Follow by Email - Register to follow our posts by entering your email address in the box below

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Holy Week

Holy Week is the most important week of the Church’s year. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday.

On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem. It was in the days before the Passover, an important meal for the Jews. Jesus went into Jerusalem with his friends, even though He knew that things were going to e very difficult. The crowds welcomed him with shouts and waving palm branches (perhaps rather like the winners of a major sporting trophy might be welcomed as they tour in an open topped bus!) We distribute palm crosses as symbols of this.

Jesus then had an eventful few days, teaching and evicting the money changers from the Temple!

On the Thursday he gathered with his friends for the Passover meal. This was to be his last meal with them. He washed their feet and shared food and wine. We call this the Last Supper, and the day is called Maundy Thursday. This is the meal we commemorate at the Eucharist. We break bread and share wine as He asked we should in memory of him. At the end of the meal, Judas betrayed Jesus to the authorities, and He was arrested and tried.

On the Friday  (we call it Good Friday) Jesus was crucified, and his body laid in a tomb.

On the Sunday the tomb was found to be empty, as Jesus had risen from the dead. Over the next few weeks there were several sightings of the risen Christ.

There are many people who attend church on Palm Sunday and not again until Easter Sunday. This is a pity, because it misses so much of the story. I don’t believe it is possible to truly celebrate Easter if you haven’t been through Holy Week

Here in Leesfield we have services in both churches at the usual times on the Sundays.
On Maundy Thursday there is a Eucharist at St Thomas at 7.30pm to commemorate the Last Supper. On Good Friday there is a service at St Thomas in the morning, 10.30am followed by a short open air service in the village centre at 12.30pm.
On Saturday evening we have the Easter Vigil at St Agnes 7.30pm. We renew our baptism promises, and welcome the light of Christ into church.

I urge you this year to take Holy Week seriously and try to attend at least one service that you don’t usually get to. Easter will be more significant for you if you do!
                                                                                                                              


Leesfield Parish March 29th 2015


Today is Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.  Please do your best to attend at least one of the services held during Holy Week.

Thursday  April 2nd  Maundy Thursday  Service 7.30pm at St Thomas
This will be followed by a short watch ending with Compline at 9pm
Friday April 3rd          Good Friday      Service 10.30am St Thomas
Then we walk to the village centre for a short outdoor act of witness at 12.30pm
Saturday April 4th      Easter Vigil  St Agnes 7.30pm
We begin Easter here as we welcome the light of Christ into our Parish. This is a very moving service, not to be missed!
Sunday April 5th  Easter Sunday  Services at usual times.

Donations towards Easter flowers at St Thomas to Audrey Atkinson please. At St Agnes we need more names on the flower rota.
Emma McDonald is organizing the Easter raffle –donations to and tickets from Emma.Raffle will be drawn after the service on Easter Day at St Thomas.

Christian Aid week is May 10th to 17th. More collectors are needed from both churches –please see Liz Dent or the wardens if you can help.
There is a small electronic organ at the back of St Thomas – we are not sure whether it works!.. is anyone interested in taking it? (donation please)

A meeting has been arranged for 7pm on Tuesday, 31st March, 2015 at Lees Library (entrance by side door) to discuss the arrangements for the proposed Church Social, which is due to be held on Saturday, 2nd May at St. Edward's function room.  We already have a small group of volunteers to organise this event, but if you wish to take part all ideas would be very welcome.  Please come along and help.
Adult Confirmation sessions will begin May 6th. Please think hard whether this is right for you this year. Discuss with Edith or Ruth. We will be asking for names of both adult and child candidates after Easter.


Psalm response   I have trusted in you, O Lord

Lees & District Council of Churches support Christian Aid Week

This year, Britain’s longest running door-to-door fundraising week is asking Lees residents to support women living in poverty around the world, many of whom are discriminated against from birth.

Christian Aid Week is taking place between Sunday 10 and Saturday 16 May and the main event in Lees this year details of event / house to house.        Christian Aid’s regional coordinator, Bex Turner said: “This amazing sum could not be raised without the hard-work and dedication of our            collectors. Their support is invaluable – they are giving real hope to the world’s poor and walking alongside them helping to lessen their load”. 

The collections from this week will help to transform the lives of women like Loko, from Ethiopia. Four times a week, Loko makes an eight-hour journey to gather wood to support her family. She said: “If I can’t collect firewood, my children will starve”. As she walks, she prays: “I ask God to change my life and lead us out of this”. Just £5 could give Loko a loan to start her own business buying and selling tea and coffee, releasing her to spend more time caring for her family.

Discrimination against women is one of the greatest injustices of our time and the statistics speak for themselves.  Globally, less than 20 per cent of landholders are women and women do twice as much unpaid work as men. In many countries girls are treated like second-class citizens while boys are provided with opportunities for an education, work, food and even decision making at the expense of their sisters. Almost as soon as girls are strong enough to walk many can spend hours fetching water and doing household chores. 

