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Advance Notice: Good Friday – A Virtual Art Exhibition

Advance Notice: Good Friday – A Virtual Art Exhibition

Christopher Armstrong says :

The artists in Barrowden and South Luffenham have pooled their resources to create a Meditation for Good Friday in various works of art. Originally planned for Barrowden Church, the Exhibition will now be presented electronically and will be published on the Benefice website for Good Friday, 10 April so that everyone can see the result.

We are hugely fortunate to have such a wide range of talent in our villages. Please support them by viewing their work!

MOTHERING SUNDAY POSIES 22ND MARCH 2020

MOTHERING SUNDAY POSIES 22ND MARCH 2020

At the close of play tonight there were just 5 posies left in the church which represents a really powerful and relevant service to our community.  Thank you very much – and please thank your other helpers.

 

 

In these extraordinary times, such symbols take on greater power and remind us all – as the archbishop said in his broadcast today – of the part which the Church down the ages has played in nurture but also witnessing to the source of all life.

 

God bless,

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices Sunday 22nd. March

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices Sunday 22nd. March

 

Lent 4, Mothering Sunday

Please remember in your prayers those who are sick:  Ann Fowler and Barry Broughton.

Remember also in your prayers our sheep farmers who are working towards the end of lambing, and thank you that the lambs are mostly out and enjoying the sunshine and that hopefully the crops may be planted soon.  Give thanks for the spring flowers and songbirds brightening up the longer days.

 

In our wider prayers we remember the Deanery of Greater Northampton and its Rural Dean, Beverley Hollins.

 

Don’t forget our very own daily Lent Blog which can be accessed via the Benefice website, www.wellandfosse.org,

If you have now received your stewardship form, please consider prayerfully how you might respond.  We hope our campaign can be completed by Easter Day.

South Luffenham Church is open all day, every day, for private prayer.

 

A Thought and Prayer for Hard Times:

In this our first Sunday under restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we remember and give thanks for all mothers and remember those whose mothers are no longer with us, especially those who have lost their mothers just recently. We remember especially all those affected by this pandemic, which now is all of us but some more than others. You might want to use this short prayer to help pray in love for those who so desperately feel the need for love at this time.

May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country, let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.   Amen.

Simon Aley, Ordinand.

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

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

Mothering Sunday Sermon

Mothering Sunday Sermon

Mothering Sunday  Sermon

John 19: 25-27(NRSV) 

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 

26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 

27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Let me just check if there is anyone here who really should be here!

If you are a mother, please raise a hand? OK hands down

Anybody here – If you were baptised or Christened at this Church please raise a hand?

So which group is right?

The answer is everyone is welcome and everyone here should be here but Mothering Sunday historically has a special place for those who were christened and who returned and if they were in service as many were when this tradition developed this was the one day each year they might expect to get back to their home church and back then where you grew up was probably where you were christened and in all probability where your parents still lived so you may well see and stay with your mother on your return, if she was still alive. But the mother in mothering Sunday refers not to going home to see your Mum, though chances are you did but going back to your mother church. And this term was used variously to describe the church of your christening and also the diocesan cathedral. So I have seen old church records of bequests from this county made in wills to the mother church which there meant the diocesan cathedral and in view of their age that mother church was Lincoln whose diocese famously stretched from the Humber to the Thames. Often small amounts tuppence or sixpence but they all added up across such a vast area. I have often wondered how many of them ever visited Lincoln Cathedral? I suspect not many. But it was the mother church.

Last year I met a volunteer at our current cathedral – Peterborough and she was passionate about the cathedral, while not declaring any Christian faith, she nevertheless described the cathedral in essentially spiritual terms. It was like a great blanket covering and protecting her she said with the sense of all the souls who have inhabited the Abbey over the centuries. She was passionate about the mother church and because of that passion she gave of her time resource and really loved it. And we like that about our mothers too. Wanting as children to bring Mum breakfast in bed on Mothering Sunday or draw a picture or find some flowers. We need to do something. And Jesus hanging on that dreadful cross as his mortal life sapped from him sees John, the disciple who Jesus loved standing beside Mary and said behold your mother and to Mary; woman behold your son. We know Jesus had a brother James and yet his passion for the wellbeing of his mother leads him to make this statement from the cross. Woman behold your Son. To secure her future care and love and at the height of his passion and pain to focus his earthly passion on his mother. And we see that love and passion for mothers repeated in every generation. Not always – sometimes it is tough, sometimes that love is shattered or abused but generally that parent child love and devotion is echoed down the centuries.

