2021 Feb 21 - Pew News


21 February - First Sunday in Lent

09:30 we worship virtually in our Parish Communion.

18:00 we offer Evening Prayer (BCP) at the address:

Hymn tunes to be played in the 09:30 service are the following. As you are probably familiar by now, those of you ‘present’ at our Zoomed services are invited to sing along with them if you wish but, to do so, taking care to ‘mute’ your device’s microphone so you aren’t heard in every house.

The presiding minister at our 09:30 Service is Revd Andrew Doye, with the assistance of Martin Brown and Jane Stuttard.

The Bible readings in our morning service are Genesis 9: 8-16 and Mark 1: 8-15.

Our prayers are devised and led by Andrew Turner. The preacher is Revd Andrew Doye. Our music has been played and recorded by Stewart Taylor (with some choral contributions from our choir).

A Special Prayer for the First Sunday in Lent

(This prayer is designed for you to pray at home)

Almighty God,

whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,

and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:

give us grace

to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;

and, as you know our weakness,

so may we know your power to save;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.


Call to Prayer:  We continue in this month of February to offer prayer for our nation and our world in response to the coronavirus. The tolling of the bell at the Parish Church for two minutes from 17.58, will precede this prayer for any within its hearing.

The following prayers may be a resource, together with the lighting of a candle in the darkness.

A prayer with the nation:

Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.


A prayer for workers

God our provider,

give skill, sympathy and resilience

to all who are caring for the sick;

wisdom and understanding

to the scientific community searching for cures;

encouragement and clear-sightedness

to those delivering the vaccines;

imagination and perseverance

to those who enable learning in school or home:

that, through their varied work

and those of others,

much may be achieved,

and lives protected, restored and enriched;

through Christ our Lord, we pray.



A prayer in time of fear, challenge and confusion

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

                                                from St Patrick’s breastplate

The Rector writes

Are we nearly there yet?

Well the answer, in relation to Covid is most surely, ‘no’. And yet there are signs of encouragement for us to heed, and take heart.

I heard in the last 24 hours that we have reached the figure of having vaccinated 15 million adults now, and there is confident expectation being expressed about satisfactory national levels of coverage by July. Now, July remains a painfully long way off for many of us; and yet, as one parishioner said to me so clearly this morning: having come so far, surely we must see it through and get it safely right?!

There are many hard decisions for Government to make, and some of these are imminent we are told. There are many continuing to live in fear and vulnerability in the face of the virus. There are large numbers whose lives have been cut short, damaged or changed beyond recognition by the coronavirus and its accompanying consequences. Yet still, I feel a hopefulness that I have not felt for many months: that all the present constraints and self-disciplines; and the heroic work of caring, and of delivering the vaccine, and of sustaining community life;… that all these efforts are achieving a future whereby better times are indeed ahead. Perhaps the warmer weather, the coming of Spring, the arrival of the annual geese on the pond behind the Rectory, all contribute to a happier outlook. And perhaps it is not the same for all who are reading this: I respect that.

Lent, like lockdown, is a time in which we are invited to take on disciplines; with a longer-term benefit in mind. Lockdown has been for many of us a wilderness: of apartness, and a thinned down life. It is a place of temptation; but it can also be of opportunity and growth. Though time will tell.  We are so used to having our own way. Denied that, quite spectacularly, these past weeks: perhaps we may nonetheless learn new ways of humility, compassion, courage and conversation. It is to be hoped, that in the seasonal prayer for self-control and deeper wisdom, we may learn to live and love.

One of the most bizarre elements of the ‘new normal’ of these past months, the wearing of face masks, has been a deep grief in cutting us off from one another. Yet even in this shrouded time, there is a prayer to be made of it: which speaks of opportunity and an alternative truth.

Worship for the week ahead

Monday to Friday:           8.30am   Morning Prayer (or Communion on Thursday)

Please contact the Rector or Marjorie Kipling if wanting a Zoom invitation

27 February 2021:         Quiet Day, with on-line or written input (more details below)

28 February 2021:         09:30   Morning Prayer (‘Zoom Service’).  Second Sunday in Lent
                                       18:00    Holy Communion (BCP) online. 


For our prayers (contact the Rector or Wardens to add names)

For renewed opportunity for meaningful visits with those who live in residential care homes.

For GP surgeries, hospitals, hospices, and healthcare in the community.

For choirs, dance and exercise groups, unable to meet but sustaining their activities in imaginative ways. For our own church choir.

