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Message from Joy - Christ the King

This Sunday is the last Sunday in the church year and we celebrate Christ the King. It is also traditionally known as 'Stir up Sunday' from the Collect prayer in the Book of Common Prayer. Traditionally this was the day when people stirred up their Christmas puddings and remembered the fruit of the Spirit which St Paul writes about in Galatians Chapter 5 verses 22-23. 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.'

On Stir Up Sunday the Bishops are encouraging us to 'stir and pray'. From 5-9pm on Sunday 22nd November and from 9am-5pm on Monday 23rd November, prayer on the hour will be available on the Diocesan website.

Bishop Alan writes: 'There can be no better way of navigating the present uncertainty than by prayer. I hope you have seen the trailer for Stir Up Sunday (also available as a download) . This is just one of a splendid array of contributions from across the diocese which will guide us through  a day of prayer (click for resources) I hope you will join in and encourage others to do so. It will run from 5.00pm to 9.00pm on Sunday 22nd and 9.00am to 5.00pm on Monday 23rd November.' 

St Mary's service will be available on the church website, YouTube channel and Facebook. If you haven't yet watched the Sunday service, can I encourage you to give it a go? It is very easy to access via the website. Just go to https://www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk and click on the arrow on Morning Prayer on the home page. You can then join in with the service at any time during the week.

Here is the Stir up Sunday prayer.

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people:
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

With every blessing,
Joy


Message from Joy - 2nd Sunday before Advent

We are rapidly approaching Advent which is the season of the church year when we prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming of God's Son, Jesus. The readings for this Sunday reflect that theme of being prepared and of using our talents wisely and well. We hope to include the Churchwardens' Oaths in the online service. The office of Churchwarden is a very ancient one. They are elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and the swearing of Oaths is usually done at a special service with the Archdeacon and other Churchwardens. This year, as with much else, it is being done differently via zoom. So if the technology works you will see Catherine and Angela making their commitment as part of our online worship. Can I encourage you to pray for them as they take on this important office during these challenging times.

You can find the online service on the church website, on St Mary's You Tube page or on the church Facebook page.

As always, do get in touch if you would like to chat or if you have a request for the prayer chain.

With every blessing,
Joy


Message from Catherine - Remembrance Sunday

Dear All,

I'm sure you will be aware that the new Covid-19 regulations announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week mean that no services can take place at St Mary's for the period of the lockdown. This means there will be no celebration of Holy Communion on Sundays or Wednesdays. The church will however, be open for private prayer on those two days from 10am - 4 pm (Wednesday) and 11am - 4pm (Sunday) so do come along for a few moments peace and quiet reflection. We will also continue our online services which have been greatly appreciated and given us so much comfort and sense of connectedness throughout this troubling time. Many thanks to Joy, Gordon, Stephen Burge, Stephen Axford and all the readers and intercessors for the time, skill and effort they have put into creating them.

The annual Memorial Service, organised for those who have lost family members during the course of this year, has now been cancelled. However, we do hope to have a special online service which Stephen is preparing, so look for it on our Facebook page, website or You Tube channel on Sunday afternoon. I'm sure recently bereaved families and those who have lost friends and family members no matter how long ago, will take comfort from it.

The new regulations do allow the Act of Remembrance to take place this Sunday morning but as announce previously, only representatives of organisations who usually lay wreaths are expected to attend. We ask all others to stay away this year and to remember those whose names are on our village memorials in other ways. Here are some suggestions:

  • Stand quietly outside your house at 11 o'clock for the 2 minutes silence. If you live close enough to the church, you may hear the Last Post and Reveille.
  • Download a copy of the service from our website to use at home.
  • Put a British Legion poppy or a poppy poster in your window
  • Bring a poppy, home-made wreath, decorated pebble or other token, to the war memorial at a different time during the weekend or perhaps on Armistice Day, Wednesday 11th November.

Let us pray for, and support each other in whatever ways we can during this difficult time.

Best wishes
Catherine


Message from Joy - All Saints Day

As we approach the season of Remembrance, we have been hard at work thinking about what we can do to mark Remembrance Sunday in these challenging times. There will be a service in church which will begin at 9.30am on Sunday 8th November. That will be followed by the Act of Remembrance.

