Droxford Church Community Project
The first phase of the project, the restoration of Droxford Church will start on the 4th of April to be completed by the autumn of this year with funds awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. During this phase there will be no access by the West Door, or the Belfry area. The church will remain open and normal services will continue as usual.
From the Rector
We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The award will enable us to restore this lovely Norman church, but equally important it will enable us to create a community room that can become a focus for social activities as well as heritage exploration. It will support sustainable community development, and enable us to serve our communities better, especially the isolated, the young, and the elderly, in Droxford and the Meon Valley.
Easter in the Meon Bridge Benefice
From the Rector
In early church history, the Pascha was a night-long vigil, followed by the celebration of the Eucharist at cock-crow – it included all the great Easter themes: incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, glorification. Today, by participating in the whole sequence of Easter services, we too can share in Christ’s journey, from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) to the empty tomb on Easter morning.
Maundy Thursday has the key themes: humble Christian service (Christ washing the disciples’ feet), the institution of the Eucharist, and Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.
After keeping vigil (‘Could you not watch with me one hour?’), Thursday passes into Good Friday with the ancient veneration of the Cross-and the 19th Century Devotion Meditations. There is no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, rather consecrated bread from Maundy Thursday is given in communion. The church remains stripped and without liturgy: there can be no adequate way of recalling the dead Son of God, other than silence and desolation. However within the silence, a sense of peace and completion grows.
From earliest times, Christians have gathered through Easter night to recall the story of God’s saving work, from creation to the resurrection. Thus, the Easter Liturgy becomes an experience of new life in the passing from darkness into light. The Easter Vigil marks the end of the emptiness of Holy Saturday, and leads into the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Day – Alleluia! All the resources of the church – music, flowers, bells, colours – are used to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. The ‘Alleluia’, absent throughout Lent, returns.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Despite the popular view that Easter is just a long weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday, Easter is not over on 29th March 2016! Easter is a whole season, beginning on Easter Day and extending for fifty days until the great Feast of Pentecost (May 15). The joyous celebration continues.
Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday
The benefice, country and Commonwealth are also celebrating HM the Queen’s 90th birthday.
From her actual birthday on 21 April through to the official birthday celebrations from 10-12 June 2016, people will be participating in a wide range of events.
We are taking this wonderful opportunity to bring our communities together to say thank you:
thank you to God for a faithful life well lived;
and, thank you to the Queen for her unstinting service to the Church, the nation and the Commonwealth.
Our celebrations begin with an ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving on
Sunday 24th April 2016 at 11.00 am in St Andrew’s, Meonstoke.
We are grateful to the civil Corhampton and Meonstoke Parish Council for the refreshments to be served afterwards as part of the celebration.