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Thursday, 12 February 2015

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Wed Feb 18th    Ash Wednesday     Eucharist in church 7.30pm.
                             This will be followed by Ladies of Leesfield AGM
Tues  Feb 24th    First session Churches Together Lent course  12 noon at
                             Zion. (Will include soup lunch)
Mon Mar 16th    St Thomas DCC 7pm
Wed Mar 18th    St Agnes DCC  8pm
Mon Mar 23rd   PCC St Thomas 7pm
Fri Mar 27th        Dinner Dance at White Hart
Sun Mar  29th  Palm Sunday –start of Holy Week
Thurs Apr 2nd  Maundy Thursday Service 7.30pm St Thomas
Fri April 3rd       Good Friday  Service at St Thomas 10.30am
                         Then walk to village centre for outdoor act of witness at 12.30pm
Sat April 4th    Easter Vigil service at St Agnes  7.30pm (time to be confirmed)
Sun April 5th   Easter Sunday – services as normal


Churches Together in Lees and District
Warmly invite you to their Lent lunchtime series
Creative Spirit            The Gospels and Art
At Zion Methodist Church
24th February 2015 for 5 weeks
Discussion from 12noon
Light lunch from 12:45



Magazine  articles to paulmdent@gmail.com) please
Items for the newsletter to Edith by Wednesday eve please.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Confirmation

You will be aware that we have a confirmation service at St Thomas’ each year. This year it will take place on July 12th.

Confirmation is the point in a Christian’s life when he or she becomes an adult member of the church, affirming for themselves their Christian faith. Most people coming for confirmation will have been baptised as a child, when their parents have affirmed their faith. So Confirmation is very much an adult rite of passage, and it is a step that can only be made once. There is no upper age limit, and last year one of our candidates was in her late eighties!

In some parishes, including our own, the seriousness of this stage has     become rather eroded by an assumption that the children ‘get confirmed’ at the age of 11. I feel that this is, in almost every case, far too young. In fact my experience here has been that we have presented large numbers of children for Confirmation and most have not been back to church since then!

We do now admit to communion children from Year 5 upwards, and the PCC could consider lowering this age limit. The children we have admitted are, on the whole, faithful members of the congregation. They were        prepared for admission with a series of lessons taught by experienced members of the congregation. More will be prepared this spring, and should be admitted at Easter.

This year we will not present large numbers of children for confirmation. Only those year 6 children who have been regular members of our          congregation will be offered Confirmation  - though I do feel strongly even they would be better waiting to make this decision as an adult.

I would like us to make a real effort this year to encourage those adults (and there are many!) who are regular members of our congregations and yet have not been confirmed to consider confirmation for themselves. It would be good to see a large number of adults being confirmed this July. Please do what you can to encourage anyone you know who might think of making this step!



Fancy being Churchwarden at St Agnes?



We are looking for a New Churchwarden at St Agnes.  Neil Crook has now been Churchwarden for the maximum term he is able to under Church of England guidance.

The role is both fulfilling and can be challenging.  However, you will have the support of some very experienced people.  The continuing Deputy Churchwarden, Philip Hibbert will help guide and support with his abundance of knowledge and understanding of the role.  Neil Crook will also be available for any help needed moving forward.  You would have the support of both Edith and of course, Ruth and David along with your fellow Parochial Church Council (PCC) members.

There is an official Job Description for the role of Churchwarden (just ask Neil or Philip if you want to read this), however here is an overview of some of the things you would be involved in:

- to 'solemnly and sincerely declare that you will faithfully and diligently perform the duties of your office'.
- an officer of the Diocesan Bishop and support and co-operate with Edith to help encourage parishioners and help administrate across the Parish
- maintain order and decency in the church and churchyard 
- you would be a key holder for St Agnes
- would be a member of the Parochial Church Council (PCC)
- promote the mission of the church
- at times you may be needed to prepare the church for divine service
- organise rotas for Intercessions and Readings
- be available for meetings on a regular basis (normally evenings) both within the Parish and with other external persons
- help co-ordinate any remedial work on the church building
- be approachable, personal and offer confidentiality when appropriate

Obviously this list could go on and I have no doubt important points may have been missed.  However, if you feel this is something you may like to offer     yourself forward for and would find this both fulfilling and challenging then please speak to either Neil, Philip, Edith or a member of the Clergy who will be more than happy to chat with you.

We need to have a new Churchwarden in place by the APCM (Annual Meeting) in April 2015.



Vicar’s Letter - February 2015



It seems no time at all since Christmas –all that busyness and celebration.

I’d like to say thank you to all those who helped to make Christmas so       enjoyable – those who contributed in so many ways to the way our churches looked and the smooth running of events! We should be aware that some people do a lot which is unseen by others! I have had many positive           comments about the various services and other events. It was a pity the weather made our outdoor carol singing impossible, but there is always next year.
Now the Church’s year hurries on and we approach Lent again. February 18th is Ash Wednesday! This year it is upon us rather early.  It seems that now that the Christmas season is over, things return to “normal” – and this can seem very bleak and grey at this time of the year. We are experiencing our own period of dark and cold! But, like the bulbs, we are not dead. We can be     preparing, during this quieter time, for when the spring comes and            everything seems to come back to life. If we use the season of Lent properly then it will help us to prepare ourselves for the great festival of Easter, which we celebrate this year at the beginning of April.

Lent is so often seen, both by churchgoers and those outside as a season when we give things up. I wouldn’t dispute the value of that, but it is rather a negative way of looking at things. I would rather encourage everyone to take up something for Lent. That could be attending church more regularly, or coming to something extra (such as the Churches Together Lent lunchtime sessions on the Tuesdays in Lent – further details to follow), or spending more time in prayer etc. Or it could be visiting someone who is lonely, taking more time for others. Perhaps you could think about doing something new in church – maybe joining the readers rota, or doing the prayers, or flower    arrangers group………!  There are many opportunities.

Whatever you decide, I’d like to urge you to make a good start  to Lent  by coming along to the service on Ash Wednesday, February 18th at 7.30pm at  St Thomas’.

Edith



Leesfield Parish February 8th 2015


Sunshine Corner  Wednesday 11th at 2pm

APCM booklet – if you are responsible for submitting a report please let Paul have it by February 22nd!

Ash Wednesday is February 18th. Service in St Thomas at 7.30pm, followed by Ladies of Leesfield AGM.

Churches Together Lent discussion group, on art and the Gospels, on Tuesday lunchtimes at Zion Methodist Church. Begins February 24th at 12 noon and will include a light lunch.   All Welcome. See posters for details. These are stand alone sessions – you don’t have to attend all of them!

We are very short of people to do readings and prayers at St Agnes (and we would welcome more at St Thomas too). If you think you would like to give it a go, please speak to clergy or wardens. There will be a training session for those who might be interested in doing the prayers.

Are there any children in our congregations who would like to be admitted to communion? We plan to prepare them for admission at Easter (as last year!) Names to Edith as soon as possible please.

If you are an adult who regularly attends church and is not confirmed, please consider whether this is the next step for you. There will be sessions for adults considering this step – come along and see whether this is right for you. No commitment! Speak to Edith or Ruth if you are interested.


Magazine  articles to paulmdent@gmail.com) please

Items for the newsletter to Edith by Wednesday eve please.