|Sunday 25th March Palm Sunday|
|8.00 am||BCP Eucharist|
|9.15 am||Assemble at 'Truffles' to join the procession to the ….|
|9.30 am||Sung Eucharist Service with the Reading of the Passion Gospel|
|5.30 pm||Reading of Mark’s Gospel|
|Holy Week Services|
|Mon 26th March|
|7.00pm||The Office of Compline at St. Margaret’s Church|
|Tues 27th March|
|7.00pm||‘Refiner’s Fire’ a Service of Healing & Reconciliation at St. Michael’s|
|Wednesday 28th March|
|7.00 pm||‘Agape Meal’ at the Belmont Centre (advanced booking required)
|Thursday 29th March Maundy Thursday|
|7.30pm||Eucharist of the Lord's Supper with washing of the feet and the Watch until Midnight|
|Friday 30th March Good Friday|
|10.00 am||Hot Cross buns at the Cornerstone Church (URC Hall)|
|11.00 am||Walk of Witness to Holy Cross Church|
|1.00 pm||Devotional Hour|
|2.00 pm||Enactment of the Passion & Communion|
|Saturday 31st March Holy Saturday|
|10.00 am -12.00pm||Messy Easter - In the Belmont Centre|
|8.00 pm||Vigil - Lighting of the Easter Fire and the first proclamation of Easter|
|Sunday 1st April Easter Day|
|8.00 am||B.C.P. Eucharist|
|9.30 am||Family Eucharist & Easter bonnet competition|
Rector’s March Parish Letter
The new snowdrops in our churchyards are looking so beautiful at the moment. In Little Horsted and Isfield, there are drifts of tiny white flowers, interspersed with yellow daffodils, rolling out among the gravestones. I always think our churches look at their loveliest in the clear spring sunlight.
It shows the promise of new life that comes through at this time of year, the sign that winter’s grip is past and that the warmth of early summer is just round the corner (well, we live in hope!)
In all our Church communities too there are signs of new life, new hope, new possibilities. We are keeping our fingers crossed that someone will take up the post of Associate-Vicar in St. Margaret’s. In St. Michael’s a small group is getting together a statement of need with a view to renewing the heating in the building together with toilets , running water and a little kitchenette. In Holy Cross we are having a Vision Morning on the 17th March in the Belmont Centre, 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 midday led by the Reverend Rob Dillingham, the Diocese’s Deputy Director of Apostolic Life: we will be looking at how we want to grow, as individuals and as a community, in our prayer lives and spirituality, in our worship & in our outreach to our town and to the world outside and around us. It would be good to have as many of our congregation there as we can, as well as the P.C.C. It is an opportunity to lift our faith journey up to God, for us to walk this Lenten time in the light of God’s love with trust, with excitement and with hope in our future.
Come and join in: all welcome!
Love Fr. John
I am writing this in Aquitaine, about 500 miles (750 km) south of Sussex. The weather tends to be a little milder here with temperatures about 5 – 10 degrees higher generally and less rainfall. Consequently, the signs of spring tend to appear a little earlier. Yesterday, we saw our first flock of about 50 common cranes, first rising on a thermal gliding round and round to gain altitude, and then after about 20 minutes they formed a chevron in the sky and flew off to the north-east towards their breeding grounds in north eastern Europe. A few also breed in East Anglia. We were also able to photograph a white stork perched on the top of a telegraph pole, newly arrived from Africa, and can be watched breeding here in Aquitaine. Almond blossom is also beginning to appear and other birds such as the robin, mistle thrush and blackbird are paired up and preparing for reproduction. Indeed, I suspect that the mistle thrush has already got a nest with eggs, as these are regular early breeders often nesting as early as February, even in England. I have also been watching a magpie build its nest which, characteristically, also has a stick canopy over the nest-cup, in a tall tree nearby.
The first birds to start breeding in the spring are the resident passerines or perching song birds such as the many types of thrushes which include robins, nightingales, stonechats and blackbirds as well as the familiar ‘spotty’ thrushes. Some owls such as the barn owl also make an early start. Then the woodland migrants, such as the flycatchers, redstarts and warblers, especially chiffchaffs, sing in chorus, pair up, build nests and lay eggs, so that they can feed their nestlings on the short-term seasonal abundance of emerging insects which in turn feed on the newly sprouting leaves in the deciduous trees.
Bishop Martin's Letter to Parishes in the Diocese of Chichester
There are two major Christian festivals in March. They celebrate people whose response to God was tentative, but consistent.
The first commemorates Joseph of Nazareth, the husband of Mary. The second festival celebrates Mary’s experience of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus.
Christians of earlier generations found benefit in presenting the story of Easter as the culmination of Christmas when Joseph and Mary were so prominent.
They did this through a cycle of mystery plays, the most famous of which are still performed in York, telling the Christian story from creation to judgement at the end of time. These plays were a bridge between ordinary daily life and the drama of heaven come to earth in the Church’s liturgical worship.
This year, an early Easter places Holy Week between the festivals of Joseph and of the annunciation. It is one of those periodic occurrences when dates and timing become symbolic.
Mary and Joseph are two ordinary people, from the same working town, who fall in love and get married. In the middle of all that something incredible happens, that transforms their lives. They become players in the divine drama of salvation.
Their festivals stand on either side of Holy Week and they, as it were, invite us to connect with that drama through our experience today of God’s call and God’s power.
In this Year of Prayer, my hope is that the drama of Holy Week will assume greater importance in your Christian life, and in your diary.
I hope that you, like Joseph and Mary, will allow the call of God to draw you into the drama of salvation: not as a spectator, but as a player, or agent, who will attract others to its reality, as you renew your commitment to know, love, follow Jesus.
A totally amazing six thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine visitors came to The Church of the Holy Cross to see Tenth year of the Festival of Christmas Trees, and it is doubtful whether anyone left disappointed, because there were an incredible ninety-eight decorated positions to be seen and admired. The Church welcomed visitors from as far afield as Yorkshire and Hampshire and a considerable number from across the country boundary with Kent. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are very much encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year they certainly excelled. One very special display was titled “Santa’s Workshop” which had been several months in development while another display was a tree that had been decorated to represent a full length dress. Photographs of the Trees featured in this year’s Festival can be viewed in the Church’s website Photo Gallery, which can be accessed via the main Menu Bar at the top of this page, or see the link below. The ninety-eight displays had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield’s community – schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and associations, community support groups as well as individuals and families. During Friday afternoon visitors were entertained by Margaret Watson,harpist,and John Pontefract a singer and guitarist. Children could have their face painted by Pretty Fantastic Faces on both the Friday and Saturday afternoons.