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Letter to Parishioners 20th January 2021

January 20 - 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

 

Wednesday 20th January 2021

 

Dear Parishioner,

As we are now in the third Lockdown, I write to give my good wishes.

We all hear about the Lockdown, and the many changes and pressures. You know how things are for you, and are aware of the wider picture. I do not want to dwell too much on it here.

At the current time, St Nicholas, Middleton remains open ( being COVID compliant) for Services on Sundays at 8.00/10.00 a.m., Wednesdays at 8.00 a.m., and Thursdays at 10.00 a.m. There is provision for Private Prayer, stewarded by me, on Tuesdays-Fridays 10.30-11.30 a.m., and also half an hour before all Services, or by arrangement with me. If arrangements for Services and/or Private Prayer have to change, I’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Some of you, for good reason, are not able to come to Church. Please be assured that you are remembered at Church in the Prayers, with affection and love.

Attached to this letter, you’ll find two items:

(1) A flyer about the Diocese’s Lent Course for 2021, which looks very interesting. I am sorry that the quality of the copying is not very good. Given COVID we are not able to have the Course in Groups meeting physically together. Rather, participation can be done online. If you look at the Diocese of Chichester’s web-site, you’ll find a longer brochure. Also, by 25th January, the materials should be available on that web-site. I am sorry that for some of you internet access might not be possible. However, for Lent, I am going to provide for everyone a daily prayer guide, which has been produced by the Church of England in paper form.

    

Here is a summary of the online Course:
This course invites reflection on what minimum requirements need to be present for a diocese to participate in the mission of God. In the light of that reflection it asks for prayer about how our unity with God and in the Body of Christ might grow and deepen that the world might believe (John 17:21)”.

 

(2) A flyer from Heather Kirk about an Appeal to help children in Eastern Europe with school equipment, which the Parochial Church Council highly commends. Many thanks, Heather.

 

Additionally, there will be in a separate delivery a letter from Tony Armstrong (Church-warden), Sylvia Desterbecq, and the rest of the Parochial Church Council, about Financial Giving. That letter is a very important initiative.

 

For those of you who like to follow the Readings from at home, they are for February 2021:

 

Wednesday 3rd   St Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary in Denmark/Sweden, 865

8.00 a.m.   Hebrews 12. 4-7, 11-15    Mark 6. 1-6

Thursday 4th  St Gilbert of Sempringham, Founder of the Gilbertine Order, 1189

10.00 a.m.  Hebrews 12. 18-19, 21-24   Mark 6. 7-13

 

SUNDAY 7TH    THE SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

8.00/10.00 a.m.   Proverbs 8. 1, 22-31    Colossians 1. 15-20    John 1. 1-14

 

Wed. 10th  St Scholastica, sister of St Benedict, Abbess of Plombariola, c. 543 8.00 a.m.   Galatians 2. 4-9, 15-17    Mark 7. 14-23

Thursday 11th       10.00 a.m.  Genesis 2. 18-25              Mark 7. 24-30

 

SUNDAY 14TH    THE SUNDAY NEXT BEFORE LENT

8.00/10.00 a.m.   2 Kings 2. 1-12   2 Corinthians 4. 3-6   Mark 9.2-9

 

Wednesday 17th   ASH WEDNESDAY- please note: extra 10.00 a.m. Service

          8.00/10.00 a.m. Joel 2. 1-2, 12-17    2 Corinthians 5.20-6.10   John 8. 1-11

Thursday 18th    10.00 a.m.  Deuteronomy 30. 15-20   Luke 9.22-25

 

SUNDAY 21ST   THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

8.00/10.00 a.m.   Genesis 9. 8-17   1 Peter 3. 18-22   Mark 1. 9-15

 

Wednesday 24th  Ember Day (praying for those to be Ordained, and for more Vocations to the Ordained Ministry)

                8.00 a.m.  Jonah chapter 3   Luke 11.29-32

Thursday 25th    10.00 a.m. Isaiah 55. 6-9   Matthew 7.7-12

 

SUNDAY 28TH   THE SECOND  SUNDAY OF LENT

8.00/10.00 a.m.   Genesis 17. 1-7, 15-16   Romans  4. 13-25   Mark 8. 31-38

 

I am very grateful to Patty Phillips for providing the following reflection, and I always welcome any items that you might have to offer, such as prayers, poems, reflections, reminiscences, anecdotes, or jokes.

 

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

By Tricia Sturgeon

 

I`m sure I could be happy’ we`re very prone to say,

If I could work a little less and get a lot more pay.

If I were tall, if I were short, if hair was curled or straight.

If I could dance or skate or sing, or lose a bit of weight.

I know I could be happy I`m sure that this is true…

If piggies flew across the sky wherein the moon was blue.

If happiness depends upon ‘IF ONLY’ then I fear

Our lives are destined to remain quite hopeless, bleak and drear.

So, let us rather look around at all the blessings there.

Then search inside our treasury for all that we might share.

Within this new perspective there is alchemy, somehow.

And we will find the happiness we seek is HERE and NOW.

 

Looking to the future, I hope that, once the Lockdown, and other such restrictions, have ended, our Church might join with other interested local organisations in holding a Celebration event. It might involve, weather permitting, an optional Service on the Beach, and then an outdoor Barbecue, with music, for all the village. Perhaps, it’s some thing to look forward to!

As ever, do feel free to contact me at any time if you would like to say a prayer, or to discuss some thing, or simply to have a chat.

                                      

With my greetings and prayers,

 

    Fr William.

Details

Start:
January 20
End:
February 27