So how do we apply that same passion, that same love to the mother church? Indeed do we? What is our passion? What “floats our boat”? Our favourite football or rugby team? Our favourite TV or film celebrity or band? Our car? Our pet? And how much time and money do we lavish on our passion?

The French writer and aviator Antione de St Exupéry wrote this – strangely about boat building!

“If you want to build a ship. Don’t summon people to be workers, to prepare tools, distribute jobs and organise their work. Rather motivate people to yearn for the wide boundless ocean.”

If you want to grow your Church’s income and resources. Don’t summons them to Church and browbeat them into stewardship but tell them the Gospel and the love that Jesus has for them worked out in His Church. Does that seem a fair comparison with the quote of Antione de St Exupéry? I suggest it might be.

Growing churches often have growing incomes available and resources to deliver mission. Manchester United is a very popular football team far more popular than my local football team, Barnet football club where supporters were known to walk out of the game during the match even when Barnet were winning, which admittedly was not that often! Whereas Manchester United supporters go around in the red and white club strip, travel hundreds of miles to get to Old Trafford, pay extortionate gate fees whether their team win or lose. Because they are passionate about their club. Much the same could be said of passionate collectors of whatever and people passionate about their hobbies. Are we passionate about Jesus and what he has done for us? As passionate as we might be for the wellbeing of our own mothers?

I saw this story in a recent flyer from a medical charity about a woman in Old Fangak in South Sudan, beside the White Nile.

A woman came into the clinic in this remote swampy area. It was the rainy season although it seems that makes little difference these days and the Marram runway was now mud and incapable of being used. The mother was haemorrhaging and losing dangerous amounts of blood. She was a mother and had 5 children in her care. They had come with her but her condition was worsening and in danger. The children were all tested for blood types as supplies were so low and they brought in as many people as they could to give blood if they were suitable and found 3 but it was not enough. The woman needed surgical procedures that would have to be done in the capital Juba but they could not get her flown out. I have driven a car in such conditions and it is pretty scary an aeroplane would be out of the question. It would take days to cross by boat and land to get to Juba and there are no good roads. The woman did not have a few days. Then news came in that a helicopter was passing nearby the next day and they offered to winch the woman up and fly her to Juba. Within a week she had been treated, recovered and that mother was starting her 500km journey back to her family.

There is no suggestion that the Doctor who wrote this account was a Christian but his observation was that it was the generosity, passion and commitment of this mother’s family, friends and professional carers that saved her. That same word again – passion and linked here with generosity. Features we see at this time each year, Mothering Sunday and features we need to see throughout the year for the Bride of Christ which is the Church – the mother church.

I finish with a quote from the Confessions of Augustine – he of Hippo, which was a town in North Africa, not a reference to his horselike features (although photography was pretty useless in the 4th century!)  “You called, you shouted, you broke through my deafness, you flamed, you blazed and being led in my blunders you lavished your fragrance – AND I GASPED!”

AMEN

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 15th March 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 15th March 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 15th March 2020:  Lent III

Please remember in your prayers those who are sick:  Ray Kilsby, Ann Fowler and Barry Broughton.

Remember also in your prayers our sheep farmers who are working towards the end of lambing.

In our wider prayers we remember the Deanery of Greater Northampton and its Rural Dean, Beverley Hollins.

Don’t forget our very own daily Lent Blog which can be accessed via the Benefice website, www.wellandfosse.org

If you have now received your stewardship form, please consider prayerfully how you might respond.  We hope our campaign can be completed by Easter Day.

 

We have received a letter from Bishop Donald regarding temporary guidance for hygiene concerning the current covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. These will be lifted when life returns to normal.

  • Those giving out books or papers as people enter church, must have hygienically clean hands, in the same way as the ministers of Communion.
  • Greetings at the door, at the peace, and after the service, should not involve touching or very close contact. The peace can be shared with a nod, a smile or with appropriate words. This will be easier if people stay in their places rather than crowding into narrow spaces.
  • The wine will not be offered at Holy Communion, but all the benefits of Communion are received when only bread is shared.

Please pray for all those affected in any way by this outbreak.

MORCOTT:

We thank the Rev Roy Seden for taking today’s service while Christopher is away. Thanks to those who attended church in Barrowden last Sunday to support the Williams family as their twins were baptised.