This year, due to the current pandemic, we are planning to hold a very much reduced Act of Remembrance in St Mary's churchyard, starting at 10.50am. The Scouts & Cubs have been invited to send a small contingent; we have also invited each of the organisations that usually lay wreaths to send one or two representatives. Members of the armed forces and veterans are of course, also welcome. We will need to ask contact details of all who attend for track and trace purposes.

We ask all other people to stay away from the war memorial this year and to allow the young people and others to be there on your behalf.

If you wish to mark the Remembrance period in a more personal way, here are some suggestions:

  • Stand silently outside your house at 11 o'clock for the 2 minutes silence. If you live close enough to the church, you may hear the Last Post and Reveille.
  • Put a British Legion poppy or a poppy picture in your window.
  • Bring a poppy, home-made wreath, decorated pebble or other token, to the war memorial at a different time during the weekend or perhaps on Armistice Day, Wednesday 11 November.

We know this decision is disappointing as the Act of Remembrance is important, and always well attended in our villages, but we are sure you will understand given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in and the need to keep everyone as safe as possible.

This Sunday, 1st November, is All Saints' Day. There will be a service at Dagnall at 9am and then at St Mary's at 10am. If you are coming to one of those, please bring the emailed attachment and bring that to church along with your face mask. The online service is available on all the usual platforms. There is a copy of the service to download from All Saints Day attachment.

Finally, many thanks for all those who supported the Bishop of St Alban's harvest appeal. We raised £220 to buy bees for Nepal through giving in church and online, which is a great result.

Wishing you every blessing,
Joy


Act of Remembrance, Sunday 8th November 2020

PoppiesUnfortunately our planned Act of Remembrance on Sunday 8th November has now been cancelled due to current regulations.
 
 

This year, due to the current pandemic, we are planning to hold a very much reduced Act of Remembrance in the churchyard, starting at 10.50am on Sunday 8th November.

The Scouts & Cubs have been invited to send a small contingent; we have also invited each of the organisations that usually lay wreaths, to send one or two representatives.  Members of the armed forces and veterans are of course, also welcome. We will need to ask contact details of all who attend for track and trace purposes.

We ask all other people to stay away from the war memorial this year and to allow the young people and others to be there on your behalf.

If you wish to mark the Remembrance period in a more personal way, here are some suggestions:

  • Stand quietly outside your house at 11 o'clock for the 2 minutes silence.  If you live close enough to the church, you may hear the Last Post and Reveille.
  • Download a copy of the service from our website to use at home:
    https://www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk/Worship/Pew-Leaflet/?20201108
  • Put a British Legion poppy or a poppy poster in your window.
  • Bring a poppy, home-made wreath, decorated pebble or other token, to the war memorial at a different time during the weekend or perhaps on Armistice Day, Wednesday 11th November.

We know this decision is disappointing as the Act of Remembrance is important, and always well attended in our villages, but we are sure you will understand given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in and the need to keep everyone as safe as possible.

 

Revd Joy Cousans


Message from Joy - St Luke the evangelist

This Sunday the service in church includes our Annual Parochial Church Meeting. This is the first time we have held the meeting as part of the service - usually it happens afterwards. So I hope you will be able to join us for what is an experiment for us, although there are other churches in the Diocese who routinely hold their APCM this way. If you are coming to the service in church at 10am please bring a copy of the service (sent by email) and also your face mask. All those on the Electoral Roll should have received copies of the reports and accounts. Please bring your copy along on Sunday. If you have not received a copy then contact Catherine Hayden.

You can find the online service on the church website, on St Mary's YouTube page, or on the church Facebook page. There is a copy of the online service available with the video on the home page. If you are joining us for worship online, please remember our Annual Meeting in your prayers.

This will be the first Sunday when there will also be a service at All Saints', Dagnall which Stephen will be leading. There are plenty of options for you to join in worship somewhere in the parish either in person or on line. Do get in touch if you would like to be included on the Prayer Chain.

With every blessing,
Joy



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