Often forced into early marriages, they can also face the dangers of giving birth before their young bodies are ready.  Deprived of an education, later in life women have to rely on men for their financial security, with any hope of      following their own dreams dashed, leaving them vulnerable to deprivation and violence.

If you would like to help women like Loko, and are able to collect, or deliver, donation envelopes on one or two streets please see Paul or Liz Dent or call 0161 627 4515.  
For more information, visit www.caweek.org.


Confirmation 2015


Have you ever thought about coming to find out what     Confirmation involves?

Are you interested in growing in your personal Christian Faith?

Has anyone encouraged you to take "a next step" in finding a deeper understanding of your relationship with The Lord?

If you are interested in finding out more about Confirmation this year, please talk to Rev Edith or Rev Ruth. Or, just come along to St Agnes Church on Wednesday 6th May at 7pm. No pressure---you decide for yourself if Confirmation is right for you!

Classes for Adults start on Wednesday 6th May, 7pm at St Agnes Church. This allows for 3 Wednesday evenings before the schools' half-term and 4 sessions afterwards.
There will be a rehearsal at St Thomas Church on Weds 8th July at 7pm prior to the Confirmation Service on Sunday 12th July.


Hymns


 Hymns are an important part of our worship on Sundays and other special occasions. We all have our favourites, and there are some we don’t like.

The words are important. I remember doing a project with children where I asked them to draw what they thought God was like. Many of their images were clearly strongly influenced by the songs we sang in assemblies.

Many of our really great hymns can be read as poetry, and are very          inspiring. Others are perhaps more simple, but still have a message for us. Tunes matter too – and sometimes we are irritated when a hymn is sung to the “wrong” tune!

We choose hymns appropriate for the season, and there are particular hymns which are suitable for the gradual (before the Gospel reading) and offertory hymns. We also try to make the final hymn one that the children know. And of course the hymns have to be in our hymn book.

Recently I have had several people comment on the hymns we have sung, and this set me thinking. Currently I mostly choose the hymns at St Thomas, and Carol Bolger chooses them for St Agnes. But I am open to suggestions for hymns to be included, and I am sure Carol is too.

So, if you have a       favourite one you don’t think we sing often enough (or at all!) let us know and we’ll see if we can  include it.


Edith


Vicar’s Letter - April 2015

Happy Easter!

In my teaching days I saw many many school assemblies. The subjects have been many and various, and the quality of the material delivered has been variable too. Now I lead many assemblies in my role as parish priest, and I am aware that some are more “successful” than others. I think, though, that it should be possible for each of these occasions to be a source of something useful for everyone.

Thinking about Easter approaching, and reflecting on the way it is          celebrated in society now, I remember one assembly in particular,          delivered by a colleague some years ago. This was actually a Christmas assembly but I think there is a parallel which makes this relevant here.

The assembly was based around a Christmas cracker. Children were       encouraged to share their ideas about why the cracker is fun. Two children pulled the cracker and peeled off the paper and decorations. These were dropped on the floor by the children but picked up and kept safe by the teacher. Finally the toy inside was found and exclaimed over. The teacher told the children to go and put the toy in the bin. All were of course       puzzled by this.

Throwing away the treasure from inside but keeping the outside wrapping and frills – how odd!

The point of the whole thing is, of course, that that is what we do so often with Christmas…. we hold on to the decoration, the superficial,      the peripheral fuss and lose the central message of the incarnation.

I think this is even more the case with the Christian festival of Easter.  

For so many, Easter is about chocolate, eggs, maybe the Easter Bunny etc. The central tenet of our faith – that Christ died and rose again for us – is missed. “I am the resurrection and the life” said Jesus. He shows us that death is not the end, and so changes life!

As the Easter people, we need to make our faith known to those around us. Especially at Easter we need to try to encourage others to know the true  message, to understand that Easter is about so much more than chocolate. It is important that the treasure is not thrown out as it were. And before we can do this for those around us we need to be sure we have really grasped it for ourselves.

Do remember, too, that Easter lasts for 6 weeks – we must go on           celebrating!


