BENEFICE NOTICES FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

BENEFICE NOTICES FOR SUNDAY 25TH APRIL 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

 Sunday 25 April 2021:  Easter IV

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Ray Bailey, Margaret and Derek Barker, Jean Bowser, Suzie Clements Sylvia Martin 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 Duddington, 9.30am, Morcott at 11am 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!

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

Morning Worship in Church, led by Ann, at 9.30am on Sunday (25th April).

Zoom Coffee on Monday 26th April at the new time of 3pm. Email sally@saltlane.com or phone 01780 729515 for details. 

Church is open every day from 10am – 4pm.

 

MEDITATION: The Brick

The bricklayer laid a brick on a bed of cement.

Then, with a precise stroke of his trowel spread another layer.

And without a by-your-leave, laid on another brick.

The foundation grew visibly.

The building rose, tall and strong, to shelter people.

 

I thought Lord of that brick buried in the darkness at the base of the big building.

No one sees it, but it accomplishes its task, and the other bricks need it.

Lord, what difference whether I’m on the roof-top or in the foundations of your building, as long as I stand faithfully at the right place?

 

Michel Quoist

 

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

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

SERMON FOR SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021 EASTER 3

SERMON FOR SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021 EASTER 3

Easter III 2021.

The Duke and the Wounded Church.

 

HRH.

The life, death and funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh will have been much in our minds and in our prayers recently.  His qualities have been paraded before us by the media and his weaknesses have also been explored but what I wish to do this morning is to explore his ability to spot weakness and make it into an opportunity for these relate to our gospel this morning.

The whole world admires the way Prince Philip has modelled his life to support the Queen in her duties. He belongs to the OSB Club: One Step Behind. As we all know, this came at a great cost to the Prince and his naval career. However, out of this grew three important initiatives which have had a lasting effect upon our culture generally and young lives in particular.

The first initiative is the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956. It grew out of the Duke’s experience at Gordonstoun School where he discovered discipline and the value of initiative.  It also came at a time when post-war youth, with no chance of conscription, could find an alternative to the BP organizations without the need for a uniform.

Secondly, the Duke’s enquiring mind and restless faith wanted to explore the truth behind the pat answers he often heard in sermons. In 1966 he teamed up with The Dean of Windsor to open St. George’s House, a conference centre focussed on the rhythm of prayer and worship in the chapel for leaders of society and senior clergy to discuss at leisure some of the most pressing problems of the day.  Courses lasted up to a month and it was an opportunity not only to nurture wisdom through debate but also to show how integrated matters of religion were to all elements of life, business and politics.

Finally there is the Duke’s interest in nature conservation where he was way ahead of his time. He became president of the World Wildlife Fund in 1961 and for its 25th anniversary he took it to Assisi for the celebration, neatly linking the care of nature to the creator God whom he worshipped.

These three concerns – young people, integrated faith and conservation – were all overlooked at the time the duke made them priorities. They were wounds in the side of humanity into which he poured energy and bound them up into something stronger.

 

Gospel Values.

Our reading today (Luke 24. 36 – 48) takes us to the end of St. Luke’s gospel and records the appearance of the Risen Lord to the frightened disciples in the upper room. His wounds are still obvious and yet Jesus can greet them with words of peace. There is continuity here between the crucified one and the Risen Lord. The wounds confirmed belief for doubting Thomas but they have been taken as even more important to the emerging church. They saw those wounds as points of future healing. In Peter’s First Letter (2.24) – which is widely seen as a baptism sermon – we are told, ‘By his wounds you have been healed’.

The duke’s vison embraced the weaknesses of his day and made them stronger. He was drawn to them, sympathized with them, saw their potential and built them up. I have known clergy who were so wounded that their hope of preferment was small but because of their weaknesses they made great pastors.

The Wounded Church.

In a good year, we would hope to take a summer holiday high up in the Swiss Alps, on the edges of a ski resort called Anzere. Each Sunday we would join the main mass of the day. It was a modern church with a striking crucifix hanging over the altar, showing the crucified one with his body lacerated all over with gashes. It was not a comfortable sight – and neither is our current church with its obvious defects: child-abuse, racism, sexism and many other isms, including you and me.

There is an important truth here: the crucified body was not perfect; the risen body still bore the wounds and now The Body of Christ, The Church, is very obviously not perfect.  Through his wounds, the Risen Lord can identify with our weaknesses. How can we make them our strengths? Think how odious the church would be if it were perfect!  Who would identify with it? And yet there are elements in church and society who want a perfect church and use it as a reason not to get involved.

As a church we must be aware of our weaknesses and seek to build them up, just like the duke did in his vision to strengthen society as he saw it.  Our aim is to be perfect just as our heavenly father is perfect and to cling to that vision. But perfection is different for each of us, just as a full egg-cup differs from a brimming reservoir.

One of the most painful symbols for me in the Christian Church is the breaking of bread at the heart of our Eucharist. Yet, if the body is not broken, others cannot share. It challenges our narrow parochialism, our poverty of passion, our reluctance to invite others to the party. These are some of the weaknesses I can identify. You will have your own observations. How do we turn them into our strengths? Amen.

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE APRIL SERVICES 2021

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE APRIL SERVICES 2021

Services for Holy week and April

 

Thursday April 1st

Maundy Thursday

Rome, Italy: detail of the painting under the altar inside the Saints Peter and Paul’s church .

 

6.00pm  Walking Meditation on U tube   (CA)

 

Friday April 2nd 

Good Friday

 

3.00pm Meditation (AR)

 

Sunday 4th April  Easter Day

 

 

9.30 a.m. South Luffenham Church           Holy Communion by extension (AR)

11.00am  Barrowden Church                           Holy Communion and Zoom  (CA)

 

 

Sunday 11th April Easter 2

9.30 am  Duddington Church                                           Holy communion  (CA)

11.00am  Morcott Church                            Holy communion by Extension (AR)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                                                          (CA)

 

Sunday 18th April Easter 3

9.30am   Tixover Church                                            Holy Communion  (CA)

9.30am South Luffenham Church                            Communion by extension   (AR)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                                                 (CA)

 

 Friday April 23rd  St. Georges Day

12.00 Noon  Barrowden Church                                      Holy Communion  (CA)

 

 Sunday  25th April  Easter 4

9.30am South Luffenham Church                               Morning Worship  (AR)

11.00am  Barrowden Church                      Holy Communion  and Zoom  (CA)

 

BENEFICE NOTICES FOR SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021

BENEFICE NOTICES FOR SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 18 April 2021:  Easter III

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Ray Bailey, Jean and Peter Bowser; Sylvia Martin and Jane Williams.
  • Pray too for our PCC’s preparing for their Annual Meetings and especially for potential wardens to emerge in Barrowden where the current wardens are due to retire after many years faithful service. A limit of 6 years maximum has now been placed on warden’s service in Barrowden.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am.
  • Friday 23rd is St. George’s Day. Holy Communion (BCP) at 12 noon in Barrowden Church.
  • Next Sunday we are in church at South Luffenham at 9.30am and in Barrowden 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!

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

The Church is open every day from 10am to 4pm.

Holy Communion by Extension this Sunday (April 18th) at 9.30am in Church.
Next Sunday (April 25th) at 9.30am in Church, Morning Worship led by Ann.

 

MEDITATION:  “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)

Bardsey Island – long-inhabited sacred place; often called the ‘burial ground of twenty thousand saints’; steeped in the spiritual intent of many pilgrims through the ages.

Making the arduous journey in devotion and faith would surely bring some encounter with God – some outward, objective sign of presence. But let us come in our imagination to where pilgrim poet RS Thomas stands, bemused; prompted to turn his attention inward:-

“……… Am I too late? / Were they too late also, those / first pilgrims? / He is such a fast /

God, always before us / and leaving as we arrive…….

……… Was the pilgrimage / I made to come on my own / self, to learn that in times / like these and for one like me / God will never be plain and / out there, but dark rather and / inexplicable, as though he were in here?”

London – long-inhabited metropolis, steeped in power and everything of this world – where lives easily slip into ruin.

Here we find poet Francis Thompson: ill, addicted to laudanum and in despair; down and out; alone and homeless. In our imagination, let us come to where he tries to rest, sleeping rough under a bridge, staring into cold darkness – and, making his inner cry, experiences a vision of Christ walking towards him over the wintry river.

 

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)

Cry: – and upon thy so sore loss

Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder

Pitched between Heaven and Charing Cross,

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,

Cry – clinging Heaven by the hems;

And lo, Christ walking on the water

Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!

