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  November 2017
4th Sunday before Advent to Christ the King
KINGDOM SEASON

 Click Here for the THIS WEEK’S PEW SHEET

Click Here for previous Pew Sheet

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Up-coming Treats:

21Nov17         1900      A dramatised recital of St Mark’s Gospel by Gerald Osborne  at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Bishops Waltham SO32 1DN

25Nov17         10.00 Pre-Christmas Fair  at Exton Parish Church Please see Pew Sheet for further details


Some Events in the Diary for November and December
Please see the Pew Sheet for fuller details:

12Nov17 

09.30 Village Act of Remembrance                 St Andrew’s, Meonstoke

10.50 RBL Service of Remembrance      St Mary & All Saints, Droxford

15.30  Village Act of Remembrance                 St Peter and St Paul, Exton

18.30 Remembrance Evensong                        Corhampton Church

 

21Nov17  19.00 A dramatised recital of St Mark’s Gospel by Gerald Osborne Church of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Bishops Waltham SO32 1DN

23Nov17  19.30 Soiree: Anemos Trio                     St Andrew’s, Meonstoke (Piano, Oboe & Bassoon)

25Nov17  10.00 Pre-Christmas Fair                        Exton Parish Church Please see inside for further details

10Dec17   17.15 Carols in the Barn                         The Barn at Hill House, with thanks to the Thynne Family          Meonstoke

Hackney and Bishop’s Waltham Deaneries Link

For many years the Deanery has collected food and clothes for a variety of church needs in Hackney to be taken up in December. Earlier this year our friends in Hackney told us that they now have built up their local contacts including food collections in their local Waitrose and several Schools so that they no longer need distance support. They have asked us to convey their warm thanks for our help over the years. Because of this there will be no collection of food and clothes for Hackney this Autumn. We shall still be grateful for any gifts of money which can be made payable to Bishop’s Waltham Deanery and will support our seven partners including the Winter Night Shelter. We will hope to meet our partners again during a Walk of Prayer probably in August next year. Norman Chatfield.

Meon Valley Food Bank – PLEASE HELP

Thank You for all your kind donations. MVFB has now been able to help well over 1100 people which would not be possible without your faithful support.

The items needed for the coming week are tinned meat meals, couscous, angel delights, part baked bread and jams.  Thank you.

From the Rector

 

November: Remembrance

All Saints and All Souls at the beginning of November is a time when the Church remembers those who have gone before us, but on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, and on Armistice Day, 11th November, we all remember those who have fallen in the service of the nation.

At the National Service of Remembrance, held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday (12th November this year), the nation unites to honour all who have suffered or died in war, ‘LEST WE FORGET’..

HM The Queen leads the tributes alongside senior politicians, former Prime Ministers and the Mayor of London.

The Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy are all represented, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

Two Minute Silence: Each year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we observe a Two Minute Silence. Armistice Day on 11 November marks the end of the First World War and is a day to remember and honour those who have paid the price for our freedom.  This especially poignant between2014-2018 – the centenary of the First World War.  In 2017, we saw the centenary of the WRNS, reminding us that women as well as men serve their nation in uniform; and, the centenary of the Passchendaele.  2017, is also the 75th anniversary of the events in 1942, a critical year in the Second World War and it is the 35th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict – but the list goes on to the present day.  men and women continue to be wounded  and even killed in our name.

The United Kingdom still believes it is important to remember those who fought not only in World Wars, but the more than 12,000 British Servicemen and women killed or injured since 1945.  The benefice will also support the Royal British Legion during our Remembrance Sunday services. We shall learn nothing from history, if we do not remember the cost of bloodshed in our names.

Remember, 0 Lord, all those who have died the death of honour
and are departed in the hope of resurrection to Eternal Life,
especially the Officers, Men and Women of our Sea, Land and Air Forces,
to whom it was given to lay down their lives for the cause of Freedom and Justice.
In that place of light, whence sorrow and mourning are far vanished,
give them rest, 0 Lord, the Lover of Men.
Grant this for Thine only Son, Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

In the Cathedral on Tue 28 November, Bishop Christopher will sign our diocese’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, in the presence of senior members of the Services, community leaders and clergy and people of the diocese.  This will be a public mark of our honouring of this Covenant.

As well as our significant local connections with the Royal Navy there are also many regular, reservist and retired men and women, with their families, in our communities.   They are from the Army and Royal Air Force as well as the RN; they live alongside us, like many of you, they worship in our churches and their children attend our schools.  The expectations on all of them are significant and often costly.

The Armed Forces Covenant has been established as a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served will be treated fairly.  It is right that the Church should honour the principles held in the Covenant.  Jesus teaches us to ensure the fair treatment of all, not least those who make sacrifices on our behalf, as our service men and women and their families do.

As a church our role is, in part to be prophetic, so we pledge to challenge wider society, where the circumstances of service life, make access to health care, financial services, education and family wellbeing more challenging than to others.

 December: Advent and Christmas

On 6th December each year, the church celebrates St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who died in about 326.

Despite countless legends about him, Nicholas is something of a mystery. All that can be said for certain is that he was Bishop of Myra (in Modern Turkey) at the beginning of the fourth century. He was buried outside of his city, facing towards the sea. Legend has it that he was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution of 303/4.

Nicholas is the patron of our friends at Wickham and he is also the patron saint of Sailors, and of children. His legend speaks of him giving three girls a dowry to prevent them having to enter prostitution when their family fell on hard times. He delivered the gifts at night to avoid being recognised.

Nicholas’ determination to remain anonymous in his giving, even dropping the bag of money for the last daughter down the chimney, gives us something to think about. At this time of year, when our minds are pre-occupied with Christmas shopping, presents and January sales, we can ask ourselves for whom we really do all this. Do we truly have others in our hearts?

For the last two years, we have collected quantities of mostly nearly new toys for children, who spend their Christmases in women’s refuges or in hostels, escaping violence and abuse, but with very little other joy. We are launching the same appeal this year at our TOY SERVICE, where anonymous gifts of toys are collected. Please join in the generosity again this year and help us collect even more new, rather than ‘pre-loved’ toys. Bring some happiness to those children, and joy into your heart, by giving with willingness. Bring the toys to the Toy Service on 3rd December at Meonstoke, or drop them into any of the Benefice Churches right up until 17th December.

Almighty Father, lover of souls,
who chose your servant Nicholas to be a bishop in the Church,
that he might give freely out of the treasures of your grace:
make us mindful of the needs of others and,
as we have received,
so teach us also to give. Amen.

The Book of Ecclesiastes (1: 9) tells us:

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.

And yet, the everyday event two thousand or so years ago of the birth of a baby, in so many ways like millions before and millions since, changed the world forever. Before Jesus, there was profound longing expressed in the texts of the Hebrew Bible. The prophets especially were crying out, voicing the hope of the people, that God would not leave humankind abandoned, that He would give meaning to our lives, even beyond death.

On that first Christmas Day, a fragile, infant life was the response to those cries; God the Saving Son was revealed. This life was not a new thing, it had been there from before time itself. It was confirmation that the subject of the hope of generations was real. It was a proclamation that what had been prophesied and long awaited now was ‘under the Sun’ for us all.

God’s infinite love and generosity was given freely into the world – the Word was made flesh.

We wish you all an expectant Advent, a joy-filled Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. God bless you and all those you love.

 

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