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Letter to Parishioners 14th February 2021

February 14 - February 27

THE PARISH OF ST NICHOLAS, MIDDLETON 

 

FATHER WILLIAM MARSTON, M.A., VICAR

—————————————————————-

THE VICARAGE,

106, ELMER ROAD,

MIDDLETON ON SEA,

WEST SUSSEX,

PO22 6LJ

 

01243 586348   07835994225   w.marston@btinternet.com

 

Sunday 14th February 2021   The Sunday Next Before Lent/St Valentine’s Day

 

Dear Parishioner,

 

I hope that you are well, as we go through the Lock-down, and as we all hope that things will change for the better soon.

In case you were not able to be in Church today, I am copying below a Statement that I made:

After careful thought and prayer, I have decided that it is now time for me to retire from the incumbency of St Nicholas, Middleton and I have given formal notice of this decision to the Bishop.  My last Sunday as incumbent here will be the feast of Pentecost (23 May).

 

Looking back on the whole of my ministry in the Church of England, there are many things for which I wish to give thanks to God.  I assure you of my prayers for the future and ask that you will also pray for me.

 

Looking more widely, this is an extract from a letter to the Nation written by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on Tuesday 26th:

“One thing we can all do is pray. We hope it is some consolation to know that the church prays for the life of our nation every day. Whether you’re someone of faith, or not, we invite you to call on God in prayer. Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love. A number of resources will be made available at www.ChurchofEngland.org/PrayerForTheNation.”

 

As we look forward to Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday (17th February), I hope that you will find the enclosed “Live Lent” useful. I think that it is really good. Some of you will have already received a copy at Church today.

 

As ever, I am very grateful to those who provide items for these Round Robins.

 

The first here is from Gerbera LeFort:

 

“Five years ago when A Rocha Uk launched Eco-Church the aim was to reach 10%  of Churches across England and Wales in 10 years. Research had suggested that 10% was a ‘tipping point’ after which Churches caring for God’s creation would become the norm.  On January 26th  this year they proudly announced they are already over halfway there thanks to Churches like ours!

3,100 Churches have registered as they consider the path they must follow towards GB’s carbon neutral aim.  1,000 awards like ours have been made to show  progress along that path!  Many dioceses are registered and Chichester like us also has a bronze award. 

The PCC are to be congratulated for taking this initial step in joining a national community, which is learning how to slow climate change and adapt our way of living to such changes which are inevitable. So for us as a Parish, in our own homes, it must be onwards and upwards towards that Silver Award! Despite being in lockdown there is still much we can do within our own domain. Sharing ideas of how we reduce our carbon footprint is important so please can you send your ideas to me, so I can collate them for Father William to include on ‘In Touch’ and his Round Robins. 

God speed – Gerbera

lefort.seafever@gmail.com; 01243 838238; 1,Seafield Terrace, Stocker Road. PO 21 2QQ.”

 

Gerbera adds two points:
(1)Shopkeepers will ensure that we get pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday (& 364 other days!)and Easter Eggs and bunnies on Easter Sunday!    However Covid restrictions will make it difficult to explore the deeper significance behind these delicious foods.  So we have an ingenious idea to help you do that;  LENT in a BAG!  

Inside these bags is what at first will seem a very motley collection of  items with little relationship to pancakes, buns and chocolate eggs.   Rest assured there is also a prompt sheet to help you see that whatever your age, these items

can lead and help you to think about this great Easter story and what it means to you.

To have a Bag delivered to your doorstep (time by arrangement) just ring or email any of the addresses detailed at foot of this message with your name and details of how we can arrange delivery.  Tell us if you intend to use the bag

for a family activity and we can add some colouring pictures to help keep younger members in touch with discussions. We also advise that to be Covid secure you isolate the bag for 24 hours before investigation!

Heather; 07946 290962; heather.kirk44@yahoo.co.uk                      

Gerbera; 07376 365052; lefort.seafever@gmail.com      

       

(2) UK Aid Match

Just to remind you that the Government has again offered to double all donations received before April 24th by charities which applied and were accepted on to the scheme. Over the 6 years this has run, 64 organisations working in 38 different countries have benefited from this offer. The Leprosy Mission which we supported at Harvest is included in the list.  Check

to see if your chosen charity is on the list because a donation now will be worth twice as much as one made later in the year!  

Thank you to Patty Phillips for these two items, and congratulations to her on being published, with the first one, in a national news-paper:

 

“I sent this to the Daily Mail, Peterborough Page on 13th January.   I wrote it in the hope it would bring a little cheer in these troubled days.

 

‘After reading the sad account of the pet goose being served up as Christmas dinner, I had to relate my experience with a happy ending.

 

My brother and I lived in India and were sent to boarding school aged five, where we stayed for nine months before going home for Christmas for three months with our wonderful grandmother.   One year Granny got a rooster to ‘take care’ of her chickens,   My brother and I loved taking care of him – we named him Brigadier Cox, though his reveille at dawn was not appreciated.   Many`s the time I heard muttered threats from the rest of the household of dire consequences if he didn`t shut up!

 

There was also Dickie the Sarus Crane, who was taller than my brother and me but was a gentle, if somewhat noisy and messy giant.  During our next holiday, I overheard Granny ask cook whether Brigadier Cox would be ready for Christmas dinner!   This resulted in two hysterical children demanding a reprieve for our feathered friend.

 

Granny had no choice but to grant our wish,   Brigadier Cox lived his full life span, clucked over by his harem and two adoring children.’”

 

Patty adds that she has learnt that Staff in one Covid ward in a hospital in Buckinghamshire have created an ‘inspiration wall’, upon which they scribble in felt tip pens their hopes and prayers.   One wrote ‘Life isn`t about waiting for the storm to pass, it`s about learning to dance in the rain’.

Thank you, too, to Susan Dakic for these inspiring words of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

 

As ever, please do contact me, if you would like to say a prayer, discuss a serious matter, or simply to have a chat.

 

With my good wishes, greetings, and prayers,

Fr William.

Details

Start:
February 14
End:
February 27