So from next week I am redundant! Peter, our new parish assistant will take over with his patter, prattle or ponderings, whatever it may be called…
Holy Week was indeed a Great Week, living up to the other name by which it’s known. There were many ‘highlights’ if that’s an appropriate word to use to describe our offerings of worship through those seven days. For a priest it is a bit of a rollercoaster and demanding, but not simply for the priest! There is a genuine and good attempt to plan well, but there are always the unexpected happenings, often bringing an extra dollop of joy and thanksgiving. So for example on Thursday evening towards midnight at the end of the prayer vigil a young man passing by saw the church was open just as we were saying and singing Compline and came in. He ended up sitting round the kitchen table afterwards for an hour talking about the things of God and other ‘stuff’!
So little faith had I that we ran out of service sheets for the demanding Good Friday liturgy. Oh, and we also all but ran out of hot cross buns in the Vicarage afterwards. What blessings! Many thanks, by the way to the organist and choir for all they contributed throughout the week including the Vittoria reproaches and ‘God so loved the world’ at that service. It all involved much hard work in the weeks running up to Holy Week.
They say many hands make light work, and thanks to all those who were able to turn up for the working bee on Saturday morning. It was lovely to see the church not only clean but transformed as we moved from the bareness of Good Friday to the church decorated for the Easter celebrations. Thanks to Annette King who arranged the flowers so beautifully (for the Thursday garden too) Of course she had mixed motives this week. What a proud grandmother she looked on Sunday morning as William Gustav Venn King was baptised at the 10 a.m. celebration! Earlier in the morning a smaller crowd gathered for the Vigil and first mass of Easter. It really is wonderful to begin in the half light of early morning and then as the service continues hear the sounds of the ‘dawn chorus’ and light stream through the stained glass windows. Yenny Sobey was confirmed at that service. But God was again a God of surprises, because on Saturday evening Santosh Sharma turned up with the news he wanted to be baptised. It felt a bit like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who on his first encounter asks Philip, ‘Here is some water, what is to prevent me being baptised?’ Actually I have known Santosh for a little while now (he lives at the Don Bosco centre in Coburg). And so baptised and confirmed he was, which surely must have given joy to the Father!
MOMENTS OF GRACE
And how good to have the church full to the gunnels for the 10 a.m. at which William was baptised and the ‘Brunswick four’ – Jo, Will, Noah and Alec were admitted to Holy Communion. No photos of them to date! Surprised they didn’t ask for a selfie at the time.. What a lovely reception in the garden afterwards (thank you Venn and Andrejka!) with superior beers as well as bubbly, followed by a great parish lunch. Thanks to all who assisted, not least to Jenni Aldous who cooked the lamb in far away Surrey Hills (can anything good come from the east side of the river? Definitely yes…) and provided her usual wonderful variety of deserts.
Anyway, to any I haven’t mentioned or thanked, please forgive me! And by the way, keep a watch out for one of our Lenten projects, ‘A PARISH REFLECTS’ and many thanks to the well over 30 folk who contributed reflections. They are all now at the printers and will be available soon! Thanks to Cecilia Fairlie whose idea it was and who put so much work into cajoling contributions and putting it together.
And now having given thanks to God, we move on! Moving on includes a lovely opportunity to experience the healing ministry the Lord has entrusted to his Church on Sunday week (15th) at 6 p.m. These healing services always have a sense of gentleness and strength. Why not come along, and if you know folk who might benefit from the experience tell them about it!
This coming Sunday is often called LOW SUNDAY because it follows the ‘high’ point of Easter. There can be a temptation to take a break..
Hope to see you though!