Thank you for supporting the recent Chichester Foodbank collections. Your donations will make a big difference to local people in crisis especially at this time when children, who would normally have school dinners, will be at home and parents will need to provide replacement meals. The Foodbank offers a lifeline to these families and ensures that nobody goes hungry and prevents more stress being placed on family life in a time of need.
Happy Valentine’s Ash Wednesday
Isn’t YouTube an amazing thing? I’ve just found out how to tune twin Stromberg carburettors on my Vitesse… I also heard something really wise in response to a question we all come up against.
Q “How do we take ‘difficulty’ and make it positive to the life of faith?”
A “By knowing somebody who loves you.” Fr. Thomas Keating OSB
By ‘difficulty’ we can read any of the obstacles we face as we journey in faith. Lent is traditionally the time we ‘attend’ to those difficulties…
Last Sunday I invited members of the West Wittering congregation to spend a few moments each day – 3 minutes – to sit in stillness and know, in those precious moments, that they are loved unconditionally and completely by God… ‘held’ if you will, in God’s gaze of absolute love.
It felt a little preposterous and maybe it’s all just a bit contrived… but why not: ‘God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them…’ 1 John 4:16
Most of us struggle more than we dare to admit with ‘being loved’. Quite simply we feel unworthy of such love – and our so called ‘Christian faith’ has only added to this delusion. Lent comes along and seems to add insult to injury! How can we love others feeling such little love of ourselves?
What a God given gift then to have Lent begin this year on ‘St Valentine’s Day’! Let’s use this as a spring board to truly keep a ‘good Lent’. And let’s start with penitence – you miserable sinners you!
Penitence, far from being the way of guilt is the way of love. In Lent we will pray from Ps. 51: ‘A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise’.
Correctly understood ‘contrition’ can only ever be a response to love. If it is a response in fear to threat then it isn’t contrition! The shell of unworthiness and guilt that has hardened too many hearts can only be broken away in our trusting to the fact that “Yes, there is somebody who loves me, and that somebody is God.” What a Happy Valentine!
You may need to take up that invitation to be held in the gaze of God’s love. Some of us need also to make time to talk with someone we trust about our relationship with the God of love. Please just ask… it’s Lent.
Almighty Father, whose son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to flory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
We continue to pray for:
Conor Jones, Ian Gray and family, Baby Clemmie, Janet & David Drake, Peter Barnett, Snowdrop, Joyce, Carina, Alan Stearn and Mark Symons.
And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Derek Smith, Josie Kemp and Duncan Swinney
If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Sarah Manouch’s sermon theme will be “Um, now where have I heard that before?’. Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ sermon theme will be ‘Changed from glory into glory’. At Itchenor (11.00) Bruce Holben’s sermon theme will be ‘How do we see people? Do we pick up what they’re telling us?’
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon.
There will be 8.00 BCP Holy Communion on Sunday at West Wittering.
There will be Evensong at 6.00 at West Wittering and Michael Chater’s theme will be “That Still Small Voice.”
Sunday 11th February
Sunday next before Lent
2 Kings 2. 1-12; 2 Corinthians 4. 3-6; Mark 9. 2-9
1 Corinthians 13. 1-13; Luke 18. 31-43
1 Kings 19. 1-16; 2 Peter 1. 16-21
Sunday 18th February
First Sunday of Lent
Genesis 9. 8-17; 1 Peter 3. 18-22; Mark 1. 9-15
2 Corinthians 6. 1-10; Matthew 4. 1-11
Genesis 2. 15-17; 3. 1-7; Luke 13. 31-35
“The Foodbank was there when we really needed it, it was an absolute lifeline.” – a heartfelt comment by someone who benefited from the gifts of food and household goods so generously donated over the last 13 years since the Trussell Trust set up the first Foodbank Centre in Salisbury. With the Half-Term School Holiday on the horizon, when children who would normally have school dinners will be eating at home, the Mothers’ Union is sponsoring collections in the 3 churches in the Benefice and at West Wittering School from Sunday 28th January to Sunday 11th February. Look out for the collection tubs with the list of those items that are urgently needed to help people in crisis – UHT Milk & Fruit Juice, Jam, Tinned Meat, Tinned Potatoes, Potato Mash, Sponge Puddings, Rice Puddings, Custard, Toiletries & Household Items.
St Augustine said ‘Fasting is giving stolen gifts back to God….’ On this tenuous theological basis Ian (our great Curry saint!), has decided it’s about time we went for another great night out to the curry house!
So – at short notice – he’s organised a Curry Night for all those who will not be fasting from curry this Lent.
OK – fasting or not, next Monday 12th February 7pm for 7.30pm Moonlight Tandoori, Shore Road, East Wittering.
Please call: Ian Strong – 512184 to book your place.
This curry night has been sanctioned by the kind permission of the Rector
Nihls obstat… with garlic rice
Fridge magnets are available to help us remember to save the dates Sunday 16th- Saturday 22nd September 2018. A Week of Guided Prayer or ‘Retreat in Daily Life’ is a wonderful opportunity for us as a Benefice but also for the Churches in the Manhood and across the Deanery and Diocese. We will be the hosts for this wonderful and transformative event as part of the Year of Prayer. What does it involve?
Well, it’s open to all ages and you don’t even have to be member of a church!
Just 1 hour each day for a week: you arrange to meet at your convenience with a trained Spiritual Director/Prayer Guide for 1/2 hour each day from 8am-8pm. and you pray on your own for 1/2 hour a day.
Trained prayer guides and Spiritual Directors come from the Diocese and are all DBS checked. We will use spaces to meet in our three churches and villages with easy access and transport help if required. The week will begin with a tea party and short act of worship on Sunday 16/9/17 3-4pm and will close with a short thanksgiving service on Saturday 22/9/17 10-11 am, venue to be confirmed. Please contact Susan if you are interested in taking part and keep looking on the website as more information becomes available.
email@example.com 01243 512881