The St James Centre!
It was my privilege, along with others, to represent the church family – and all those who have supported the building of a new centre at St James – as we attended the 2019 Sussex Heritage Trust awards. It was also quite a shock when we were announced as the winner of the prestigious award for the best ecclesiastical building… Not quite the ‘Oscars’ but we nearly cried!
This was no small achievement and, along with the excellence of design and build quality, the judges also recognised the involvement of so many from the church and wider community in realising a demanding project that is intended to be for the wellbeing of all in Birdham and beyond.
The Trusts main objective is to support building projects which are sensitive to the traditions and particular local contexts where the building is to be placed but also, and more significantly, to demonstrate that we can have new buildings which are contemporary in design and demonstrate the urgent present need for the highest standards in sustainability. All this is to be realised utilising the best in the craft of those who make it happen – the builders!
I couldn’t help reflecting on these values in terms of the building up of ‘living stones’. At last Sundays ‘One Church’ event, so fantastically supported – thank you – Revd. Eric Eyre preached on the themes of mission and renewal after the example of Peter and Paul, reflecting that throughout the history of the church there has always been a tension between those who want to protect the faith and those who want to promulgate the faith.
We might positively re-cast this as a tension between care and courage. The St James Centre was built with great care and many were frustrated and critical of the time it took to get the project off the ground. However, it absolutely needed individuals of courage – not all associated with the ‘church’ – to get the thing up and running and yes, at times to challenge a traditionally protective church to see just what could be done to realise our missionary vision.
I heard a wonderful quote recently from the great German composer Gustav Mahler – it speaks volumes:
‘Tradition is tending the flame… not worshipping the ashes’
God our Saviour, look on this wounded world in pity and in power and help us to hold fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
We continue to pray for:
Clemmie, Michael Palmer, Ellen Chapman, Kris Tippen, Caro and Angus
And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Brian Price and Laura
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 Itchenor
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Eric Eyre’s sermon theme will be “To be a Pilgrim”. At West Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ sermon theme will be “Seek Ye First….?”. At Itchenor (9.00) the theme for Little Nick’s will be ‘The precious stories of Jesus- parables”
There will be a celebration Evensong for Felix Boyce’s 102 birthday at West Wittering on Sunday at 6.00. All welcome
SAVE THE DATE
St James Family Service Patronal Festival 9.30am-10.15 Sunday 28th July.
Sunday 7th July
3rd Sunday of Trinity
Isaiah 66. 10-14; Galatians 6. (1-6) 7-16; Luke 10. 1-11, 16-20
1 Peter 5.5b-11; Luke 15. 1-10
Genesis 29. 1-20; Mark 6. 7-29
Sunday 14th July
4th Sunday of Trinity
Deuteronomy 30. 9-14; Colossians 1. 1-14; Luke 10. 25-37
Romans 8. 18-23; Luke 6. 36-42
Genesis 32. 9-30