God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
It was with some trepidation that I went back into Holy Cross Church. I parked down the side, near the Cardale Chapel door, & gingerly went in, not quite knowing what I’d find.
It was strange, just as we’d left it, two months ago. All a bit “Marie Celeste”-ish. The last time I’d been in was to record four services, from Mothering Sunday to Easter, and everything was still there – the notice sheets printed out for Mothering Sunday by the door to be collected, the icon on the altar, held up by a pile of Bibles, a banner made by Junior church with all their hand prints on, an odd Palm Cross or two and – most poignantly – a little vase of desiccated daffodils we’d had to represent Easter, now long dead. It was dispiriting.
Our church buildings remain closed (thank you to all those who have been keeping an eye on them!), but the Bishop of Chichester has directed his clergy to now go in once a week to pray/film/stream. My initial response was to think that why should I have special privileges to go in when others from the congregations – with a much closer & longer association with these places than me – couldn’t. After reflection, though, I thought that maybe if I recorded an introduction to our weekly broadcast service in church, then maybe it would be a way of people sharing in worship, and “touching base” with our sacred spaces.
Staying safe has meant that most of us have had to stay at home in social isolation. This has presented me with an opportunity to get to know the animals that are using our Uckfield garden more closely. Just sitting in the garden revealed 16 species of birds within about 30 minutes recently. These were blue tit, great tit, wren, house sparrow, blackbird, song thrush, magpie, jackdaw, carrion crow, buzzard, swift, chaffinch, robin, woodpigeon, collared dove and blackcap. In addition, from my garden, records have included, flying over and within, herring gulls, herons, mallards, ravens, Canada geese, goldcrests, long-tailed tits, goldfinches, starlings, coal tits, great tits, greenfinches, bullfinches, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, a hawfinch and tawny owl.
We were sitting in the garden yesterday and a female woodpigeon was sitting on her nest uttering an intermittent growling call to her mate who was collecting twigs for her nest in our field maple tree. He perched next to her and passed one to her in turn before flying off to collect another. The female incorporated each one into her nest beneath her. Meanwhile, on the roof of a neighbour’s house, a carrion crow was sitting on a chimney stack where a pair of jackdaws had their nest in one of the pots. They took great exception to this and were dive-bombing and strafing the crow which clearly intended to make a meal out of their offspring.
Make a Difference is a campaign that the BBC is promoting across their Local Radio Stations with the aim of keeping communities connected. Each day examples of acts of kindness from listeners are being broadcast, and on Sunday the Church of the Holy Cross Junior Choir featured on the Emily Jeffries Radio Sussex Sunday Morning programme. As a result of Social Distancing the Choir has been unable to meet for their regular Thursday practice, so their ‘Choir Master’ organised some remote recording sessions and this was broadcast by Emily Jefferies. To hear the Choir in action follow one of the links below:-
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have announced that in order to keep human contact to a minimum, Church of England Sunday and Midweek Services will be suspended with immediate effect. For more information visit:
Holy Cross Church, Little Horsted, Isfield and St Saviour’s will therefore not be holding any regular services for the foreseeable future. They will however be looking at alternative ways of worship and how people can be kept in touch. Please keep an eye on their
Facebook page (www.facebook.com/holycrosschurchuckfield) and Website (www.churchoftheholycrossuckfield.co.uk) for updates.
In the light of the Government’s guidance churches will be encouraged not to hold meetings unless they are absolutely necessary. The APCM has as a result been postponed until such times that guidance is received advising that Church Meetings can be resumed.
Church Times Diary by The Rector November 2019
I’ve just come back from a week in Venice & it was Fab.
For me, as for so many people, Venice is a really special place, and it has been ever since I first went as a child. My last visit was three years ago, when I had a glorious sabbatical studying Titian and Veronese, and it was good to “touch base” with the place again. It was as beautiful as ever, with autumn sunshine on the faded facades of the palaces and with the reflections from the water in the canals glittering on the undersides of the bridges as we passed. I can well understand Peggy Guggenheim’s rather chilly comment on the city: "It is always assumed that Venice is the ideal city for a honeymoon, but it is a serious mistake. Living in Venice, or just visiting it, means falling in love and in the heart there won't be room for anything else."
We stayed in a little flat to the East of the city near the public gardens, the Giardini, and I was delighted to find not only good fishmongers and butchers a few doors down the road, but also within easy staggering distance one of those wonderful little “vino sfuso” shops where you can bring your empty bottles to be filled with local Veneto wines. I always feel that Prosecco on tap is one of the true high points of Italian culture.