The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 9th May 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 9th May 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 9th May 2021:  Easter VI

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Ray Bailey, Sylvia Martin, Margaret and Derek Barker, Suzie Clements and Jane Williams. Pray too for the departed, including Peter Bowser.
  • Pray too for our PCC’s preparing for their Annual Meetings.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am.
  • Thursday 13th is Ascension Day. The Eucharist will be celebrated at South Luffenham, 7.30pm.
  • Next Sunday we are in church at Tixover, 9.30am, Morcott at 11 am and on Zoom at 11 am.
  • Last week, a bucket collection was held for the DEC India Appeal and £125 was raised. Thank you so much!
  • ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Compline Series, starts Friday 14 May at Morcott Church, 8pm –an opportunity for quiet prayer together for the development of God’s Kingdom here on earth. Join us and representatives of all 5 parishes at this candlelit service. Please wear a mask. Compline will be held each night – apart from Sunday – at 8pm around the benefice until Pentecost, 23rd See Parish Magazines for venues. South Luffenham is the venue for 15th May at 8pm.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

Sunday 9th May 9.30am Holy Communion (CA).
Thursday 13th May 7.30pm Ascension Day Communion (CA).
Sunday 23rd May 9.30am Communion by Extension (AR).
APCM’s Wednesday 19th May 6.30pm in Church.
Church is open daily from 10am-4pm.

 

MEDITATION: Compline

 

Do you long for company in these dreary and isolating times? Or calm amid the clamour of domestic life?

 

The short service of Compline might be your answer. Compline is the last service in the monastic routine, ‘completing’ the day. Often it was held in a monastic dormitory in candlelight. Archaeologists have discovered scorch marks on dormitory walls where monks have been overtaken by sleep. The connection between prayer and sleep is an important one.  It is difficult to meditate under pressure. Relaxation in prayer is important for it is not just what we say or long for but what God might be saying to us, for us to ‘hear’.

 

The beauty of Compline is its quietness. It is unhurried, calm, prayerful with silence providing the space for godly thoughts to emerge. Yet there is also structure: there is the slow rhythm of the service. There is one another. It is so encouraging to be able to pray in the company of others. The silence takes on a greater depth and yet the company provides an alertness for prayer to be focussed: prayer in silence or shared.  During the pandemic, I for one have enormously valued the company of others during our smaller Zoom services.

 

This week – during the time between Ascension Day and Pentecost – ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ begins. It is a world-wide movement of prayer which began 5 years ago to encourage more people to come to know Jesus Christ. We shall be participating this year by holding Compline by candlelight around our 5 churches at 8 pm every night except Sunday from 14 – 22 May.

 

If you haven’t experienced Compline before, then why not give it a try?  The service lasts about 15 minutes. There is no sermon and no singing for most of us – just the chance to relax into a prayerful atmosphere to be carried along by the gentle rhythm of the service and caressed by the silence in a place ‘where prayer has been valid’.

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

 

 

 

Sunday 2nd May 2021 

9.30 am Duddington Church                                              Holy Communion  (CA)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                            Morning worship  (AR)

 

Sunday 9th May 2021

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                                     Holy  Communion   (CA)

11.00am  Zoom Service                                                              Morning Worship   (CA)

 

Thursday 13th May Ascension Day

7.30pm South Luffenham Church                                            Holy Communion   (CA)

 

Sunday 16th May

9.s0am Tixover Church                                                                 Holy Communion (CA)

11.00am Morcott church                                         Holy communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00am Zoom Service                                                                     Morning Worship  (CA)

 

Sunday 23rd May 

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                        Holy Communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00 am  Barrowden Church                                                           Holy Communion (CA)

11..00 am  Zoom  from Barrowden Chur                                 Morning worship        (CA)

 

  • Sunday 30th May 2021

10.00 am Morcott Church                                                        Holy Communion  (CA)(AR)

 

  • Week day services
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom

 

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 9TH MAY 2021

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 9TH MAY 2021

Sunday services for the sixth Sunday of Easter 

 

 

9.30 am  South Luffenham Church                     Holy communion (CA)

11.00am Zoom service                                             Morning Worship  (CA)

