Week Beginning: 15th July2018
Seventh Sunday after Trinity ~ Proper X
& St Swithun
8am ~Holy Communion (BCP) ~ Exton
10.00 ~ Informal Sunday Service ~ Droxford
St Swithun and Droxford Church under the Diocese of Winchester
10.30 am ~ Mattins (BCP)
St Swithun and King Alfred
Week Beginning: 22nd July2018
Mary Magdalene &
Eighth Sunday after Trinity ~ Proper XI
8am ~Holy Communion (BCP) ~ Corhampton
10.30 am ~ Sung Holy Communion (CW)
Ninth Sunday after Trinity ~ Proper XII
8am ~Holy Communion (BCP) ~ Corhampton
10.30 am ~ Outdoor Family Service
Thanksgiving for Gardens and Farms
With grateful thanks to Mr and Mrs Pepys
Click Here for the current PEW SHEET
Click Here for previous Pew Sheet
Click Here for a Simple Daily Prayer Guide
Click Here and Join us in Prayer
We give thanks for the Ordination of Deacons (11 am) and Priests (4 pm)
The Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth
Please pray for those ordained
and those in training for Holy Orders in our diocese
God bless The Rev’d Samantha Martell~ Priest ~
Ordained 3oth June 2018
Please pray for seafarers and their families on Sea Sunday and make a donation to the work of The Mission to Seafarers.
Please continue to pray for the members of the Armed Forces,
past and present, and their families
(Armed Forces Day 2018)
Amy and Matt (28th April 2018),
Alexandra and Bradley (5th May 2018), Annie and Ian (9th June 2018),
Steve and Vanessa and Scott and Victoria (23rd June),
and Charlie and Sophie (14th July)
on their weddings.
GDPR arrived on 25th May
Well Done and Thanks
Thank you to all those who contributed to, helped organise or attended our recent events:
- To all those who attended or provided refreshments following Samantha’s first Eucharist and for the Exton Patronal Festival
- To the two kind donors of memorial benches on Church Green, Meonstoke
- To Gregor (Chair of FOSACC) for a delightful social on Church Green
- The Church Fete at Exton
- Droxford Country Fair
From the Rector
… with …
The long days and heat of the sun tell us that the summer is here. We have celebrated England reaching the World Cup semi-finals and even winning a penalty shoot-out. We have celebrated Rogationtide, praying for the productiveness of the land, its farmers and for other local businesses; and at Lammas, we give thanks and pray for our rural environment and for our farmers and especially thanking God for the ‘First Fruits’ of harvest.
But, many of us in July and August are thinking of holidays and reconnecting with families and friends or simply having the time to spend with others perhaps in special places. In September, some have holidays to come, but many are thinking about reconnecting with work colleagues or school and college friends.
Homo sapiens is generally a social species – a creature which congregates with others for mutual good. Indeed, sociologists and other social scientists often talk about social capital – this is all about the benefits of the bonds we make within groups and outwards with other groups.
In this Benefice, we recognise the importance of being with others as a group of parishes, whilst being resident within our own in one village. We also recognise that we are part of something bigger: – in church terms: a deanery, a diocese and even a world church; – in worldly terms a county, a nation, etc.
As our curate, the Rev’d Samantha Martell, approached her ordination into the priesthood at the end of June, I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a priest in the 21st century, what it means to be a church and how we minister (serve). Much of what is said about ministry in this target-driven world concentrates on activity and ‘outcomes’ that can be measured, like weekly attendance on Sunday mornings. Whilst gathering together is important because it is good for us spiritually, and perhaps because it is also good our mental well-being and, as social capital research shows, for our life expectancy. It is not however important just because we can easily measure it and enter the data on a form!
So, it is refreshing to have spent that time thinking about priestly and lay ministry in terms of ‘being with’: being with 50 children and their parents regularly at Messy Church; being with families to plan a baptism, wedding or funeral; being with an individual wrestling with doubts and fears; being with another priest reflecting on our place in the world; being with a few others at a ‘drop-in’ coffee morning; being with millions of others in a church that covers the world.
