As we enter into Holy Week, it is good that we now have the option of worship in person at all three of our Churches and/or video worship.
Holy Week offers an opportunity that is simple but profound; the opportunity for each of us to choose to come closer to Jesus, in heart and mind, than we have done before. We can do this easily, by reading the Scriptures, particularly the end chapters of each of the four Gospels, and setting aside time in which we will reflect and pray about what we read about. Having set aside the time, it should not be hard work – apart from actually keeping that time for God – and apart from resisting the temptation to control the outcome of our reflections and prayers by analysing it according to our own pre-set criteria, which is at risk of resulting in an exercise of self-validation (not helpful – indeed, it reinforces those besetting self-delusions that we most need to allow God to question).
It is more a matter of, you might say, sitting attentively with Jesus, recognising that we need him, and his subverting of our illusions, much more than he needs our attempts at analysis.
We are deliberately keeping the Sunday services to within the hour, because it is hard wearing a face-mask for a long time – indeed, some find it hard to wear one at all. Therefore, I have recorded a reading of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew on video, so that those who wish can use this reading in their private devotions, and at St Peter’s we have excluded this from the Sunday liturgy, to which it would add a further 20 minutes.
The Passion reading can be accessed by way of this YouTube link: PASSION READING
The Rev’d Bryan Apps will be preaching at St Peter’s at the 10am Communion, and his sermon can also be viewed on YouTube using this link: PALM SUNDAY SERVICE
I have recorded some prayers for Palm Sunday; YouTube link: PALM SUNDAY PRAYERS
At St Augustin’s at 10am, the Rev’d Steve Parselle will preside and preach at Communion
At St Stephen’s at 10.45 am, the Rev’d Stephen Holmes will preside and preach at Communion
🕑 Don’t forget that the clocks move forward an hour this weekend, especially if you are, and I hope so, intending to come and worship in person.
St Stephen’s Annual District Meeting will be on zoom (we are only allowed meetings for worship in churches at the moment) this Sunday at 12.30 pm – follow this zoom link: ST STEPHEN’S ADCM
Meeting ID: 837 6337 9129
SACRED SPACE – Dr Chris Steed will be leading ‘Sacred Space’ online at 6.30 pm. Sacred Space occurs every other Sunday from 18:30 to 19:45 effective Sun 28/03/2021 until Sun 27/06/2021
“Hello everyone, here is an invitation to do something different. Changing the world starts with what happens inside us. We can’t renew the way things are organised in society without being renewed ourselves. This is an opportunity to get behind the structures and walls that shape our lives to have an enlivening, inspiring brush with Spirit. The living Christ is still around though in a different form to when he rode into the city on Palm Sunday to take on power.
What? – Sacred Space (an hour of sacred song, meditation, Bible reading and prayer – plus a pub quiz question or two to start!)
When? – starting Palm Sunday at 6.30pm every other fortnight for a bit – maybe a couple of months and see how it goes
Where? – on-line to start with, then in the beautiful Sacred Space called St Peter’s Church as things open up
Who? – YOU (especially if you are either under the age of 40 or just happy to enlarge your sense of who God can be for you in a way that feeds the spirit)
A zoom link is below. Rev Chris doesn’t want to sit there by himself so pass the word on and come on this journey for a while…….”
Join Zoom Meeting – SACRED SPACE ZOOM LINK
Meeting ID: 819 6110 2015
ETHICS FORUMS – The last of this series of Ethics Forums produced a really good discussion about use of the police powers of ‘Stop and Search’ – questioning unconscious bias. Dr Gareth Sherwood, CEO of YMCA Bournemouth, was an excellent chair, with panel discussion animated by Inspector Danny Tamblyn of Dorset Police, Russell Slatford, Head of Bournemouth Collegiate School, and Louise Hall, Student President of the Arts University of Bournemouth. You can view this discussion by clicking on the blue YouTube link.
LENT COURSE – The Lent Course, ‘The Sign of Jonas’, is in its final week, and Paul Collins has contributed one last video on YouTube: YOUTUBE – DAILY PRAYER
HOLY WEEK SERVICES – During Holy Week, we shall offer a reduced range of services because of Covid precautions, but we shall be offering worship in person for anyone from the whole Parish on:
Wednesday of Holy Week: 10am Communion at St Stephen’s.
Maundy Thursday: 6pm Communion at St Peter’s.
Good Friday: 2- 3pm Reading of the Passion, Veneration of the Cross & Reproaches at St Peter’s.
There will also be a video of an equivalent Good Friday service on YouTube, follow this link: YOUTUBE – DAILY PRAYER
We will all, in different ways, be more tired than usual as a direct result of the pandemic lockdown. We need rest and such times away from work as are possible over Easter, but there is also a deep wave of grief, and of chaotic loss, not very far under the surface of many people at these times. Treat the grief, and yourselves, gently – if I may suggest – and give yourself, as I shall be doing for me, at least a little time to begin to access the many levels of bereavement that we and our society have suffered. Sitting with the grief is usually the first step forward.
At St Peter’s Church, we shall keep the church open on Good Friday 12 noon – 2pm for anyone to sit in that ‘safe space’ in prayerful silence, and to light a candle if they so wish for those who have suffered and died in past year. You are welcome. Between 2 and 3pm there will be a traditional Good Friday act of worship also open to everyone.
Easter Day: 10am Festal Communion: St Peter’s: President & Preacher: The Rector
10am Festal Communion: St Augustin’s: President & Preacher: The Rev’d Dr David Wheeler
10.45am Festal High Mass: St Stephen’s: President & Preacher: The Rev’d Steve Parselle
I very much hope that you will take this yearly opportunity to come closer to God during Holy Week and over Easter.
May God bless you richly,
The Rev’d Dr Ian Terry
Registered Charity Number: 1186400