 

Readings:  Acts 10. 44 – end    1 John 5. 1 – 6    John 15 . 9 – 17

 

Thursday 13th May Ascension Day

7.30 pm  South Luffenham                                    Holy Communion (CA)

Readings: Acts 1. 1 – 11 Eph. 1. 15 – end  Luke 24. 44 – end

 

  • Week day services
  • Compline is a short form of late evening service originating from the monastic tradition.  We shall be holding Compline services by candlelight around the Benefice daily from Ascension Day (13 May) until Pentecost (23 May) at 8pm. All are welcome to join representatives of all our churches.  The venues are as follows:

                                    14 May                 Morcott

                                    15                           South Luffenham

                                    17                           Tixover

                                    18                           Barrowden

                                    19                           Duddington

                                    20                           South Luffenham

                                    21                           Morcott

                                    22                           Barrowden.

    This is part of Thy Kingdom Come – an initiate begun by our archbishops and now followed ecumenically by churches all around the world to pray for church growth. Although our statistics are not showing serious decline in this benefice, we cannot afford to be complacent.

  •  
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom
SERMON FOR EASTER 5 2ND MAY 2021

SERMON FOR EASTER 5 2ND MAY 2021

TALK FOR EASTER 5B 2021

One of the things that I enjoyed very much when we were in France was to see the vineyards, especially in Epernay where the champagne grapes are grown. One year we went later in the year and saw the grapes harvested and great lorry loads tipped into the crusher. The end result was good too!

In Biblical times vines were also very important. The ground needed to be prepared and the plants nurtured, with the vines two metres apart to allow for growth. They were pruned and trained in different ways. The branches which were cut off were useless because the wood is too soft for it to be used for anything and so can simply be destroyed by burning. The branches which remained were strong and bore fruit. Sometimes the bunches of grapes were so large that they were carried on a staff between two men. The vineyards were often guarded by watch towers and vines were one of the seven species God gave to Israel in the promised land. Wine was not for pleasure but was often drunk with the stale water from the cisterns.

The vines were also used symbolically for God’s people of Israel. The fruitful vine represented obedience to God but Jeremiah showed the other side. He wrote in ch 2 v 21: I planted you like a choice vine from the very best seed. But look what you have become! You are like a rotten, worthless vine. Didn’t mince his words about Israel’s wickedness!

So the Jews were familiar with the symbolism of the vine and here we have Jesus saying that he is the true vine and we are the branches and can either be fruitful or be cut off. What a terrible picture of being cut off from Christ!

The word which stands out in the reading we heard from St John is abide. It is used eight times in the few verses and has a great impact. It has several meanings: to bear, tolerate; to withstand; to await; to accept without objection. When Jesus asks us to abide in him he is inviting us to remain in a deep relationship with him, to accept his invitation. It is a most beautiful invitation!

I am the true vine is one of the seven I am sayings of Jesus. I am the way, the truth and the life, the gate and the good shepherd among the others. He states that we are the branches and we have the choice as to whether we are useless or fruitful. We can refuse his invitation, we can accept it and pay lip service to him or we can run away from him. How often do we do these things?

So how do we abide in him? Jesus spent much of his time in solitary places with his Father and refreshed both his relationship with his Father and gained strength for what was happening in his life. To maintain our relationship with Christ we need to make time to be with him. Relationships do not flourish unless the effort is made to keep in touch and that is what it is like with Christ. Prayer can be difficult and some say that we should only pray when we feel like it! W.E.Sangster quotes Forbes Robinson as saying : Do not mind about feelings…We do not want to feel better and stronger; we want to be better and stronger. We would not miss an appointment with a friend so how can we be less courteous to our Lord?

We must also be ready for the pruning fork. If we look at our innermost selves we will probably see a very murky looking place where there is much that needs to be sorted out. We cannot do that on our own because it is too easy to continue as we always have; we like a quiet life. That is not what Christ offers us but he offers us so much more.