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

  • Next Sunday – Mothering Sunday Holy Communion 9.30am.
  • Thank you to everyone who helped with, or supported, the lunch on Friday.
  • This coming Friday 30th March 7.30 – ‘Mr Keith’ community event in the village hall. £11.
  • Church Springclean and Churchyard Tidy April Monday 6th April 2pm.

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

THE WELLAND-FOSSE BENEFICE: PRAYERS AND NOTICES SUNDAY MARCH 8TH 2020

THE WELLAND-FOSSE BENEFICE: PRAYERS AND NOTICES SUNDAY MARCH 8TH 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 8th March 2020:  Lent II

Please remember in your prayers those who are sick:  Ray Kilsby, Barry Broughton and Robin Rowland.

Pray too for the departed.

Remember also in your prayers our sheep farmers who continue lambing in challenging weather.

In our wider prayers we remember the Deanery of Greater Northampton and its Rural Dean, Beverley Hollins.

Don’t forget our very own daily Lent Blog which can be accessed via the Benefice website, www.wellandfosse.org.

BARROWDEN:

  • Thanks to all who contributed and came to our Lent lunch which made over £370 for Shelter.
  • Saturday 14 March – Children’s Theatre Group in Barrowden Village Hall 2.30pm. An interactive water adventure, target age group 7 years +, £5.00 (under 18s) £8.00 (Adults).  Book with Sara on 01572 747628.
  • 23 April: please contact Carol if you can make a cake for the Open Day at Red Kite House.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

  • Next Sunday 9.30am Morning Praise.
  • This Friday – 13th March Lent Lunch 12-1.30 in the Village Hall – soup, quiche and baked potatoes!
  • ‘Still Time’ every Monday 5.30-6pm in Church. Why not try joining us during Lent?
  • Mr Keith’ community event in the village hall.  Friday 20th March 7.30pm £11.
  • Advance notice of church spring-clean and churchyard tidy on Monday 6th April from 2pm.

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

CHURCH SERVICES: SUNDAY  8TH MARCH 2020

CHURCH SERVICES: SUNDAY  8TH MARCH 2020

All are Welcome at  our Services

in the Benefice this Sunday Lent 2

9.30 am South Luffenham Church Family Service  (CA)
11.00 am Barrowden Church Family communion with Baptism (CA)

Readings:  Gen. 12 1-4a  John 3. 1-17

CA = The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong, AR=Mrs Ann Robinson, Reader

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

Sunday 1st March 2020:  Lent I

Please remember in your prayers those who are sick:  Ray Kilsby, Barry Broughton and Robin Rowland.

Pray too for the departed: Peter Leach and Ted Bailey.

Remember also in your prayers our sheep farmers who continue lambing in challenging weather.

In our wider prayers we remember the Deanery of Greater Northampton and its Rural Dean, Beverley Hollins.

If anyone still needs The Lent Book, ‘#Live Lent, Care for God’s Creation’, please contact your parish book agent, a warden or the Priest-in-Charge.   Are you signed up to the Benefice website? The first Lent Blog post – our equivalent of ‘thought for the day’ – is there, to be followed by one a week for the six weeks of Lent. All are written by lay people across the Benefice and linked to the #LiveLent themes.

BARROWDEN:

  • Tuesday, 3 March: Lent lunch in St Peter’s 12 noon – 2.00 pm. Delicious homemade soup and rolls.  All proceeds from donations to go to Shelter.
  • Saturday 14 March – Children’s Theatre Group in Barrowden Village Hall 2.30pm. An interactive water adventure, target age group 7 years +, £5.00 (under 18s) £8.00 (Adults).  Book with Sara on 01572 747628.
  • 23 April: please contact Carol if you can make a cake for the Open Day at Red Kite House.

MORCOTT:

The March issue of the Parish Magazine is on its way, thanks to a new volunteer. Have you given Eric your £5 subscription yet?

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

  • Mon 2 Mar 10.45-12 noon. Pick up a free coffee, tea or hot choc from the Coffee Connect van, The Boot carpark, then join us for cake in the village hall!
  • Ted’s Funeral – Tuesday 3 March at 11.30am in Church.
  • Next Sunday 9.30 am Family Communion.
  • Friday 13 March Lent Lunch 12-1.30 in the Village Hall.
  • Mr Keith’s community event in the village hall, Fri 20 Mar 7.30pm £11.
  • Advance notice: church spring-clean/churchyard tidy on Mon 6 April from 2pm
  • ‘Still Time’ each Monday 5.30-6pm in Church. Why not join us during Lent?

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens