Services for Easter and Holy Week at the Church of the Holy Cross
Saturday 13th April
‘Messy Easter’ 10.00am to Mid-day in the Belmont Centre
Sunday 14th April - Palm Sunday
8.00am B.C.P. Eucharist
9.15am Meet at ‘Truffles Bakery’ in the High Street Procession to
9.30am Sung Eucharist with Reading of the Passion Gospel
Mid-day to 5.00pm Interactive Prayer Stations in Church
5.30pm Stations of The Cross
Monday 15th April 7.00pm
“The Office of Compline” at St.Margaret’s Church Isfield
Tuesday 16th April 7.00pm
“Refiner’s Fire” a Service of Healing & Reconcillition
at St.Michael's Church Little Horsted
Wednesday 17th April 7.00pm
“Agape Meal” Holy Cross Church – advance booking required
Thursday 18th April - Maundy Thursday – 7.30pm
Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper with washing of feet and the Watch until Midnight
Friday 19th April – Good Friday
10.00am Hot Cross Buns at Cornerstone Hall
10.45am Ecumenical Walk of Witness along High Street to Holy Cross
1.00pm Devotional Hour
2.00pm Enactment of the Passion and Communion
Saturday 20th April – Holy Saturday
8.00pm Easter Vigil with the Lighting of the Easter Fire and
First Proclamation of Easter
Sunday 21st April – Easter Day
8.00am B.C.P. Eucharist
10.00am “Open Doors Easter Service” with Easter Bonnets
Last year, for me, was the year of the Roses.
In my garden, there was a stone monolith thing with a spiky plant in a flower bed, & a passion flower which Fr. Martin planted; and that was about it.
So I planted roses, which I love – climbing roses (including, naturally, “Rambling Rector”) and roses in pots along the patio. They all flourished, especially the potted ones which flowered magnificently.
Come February this year, I pruned all the roses in pots quite hard & fed them with rose fertilizer; as I write, the new shoots are just starting to show and I will look forward to their Spring growth and Summer flowering Glory.
Lent is a time for the pruning of the soul, in acts of penitence and self-denial , and a time to be fed by Lent Group discussions, Lent books and participation in the journey of Holy Week culminating in Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It is a time to cut off dead branches – the habits, the behaviours and patterns of life that separate us.
God and our relationships with other people- and to embrace the Life of the Resurrection.
All this is so that we can grow both as individuals and as a Pilgrim Community, so that we can put out new shoots of spiritual and community growth, come to flower in our Spiritual lives and so produce abundant fruits of Love and Joy, of Peace and Hope.
This New Life in Christ is the message of Easter, that the Light of Christ may shine in our hearts and be shown in our lives and the lives of our Churches.
So Happy Lent: may it be a time of fruitful journeying; and when we finally get there, Happy Easter!!
Love, Fr. John
p.s. This year is the ‘year of Clematis & honeysuckle’!!
“Spring is coming, spring is coming, birdies build your nests, weave together straw and feather, doing each your best”.
This is a little ditty that my mother used to quote to us at this time of year when we were very young. I am not sure where it came from. The fact is, I am writing this on 17th March, just 4 days from the Spring Equinox when daylength will equal night length the world over. Nature senses this, and in the northern hemisphere buds are breaking on the shrubs, which usually happens before the large trees. Bulbs such as crocuses, daffodils and tulips are sending up their stems and leaves in that order. Our local jackdaws are building their nest in a neighbour’s chimney and the carrion crows are watching to see if they can steal their eggs. Frog spawn has been laid in the ponds and tadpoles are developing. Also, newts are also in the ponds pairing up and laying their eggs in the leaves of water plants.
Spring can be a very personal experience making people smile and surprising us with its perennial rebirth of nature’s abundant life. This morning, the dawn chorus was particularly loud with numerous local Eurasian blackbirds harmonising with descant singing Eurasian wrens. The blue tits are exploring nest-boxes that people have erected in their gardens, parks and woodlands in order to help them breed successfully. Let’s face it, we do love nature when it is like this. It is even important for our health to visit natural areas regularly for a sense of wellbeing and to breathe the clean oxygen emanating from the green plants on which we all depend. Environmental services often go unrecognised until they start to decline. We have had many warnings recently about Human generated (anthropogenic) climate change causing the death of marine coral and the generation of devastating weather events such as fires in California, drought and floods in Australia and mud-slides in South America. Closer to home, we had record temperatures (c. 210 Celsius) during February. We may experience water shortages later in the year. Let’s also remember that these events affect all nature, not only us Humans. Maybe the time has come to address this issue at a personal level. If all 7.5 billion people world-wide acted to reverse negative our effects on the environment, the problem could be solved?
BIBLE STUDY GROUP ISFIELD
Year of Vocation
Coffee, Cake & Christianity
Every Friday from 15th March - 12th April
6.00 - 7.00pm at
The Parsonage, Station Road, Isfield
Church Times - Diary February 2019
I’ve just experienced the longest Sunday Morning Service I’ve ever been to. I was on my usual post Christmas break in Barbados (the tourist police still haven’t caught up with me yet to say that vicars aren’t allowed in the Caribbean, which is a sneaking feeling I get every time I go) and I was in St James, one of the historic Anglican Parish churches on the island. It was the Parish Eucharist with the Baptism of four babies. Two & a half hours it took , including an edifying sermon a smidgeon under 35 minutes. A number of obvious visitors melted away, but the regular congregation took it breezily in their stride. I was impressed. If I tried the same approach in my own Parishes, there would be restlessness at the hour and twenty mark, with an intervention by church officials armed with Churchwardens’ staves at the hour and a half. Mind you, one morning in a spirit of mischief I might be tempted to have a go…..
Barbados is actually a hugely religious island. There are supposedly some 300 churches of assorted denominations dotted around the countryside, as numerous as the Rum Shops. Well, almost. That works out staggeringly as a church per 1000 residents, which puts our church numbers in the shade. As well as the main Anglican parishes (which are the chief administrative units on the island) there are Methodists, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists and pretty much any grouping you can think of. I remember being rather taken with a jaunty little pink hut that called itself the “Little Jerusalem Deliverance Center”- the spelling suggesting it’s American origin, I suspect.
But the presence of the churches is not just physical buildings, but everywhere. One day, a van cut in front of me; it’s back doors were decorated with the sentences “Jesus is coming. Are you ready?”, which took me by surprise. Similarly a number of bus stops have been adopted by church groups who have inscribed “Be still and know that I am God”, which on reflection is a splendid thought for people compelled to sit and wait in bus queues.