We are now at the 5th week of Easter and we need to sustain that experience of utmost joy we shared on Easter Sunday. The Sunday after Easter is known as Low Sunday because it almost seems like an anti-climax and as Easter fades it is too easy to slip back into our old ways. But Jesus offers us great love to help us retain the momentum. He invites us to abide in him, to remain in his love and that involves obedience. We stray far from him and so we must allow him to prune out whatever is bad in our lives and accept that, knowing that he loves each one of us more than we will know. Let us accept his command to abide in him and he in us.

Risen Lord, you are the true vine and we are the branches. By your Spirit, produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, and patience in us for others to taste and enjoy. Keep us from hanging on to love for ourselves. Prune all selfishness from us and fill us with your love. Amen.

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices  Sunday 2nd May 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices  Sunday 2nd May 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

 Sunday 2nd May 2021:  Easter V

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Ray Bailey, Jean Bowser; Sylvia Martin, Margaret and Derek Barker, Suzie Clements and Jane Williams. Pray to for the departed, including Peter Bowser.
  • Pray too for our PCC’s preparing for their Annual Meetings.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am.
  • Next Sunday we are in church at South Luffenham, 9.30am and on Zoom at 11 am
  • The Rev. Dr Sam Wells (Vicar of St. Martin in the Fields) is giving the first Peckard Lecture for Peterborough Cathedral on Zoom, 6 May at 7.30pm. Book via the Cathedral Website. He is very good and worth £7!

 

MORCOTT: the church will be open for prayer every day from 1st May.

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

Sunday 9th May 9.30am Holy Communion (CA).

Thursday 13th May 7.30pm Ascension Day Communion (CA).

Sunday 23rd May 9.30am Communion by Extension (AR).

APCM’s WEDNESDAY 19th MAY 6.30pm in Church.

Church is open daily from 10am-4pm.

 

MEDITATION:

Time is a very strange concept, isn’t it? During the various degrees of lockdown time has become even more extraordinary and often quite difficult for many. We use many phrases about time; take your time, as we rush to get everything done; don’t waste time as we enjoy a few idle moments; time will heal as we suffer and Benjamin Franklin said time is money.

 

However, we look at time it is important to all of us and even more significant is what we do with it. At the beginning of the first lockdown I made a list of all the things I could do in the enforced interval; I think I can cross one thing off! What are we supposed to do with time? I’ll leave each one of you to answer that question!

 

W.H.Davies wrote a poem called Leisure which epitomises time. Here is part of it:

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

Many of us during recent times have spent more time appreciating the beautiful natural world around us. We often need to spend time simply being and there are often times when we need something beyond ourselves. When life is difficult there is an answer. The writer of Hebrews wrote (Hebrews ch 4 v 16):  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

Let us come to God who is always with us.

 

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

 

 

 

Sunday 2nd May 2021 

9.30 am Duddington Church                                              Holy Communion  (CA)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                            Morning worship  (AR)

 

Sunday 9th May 2021

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                                     Holy  Communion   (CA)

11.00am  Zoom Service                                                              Morning Worship   (CA)

 

Thursday 13th May Ascension Day

7.30pm South Luffenham Church                                            Holy Communion   (CA)

 

Sunday 16th May

9.s0am Tixover Church                                                                 Holy Communion (CA)

11.00am Morcott church                                         Holy communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00am Zoom Service                                                                     Morning Worship  (CA)

 

Sunday 23rd May 

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                        Holy Communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00 am  Barrowden Church                                                     Holy Communion (CA)(AR)

11..00 am  Zoom  from Barrowden Church                                                                                   

 

  • Sunday 30th May 2021

10.00 am Morcott Church                                                        Holy Communion  (CA)(AR)

 

  • Week day services
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom

 

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 2ND MAY 2021

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 2ND MAY 2021

Sunday Services for fifth Sunday of Easter

 

9.30am Duddington Church                               Holy Communion (CA)  

11.00am       Zoom Service                                     Morning Worship   (AR)

Readings:    Acts 8.26 – end     1. John 4. 7 – end  John 15 1 – 8

  • Week day services
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom
SERMON FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

SERMON FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

The Beautiful Game?

Sunday 25 April 2021.

St. John, Ch. 10. vv. 11 – 18.

 

Avarice!