 

 

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

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

BENEFICE SERVICES SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021

BENEFICE SERVICES SUNDAY 18TH APRIL 2021

Sunday Services for Easter 3

 

9.3o am Tixover church                                                        Holy Communion (CA)

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

11.00 am Zoom                                                                   (CA)

 

Readings: Acts 3. 12 – 19  1 John 3. 1 – 7   Luke 24. 36b – 48 

BCP:  Ezek. 34. 11 – 16a  1 Peter  2. 19 – 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
SERMON FOR SUNDAY THE 11TH OF APRIL 2021

SERMON FOR SUNDAY THE 11TH OF APRIL 2021

Easter II 2021.

‘Line of Duty’ (St. John 21. 15 – 19)

 

Line of Duty.

So here we are, in the HQ of AC 12, the anti-corruption wing of the Police Force. It’s Sunday night in ‘Line of Duty’, the latest police drama and the air is full of intrigue. Sly glances are shared among the officers for a cloud of suspicion hovers over the whole force which is charged with rooting out bent coppers. The camera pans into the office of Superintendent Ted Hastings – the boss – who is talking to his trusty colleague Inspector Steve Arnott. This is not an interview situation in the glass box where two or three officers grill a suspect mercilessly with a formal recording. No. This is a discussion between two of the main and trusted characters.  Nevertheless, Hastings is probing the reliability of his assistant in the light of unusual meetings which have been reported. How trustworthy is Arnott?  Much will depend upon the answer. Hastings wants to support Arnott for another series so he does not hold back on a variety of probing but friendly questions.

 

St. John’s Gospel, Conclusion.

In our bible reading today, the Risen Lord takes Simon Peter aside to quiz him.  Peter has been out fishing and the two have just had breakfast together. The other disciples are seated around the fire and Jesus takes Peter aside: the dodgy disciple.  Here is a young man who has shown much promise but he is a hot-head. He picks fights when it is not necessary; he swears undying allegiance to Jesus one minute and then, at the trial, he denies Jesus three times. And the cock crowed.

So Jesus takes Peter aside and puts these three questions to him. He asks if Peter loves him. But in true Hastings fashion, each question is gently nuanced. Jesus uses two different Greek words for love: agape, meaning unconditional love and philio meaning friendship. Most translations gloss over this difference but St. John chooses his words precisely and for a purpose so I have used the J.B. Phillips translation because it makes clear the difference:

                Jesus says twice to Peter, ‘Do you love me with all your being’? And Peter replies twice, ‘You know that I am your friend, (I like you, we meet in the pub together on occasions’).

Jesus notes the distinction which Peter makes so he lowers the bar for the 3rd question and uses Peter’s word, philio, friendship. This gets Peter annoyed. He is ‘deeply hurt’. And why?  Peter is honest. He doubts his ability to love his friend unconditionally and he has been rumbled.

 

Our Commitment.

Now I hope you will forgive me for this departure into biblical criticism. Perhaps it is self-indulgence on my part but what is being laid out before us is part of our human condition. How trustworthy can we be – in our job, our DIY, our marriage, our faith, our diligence in the garden? Hastings needs to know just where Arnott stands for the continuing of the operation. Now he knows. He has to make a decision. So it is with Jesus. Can Peter carry the next chapter of the gospel on his shoulders, given that his commitment is not total? We know the answer to that.

So what does Jesus do?  He gives Peter a job! Jesus doesn’t get the answer he wants but Peter’s commitment will grow as he does a job. And as Peter answers the three questions, Jesus increases the responsibility that he expects from Peter: feeding lambs, caring for sheep, growing the whole flock.

We too are challenged in our discipleship by this passage. Where do you position yourself?  Are we merely onlookers, well-wishers or do we express our commitment to the Risen Lord in some way? Yes, we are all followers – that is the last thing that Jesus says to Peter, ‘Follow me!’ – but what else is the Risen Lord asking of us? Are we buttresses or pillars in our local church?  What does it need for its further development? We will all have our views on that one but if we keep them to ourselves we will get nowhere together!

In this Easter season, people change. The confidence in the Risen Lord, the support of the Holy Spirit enables us to lift our commitment just a little. Peter’s gaffs for the gospel fizzle out and he learns to carry the weight of the fledgling church on his shoulders precisely because he knew his weaknesses as well as gathering knowledge of his strengths.

Do I need to press the point further? No, the Holy Spirit, working in your heart will do that.  Arnott will go back to his desk and suck his pencil; Hastings will pace up and down in his transparent office –but – please God – the show will go on. Amen.

