On November 14th, Remembrance Sunday, we shall make use of the pandemic reality that it is two years since we marked Remembrance Sunday, other than online, and recognise our changed society by doing things just a little differently. As the numbers of virus cases increase again, it is wisest to do as many things as possible outdoors, where the air flows freely between us. Therefore, at St Peter’s, although we shall gather earlier than usual, at 9.30 am, for a Remembrance Sunday Eucharist in church, once that is over we shall be led by our choir in procession to the War Memorial in the Lower Gardens, where we shall join with, probably, two to three thousand people from all over the conurbation in the formal Act of Remembrance, which, by local tradition, the Team Rector of Bournemouth Town Centre leads at 11am.
This visibly demonstrates our position of service to the centre of our town. Our choir will be clearly visible, standing at the top of the steps, behind the bugler, and it will be a significant visible witness for as many as possible of our Church community to also be gathered round.
At the 9.30am Eucharist in church, the preacher will be our friend Dr Rob Sawdy, due to be made Deacon next Petertide (end of June 2022). Amongst his many accomplishments, Rob is a serving Colonel in the TA and he has battlefield experience as a medic, quite recently, in Afghanistan. I am delighted, therefore, that Rob has very kindly agreed to come back to preach to us on Remembrance Sunday. Also, if you would like your loved ones who have died remembered in the intercessions in church on 14th November, please, add their names to a list at the back of church or send them to Simon Cruwys who will kindly be leading intercessions that day.
We shall particularly hold in our prayers Elizabeth, our Queen, as she stands at the Cenotaph in this year when her husband of very many years, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has died.
Services throughout BTCP this weekend:
14th November, services will be as follows:
8am Communion St Peter’s.
9.30 am Communion: St Peter’s: I shall preside and Dr Rob Sawdy will preach. We shall go straight to the War Memorial in the Lower Gardens to join in the Act of Remembrance after receiving communion.
10am Communion: St Augustin’s: The Rev’d Dr Chris Steed.
10.45am Communion: St Stephen’s: The Rev’d John Staples.
4pm Choral Evensong: St Peter’s.
Next Sunday, 21st November, is the Feast of Christ the King.
8am Communion St Peter’s
10am Communion St Peter’s: I shall preside and preach
10am Communion St Augustin’s: The Rev’d Dr David Wheeler.
10.45am Communion: St Stephen’s: The Rev’d David Lund.
4pm Choral Evensong: St Peter’s
Amongst others, your prayers are asked for those who are approaching the end of their lives: particularly for Trevor Lambe.
Their many friends will be very sad to hear that Anne Baker suffered a severe stroke during this past week and I heard the sad news that Anne died peacefully on Wednesday evening.
May she rest in peace
And rise in glory
Pray, please, for her and for Steve and their family.
Might we politely ask you to be just a little more conscious than we have been recently of the desirability of making and keeping church as a safe space? Please, let us refrain from leaning over others and from hugging them? Masks can be worn at worship in all three churches – although it is no longer a legal requirement. Sanitising remains a safe practice. If you don’t want to be next to folk who are singing robustly, just quietly and politely move away. Our churches are large enough to accommodate people with a variety of views and vulnerabilities.
Communion will continue to be offered in one kind (bread only, dipped lightly into the consecrated wine) to those who queue, one by one, distanced, in the main aisle.
Let me know, please, if you can help with teaching in Sunday School – it is an urgent and sharp need, to enable us to care properly for the many children who are brought to our churches.
This past week has been one of unusual quietness for me, stepping aside from life’s busyness (for a few days each year) and spending more time waiting on God in prayer. I have been with the Community of the Resurrection, at Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Most people are ‘taking stock’ of what God is doing and saying to us in these times of pandemic, and that contemplation of where the world and the church are going certainly impinges upon this retreat. It is 43 years since I arrived at the College of the Resurrection in 1978 as a student to train for the priesthood of God’s church, fresh from teaching in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Where have those years gone? – I ask. It is inevitable that I look back, but, in spiritual terms, looking back misses the point. The past is done and dusted; we cannot change it, but we can repent and give thanks for it as we seize the fleeting moment that is our ever-passing present. The challenge is always to choose for life in the here and now. Look forward, not backwards. Within our belief in the God of Resurrection, the present is continuously formed as the first tangible evidence of God’s New Creation. Despite us finding it hard to believe, God loves each of us as we are, along with our crazy mixed-up world- broken but still ‘glory under our feet’. Therefore, because ‘God so loves the world’, God does not throw away what is self-evidently broken but gently transforms it, and us, into His New Creation – beginning now- this very minute – and continuing in due course through the gate of death.
In this way, Resurrection is the most sure thing awaiting us, by God’s gracious process of transformation. He seeks our co-operation but his love will not be thwarted by our indifference, laziness or even our resistance. Hold to this truth, this hope, as we keep ourselves secure from Covid during these cold and dark Winter months. There will be Springtime – not just in the natural flow of the seasons, but I’m our hearts and lives, together, and transforming the cosmos.
Keep safe and well,
he Rev’d Dr Ian A. Terry
DTh, PhD, MA, FRSA
Visiting Research Fellow: Winchester University
Team Rector: Bournemouth Town Centre
Chair: Local Governing Body: Bournemouth Collegiate School
18 Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6NT
Registered Charity Number: 1186400