For the children and young people of our parish, who we know to be suffering amid the present loss of liberties, the confusion of study responsibilities and the depleted human contact. And for teachers; other staff; and parents who are struggling to help their children adequately.

For the families of those who have died recently and for those whose funerals take place this week.


Lent in the Parish

Do be a part of the following, according to appetite.  For the groups, we need you to let us know of your plans so that we can provide for the number involved.

Group Activities

A. Thursdays, 10am by Zoom: the Rector is leading an 8-week engagement with the recent publication ‘Walk Humbly’, written by Samuel Wells of St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square. 

Dates: 18, 25 Feb; 4, 11, 18, 25 March; 1 April (Maundy Thurs); and 8 April (Easter Week). The book is billed as ‘Encouragements for Living, Working and Being’, and considers with us our place in the world. Barbara Brown Taylor writes in the credits: ‘whether you are new to Sam Wells or have trusted him for a long time, this small book will give you reason to think differently about your place in the universe. His counsel to walk humbly includes the neighbours next door as well as the galaxies overhead, giving Christians every reason to live large by remembering our true size’. Still time for new joiners. Please contact the Rector.

Each session will last between 60 and 80 minutes, with between 10-15 minutes given to the reading of the respective chapter, perhaps with gentle interventions by Andrew, interwoven with the chance to think and share our responses and ‘wonderings’ in on-line discussion.  It is intellectually demanding; some solid thinking for the season. Nobody should fear, however, being put uncomfortably on the spot; and it can be of encouragement to everyone.  You do not need a copy of the book, though it is readily available through online sellers.

B. Sadly, it has proved necessary to CANCEL the online course (B) planned for Tuesday mornings.

C. Mondays, 8pm by Zoom: starting this week on 22 February 2021.  Lent Course from VCS (Visual Commentary on Scripture) - co-ordinated by Karen Doye and Robina Richter, we use visual stimuli from the world of art to encourage and direct our Lenten devotions.

Dates: 22 Feb; 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 March. Six sessions.

D. Wednesdays, 7pm by Zoom: Talking Heads. Evenings of shared conversation, each between the Rector and an invited guest, beginning 3 March. Lasting 60 minutes each, with encouragement for attenders to contribute their own thoughts. The personal reflections will touch on Lent and bible passages for the season. These do NOT need pre-booking, but it is helpful to know the numbers who may be wanting to attend.

It is not necessary that you should be able to attend the entire sequence of meetings for you to sign-up to a particular course.

Quiet Day 

Saturday 27 February 2021: the Rector will lead an online Quiet Day for Lent, from 09:30-15:30. There will be a few fixed times of engagement through the medium of Zoom, during a day in which participants are then encouraged to use the remaining hours as they choose, profitably and prayerfully. Joining instructions will be sent out, together with further details, in the course of this week.


Other Acts of worship within the parish

Other recurring acts of shared worship through Zoom include Morning Prayer at 08:30, Mondays to Fridays - why not give this popular broadcast service a chance during this special season; and evening worship during Holy Week, 29 March 2021 onwards. Register your interest with the Rector or Marjorie Kipling, and we will gladly add you to our daily distribution list.


External opportunities for Lenten devotions

British Pilgrimage Trust
It challenges us presently to turn our daily lockdown walk into a micro-pilgrimage. Details.

Briefly, you are advised to do three things:  1) choose a destination (somewhere holy) - maybe one of our two churches in the parish; or a place that you appreciate and revere out in the open air.  2) choose a purpose or task: something which you’d like to achieve or answer in your heart.  3) do the walk: and in doing it, be ‘present’ to all that you encounter.  We would be fascinated to have feedback from any who pursue this and find it of profit.

Why not sign up for the Church of England’s Daily materials, delivered straight to your in-box? Go to the central Church of England site and look for ‘Live Lent’.

Online Compline 
The Royal School of Church Music is broadcasting services of Compline from 24 February 2021 to enrich our Lent. Details are as follows.

Lenten Complines: Join Us to Sing each Wednesday, starting 24 February 2021, at 20:00 - the beautiful, ancient office of Compline in a live act of worship. Enough information will be on the screen for you to be able to join in the basic singing with the cantor; each service through Lent will include a hymn and a choral piece, in a variety of styles.

Reminder of Present Closure of churches

From 14 January 2021, the Parish Church is closed presently, both to daytime visitors and for gathered services.   his situation remains under review, and we will be looking to ease our lockdown when this appears appropriate. If there are causes or people that you wish to bring to the attention of the Church and its praying community, please contact Rector or Churchwardens.

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