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE APRIL SERVICES 2021

WELLAND FOSSE BENEFICE APRIL SERVICES 2021

Services for Holy week and April

 

Thursday April 1st

Maundy Thursday

Rome, Italy: detail of the painting under the altar inside the Saints Peter and Paul’s church .

 

6.00pm  Walking Meditation on U tube   (CA)

 

Friday April 2nd 

Good Friday

 

3.00pm Meditation (AR)

 

Sunday 4th April  Easter Day

 

 

9.30 a.m. South Luffenham Church           Holy Communion by extension (AR)

11.00am  Barrowden Church                           Holy Communion and Zoom  (CA)

 

 

Sunday 11th April Easter 2

9.30 am  Duddington Church                                           Holy communion  (CA)

11.00am  Morcott Church                            Holy communion by Extension (AR)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                                                          (CA)

 

Sunday 18th April Easter 3

9.30am   Tixover Church                            Holy Communion  (CA)

11.00am Morcott Church                            Morning Worship   (AR)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                                    (CA)

 

 Friday April 23rd  St. Georges Day

12.00 Noon  Barrowden Church                Holy Communion  (CA)

 

 Sunday  25th April  Easter 4

9.30am South Luffenham Church                               Morning Worship  (AR)

11.00am  Barrowden Church                      Holy Communion  and Zoom  (CA)

 

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 11 April 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 11 April 2021

 

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 11 April 2021:  Easter II.

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Ray Bailey, Jean and Peter Bowser; Sylvia Martin and Jane Williams.
  • We give thanks for the long life of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: for his humour, energy and devotion to duty in the service of The Queen, country and Commonwealth.
  • Pray too for our PCC’s preparing for their Annual Meetings and especially for potential wardens to emerge in Barrowden where the current wardens are due to retire after many years faithful service. A limit of 6 years maximum has now been placed on warden’s service in Barrowden.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am.
  • Next Sunday we are in church at South Luffenham and Tixover at 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!

BARROWDEN: There is a Book of Condolence for the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in St. Peter’s Church, Barrowden available for messages of sympathy.   The Church is open from 10 am. to 4 pm. every day.  Please bring your own pen if possible.

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:
The next service in Church is on Sunday 18th April at 9.30am (Communion by Extension led by Ann).
Coffee Zoom Monday 12th April at 3.30pm.  Email sally@saltlane.com or phone 01780 tHE729515 if you would like the details. 
Our Church will be open for private prayer every day from 10am to 4pm. Please pop in to have a look at the Easter flower arrangements. (Thank you to the Flower Arrangers).

 

MORCOTT:  There is a Book of Condolence available for the Duke of Edinburgh in the church porch should anyone wish to sign. 

 

LOW SUNDAY MEDITATION:

The Anglican Lectionary calls this the Second Sunday of Easter. I’ve always known it as Low Sunday. There are many popular explanations for the name. A quick Google search will come up with a few.

For more than twenty years I sang in a church choir. Easter meant immersion at the heart of a rich pattern of liturgy. On Low Sunday we were given a rest. During that time, the Passion story always felt relevant, personal, profoundly real. Last year Easter disappeared. I was in a state of shock and can remember almost nothing about it.

 

For the following year, Government required us to abstain from the activity which makes us who we are; to accept that the virtual is a substitute for the material; to face the stark reality of grief.

 

As I reflect on Easter 2021, I’m struck by the similarity between restriction for the common good and the meaning of Christ’s passion. Easter confronts us with sacrifice. We begin to trust and hope in the things which we can’t actually experience. We believe that though night is a time for tears, joy comes in the morning.

 

Today’s lectionary’s readings offer both challenge and encouragement. Though I’m still exhausted by recent events, everything is possible if I follow the one who has already risen.

 

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

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

Benefice services for Sunday 11th April 2021

Benefice services for Sunday 11th April 2021

Sunday 11th April Easter 2

9.30 am  Duddington Church                                           Holy communion  (CA)

11.00am  Morcott Church                            Holy communion by Extension (AR)

11.00am   Zoom Service                                                                                          (CA)

 

Readings:  Acts 4. 32 – 35  1. John 1..1 – 2.2   John 20. 19 – end

 

  • 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
EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE HYMN SUNDAY 4TH APRIL 2021

EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE HYMN SUNDAY 4TH APRIL 2021

         

 

Singing the final Easter Hymn

‘Thine be the glory’

outside the church in the Spring sunshine.

After many months of Zoom services we were able to attend a live Easter communion service at Barrowden.

Outside we could all sing a hymn of thanks giving and celebration.