Edith


Sunday, 22 March 2015

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Mon Mar 23rd    PCC St Thomas 7pm
Tues Mar 24th     Lent discussion and lunch Zion 12 noon
Thurs  Mar 26th  Devotional evening St Thomas church with Mary Butt

Holy Week
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

Sat April 4th  Coffee morning at 52 Spring Lane 10.30 to noon
Sat 11th April  Serious clearing out at St Thomas… Many hands make light work!
Sun April 12th  Short PCC meeting after the service at St Thomas to approve
                           the accounts
Wed April 15th  Sunshine Corner  St Thomas 2pm
Sat April 18th   Tea and Toast in St Thomas 10.30 till noon
Sun April 19th  Parish service followed by APCM
Thurs 23rd    Ladies of Leesfield Meeting St Thomas 7.30pm
Sat May 2nd   Parish Social at St Edwards

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


Leesfield Parish March 22nd 2015


Please check you are on the electoral roll –if you are over 16 and have attended church for the last 6 months. There is a form for you to fill in if you are not on it already!
PCC meets tomorrow, Monday  23rd  7pm at St Thomas
Tuesday 24th  March  12 noon final  Lent discussion and lunch at Zion Methodist Church
Thursday 26th Lady Day is celebrated with a devotional evening led by Mrs Butt. 7.30pm in St Thomas Church. Everyone is welcome to come along to this.
 Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.  Please do your best to attend at least one of the services held during Holy Week – details on the reverse of the sheet- and if you are not sure what Holy week is about then read the article in this month’s magazine!
Donations towards Easter flowers at St Thomas to Audrey Atkinson please. At St Agnes we need more names on the flower rota.
Emma McDonald is organizing the Easter raffle –donations to and tickets from Emma
Adult Confirmation sessions will begin May 6th. Please think hard whether this is right for you this year. Discuss with Edith or Ruth. We will be asking for names of both adult and child candidates after Easter.
Christian Aid week is May 10th to 17th. More collectors are needed from both churches –please see Liz Dent or the wardens if you can help.
There is a small electronic organ at the back of St Thomas – we are not sure whether it works!.. is anyone interested in taking it? (donation please)
A meeting has been arranged for 7pm on Tuesday, 31st March, 2015 at Lees Library (entrance by side door) to discuss the arrangements for the proposed Church Social, which is due to be held on Saturday, 2nd May at St. Edward's function room.  We already have a small group of volunteers to organise this event, but if you wish to take part all ideas would be very welcome.  Please come along and help.


Psalm response   A clean heart create in me, O God

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY



Mon Mar 16th     St Thomas DCC 7pm
Tues Mar 17th    Lent Discussion and lunch Zion  12 noon
Wed Mar 18th     Sunshine corner  St Thomas  2pm
Wed Mar 18th     St Agnes DCC  8pm
Mon Mar 23rd    PCC St Thomas 7pm
Tues Mar 24th     Lent discussion and lunch Zion 12 noon
Thurs  Mar 26th  Devotional evening St Thomas church with Mary Butt
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
Sun April 19th  Parish service followed by APCM


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


Leesfield Parish March 15th 2015


Please check you are on the electoral roll –if you are over 16 and have attended church for the last 6 months. There is a form for you to fill in if you are not on it already!

Tuesday 17th  March  12 noon Lent discussion and lunch at Zion Methodist Church
Wednesday 18th  Sunshine corner St Thomas 2pm (for pre school children and carers)
This week DCC meetings St Thomas Monday 7pm St Agnes Wednesday 8pm
These are open meetings-come along, listen  and have your say.
PCC meets next Monday, 16th, 7pm at St Thomas.

Remember the service on Tuesday mornings at St Thomas. This is a said BCP service starting at 10am. The congregation for this service has got much smaller in recent months. It would be good to see more attending!

Donations towards Easter flowers at St Thomas to Audrey Atkinson please. At St Agnes we need more names on the flower rota.
Emma McDonald is organizing the Easter raffle –donations to and tickets from Emma

St Agnes Sunday School Start Time - please note that the start time is 9:10 so that the church service can start at 9.15 prompt. 
There will be a Dinner Dance at the White Hart Inn, Lydgate on Friday 27th March, in support of St Agnes Rose Queen, Holly South. Tickets are only £35 per person which includes a delicious 5 course meal, entertainment, music and dancing until the early hours !  This is fantastic event and enjoyed by all who attend.  Please speak to Geraldine South / Laura Lees or one of the other retinue mums for tickets. We are sure you will have a fabulous time !

Psalm response   It is the Lord who builds the house

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY


Tues 10th Mar          Lent discussion and lunch Zion 12 noon
Wed 11th                Sunshine Corner St Thomas 2pm
Sat 14th Mar       Coffee morning in St Thomas Church.10.30 till noon
Sun 15th Mar      Mothering Sunday
Mon Mar 16th     St Thomas DCC 7pm
Tues Mar 17th    Lent Discussion and lunch Zion  12 noon
Wed Mar 18th     Sunshine corner  St Thomas  2pm
Wed Mar 18th     St Agnes DCC  8pm
Mon Mar 23rd    PCC St Thomas 7pm
Tues Mar 24th     Lent discussion and lunch Zion 12 noon
Thurs  Mar 26th  Devotional evening St Thomas church with Mary Butt
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
Sun April 19th  Parish service followed by APCM



