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  – 4th Sunday of June–
Second Sunday after Trinity
(Proper 7)

Week Beginning: 25th June 2017

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From the Rector – Ember Days

Many dioceses, including our own, ordain men and women as priests and deacons at Petertide, that is around the Feast of St Peter (29th June).  Ordinations have taken and do take place around other Holy Days, such as Michaelmas, and fifty years ago Anthony Hulbert was ordained priest in this diocese at Trinity – the Feast Day we celebrate on 11th June this year, but in 1967 it fell on 21st May.  We offer our congratulations and best wishes to Anthony and his wife Nicola on their 50 years of wonderful service to the church.  There will be a special Eucharist in thanksgiving for ministry in Droxford on 18th June 2017 at 6pm at which all are welcome.

This Petertide, Samantha Martell will be ordained deacon by the Lord Bishop of Portsmouth, the Right Reverend Christopher Foster in the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth at 11am on 1st July 2017.  On 2nd July, Samantha will join the Benefice as the Assistant Curate.  Please pray for her and her family as their lives are set change and as they come to live among us.  Samantha’s first service with us is at 1030 in St Andrew’s, Meonstoke, when the Archdeacon, the Ven Gavin Collins will preach.

We also congratulate Ruth Howlett-Shipley on being recommended, after a long selection and discernment process, for training as a priest.  Again, please pray for Ruth and her family.

Ember Days are days kept under the bishop’s directions, in the week before an  ordination as days of prayer for those to be made deacon or priest, so please remember Samantha and all the others to be ordained during the last week of June especially.
Ember Days may also be kept even when there is no ordination in the diocese as  more general days of prayer for those who serve the Church in its various ministries,  both ordained and lay, and for vocations.  e also give thanks for the ministry of our Licensed Lay Minsters (Readers) Cathy and Pauline.
Traditionally Ember Days have been observed on the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays  within the weeks before the Third Sunday of Advent, the Second Sunday of Lent and  the Sundays nearest to 29 June (Petertide)  and 29 September (Michaelmas).

Almighty God,
you have entrusted to your Church
a share in the ministry of your Son our great high priest:
inspire by your Holy Spirit the hearts of many
to offer themselves for the ministry of your Church,
that strengthened by his power,
they may work for the increase of your kingdom
and set forward the eternal praise of your name;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

There are varieties of gifts,  but the same spirit.
There are varieties of service,  but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working,
but the same God is at work in all.

There is one body, one Spirit, one hope in God’s call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
There is one God, Father of all, over all and in all,
to whom Christ ascended on high.

And through his Spirit he gives us gifts:
some are apostles, some are his prophets;
evangelists, pastors and teachers he gives us,  so that we can minister together
to build up his body,  to be mature in the fullness of Christ.


IT was only when Samantha Martell fractured her neck and became immobile that she started listening properly to God.

Before then, the mum-of-two was so busy, working as a butcher, running her own business and bringing up her twin sons, that she hadn’t stopped. When she did, she discovered that God was calling her to become a clergy person in the Church of England.

She will be one of 11 people who will be ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth during two services at Portsmouth Cathedral on July 1,  continuing her training here for the next three years.

Samantha has always known how important God is, but didn’t realise how easy it was to speak to him until she was older. She had followed her grandfather into the butcher business, renting premises in Portsmouth.

But it was about eight years ago, as she was moving her sausage filling machine, that she had a blinding flash and felt her back twinge. The next morning she couldn’t move at first, but eventually drove to hospital. It turned out she had pressure fractures on her neck and the base of her spine.

Within a week of being in hospital, her landlord changed the locks on her business premises and sold her equipment, meaning she had to rethink the direction of her life. She threw herself into being a mum to her twins Killian and Carlisle, who are now both 15, and wife to Jonny. And she found herself asking God what he wanted her to do.

“Obviously I had to be at home a lot more, and I got involved with the children’s school in the village of Compton, in Sussex, where we lived,” she said. “I became a churchwarden at the church and chair of governors at the school.

“Then one day I was having a meeting with the vicar, and he said ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’. Without thinking about it, I said: ‘I want to be a vicar’. The words just came out of my mouth – it wasn’t quite what I was thinking at the time. But I realised that was what I wanted to do and what God was calling me to.”

She started going through the process of applying within the Diocese of Chichester, while leading family services in her home church. But it was a placement in St Peter’s Church in Petersfield that really got things moving. She spent six weeks during Lent 2013 working alongside the vicar, the Rev Will Hughes, and didn’t want to leave.

“The congregation was great, Will was brilliant, and even the bishop said he’d heard good things about me,” said Samantha. “I didn’t want to leave that Easter Sunday, but felt that changing parishes and changing dioceses wasn’t right. But within a couple of weeks of leaving St Peter’s, I decided that I needed to come back.”

She became part of the congregation for a year, and edited the parish magazine for six months. The church also helped her to get back into being a butcher – she offered to make some sausages for the church fete in summer 2013 and the exposure generated some regular customers.

Then in June 2014 she was approved for ordination and started her three-year course at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, near Oxford, that September. After her first year there, Portsmouth diocese changed the way it trained clergy and she was switched to the Portsmouth Pathway course, based at St Luke’s Church in Southsea.

“It’s humbling to feel part of something bigger than you can ever imagine, and sometimes quite scary,” she said. “But it’s where God wants me to be. I’m looking forward to being a curate in these four villages. My background is rural, so it does feel like the right place to be.”

Ember List 2017

On Wednesday, 28th June 2017, and the other Ember Days (please see ‘From the Rector:’ above) please pray for those to be ordained this Petertide in Portsmouth and for those undertaking ordination training from the Diocese..

Ordination of Deacons (The Cathedral on Saturday 1 July at 11am) Matthew Rhys Joel Bray, Samantha Anne Cullen, Richard Frank Hutchins, Mary Kells, and Samantha Tara Martell (Meon Bridge Benefice).

Ordination of Priests (The Cathedral Saturday 1 July at 4pm) Benjamin Mark Bryant, Adam Spenser Denley, Catherine Edwina Fennemore, Catherine (Katy) Elizabeth Garner, Mark James and Richard James Wharton; and, Dagmar Wilkinson to be ordained on 2nd July 2017 at Sheffield Cathedral. Please also pray at this time for the candidates from this Diocese in training for the Diaconate/Priesthood.




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