Parish Magazine ~ January 2021
Due to the Coronavirus ‘Lockdown’ of March 2020 onwards, the Parish magazine is published mainly online and only a few copies printed for archival purposes.
Our Curate, The Rev'd Maureen Lunn, have been writing by email to members of the congregation, and the content appears here.
ASK: The Second Sunday of Advent
‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me;’ Mk1: 7
friends old and new, we must first thank Arch Deacon John for sharing his thoughts as we remember the Prophets. Also we stand alongside David and Gill with all their family as we lay Johanna Bird to rest in our Memorial Garden. Johanna, David's mother, was resident at Woodbury Manor and I had the privilage of talking with her over many weeks. Don’t worry David, I won’t say a word.
Well here we are, some of that precious vaccine has arrived and distribution will begin in days. Thanks be to God. We can now look forward to meeting loved ones and giving them a hug. It will take time, so we must be patient. Some of us are very worried about how quickly the development has been and concerned about taking this new medicine. Don't be, when the doctor calls be there and take the jab. I hope and pray that we will be able to all get back to our church family life as soon as we can. In the mean time, keep safe and stay well.
ASK: The Third Sunday of Advent
‘He grew up strong in Spirit.’ Jn1:6-8,19-28.
Friends old and new, this would have been our annual Toy Service, but alas, like so much of our usual church life, it has been put on hold until better times. But better times are on the way with a vaccine now being rolled out.
I have been watching the news and expecting that London will be placed into tier 3 and that would mean the Carol Service next week will be another casualty of the pandemic. So make sure you keep alert.
We will be celebrating the Eucharist this morning, praise God. Christmas has not been cancelled and my prayer is that we are all reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season. All the extras are optional.
Watch this space for information about our services over the next few weeks. Continue in your prayers for each other. Keep safe and keep well.
ASK: The Fourth Sunday of Advent
“My Soul doth magnify the Lord”
Luke 1: 26-38.
friends old and new, hooray the vaccine is out and being delivered, some of us have already had the first dose. The Moderna and the Oxford vaccines are in production and will be rolled out very soon. We will be delivered from the virus in time, but we must stay vigilant especially over Christmas.
Having said that, Sunday afternoon we will be holding a service of Carols and Readings in a socially distanced way. We are following all the rules to keep everyone as safe as is possible.
Sunday we light the Advent Candle for Mary. We remember the bravery and faith of a young girl who risked all to say yes to God. I pray that we will take her gift of faith as an example to follow in the weeks and months to come.
Keep doing what we have all been doing. Stay safe and stay well.
ASK: Christmas Day
“He’s behind you. Oh no he’s not.”
friends old and new, well here we are it’s Christmas Day. It seems like a lifetime ago that we celebrated Christmas last year and the children woke early calling out 'he's been', Santa that is. Well despite the problems of covid-19, Santa has been again for most of us and shown how dependable he is. As you read or hear the sermon today I want to apologise before hand for a word that may offend, it is shocking but I hope you will understand why I didn't leave it out of the quote.
It is so sad that the pantomime season has for most been cancelled but even if it had not, the children would not have been allowed to join in the 'he's behind you' fun. I just wanted to remind you that ‘He is behind you’, he’s above, below and in front too. Jesus that is, he has wrapped us up, not in Christmas paper but in love. So whatever you do and whoever you meet today, I pray that you feel God’s love and care for us all.
Merry Christmas and have a safe and healthy 2021.
ASK: The First Sunday of Christmas
“Glory to God in the Highest Heaven...” Luke 2: 14
friends old and new, it came as a thief in the night, tier 4 that is, stealing our freedom to meet together for worship, but we are not defeated. Thanks to Ken we will continue in fellowship with our online service and through both David and Ken have access to our beautiful church building, a space to draw together in prayer for Saint Mary Magdalene’s Church, for our community and for our country, as we battle together this virus Covid. I will continue to pray for you all, publish sermons attempting to unveil God's word for us and also to keep in touch with as many of you as I can, by telephone and text, until it is safe for us to resume our usual services.
The new year, 2021 is on the horizon, some of us have had a first dose of the vaccine. Things are beginning to look a little brighter already. We are beginning to see the 'Glory of God' in the work of all those who are working for our health and wellbeing. Pray for them all, the scientists, our Government, our health workers and all who help to feed us, but particularly the teachers as they prepare to receive the children back into school.
The light of the Star is coming, and coming soon, so we Give Glory to God in the Highest Heaven.
A healthy and Happy New Year to you all.
From the Parish Registers
A Christmas message from Catherine and Anneliese
Catherine and Anneliese would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all who make it possible to keep the church open. Thank you
We hope you will all have a good time celebrating the birth of our Lord. Best wishes and stay safe and well
A great and fun night was had by all at our Christmas Quiz Night – thank you Judy for organising all the Christmas related questions. We raised £190 in donations for Crisis. The next event is likely to be an online Bingo evening sometime in January – watch this space!
Events for 2021
For the time being all regular church and home based events: Coffee Mornings, Fellowship, Lunchtime Concerts and Bible Study are, regrettably, cancelled. We aim to be hosting a monthly social evening via Zoom.