On Saturday the Birdham art group hosted a printing workshop and we had great fun learning new skills, and using our teacher Jules’ printing press. The church was a hive of activity with holly and ivy, nativities, trees, Santa and stars appearing on our Christmas cards. The children had fun making some beautiful creations. Also on the windows in the church you can now see the roof tiles painted with scenes from the first Christmas and highlighting the plight of refugees in our present time.
On Friday 9th December the Renaissance Choir, who sang in St.Peter’s in Rome this summer, will come to St James Church in Birdham to present a varied programme planned by two choir members on the theme O Magnum Mysterium (O great Mystery). This text has seen some of the most sensuous of all polyphonic writing, including Tomas Luis da Victoria from the Renaissance period and the living American composer, Morten Lauridsen. Jingle Bells and Carol of the Bells show the Renaissance Choir’s huge range, as do the Spirituals De Virgin Mary and Mary had a baby, which both swing to a vibrant beat. Our rich and varied programme features the perennial carols Silent Night and Ding Dong Merrily, as well as King’s College Cambridge favourites such as The Lamb and Adam Lay Bounden. Choir and audience will join together including O come all ye faithful and Hark the Herald. In other words, something for everyone!
Ticket Price: £10 in aid of the St. James Centre
You are invited to an evening of Christmas Entertainment at St Nicholas Church, Itchenor. Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm.
Including “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and works by Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, St John Betjeman and other.
Entry is free – wine by donation.
Many thanks to everyone who came to our Advent Service held at St. Peter and St. Pauls, West Wittering. It was compiled by Dr. Susan Monks with a Traditional Sussex theme enhanced by the Birdham Choir. We also celebrated Mothers Union’s 140th Anniversary. Through your ‘Giving’ £117.00 was raised which is very much appreciate and will be used to contribute to our work locally within the Diocese and Worldwide.
With grateful thanks
“To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ Luke 7
This passage from Luke was read in church recently. It comes from that part of the story when Jesus is speaking about the significance of John the Baptist. He is that unsettling biblical character no self respecting Anglican Church would wish to have in the congregation. Like the proverbial dog with a bone he just will not let it go! So – a good character to encounter in Advent as we too prepare for the coming of Christ…
The image of the children is equally striking. Historically it refers to the cultural practice in biblical Palestine of children earning a little something by entertaining at community celebrations or encouraging mourners to express their grief at the time of a funeral.
However, we should also understand this as an example of children at play in the fullest sense. In a time when ‘play’ for children was more limited by circumstance and the accepted length of childhood this biblical passage shows us children creatively engaged and of value – indeed, they are only too aware of their worth in the way they rebuke those for whom they were ‘at play’!
All children have the right to be creatively engaged – to be at play – and for that to be valued.
This Sunday at West Wittering Church and Itchenor Church and next Sunday at Birdham Church we will be collecting unwrapped gifts of new toys for children aged 0 – 16 years. They will go to the children of women who are in refuge from domestic abuse. As a church family let us show that we value these children and their mothers and the right to play…. and in so doing let us live with that same sense of urgency revealed in John as we prepare for Christ when he comes.
Collect for Second Sunday of Advent
O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us, and with great might succor us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Eric Eyre’s sermon will be “A voice in the wilderness – John the Baptist Matthew c3 v 1-12”. At West Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ sermon will be. At Itchenor (11.00) we will be “Celebrating the life of St. Nicholas and giving gifts”
There will be 8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering and Itchenor.
There will be Sung Evensong at West Wittering at 6.00
We continue to pray for:
David Beveridge, Peter Johnston and Michael Thresher
And those who have recently died and their loved ones.
Joan Cunnell and Hilary Lambert
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon. If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Readings for 4th December
Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 11. 1-10; Romans 15. 4-13; Matthew 3. 1-12
Romans 15. 4-13; Luke 21. 25-33
1 Kings 18. 17-39; John 1. 19-28
Readings for 11th December
Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 35. 1-10; James 5. 7-10; Matthew 11. 2-11
Corinthians 4. 1-5; Matthew 11. 2-10
Isaiah 5. 8-end; Acts 13. 13-41
Don’t forget to bring your Bible to church this Sunday to help us launch the Year of the Bible in our benefice. Whatever our bibles looks like, the more used and worn out the better, we need its wisdom, its comfort and, yes, its challenges, to get us through the day. We can learn so much if we only look – so on Sunday we will be beginning a journey, with the rest of the diocese, into a greater understanding, and appreciation, of the Greatest Book Ever Written. Join us in praying, at the end of the service,
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: help us so to hear them, to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word, we may embrace and forever hold fast the hope of eternal life which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Do come and join us at St Nicholas this Sunday 4th December at 11am for our Patronal celebration which we will combine with our annual toy service. We would ask you to bring a new toy, unwrapped, which will be delivered to the women’s and children’s refuge that serves our area, through the Mother’s Union.
At the end of the service we will enjoy a glass of fizz and a mince pie together to give thanks for the completion of our beautiful new roof. There is much to celebrate!
This Christmas West Wittering Church Choir are looking to expand their numbers for their annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 18th December. There will be two extra rehearsals to practice some great carols. If you enjoy singing come along to the Church Room on Wednesday 7th December at 6.00 or contact Michael Servant on 07881 662886 for more information.