Rector's letter for the Festival of Pentecost

The Festival of Pentecost

Today (31 May 2020), the extended season of Easter comes to an end. From the rising of Christ we have moved, in fifty days, to the coming of the Spirit. And, with this festival (sometimes treated as ‘the birthday of the Church’!) we are set beyond the joyful celebration of the power of the resurrection, and the glory of the Ascension, into the business of being and living in the grace which God alone bestows.

We now live out of the comfort, blessings and equipping of the Spirit; and we shall join in the sacred dance of Trinity. A new season is upon us. Ours is an invitation to live for Christ in the faith for which the last few weeks’ liturgical worship has, so eloquently, prepared us. Though Easter has gone, we remain an Easter people; and our own lives become increasingly the interpretation of the scriptures which we have so recently read.

This could not be so, without God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit came on those first disciples with a mighty power. Shockingly and spectacularly, God
made himself known. And in alighting on human heads, there was a crowning of the divine purpose in you and me.

Today, it is the Spirit again that enables us to be all that is possible, in God. He, or she, is the gift-bringer, the voice within, the whisper and the mighty wind; he is purifying fire, oil of cleansing grace, water of life, and the wings of freedom. She is comfort and compassion, wisdom and delight. In God’s Be-ing, we shall more truly be God’s (re-)creation.

Give thanks for the festival of Pentecost long ago. And give greater thanks, still, for the abiding
Gift, who would dwell in us all our days.

Revd Andrew Doye, Rector of Westbourne

Update on services

There are no services of worship taking place in our church buildings presently. We continue to listen to the directions emerging from both Government and the central Church, and will react appropriately and with regard to our local situation. The Parish Hall is similarly closed at present, but the relaxation of lockdown means that there are prospects for its careful and phased reopening as we go forward.

The local church continues to worship together through ‘Zoom’, and the Rector will be delighted to add anybody to those names already registered with us and receiving notification of the coming acts of worship. We consider and trust that the church is also effectively active pastorally, through the contact being shared with one another by telephone, by acts of care, and through the occasional and permitted face to face interaction.

The readings in our morning service are Acts 2: 1-13 and John 20: 19-23.

News

Know kindness, inhabit thoughtfulness, live in peace.

This coming week is National Volunteering Week: a prompt, if we needed it, to be grateful for all who volunteer, and to consider who we might be called to accompany them in their efforts.

Westbourne Magazine for June 2020

This is now available on the Parish Council website. Do take a look, there are many excellent articles contained in it. Thanks to our contributors; the hardworking editors, to Monster Creative who have overseen some of the present technological challenges, and the Parish Council for hosting it on its website for the parish as a whole.

Big Music Sunday Service: 14 June 2020, 6pm

The Royal School of Church Music is busily promoting Music Sunday, which offers in the evening a special service, celebrating the powerful role of music and musicians in the life of the church. John Rutter, who is a leading contributor, offers a personal encouragement for all to participate in a video on the RSCM’s website. Do mark this date.

A specially designed service, led by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall will take place on the RSCM’s YouTube channel and includes music by John Rutter, Margaret Rizza, Charles Villiers Stanford and the specially commissioned anthem, Hymns and Psalms and Songs, by Thomas Hewitt Jones.

Each musical item will be sung or led by a different choir, and there are plenty of opportunities for viewers and listeners to sing along. Our own parish choir is ahead of us in their invitation to take part, but it is open to all and we will hold no competing service in the parish that evening. If it is your wish to sing along, and you would like to access the music scores or listen to the rehearsal tapes in advance, these are available through our own parish music intranet. If you don’t already have access to this, as a music-maker, contact Stewart or me, and we will provide you with the means to do so.

Email communication

We are highly dependent upon electronic means for sharing information with parishioners at present. Please ensure we have up-to-date email details. Perhaps you do not have email facility, or are aware of someone who does not but would like to be included in this and other communications? In this case, please nominate someone who can be in regular communication or visit to your door, who could offer to receive messages from this desk and to deliver a hard copy. Equally, please let us know if you do not wish to be contacted.


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