News and What we've been up to - St Mary's Littlehampton
Red for Remembrance
All this week St Mary’s Church is glowing red for remembrance. All are welcome to the services on Sunday.
It’s been a busy summer
The last post on St Mary’s blog was in back in May, announcing the appointment of Fr Mark. He has now arrived and is getting settled in, learning our ways and us his, I think he has the greater challenge!
There have been many events during the summer and one of the most noticeable was the Goodwood Race afternoon.
We are now looking at the winter months ahead of us, starting with Remembrance Day next Sunday and soon after the beginning of Advent. Keep an eye on the events page for the most up to date details of what is happening.
Bishop Martin has appointed Fr Mark Williams, at present Vicar of S.Theodore’s, Port Talbot, Wales, as Incumbent of the Parishes.
We have no date yet when he and his wife will be joining us. Please pray for them, and for the people of S.Theodore’s as they prepare for their Vacancy.
In the last few months a group of knitters have been busy creating angels in all shapes and sizes.
During the week the angels were left around the town for people to find and take home. With so much commercialism around the Christmas period, it is sometimes difficult to remember the reason we are celebrating.
These angels are a gift to the people of Littlehampton and a reminder that the gift of love is free. Regardless of the colour of your skin, your religious beliefs, the language you speak, your financial status or your age, they are for everyone.
Weather proof angels
Colombian Parish Supper
On Saturday we had the last of our charity events to raise money for Let the Children Live
We raised over £200 for the charity from this event but over the next few weeks we will be counting up all the fund-raising from the last year and will post the amount soon.
Thank you to everyone involved.
Red for Remembrance
Remembrance Day displays in St Mary’s.
Every year in November we remember all those that fought for their country. This year marks the centenary of the end of the first world war. To mark this occasion a number of people in Littlehampton have worked hard to create a display of knitted poppies.
During the last week a number of ghostly soldiers have appeared in church.
Every evening this week you will also notice St Mary’s glowing red in respect for those that lost their lives.
More displays will appear during this week and the church will be open until 15:00 on Saturday for you to view these displays first hand.
On Sunday 11th November the Parish Mass will start at 09:30 (not 10:00) and will be followed by the Act of Remembrance at 10:55 at the War Memorial. The Civic Service then follows when everyone has assembled in St Marys.
Scaffolding around the tower
Some of you may have noticed the church tower is surrounded by scaffolding at the moment.
Those of you that are observant may also have noticed that the clock faces have disappeared, well the clock faces were in bad condition and have now been fully restored making it easier to read the time from the town centre.
Also behind the scenes (or inside the tower) some other changes have been made. Since the clock was built in 1827, every week someone has climbed the long ladder into the tower to wind the clock, however with changes in health and safety and advances in technology this is no longer going to happen as the clock is being fitted with an electronic winding mechanism.
St Mary’s would like to thank John Coles and most recently Mark Hollebone, for keeping things ticking for many years.
Everyone enjoyed a get together for a chat and to share a selection of different strawberry themed foods.
Thank you to all the people that prepared food, it was throughly enjoyed.
Watch out for more events coming soon at St Mary’s stmaryslittlehampton.co.uk/events/
Fr Roger Caswell
Today Sunday 1st July is the first time in 28 years that St Mary’s, the parish church of Littlehampton, is going to be without a full time priest. On Monday 25th June we celebrated Fr Roger’s 40th anniversary of priesthood and farewell Mass. Over 200 people turned up to show their appreciation for the work that Fr Roger has done within the parish and to wish him the best in his well deserved retirement.
Thank you to everyone that attended the Colombian dinner on Saturday evening. We raised £150 for this years charity “Let the Children Live”.
Getting Ready for Easter
Building the Easter garden and arranging flower in time for celebration this evening.
Service starts at 20:30 outside in the dark and the new light is spread into the church by candle light. Nibbles and drinks in the hall afterwards, everyone welcome.