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


Leesfield Parish March 8th 2015


Tuesday 10th  March  12 noon Lent discussion and lunch at Zion Methodist Church
Wednesday 11th  Sunshine corner St Thomas 2pm (for pre school children and carers)
Saturday March 14th   Coffee morning in St Thomas 10.30am till noon. Toasted hot cross buns etc Adults £2 children 50p Raffle £1Creche  children can colour cards for Mum and flowers will be prepared for Mothering Sunday. Come along and join in the fun!
Next week DCC meetings St Thomas Monday 7pm St Agnes Wednesday 8pm
These are open meetings-come along, listen  and have your say.
Remember the service on Tuesday mornings at St Thomas. This is a said BCP service starting at 10am. The congregation for this service has got much smaller in recent months. It would be good to see more attending!

Donations towards Easter flowers at St Thomas to Audrey Atkinson please. At St Agnes we need more names on the flower rota.
Emma McDonald is organizing the Easter raffle –donations to and tickets from Emma

St Agnes Sunday School Start Time - please note that the start time is 9:10 so that the church service can start at 9.15 prompt. 

There will be a Dinner Dance at the White Hart Inn, Lydgate on Friday 27th March, in support of St Agnes Rose Queen, Holly South. Tickets are only £35 per person which includes a delicious 5 course meal, entertainment, music and dancing until the early hours !  This is fantastic event and enjoyed by all who attend.  Please speak to Geraldine South / Laura Lees or one of the other retinue mums for tickets. We are sure you will have a fabulous time !



Psalm response  The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart.

SUNSHINE CORNER



Week by week I am being asked about sunshine corner, so here is an insight.  Going well, if my register was complete!   We have 7/9 children aged 5 months / 4 years. 

Unfortunately the cold weather has kept some away.  They faithfully seem to be enjoying themselves.

We have themed sessions, which have included “Jesus loves us” , “The Fishermen”, “Jesus Birth”,  “Wisemen and Gifts” and “God made the animals”.  As you may have noticed we enjoy our art work!!!  I was delighted this week to hear one of our 2 year olds has been putting her hands together to pray (Marvellous!)

We begin our session with our Sunshine corner song and we end with our Prayer song
“Before we say goodbye we clasp our hands in Prayer
 Dear Jesus Bless each little child and keep us in
 Your care. (Wave)  Goodbye ee x 2
 Goodbye God Bless you today.

We enjoy our CD’s bought with money from the Ladies Group and are buying some very noisy musical instruments paid for by the P.C.C.   Much appreciated.

I say a personal Thank you to    Margaret Bolton who never fails to turn up and clean up!!!!

God bless Margaret, I couldn’t do without you.

Love from Sunshine Corner
Susan and Margaret


Vicar’s Letter

  
I wonder how much attention you pay to the readings in our services?

Over the course of the year, during our services, we hear read much of the Gospels – which tell of the life of Jesus and finish with the accounts of the resurrection. We hear too many of the Epistles (or letters) – many of which were written by St Paul to growing Christian communities in various parts of the world.

We hear rather less of the book of Acts. The Acts of the Apostles is really part two of the Gospel of Luke. It was written by the same author and tells us what happened in the early years of the church. I think it is interesting to see how the first Christian communities functioned and to compare this with church life now.

The very first Christians lived communally and shared everything, including their belongings. However this wasn’t expected to go on for long - Christians then expected Jesus to return very soon. As it became clear that this wasn’t what was going to happen, they had to find a way of living that was           sustainable in the long term.

When we read Acts, and the letters of Paul, we are told that Christ sets those early Christians free from selfishness and greed. There is much in these writings that is not practical now, but the basic guidance for living holds true now.

St Paul, in several places in his writings, refers to the Christian community as “the body of Christ”. We are the representatives of Jesus in this community at this time. What we do, how we act, what we say….all of that has to be as Christ-like as possible as we seek to make our faith known and understood by those around us. In the early church there were instances where Paul felt he had to encourage and teach about this.

He also wrote about how, just like in a physical body, different parts have different functions but all are important, so it is in the body of Christ. We all have a role to play, we are all important.


It really matters that we play our part and cooperate with and encourage others. Part of this must be to keep thinking about our place in the body.

There are areas in our church life where more help is needed – have you  considered adding something to what you already do? It is easy to think that those with particular roles will always be there but we do need to make sure that no one is indispensable, that we have people “in reserve”.

I am sure there are people in our congregations being called to explore     ministerial training, both lay and ordained, and I would like to urge those people to explore further! We really could do with more in leadership roles, roles like ALM, OLM, Readers etc.

March this year is entirely in Lent, and Lent is a good time for reflection, and perhaps particularly this year, to reflect on our own role within the body of Christ.   

Edith

Blog Archive