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Monday, 11 December 2017
A very blowy December day was brightened by Father Stephen's sermon.  He was remembering how we learnt to cross the road many years ago, look, right, look left, look right again etc.  Not sure what the up-to-date version of this is, but it moved to The Green Cross Code - Stop, Look, Listen.  He feels this is good advice for our spiritual life, especially in Advent when we anticipate the coming of our Lord.

STOP rushing around
LOOK at where we are and take stock of our spiritual life
LISTEN to what God is saying to us, and this may be via other people.  Our interior life can only grow in silence.

©Department for Transport (Open Government Licence)
We hear a lot from the prophet Isaiah at this time of year.  Prophets may have predicted the future - but more importantly were interpreting the signs of the time.  Isaiah was confident at listening for the genuine word of God.  Prophets were often despised as people did not like what they were saying.

John the Baptist paid for speaking out against Herod.

Stop.  Look.  Listen.  We may not like what we hear, but that is what happens when we place ourselves in God's hands.  Life is wonderful but full of danger.  We have to slow down and take stock.  Listen to God.

The service was followed by a coffee morning with a sale of sweets organised and made by the Sunday School, proceeds to a charity of their choosing. The sweets did look very inviting!
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Advent Sunday falling on the first Sunday of the month we had our Family Service and combined it  with Christingle. The Children of Sidlesham Primary School were with us and they sang 'Silent Night' for us. The Sunday School then gave us a presentation of how Jesus is the Light of the World, following which the intercessions were lead by Emily, one of the Junior Choristers. The Christingles were then lit and distributed and we sang the Christingle hymn. During the Offertory the Children's Society collection boxes were brought forward and placed in front of the Altar.  
After communion the Choir sang 'Gabriel's Message' based on a Basque carol arr. Edgar Pettman .

There was coffee and mince pies in the Rooms after the service.

St Mary's Christmas fair was held on Saturday afternoon in and around the Church Hall. Visitors approaching the Hall were accosted by the wonderful Christmasy smell of roasting chestnuts, and the sight of  a selection of wreaths and bunches of Holly all for sale. Inside the stalls were all beautifully decorated, with a fine selection of cakes, and lots of suitable gifts for everyone including pets!! Refreshments included mulled wine, tea and coffee and all sorts of  cakes and mince pies. We welcomed lots of customers and closed with the draw for the Christmas hamper and the meat raffle.  A splendid afternoon with a good financial result too nearly £200 more than lat year!

Sunday, 26 November 2017
Today our 10 am Eucharist was a celebration of Christ the King, this being the last Sunday of the liturgical year. This Sunday, the traditional collect began with the words, 'Stir up, we beseech thee Oh Lord, the wills of thy faithful people', and this prayer was used at the close of our service today. The cold frosty weather reminded us that Christmas is just around the corner, and next Sunday will be Advent Sunday.
In the service today the Gospel was from St Matthew the passage where Jesus describes the day of Judgement, and how those who care for others are in fact caring for Our Lord, and Father Stephen in his sermon developed this theme, that we are not perfect, but must strive to deal with those around us with the love and care we would give to Our Lord, and that this christian expression in every day life is perhaps more important than our, also necessary, worship and prayer.

The Choir sang Oh Thou the Central Orb by Charles Wood as the Anthem. There was coffee after the service in the Rooms.

This Afternoon we followed the tradition of Stir up Sunday by making a Giant Bowl of Christmas Pudding mix!  The mixture for 12 puddings was prepared and mixed by all and finished by adding some brandy!! We all filled our own bowls, and we have 4 lovely family sized puddings for sale at the Christmas fair next Saturday! We then enjoyed some tea before clearing up and going home with our Christmas preparations underway.

Sunday, 19 November 2017
This morning our 10 am service was Sung Matins. It was also Toilet Twinning Day!!
The gospel reading this morning was the parable of the talents, read from the King James Version. In his sermon Father Stephen told us that the talents were in fact money, and 1 talent was worth 3 years salary! He also referred to the old testament reading from Zephania, a prophet from the period of 600 BC when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were united and the Temple was restored. A copy of Deuteronomy was found  in the building works, which caused a great shake up in the religious practice of the times. Much like our own Reformation, we occasionally need a bit of a shake up in our religion to keep us on the right path to God.

The Choir sang the Jubilate Deo in the setting by C.V. Stanford and as the Anthem 'God be in my Head' setting by John Rutter. There was coffee after the service in the Parish rooms.

Next Sunday is Stir up Sunday, come and help us make Christmas Puddings 3pm in the New Rooms

The Christmas Fair is on Saturday 2nd of December come along and find all your Christmas pressies for humans and pets!

For toilet twinning offerings! Flushing Poverty away 1 loo at a time!

Sunday, 12 November 2017
This morning we met at 10:45 for our annual Act of Remembrance. The service started in Church with hymns, prayers and readings and incorporated the 2 minutes silence at 11 am marked by the Last Post at the beginning and the Reveille at the end. Father Stephen spoke movingly of his first job working at the National Army Museum cataloguing memorials of young men killed in the First World War, and of how this annual act reminds us to treat every day as a gift from God, remembering those who gave up their lives so we could live in freedom and peace.
The Choir sang 'They are at Rest' words by J.H.Newman, music by Edward Elgar as the Anthem.
After the singing of the National Anthem the congregation, lead by the Church Wardens moved to the War Memorial in the Church Yard, where in blustery sunshine wreaths were laid, representing the Armed services, Village organisations, the Sunday School and the Choir.

Next Sunday the 19th of November is Toilet Twinning day! Did you know that 1 in 3 people on the planet don't have access to a hygienic toilet?As a thanksgiving for having our own new toilets we are going to Twin them with toilets provided by the charity Toilet Twinning, a part of Tear fund. We have 2 toilets and if we can raise £60 for each we can twin them both with a village in the third world, If we can raise £240 we can twin with a school or displacement camp!! So please bring a donation next Sunday, or place your donation in an envelope marked toilet twinning and place in the wall safe in church!

Also please sign up if you would like to come and stir the christmas pudding on Stir Up Sunday 26th November, when we will be making a giant bowl of Christmas pudding mix in the Parish rooms at 3 pm. Bring your own bowl and fill it up (£5 large, £2:50 small) to take home followed by tea!

Sunday, 5 November 2017
The first Sunday of November and so we are celebrating All Saints day. Our Family service at 10 am was a Eucharist, celebrated by Father Stephen. The Sunday School, accompanied by the Young Choristers, with Joanna playing the piano gave us the Saints go Marching in, followed by a presentation about who are the saints (us, trying hard to live up to the title!) and reflecting on the Joy they now experience and they bring to our lives, followed by a poem read by Kate, one of the mothers in the congregation. The intersessions were read by Seth and Hazel, and we sang 'For all thy Saints who from their Labours rest' as the Offertory hymn.
After communion the choir sang 'Give us the wings of faith' by Ernest Bullock as the anthem.

We had our coffee in the Parish rooms.

Stir up Sunday, the 26th of November we are going to make a Giant Christmas Pudding mixture!! Come along and join in, stir the pudding and make a wish, and fill your own bowl with mixture to take home and cook (recipe suitable for steaming or microwaving) Bowl available on the day if you dont have one!! Tea to follow once the pudding is made! Please sign up on the list in Church next Sunday so we can calculate quantities!! All welcome to give it a stir at 4 pm.

Next Sunday we will start our service at 10:45am to incorporate the act of remembrance at the war memorial at 11 am. 

Well into Autumn now!

Hamper for the Christmas Draw awaiting your contributions!