In loving memory
Geoff served as a church warden at St Mary’s for a number of years, where he loved to join in with the gardening and breakfast. Whenever there was a church procession Geoff could be found in his hi-vis jacket making sure everyone was safe. The family have shared with us some words and some photos of his artwork that became an important part of his life in the last few years.
Our Dad Geoffrey Scrivens was a great craftsman, he always loved building and woodwork, and in later years he began painting and making pottery. In just a few years he produced an incredible range of work, and last September one of his paintings called ‘Moonlight’ was chosen to be displayed at the Littlehampton Museum for their ‘Light Exhibition’. Dad’s paintings were based on memories from his travels and a beautiful oasis he visited called Ein Gedi located along the western shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. We are very proud to share Dad’s art with you all.
Scooters delivering Easter Eggs to sick children in Brighton
Let the Children Live Presentation
Guest speaker Pauline Allan, Let the Children Live administrator, updating us on the work of the charity in Medellin Colombia. To find out about the charity click here
Final Mass at St James
28th January 2018 was the last mass at St James. The Bishop of Chichester was the celebrant with supporting clergy and a packed congregation. There was a positive feeling in the service, thanksgiving for a long and rich history. The service was followed by a party in the church hall with wine and nibbles.
Martyn Shanks has now coaxed,coerced and trained a stalwart group of the congregation to use the Church website, no mean feat!!
Martyn has shown the group how to log into the site so we can add posts and events and how to insert some of the photos on the site library, see below!
The Snowdrop Trust
Perhaps it is the desperate plight of West Sussex children suffering from terminal and life-threatening illness that has stirred us all to try and assist them in their hour of need and helping assure that they could be at home with their loved ones, still receiving nursing advice and assistance.
2017s charity – The Snowdrop Trust – looks as though our final total will be in excess of two thousand pounds!
Sincere thanks to all who have given; to all those willing helpers whose efforts enabled us to reach this total.
Di Levantine, the Chairman and co-founder of The Snowdrop Trust, has stated that our result is, “Unbelievable”.
Happy New Year from St Mary’s!
Happy new year to all! St Mary’s gave thanks for 2017 and looked forward to 2018 in the care of Mary, who protected her son Jesus and protects us. Following Evening Prayer and Mass this morning, we had a glass of wine and good conversation.
Just a reminder to those of you planning to join us for midnight mass, the service actually starts at 23:30 🙂 The service is about an hour and after the procession to the crib at the end, mulled wine and mince pies are served in the hall. You only need to bring your voices.
Great to see so many people at the crib service this evening.
Elf and Safety
The hay in the crib is now coated in flame retardant.
Fr Michael’s 50th Anniversary of Ordination
Yesterday Fr Michael Gudgeon celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He was surrounded by friends from most of the parishes in which he had served. Bishop John Hind was the preacher – Fr Michael was Bishop John’s chaplain when he was Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. Fr Michael shared the celebration with Fr Gordon Bond (on his left), it being the 45th anniversary of his ordination. After the Mass there was, of course, a party, a cake, and plenty of wine! (The sharp-eyed may notice at the bottom of the photograph that our Advent wreath is missing one candle, thanks to a light-fingered visitor sometime last week.)
Advent – Season of Excitement
Since the Christmas lights in Littlehampton were switched on last weekend, Elves have been taking over the town centre.
They overlook us as we buy those presents for our families and friends and consider what we will wear to the staff Christmas party.
If we are not careful though, we lose ourselves in the crowds at just the moment when we could just be enjoying the excitement of waiting for Christmas. The Church celebrates this time not as the moment of God’s arrival to us but in our waiting for God to come to us.
By giving some of this time over to sitting in church and allowing spoken words to fill our lives in an excitement of anticipation, we be ready to enjoy the Christmas period with more meaning and less weariness.
Novembers Fish and Chip supper
Grateful thanks to all the helpers and all who came to the Fish and Chip supper to support the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. It was a very enjoyable evening. We raised a £260 which was a heart-warming total.
Competition Calendars Now on Sale
The calendars have now been printed and are available from the church office. £5 per calendar, hard back envelopes available too.