Weekly Update – 27th March & 3rd April
We are now coming up to the fourth Sunday of Lent and edging ever closer to one of the most significant times of the year in the church calendar, Holy Week and Easter. Below are details of what is going on with services in this period so that you have plenty of notice, and I will say more about the season nearer the time although I wanted to pick out one thing in particular.
On the Thursday of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, myself, and Rev Anthea will head off down to Canterbury Cathedral in the morning for a special service called a Chrism Eucharist. The Archbishop, Justin Welby, is usually in attendance and it is an opportunity for clergy from the diocese to gather. This will be Rev Anthea’s first Chrism Eucharist and I’m sure she will find it very special. I love it because there is a wonderful sense of collegiality, and it is very moving to renew your ordination vows ‘en masse’ – I always come away with a renewed sense of calling to the priesthood.
However, as Sarah keeps telling me, this is not all about me! Hmm. Actually, it really isn’t because at that service there are oils that are blessed by the Archbishop, or Bishop, during the course of the proceedings. We bring the oils back to the parish to be used, by those duly authorized, for anointing baptism candidates or during prayer for healing.
Anointing with oil has a great biblical history that stretches back to some of the earliest times of the Old Testament period with symbolism connected to holiness, blessing, cleansing, prosperity, stability, at death and was used particularly when new Kings were chosen. In the New Testament period it becomes connected with healing and in Christian tradition with the presence of God as Holy Spirit, hence its use in baptism.
There are differing views concerning the use of oil, but anointing is still very much at the heart of the Church of England. In our contemporary society this all may sound rather disconnected from the ‘real’ world we live in, and yet I disagree – personally I think there is something enriching and deeply personal about the connection between our lives and God when anointing those being baptized or those who wish to be anointed during prayer for healing – this is an act of reverence that ‘matters’ and has eternal significance. Reverence seems to be a lost commodity to many in this world today and I admit to not being the best ‘Reverend’ when it comes to reverence, but Lent, and Maundy Thursday, might just be an opportunity to re-capture something of that.
P.S. Please note that the next update will be in a fortnights time so there will nothing sent out next week.
P.P.S. Please remember to change your clocks an hour forward this Sunday (27th)
LIVING IN LOVE AND FAITH
This will return to meeting in church for the last two weeks now that I have recovered from my bought of Covid.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER SERVICES
Sunday 10th April
8am Palm Sunday Holy Communion
10am Palm Sunday Café Service
Thursday 13th April
7pm Maundy Thursday ‘Last Supper’ meal with simple act of Communion and stripping of the altar
SIGN UP SHEET FOR SUPPER AT BACK OF CHURCH
Friday 15th April
2pm One Hour at the Cross
Sunday 17th April
10am Easter Sunday Oasis Communion with Baptism
Annual Parish Meeting (APM) & Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)
Our annual meetings will take place on Monday the 4th of April at 7.30pm, in church, preceded by an act of worship, with communion, at 7pm. The APM is very short and is to elect churchwardens – that is followed by the longer APCM (not too long) at which annual reports are presented and vacant posts on PCC (church council) and Deanery Synod are voted upon.
If you wish to put you name forward for Churchwarden, PCC or Deanery Synod please contact me for the relevant nomination form.
Annual meeting ‘packs’ have been emailed to all on the Electoral Roll (church membership list), although there is also a supply of printed copies at the back of church for those not on email. If you wish to have a pack posted to you, please contact the church office.
Fundraising for the flagpole has raised £700 out of the £1,000 that we need to refurbish it – that campaign will end on March 31st – so if you’ve been intending to make a contribution, but haven’t done so yet, now is the time!
Let’s see if we can reach the £1,000
Envelopes for your contribution are on the “flagpole board” in church.
The Easter Lily list is at the back of church for signing and any donations to the office or in the envelopes provided in the porch slot in the wall.