By Editor, Apr 12 2018 06:06PM
Services for March 2018
Sun. 4th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 11th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 18th 9.30am Holy Communion
Wed. 21st 8.00pm Evening Prayer and Study
Sun. 25th 9.30am Palm Sunday - Holy Communion
Fri. 30th 2.00 to 3.00pm Good Friday. The Journey of the Cross
Sat. 31st 8.00pm Holy Saturday. Easter Vigil Service
Sun. 1st 9.30am Easter Day. Holy Communion
As I write this morning it is a glorious spring day, totally unlike the week in which Women’s World Day of Prayer took place at St. Martin’s. Janet has spoken about how lovely the service was and of Margaret Marsh’s contribution. She also praised Ruth for the enormous amount of work and dedication given by her to enable the success of the morning. Janet gave further praise and thanks to Linda for all her help with Janet’s ‘paperwork’.
I too could pay tribute to Margaret’s powers of persuasion. Once, recounting the story of Martha and Mary during a children’s service, wearing an apron and wielding a broom, Margaret convinced my little granddaughter, Sian to whisper that - ‘Jesus is talking in that little room next door, Nana.’ I wish! It was a moment still to treasure, though Sian is now seventeen.
Children were also on the menu at Pat’s first Lenten lunch when boxes were gathered in and all contributions were gratefully received on behalf of the Children’s Society. Sadly the weather has impinged a little on numbers this year but everyone has chosen to concentrate on two old favourites to receive their donations – the Children’s Society and Send a Cow. These two subjects are dear to the hearts of most people in both St. Stephen’s and the Village. Pat’s original Send a Cow campaign really captured the imagination of Villagers, is still remembered today, and regarded as a very worthwhile and realistic cause to support.
Apologies, Pat, I have to mention your name once again. Pat also made a very large simnel cake for our Mothering Sunday service, which was delicious and much appreciated! This was a very joyful service, led by Adrian and attended by a lovely family grouping of children he had baptized. Frances and her family were mainly responsible for this group, a brilliant supporting cast of sister, brother, children, five gorgeous grandchildren and extended family members. They nearly filled St. Stephen’s on their own and Phoebe and her little sister were lovely at distributing the Mothering Sunday posies.
Meanwhile, little Ivy Irene Rainbow Marlene, another of Adrian’s babies, was very much in evidence too. Ivy has been a regular member of our family and participated in almost every service from the age of three weeks. Ivy celebrates her first birthday on Saturday so we send our love and wish her, Lauren, Irene and all their family a very happy day.
And finally, we now look forward to both the quiet contemplation and the joyful days of our Easter celebration. The dates and timings of all events have been widely circulated and everyone is most warmly welcomed to join us for any, or every, occasion.
So, wherever you may be this Eastertide, may we wish you all a joyous and peaceful celebration.
On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead
Services for February 2018
Sun. 4th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 11th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 18th 9.30am Family Worship
Sun. 25th 9.30am Holy Communion
As I write today the sun is shining and I’ve just been rereading Judith’s notes from our St. Stephen’s meeting on the 4th February so, despite the horrible ‘bug’ that is causing such misery, it seems a very optimistic time of year. It is both amazing and reassuring how much of our year has already been mapped out.
Early on in our meeting the offering of the intercessionary prayers was raised. To date it has been both a privilege and a comfort to share the contributions of Janet, Judith, Linda and Pat, in addition to those of our clergy team. Despite Judith’s request/invitation for more contributors we all seemed happy, and thankful, to accept the present situation!
Likewise, Pat’s Lenten Lunches have become a fixture and a very popular one, able to attract participants from the wider Village community. Pat’s formula of simple but delicious lunches comprised of homemade soups, bread and cheeses, incorporating discussions as to which charity should receive the day’s donations, have proved steadfastly satisfying – for both tummy and mind. This year the lunches take place on Tuesday 20th February, Tuesday 6th March and Tuesday 20th March, at 15, Grosvenor Road.
Meanwhile, Linda’s next lovely afternoon tea sessions are due to take place on 18th March and 13th May, down at St. Martin’s. In addition I understand from Linda that last year Adrian’s Lenten lunches, well Linda’s lunches and Adrian’s following discussions, were also very satisfying and popular and are due to be reprised this year. These also take place at St. Martin’s, with details in the weekly newsletter.
