donation to the Church isn’t ‘payment’ for a service attended, it isn’t a ‘thank you’ for a sermon preached, it is an investment in the future of faith in this place, and puts us one small step along the path in responding to Jesus’ command to ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations’.

Help us take big steps on the path by signing up to the Parish Giving Scheme or making a donation via the website. Let the Church have the security and optimism for the future that the National Trust has, from knowing that meeting in church or not, visiting Petworth House or not, we can all look to the future, to serving the next generation, in confidence and in faith.

Rev Sarah
Associate Vicar

Links to Donate online:

Donate to St Peter & St Paul, West Wittering

Donate to St Nicholas, Itchenor

Donate to St James, Birdham

Parish Giving Scheme:
Parish Giving Scheme Information

You will require the following information when joining the scheme:

Church/Parish name – St James
PGS Parish code – 10-0610053
In the village/town/city of Birdham
In the Diocese of Chichester

Church/Parish name – St Nicholas
PGS Parish code  – 10-1030079
In the village/town/city of West Itchenor
In the Diocese of Chichester

Church/Parish name – St Peter & St Paul
PGS Parish code – 10-0610080
In the village/town/city of West Wittering
In the Diocese of Chichester

If you require any further information please do ring your Churchwardens or Clare Blevins in the Parish Office on 01243 514057.

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Ascension Celebration

Ascension Celebration

‘So that where I am you may be also’
John 14.3

We warmly invite the whole church family to join together in a ZOOM celebration of Ascension Day as we draw to a close 48 hours of prayer!

10am Thursday 20th May

Just click on the link below!

24-7 Ascension Celebration
This link will take you to a Zoom meeting scheduled to start at 10.00am tomorrow and experience has shown that it is worth logging on maybe 10 minutes beforehand to ensure that there are no gremlins!

‘God is gone up with a merry noise –
and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet!’

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Harbour Churches Wednesday Meditation



Harbour Churches Wednesday Meditation

In today’s reflection, Revd. Bruce invites us to look beyond our own limited horizons and see the bigger picture with the loving eyes of God. Bruce talks about what Coronavirus is like in Bo, Sierra Leone and how devastating it will be if it gets hold and, most importantly, how we can help. Lock-down there means the people cannot tend their crops or gather the harvest. We are asking you to share this link with everyone that you know so that, as a community, we can come together, in love and reach out to them in their need.

Our appeal ‘The Price is Rice’, aims to meet the basic food needs of the community in Bo, by providing families with a simple but life saving sack of rice. A 25kg sack of rice costs £12, and a 50kg sack £22. It will be given directly to those in need through the school, Church and Mother’s Union.

Giving is simple too:

Cheques can be sent to the Secretary, the Bo School Appeal, 3 Elmstead Gdns, WW, PO20 8NG made payable to WWPCC (charity a/c). Bank details for transfers can be found on the website (www.slbsa.co.uk) donate page under ‘download gift aid and standing order forms’. Any transfers should be referenced ‘Bo Covid Appeal’.

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Harbour Groups – Christian Fellowship Groups in Lockdown

You may have read in last week’s newsletter about Harbour Groups.  This note is to give you more detail in the hope that you will add this to the things you are going to “give a try to” in this unusual time.

Why are you setting up these groups?
The aim of these groups is to provide an opportunity for Christian fellowship for those who are missing it during this period of lockdown.

Who are they for?
The intention is that they should be open to anyone who worships at one of the Harbour Churches, and to others wanting to join who are looking for Christian fellowship.

What form will they take?
A group should ideally be 8 +/- 2 people.  Each group should decide for themselves what format, timing, and frequency but they should include:

  1. Use the thought/prayer/bible reading recommended by the Ministry Team.
  2. Include a time of prayer for each other or share prayer needs for later.
  3. Each group should be open to new members and if too large, to be willing to split.

A possible format could be:

  • Introductions (first meeting)
  • Catch-up on how everyone is
  • Any prayer requests
  • Share thought/prayer/bible reading (see above)
  • Pray (silently or out loud) or finish saying the Grace together

The ‘meeting’ would take place on Zoom and the duration is limited to the maximum 40 minutes allowed free of charge on Zoom.  They could be daytime or evening groups as the groups prefers.

