Contribution from St Mary the Virgin to the Buxted Messenger – January 2020 Edition

At the beginning of a new calendar year, with the excesses and celebrations of Christmas and New Year behind us, we are prone to gaze somewhat forlornly at the fuller, more shapely, self reflected in the mirror.  We resolve to get fit and back into shape.

And our resolution is all the more piqued by the offers to join gyms and fitness clubs for discount prices and great offers.

But the experience of many, indeed my own, is that in the gloomier darker days of winter, the temptation is to rest in comfort, by the fire and not to put on gym gear, run outside and get wet and cold.

However, many will speak well to the benefits of losing unnecessary weight, keeping fit and feeling good about engaging in exercise.  And I suspect that they achieve this because they develop the habit of exercise, not as a reaction to a period of excess, but as a regular discipline in respect for themselves and their bodies.

So, as we embark on a new decade in early 2020, it is very much the same in respect of our spiritual selves.  If we are a bit flabby in that respect, here are some pointers to consider (and none are too good to be true):

1. What you put into your body makes a difference: so it is with your mind, your heart and your soul.  To be properly fed spiritually, we need to regularly pray, share in worship within our community and read the bible, God’s word to us.  These are really good habits to get into.

2. I’m afraid this is also involves regular exercise.  A runner who doesn’t train for a race might not finish or might come far down the field.  So what we learn in church and read in the bible needs to be put into practice regularly. Like a tree planted where there is good soil and regular water, faith that is healthy should bear good fruit and we should be known for our goodness.

3. This all takes discipline. Just as with gym going or physical exercise, our spiritual habits can be tough to keep because they aren’t always flashy or easy.  We won’t always want to keep them. But these habits are vital to keep us on the right track in life.  And thankfully, we are not on our own.  God has given us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to support and encourage us.  The important thing to remember is that if we drop the ball, we can get back up and start again.

All of us at St Mary the Virgin will welcome you anytime you want to come and share in worship with us.  And a very happy, healthy and yes – spiritually fit – New Year!

Festive services at St Mark’s.

12th Dec 6pm- School Christingle Service
24th Dec 5.30pm – Christmas Eve Crib Service
25th Dec 10am – Christmas Day Family Communion Service.
5th Jan 2020 – 6pm Epiphany Service.
All villagers are warmly welcomed to attend.
St. Mary’s Openday and Craft fair 2019

St. Mary’s Openday and Craft fair 2019

On Saturday 11th May hundreds of people attended our second annual Community Garden Open Day and Craft Fair at St Mary’s Church Buxted. Most of them came from the parish. However, there were a number of visitors from greater distances as a result of the wonderful signs placed all around the locality and excellent advertising support from Uckfield FM and Radio Sussex. We have a few final payments to make. However, overall we look to have raised around £750 for parish funds with every single activity contributing to this total. Huge thanks to everybody who helped to make the event such a resounding success.

Remembering our Heroes

In the autumn of 2018, the Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down received a National Lottery grant of £10,000 for a project ‘Remembering our Heroes’ within the parish but mainly in the Hadlow Down area. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project focused on paying tribute to the men and women from our community who bravely served their country during WW1.

Working with St Marks Primary School, volunteers and members of our community, we have worked to engage with all ages and investigate why, and how, we remember World War One. The project encouraged the school, volunteers and community to think about the experiences of the men, women and children who lived through World War One. No soldier from the 1914 to 1918 war is now alive to tell his story, however we can still see some of the soldiers and still hear their voices through their families and descendants.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project enabled local people in the parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the First World War. Volunteers and the children in the school, supported by educational workshops and by local historians, collected photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them to build a clear picture of what life was really like.

Remembering our Heroes Newspaper