This last week has seen the world of football caught with its trousers down. What has been revealed is a shocking display of greed as several of the top teams in the country announced that they would be forming a European Super League with other foreign clubs. The League would be self-contained with lots of money for itself and little if any chance for smaller clubs to join, effectively cutting off the element of competition which is both attractive and motivational. The top of the soccer pyramid would be creamed off.

The outcry was immediate and overpowering.  The thugs were taken by surprise and the whole idea of a Super League imploded within 72 hours.

We know that the best football is to be found in the industrial heartlands of the country where the game gives hope, colour, entertainment and identity to so many people who have been historically robbed of these vital ingredients.

Of course, there is a back storey: excessive wages, income from gate-money stopped with clubs and their owners running out of money. A new source of income was vital. If not, the whole organization would need a serious review. That is where we are today.

 

The Hireling.

This whole sorry story is judged by the parable of the Good Shepherd which St. John (10. 11 – 18) shares with us today. At the first sign of trouble, the hired hand runs away but The Good Shepherd, totally committed to his flock, will do anything for their welfare, including laying down his own life.

As we will know from our own rural context, rogue shepherds do not last long around here. Their insincerity is exposed by the demands of the job.

So, are the owners of our football clubs in it for the money or for the future of the game? This row exposes the rogue owners.  It’s not that owners and directors should not expect a fee but it must be proportionate. 

The uproar this week shows just how far removed some of the club’s owners are from their clubs and the fan-base.  Foreign owners will struggle to understand the culture of our soccer clubs and the furious passions which they evoke. And there is a lesson here for any potential leader: they need to be close to their community.

The image below is of a 3rd century Syrian sculpture of The Good Shepherd.  See how closely his hair is identified with the fleece of his sheep!

Pope Francis tells his pastors that they must be willing to take on the smell of the sheep if their work is to be effective. By this intimacy their leadership will prove to be genuine.

This parable of The Good Shepherd is a damning judgement on some of our football leaders: they neither know their players nor the fans. The revolt was inevitable.

Humility.

The parable ends by the shepherd being willing to lay down his life for the sheep in true humility.  There are foreign owners who act in the best interests of their soccer clubs and the communities they serve.  They are generous and sensitive. Without them the clubs would fold. However, this crisis does illuminate the cracks in the system and a thorough review is now overdue.  There is talk of a suitability test for potential owners with the fans getting a voice.  That can be very exciting and bring a greater wholeness to the world of soccer.

The Good Shepherd may not yet be redundant. Amen.

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE SERVICES FOR MAY 2021

 

 

 

Sunday 2nd May 2021 

9.30 am Duddington Church                                              Holy Communion  (CA)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                            Morning worship  (AR)

 

Sunday 9th May 2021

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                                     Holy  Communion   (CA)

11.00am  Zoom Service                                                              Morning Worship   (CA)

 

Thursday 13th May Ascension Day

7.30pm South Luffenham Church                                            Holy Communion   (CA)

 

Sunday 16th May

9.s0am Tixover Church                                                                 Holy Communion (CA)

11.00am Morcott church                                         Holy communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00am Zoom Service                                                                     Morning Worship  (CA)

 

Sunday 23rd May 

9.30am  South Luffenham Church                        Holy Communion by Extension  (AR)

11.00 am  Barrowden Church                                                           Holy Communion (CA)

11..00 am  Zoom  from Barrowden Chur                                 Morning worship        (CA)

 

  • Sunday 30th May 2021

10.00 am Morcott Church                                                        Holy Communion  (CA)(AR)

 

  • Week day services
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom

 

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

BENEFICE SERVICES FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

 Sunday  25th April  Easter 4

9.30am South Luffenham Church                               Morning Worship  (AR)

11.00am  Barrowden Church                      Holy Communion  and Zoom  (CA)

Readings: Acts 4.  5 – 12. 1 John 3. 16 – end. John 10. 11 -18

 

  • Week day services
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., Contact Christopher at   chris.armstrong60@yahoo.com for an invitation.
  • Compline will be said on Thursday  at 6pm.  If you would like an invitation, contact Sally Smith. sally@saltlanecom