Will each group need a leader?
Each group should as far as possible be self-guiding.  It will be necessary to have someone who acts as the contact point for communication, and some groups may value having someone who guides the meeting…it should be very light touch, but might include getting discussions going, reading or asking someone to read the thought/prayer/bible reading and they would need to set up the Zoom meeting.  These roles could be shared.

Support will be available to help people work Zoom.

Which group should you join?
We hope there will be groups in each of our villages and linked to each of churches.  If you have a strong preference to be local or to be linked to the church where you worship, please advise us.

Who do I contact?
Please e-mail me, Anthony Goddard, on caagoddard@gmail.com

Anthony Goddard

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I’m sure like me, you’ve been quietly thinking how the church (along with so many other organisations), is coping financially during this time of pandemic. Well – here is the reality and I for one am really worried. We should be so grateful to our Churchwardens and Treasurers for doing the tough work of bringing it to our attention and also helping us to make a positive and life giving response for the sake of the continued witness of the church in our communities. Please read and respond to their letter.

In faith and urgency
Jonathan, Rector.

To all the church family,

We really appreciate and are grateful for those who have offered to send us their normal collection giving while the church is closed.

We have had a very disappointing response for our request to consider the very effective Parish Giving Scheme, especially as it can now be done by telephone. Just to put you in the picture – we, in the Benefice, are at least £3600 a month short now that our churches are closed. While we pray the lockdown will not continue for much longer, the reality of our demographic is that we will not be able to gather together as full congregations for months. This could go on until the end of 2020.

The truth is our three churches are more than financially vulnerable, we will all be in the RED in a matter of months. We have had to make some painful decisions in regard to cost cutting and furloughing staff; we ask for your prayers and any practical ways you can help.

The good news is that we have now set up a way to give that is simple and direct. You can use it  now to make one off donations, or donate week by week. The details are below.

The financial future of your parish church has never been more precarious.

Please give what you can as soon as you can.

Assuring you of our prayers and in grateful anticipation

Stella, Nigel, Jane, Maggi, Susan, Dick and Katie

The Church Wardens and Treasurers of West Wittering, Birdham and Itchenor

Donate to St Peter & St Paul, West Wittering

Donate to St Nicholas, Itchenor

Donate to St James, Birdham

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Harbour Churches Sofa Service 17th May

We warmly invite you to share in this Sunday’s Sofa Service.

Harbour Churches Sofa Service: ‘If you love me…’

Our sofa service begins with the sublime music of Thomas Tallis ‘If ye love me…’ sung by ExCathedra, as today we focus on the how the Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth of who we are – children of God within whom God lives. Holding within ourselves the spark of the Divine transforms not only how we understand ourselves but how we relate to others who similarly carry that love within them.

Jane reflects on the experience of teachers in schools during lock down and Jonathan explores this through the ways in which we are called to have a particular care for the vulnerable and be agents of God’s transforming love in John 14. 15-21.

Our service ends with the uplifting contemporary worship song ‘Faithful One’ sung by Brian Doerkson.

We invite you to share in an experience of virtual 24/7 prayer to mark Ascension and lead us into ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit.

Please see Jane Oundjian’s letter below for more information

We continue to pray by name for Derrick, Clive, Judith and Dorothy  as well as commending to God all who have died in recent days and their grieving loved ones.

We offer the collect for this the sixth Sunday of Easter:

Risen Christ,
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Harbour Churches 24-7 Prayer Room

Tuesday 19 May–Thursday 21 May 2020

Dear Friends

Many of you will remember the three amazing 24-7 Prayer Rooms we have run in the Benefice in the past. Well, now it is time for ANOTHER one and, with current restrictions, it will be virtual and online! Below is the link for you to access the calendar for the 48 hours that we shall be praying. Please do sign up and please then email me at janeoundjian@me.com so I can send you your resource pack to help inspire you for your hour ‘in the prayer room’.

24/7 Virtual Prayer Room

We really look forward to partnering with you and joining together in a wave of prayer next week.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.                                                                  2 Chronicles 7:14

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