With food very much on the agenda, it was next agreed that our Palm Sunday breakfasts have reached the end of their era, so Linda and I can now look forward with great pleasure to being part of our Palm Sunday Service. Pat then offered to make a simnel cake for Mothering Sunday – now that’s the last of our food talk!
There was of course much discussion surrounding our Easter celebrations – of Prayer, Music and Meditation, of the evening vigil, and much else. On a lighter note, I think Adrian assumed responsibility for the fire, or at least the lighting of it. As always, these events will also be listed in the weekly newsletter.
Speaking of fire, or more specifically, candles, our Candlemas Service was an especial joy this year. I’ve always loved the stories of Anna and Simeon and the presentation at the temple, and our service with the lighted candles and our ‘almost’ procession went some way towards compensating for the packing away of the nativity characters at home. Thank you Adrian and everyone.
And finally, as always, we have received many satisfying, comforting, uplifting services in recent weeks and have also been aware of the efforts made on our behalf to introduce several new service booklets. We appreciate that these may not yet be the definitive article but somehow it focuses the mind to have familiar themes presented in a slightly different format, and makes one think anew. So our grateful thanks to all those involved in the preparation of the booklets.
On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead
Within our congregation we have a hardworking team of flower arrangers, Vicky Holmes is also active in the Epsom Garden Society, and the extract below tells us of her recent success - Congratulations!
From the Epsom Garden Society:
Vicky Holmes finishing her 2017 year of the flower arrangement section winning all three cumulative points cups, namely The Madge Mansley Cup, The Barbara Meineck Trophy plus The Phyllis Dumbar Novice Award. Also In addition she jointly won the Kathleen Finch Trophy for the most points in the shows. Also add to her collection is the Len Humphreys Floral Art Cup and a Judges Choice Floral Art Certificate.
As Lent begins today, St Martin's congregation are invited to collect and fill a lent dontation box to support the work of one of our chosen Charities. Boxes can be found at the back of church and we ask you to make your choice and add your name to the appropriate list. For more details about the work of the mission committee and the charities that we are supporting this year please click the attached link.
Jill Chapman, on behalf of the Mission Committee
Spring is on the way! Winter is half over.
February 2nd is a very important date. For Christian folk - a feast day this one remembering the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. There Simeon recognised that he held in his arms the light to lighten the gentiles, the baby who was also the Glory of God’s people Israel. It is the last of the celebrations associated with Jesus coming in to the world. Now all our Christmas decorations, our cribs which have remained through the Epiphany season, must come down.
Lighter evenings are already a feature of life as Spring approaches, for this feast day falls half way between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox. Winter is half over, March 20 is officially the First Day of Spring.
Somewhere in history the celebration was associated with the blessing of new candles, new lights for the still dark, though shorter, evenings. Hence the alternative title the day of the Candle mass, and another reason for the theme of light in the liturgy .
It is as well to remember that 40 days from the birth of Jesus Mary was visiting the Temple for ritual purification, hence the other title of this day Purification of the blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was undoubtedly a faithful Jew and so according to the Law (Leviticus 12) having taken Jesus to be circumcised after the seven days of her uncleanness were passed she submits to this ceremony thirty three more days later. If we remember this too then hopefully we will be resolved to be as faithful as she was. And maybe we will ask ourselves why it is that Christianity adopted the Judaic idea that all things associated with sexuality were dirty when it ditched so much else that was incompatible with our new life in Christ.
Were we all really “shapen in wickedness? and in sin did our mothers conceive us?”
For some of us surely our generation was an act of love.
*Pss 51 and 139 seem to be a bit at odds over this point
Services for January 2018
Sun. 7th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 14th 9.30am Holy Communion
Sun. 21th 9.30am Morning Worship
Sun. 28th 9.30am Holy Communion
As always we begin our January newsletter by looking back over the previous year, a busy and in many ways changeable year for St. Stephens. A year in which many, including Christopher, Judith, Janet, Linda, and the clergy team, with enormous effort and faith, effected several positive changes that altered our perceptions and the way in which we view the future for St. Stephens.
