You will find below a link to our parish YouTube channel. I hope you will find the sound better this week as I am properly mic’d. As you will see we have added several recordings of sacred music this week performed by members of our parish. The plan is to regularly post these music videos, some teaching and devotion videos as well as other clips of interest. As we don’t want to flood your emails each day, let me suggest two ways to be notified when the videos are posted.
- The first is to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click on the small bell indicating that you would like to receive an email each time a new video is posted. Similarly you can simply bookmark the page and check it when you are online doing other things.
- Second, if you are on Facebook, you can join our Facebook page where the links will be posted each time there is a new video.
If you have trouble with these please let me know and I can help you with this, and I am sure we can sort something out.
In today’s video we use the Prayer for the Nation booklet that was sent out last week. You may wish to have that at hand and so you will find it attached to this email as well. Additionally, I have printed copies of it and have left it in each of the churches. If you are unable to get out, please give me a call and I would be happy to drop one off.
PftN Booklet spreads
As we enter the final months of the year, the natural world around us is beginning to prepare for winter. Many people find the turn from warm summer days, the swell of gardens filled with blooms and heavy green leaf laden trees into Autumn challenging because it points to aging, decay and the closing down of things, of life even.
With Covid-19 as a backdrop to this Autumn these changes can become even more challenging.
But here in Buxted and Harlow Down our countryside makes the turning of the season a celebration of the progression of life, of maturity and of ripeness. Of beauty as green turns to red and into gold.
In our lives, there is a time for every season. The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament spoke of this:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to end and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to turn away,
a time for strife and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)
This is the wealth of the human experience. And in each and every season, in the closing down of the year, in the challenges of Covid-19, God is always with us, always present.
“The Reverend Pete Molloy has been appointed Rector of Buxted and Hadlow Down. Pete comes to us from Canada, where he has served in parishes in Saskatchewan and Ontario. He has now been granted the necessary visa to undertake this role, though his post is subject to legal formalities. We look forward to welcoming him, his wife Ann and son Simeon. The date of his institution and induction will be finalised in the near future.”
NEWS FROM ST MARY’S – September 2020
The St Mary’s site is sometimes referred to as the ‘parish campus’ as we have not only the church, but also The Rectory, the Church Hall and more recently, the Community Garden in the top field. All of these require administration and maintenance, relying on voluntary effort in a number of areas.
There was a ‘deep clean’ of the Church Hall in July, in readiness for the re-opening of the Hall. It is hoped that this will be in September, but we are of course subject to government rules and requirements, which are subject to change. Homer tells me that the Dementia Group would very much like to come back, and Universal Dance are eager to have some definite dates for their children’s class. We are also hoping to cater for the canine community with some regular ‘fun dog training’ classes. So fingers crossed that all this will be able to go ahead.
A few weeks back I completed my own response to the Reading Room survey, and commented that the two halls in Church Road could usefully co-ordinate with each other to avoid clashes of dates, and also to accommodate events which require safe outside space and parking. St Mary’s is able to tick both these boxes and so is ideal to host larger outside events.
The Rectory remains empty, but hopefully not for too much longer. We had a very successful working party at the end of July to tame the garden, and our mowing contractor will be keeping the grass down until the new Rector arrives. The appeal for furniture and fittings seems to be going very well, so all is set to provide a welcoming home environment for Rev. Molloy and his family.
In the churchyard we have adopted a policy of keeping the Upper Churchyard ‘wilded’ for the summer, with strimming taking place in the late Autumn. The other areas of the site, including the Community Garden, are being close cut.
You may have noticed a large area immediately behind the church which is also close cut and enclosed by rose hedging. This will eventually serve as a Garden of Remembrance. We have permission to provide some bench seating, and some tentative enquiries are being made with the Diocese as regards what may be possible to accommodate memorials.
Sunday church services are now re-instated, and we also open the church every day for visitors and private prayer. Do drop in to the ‘campus’ if you find yourself in the centre of the village. Apart from The Rectory, it is fully open to the public and is a well kept and tranquil place and, we hope, a credit to the village.
Contribution from St Mary the Virgin to the Buxted Messenger – August 2020 Edition
As we have emerged somewhat blinking into the daylight of post lockdown life one of the joys is being able to worship together in our Parish churches. You will always be given a warm welcome at our 11.15 Mass each Sunday at St Mary’s, never more so than at our Patronal Festival, which is held to celebrate the Feast Day of the Blessed Virgin and which this year will be held on Sunday 16th August. Due to Covid-19 restrictions regrettably there will be limited spaces so do make sure to come early so as not to miss out.
We have become used over the past several months to lockdown worship and meetings. Endless Zoom screen time. It has been a gift for many, isolated and cut off from family and friends.
But unlike Zoom our companionship with God through Jesus is not dependent upon receiving a link and dialling in. God is with us at all times, wherever we go and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. God is not just for Sundays or the happy times but he walks alongside us, providing us with his strength, for the difficult hard times, even the dark valley times, in our lives.
In the New Testament letter to the Romans (8:38-39) St Paul reminds us that “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And when you dial up to Zoom you wait to be admitted to the online meeting by the person who has invited you. Not so with God. We all probably remember the parable of the lost son, who took his father’s portion of wealth and squandered it. He didn’t believe that upon returning home he would be welcomed at all. But we are reminded that the father, just like God, who had been waiting expectantly, whilst the son was still some way off from reaching home, ran out to greet him and threw his arms around him in love. He is so filled with joy at his son’s return he doesn’t question or lecture him; instead, he unconditionally forgives him and accepts him back into his home. That is the message of our Gospel, grace given to us without limit. No waiting to be admitted.
And although, when the Zoom call is over, everyone presses the link to leave the meeting, God remains with us. There is no checking out by him. As the Psalmist says: “I always remember that the Lord is with me. He is here, close by my side.” (Psalm 16)
And so whilst Zoom and other online technologies bring all our family and friends close to us virtually, in reality, God is always there to love, support and care for us in every situation we find ourselves night and day.
Every blessing to you all from the congregation at St Mary’s.