Sam Wells (Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Field and contributor to Thought for the Day on Radio 4) recently wrote that his approach to understanding God stems from a simple reading of the Gospels:
“If Jesus is all about working for, how come he spent around 90 per cent being with (in Nazareth), 9 per cent working with (in Galilee) — and only 1 per cent working for (in Jerusalem)?” (Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church: SCM Press: 2017)
God is present and active, beyond any attempt to define Him or even to measure his outcomes.
Wells identifies eight qualities that describe the inner relationship of the Trinity: presence, attention, mystery, delight, participation, partnership, enjoyment, and glory. We don’t have space to explore their significance for ministry in detail, but they are about ‘with’: being with God, and being with others as they face the experiences and challenges of life – intentionally and attentively.
We are called to exercise a ministry that is profoundly lived out with those among whom we minister. Signs that this has been and remains so include clergy living in every benefice of the Church of England, the ordination of priests who remain valued even though society, it is claimed, question the relevance of faith; and, the enduring incarnational sign of our beautiful, living and much-loved church buildings. At the time of writing, we are working hard to find new ways to heat Meonstoke Church better, to provide facilities in Exton Church, to celebrate 1000 years of Corhampton Church and to redecorate the lady Chapel in Droxford Church. Furthermore, the Faculty (a church legal certificate) has now been granted to allow work to begin on providing new and much-needed community and church facilities at Droxford Church.
The Rt Rev’d Christopher Foster, Lord Bishop of Portsmouth, has written to us saying:
“Across this Diocese of Portsmouth, and indeed the nation, our church buildings call to mind not only the history of Christian worship in local communities but also our present worship, service and outreach. A church building … is a physical witness to that and the opportunities we have now and in the future to engage with all who live in the parish.
The developments at St Mary and All Saints Droxford will help to keep the church available as a hospitable Christian place for all, keeping the doors open and the building accessible for future generations. Droxford church will be at the centre of community life as a place for concerts, community groups, a wide range of events and of course for worship.”
It is our hope, and God’s mission, that we all serve Him by being with and serving those around us. Churches and priests are visible signs of that presence in the world for everyone.
Priesthood is not a superior way of living out the promises of our baptism, although at times it can more costly. It is not a more important way of living for Christ, although the Church’s expectations of priests are considerably higher. It is not necessarily a way of living a holier life, although it brings with it wonderful opportunities to be conscious of and blessed by God’s presence at work in our world.
This is the life into which Samantha, supported by her family and friends, has entered. Priests must reflect for all of us the life of Christ. That is why a priest is never simply an amateur social worker or the co-ordinator for members of a holy club that meets in our villages on Sundays. Priests are at one and the same time called to be within the life of the Church, and yet to be set apart from the localness of the particular church in which they serve.
God’s work is not just for those who are ordained, it is for us all, the Whole People of God. God is at work not just in churches, but in all places. So, we all celebrate with Samantha, newly ordained, what God has done in us all. And we celebrate with all four churches, what is God is doing in every place.
The 13th-century ‘Cuckoo Song’ tells us that summer is here. The cuckoos have arrived, so summer is here, it is icumen in, meaning it ‘has come’ rather than it is coming as people often think. So if you are reading this on a less than cheerful day, go to your favourite search engine to find a rendition to lift your spirits – search for ‘Sumer is icumen in’.
We, the church, ‘lift up our hearts, especially on Sundays as we do our eucharist: that is, we do our thanksgiving. We praise and thank God for all creation; we pray for the whole world, as we remember Christ’s life, death and resurrection. We share the bread and wine, the body and blood, if we take communion. We are sent out to be the body of Christ in our homes, our workplaces, our villages and our world – WITH others and WITH God.
What happens every Sunday is the fruit of our week. As the fruits and crops flourish through the summer, so we are called, in Ordinary Time, to continue to ‘hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold’ (Mark 4.20) so that our time in the presence of God can never be just ordinary.
Rejoice and Be Fruitful – Summer is icumen in!
Hackney and Bishop’s Waltham Deaneries Link
Please see our current Pew Sheet for details of the up-coming visit from our brothers and sisters in Hackney to our Deanery.
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 shall be welcoming visitors from Hackney to Bishops Waltham in July and 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 so much for all your kind donations.
Follow MVFB on twitter @MeonValleyFB or at www.meonvalleyfoodbank.co.uk.