However, our Christmas celebrations remained very much unchanged. On the Saturday prior to Christmas Rhys the young electrician was once again busy positioning all the lights, with Janet in attendance. The following morning our Nativity was made special by baby Ivy’s angelic performance as the Christ child, and her mother Lauren’s role as a beautiful Mary. In addition, Frances’ three gorgeous granddaughters were equally delightful as angels.
In the evening our Carols and Songs session was well attended, with lots of pleasurable and individual contributions. I rather liked the Three Kings, and Mary’s granddaughter still has a beautiful voice but my goodness she is growing up, also beautifully! As always the mulled wine, prepared by Pat and Janet, was delicious and very welcome.
Christingle this year was also very successful, with a full church, about half of whom were children. Linda and her team of willing helpers produced all the gorgeous and delicious oranges and this year Henry was our generous sponsor. So, many thanks to you all.
Next I must admit that, although I was sorry to miss our Christingle Service, I was actually sad to miss Adrian’s Midnight Eucharist. Linda tells me it was a lovely service. Our family meets for Christmas on alternate years only, so every moment is treasured. However, it does make the midnight Eucharist even more special on those alternate years, bereft of family.
The following Sunday it was a real treat to enter St. Stephens – Fred’s magnificent tree was illuminated, balanced by Marlene’s beautiful flower arrangement, the candles on the altar and the Crib scene. It was both very welcoming and comforting, in equal measure. It was then an added pleasure to share the service, presided over by Adrian, with Nick and so many very welcome friends from St. Martins.
So, our thanks go to everyone for both another Happy Christmas and another happy year at St. Stephens. Especial thanks must go to Judith and Janet, Linda and Pat, and to Mary for all our music, at all our events - the solemn and joyful tunes – and sometimes the little happy bouncy ones. Our thanks go too to Fred for his unfailingly service and to Hazel for all the coffee times.
In fact there is a list of names within the St. Stephens family that should be mentioned but it would look a little silly, so please consider yourselves very much thanked and very much appreciated for all your efforts and kindness throughout the year.
One last thank you to the clergy team for all their support and to say we now look forward to – and wish you all – a very peaceful, happy and healthy New Year.
On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephens Janie Grinstead
The Church Times recently had a cartoon depicting people arguing about the colours of the candles in the Advent wreath. In St Martin’s ours are purple, symbolising our need for penitence, except for the fourth one which is pink, and symbolises a lightening of the mood in the now nearer anticipation of Jesus’ birth.
Another pattern is to have a purple candle this first week indicating the arrival of this solemn season of preparation as we anticipate both the birth of Jesus and His second coming as Judge of the world. We hear the solemn warning of the patriarchs and prophets as well as their note of hope.
In the second week the candle is red, because for many centuries the second Sunday in Advent has been Bible Sunday. Its emphasis has been on the Scriptures because the Collect and Epistle for this Sunday, from 1662 and long before, have made us focus on them as a special gift from God who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. We express our grateful recognition of this in many ways and especially in Ps 119 “Thy word is a lantern unto my path”. The red candle reminds us of the flame of that lantern.
The third Sunday in Advent is anciently known as Gaudete Sunday. Its message is that we should Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice. (Gaudete is the Latin word for Rejoice) Those who know the Book of Common Prayer well will know that after the Reformation the Church of England used this reading from Philippians 4 the next week, week 4! But halfway through the season in the older liturgy the mood is lightened and a pink candle is appropriate.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent the birth of Jesus is very near, and the focus is on Mary bearing God within her and soon to give birth. The candle this week is blue, traditionally Mary’s colour. In the seven days before Christmas the antiphons preceding the Magnificat all begin with “O”. The capital or great O can also reminds us of Mary at this time. Being “great with child” is how we usually referred to someone well on in their pregnancy, especially when nearing the time of their delivery. The antiphons from December 17th are referred to as the great O antiphons and we heard some of them at the Advent Carol Service on Sunday. The whole collection is O Wisdom, O Adonai, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Rising Sun, O King of the nations, and on December 23rd O Emmanuel. Readers will recognise them too from the great Advent hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel”.
However you observe and celebrate this season may it bring you closer to our Saviour.
Every year as a church we support a number of charities through our weekly giving as well as other fundraising activities. Here are a few letter's from some of the charities thanking you for your donations.
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