Prayer & Preaching 22nd December

I’d hoped to share with you Bishop Martin’s Christmas message but it isn’t going ‘live’ until the 23rd… check the Diocesan website to listen to his broadcast!

My message then is a simple one – thank you.

Throughout the year our church families – full of life as they are – offer so much in so many ways. We should be encouraged and confident in the life we share together.

And not only the life we share together – the life we bring to others as we work to be a blessing on our communities and beyond.

None of this can happen without the generous giving of time and talent by so many. Yes, financially we are entering a challenging time and what we give and how its given is going to have to be a focus for 2020. Don’t let that dishearten you – we just need to do a few small things differently to make a big difference.

Today I was at a fantastic end of term Christmas celebration at Birdham School (and the day before at an equally fantastic one by West Wittering School) and I was really very moved to hear a tribute given for our Reader, Michael Chater, thanking him for his 50 years association with Birdham School and all the many and varied ways he has supported the school with his time and talent.  Thank you Michael – you have been such a blessing – long may you continue to be!

I also feel a genuine need to thank all those who minister to us in Harbour Churches – Revd Sarah, Susan, Revd Bruce and Revd Jim, Michael, Ben and Eric. Thank you for your faithfulness. As ministers we rely so much on the amazing dedication of our Churchwardens – Stella, Nigel, Susan (again!), Jane and Maggi. Thank you for your thoroughness. And, of course, those who make our worship come alive through their musical gifts – Ian, Jane, Lynn and Susan and all the musicians and singers – praise the Lord!

And finally, I want to thank Clare in the office. She does more and achieves so much more than I think any of us really appreciate. Why not give her a call and say a personal thank you  –  but  –  you’d better be quick because very soon she will be enjoying a well deserved sabbatical down under – fair does mate!

Assuring you of my grateful prayers and the blessing of a holy, joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Jonathan. Rector.

Collect
God our redeemer, who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son; grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour, so may we be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge; 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:
Clemmie, Kris Tippen, Robert Bowen-Colthurst, Tony Johnson, Gerard and Gordon Wright

And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Father Clifford and John Fidler

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.

Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering and Birdham

At Birdham (9.30) Eric Eyre’s sermon theme will be “The Gift of Hope”.  At West Wittering (10.00) Sarah Manouch’s sermon theme will be  ‘Are you sure you have the right address?’ and at Itchenor (11.00) Michael Chater’s sermon theme will be  “What does the future hold?”

Carol Services 4.00 Birdham and West Wittering
No Centering Prayer

NB Sunday 29th main act of worship for all three congregations is at St Nicholas, Itchenor at 11.00am.  Birdham and West Wittering will have an 8am BCP Holy Communion.

Christmas Services

Christmas Eve
Crib Services 4.00 in all three churches – Birdham, Itchenor and West Wittering
Midnight Mass 11.00 in all three churches

Christmas Day
BCP Holy Communion Birdham & Itchenor 8.00am
Birdham Church, Family Communion 9.30am
West Wittering Church, All Age Parish Eucharist 10.00am
Itchenor Church, Village Communion 11.00am

Sunday 22nd December – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Morning
Isaiah 7. 1016; Matthew 1. 18-end
BCP
Philippians 4. 4-7; John 1. 19-28

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