The Fourth Sunday of Lent
St Mary’s and St Andrew’s Worshipping Together
A very warm welcome to all
Numbers 21: 4-9; Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2: 1-10; Gospel: John 3: 14-21
In our Gospel today
In today’s Gospel reading from John, we hear the following verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is there any verse of scripture more familiar in western culture than John 3:16? It may be that for many, it is the only verse they know, or at least, the only verse they know the biblical reference for. Over the years, we’ve seen it displayed at athletic events; on car bumper stickers and emblazoned on all matter of Christian kitsch. For that very reason, many of us find its ubiquity and over-use problematic or even offensive. It’s as likely to divide or put people off as it is to attract people to Christianity. For not only does it seem to reduce the truth and beauty of Christianity to a slogan or formula, also, by the over-emphasis on belief, it seems to divide the world between believers and unbelievers, saved and unsaved, and those of us who struggle with doubt and uncertainty, wonder whether we are included among those who will inherit eternal life. If you find time, please read the whole Gospel reading.
Easter egg collection
Can I remind everyone that I am still collecting Easter eggs for onwards donation to the Barnardo’s Charity. Should you need them picking up please let me know and I will make the necessary arrangements. Or, alternatively you can drop them off at the Rectory if you’re passing by. Thank you so much to those people who have already donated.
Friday Night Quiz on Zoom – 19th March
Why not join us for a fun social evening with friends and test your brain cells at the same time? St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral is hosting a Friday Night Quiz on Zoom on Friday the 19th of March. There will be six rounds and some fun prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed teams. You’re very welcome to join us and enjoy a G&T or a glass of wine to help you with your thinking processes! Donations of £10 per team are payable through our online donation facility, by cheque or by direct payment in to our bank account. Please let me or Gillian Rose or David Rose know if you’d like to sign up.
St Mary’s Vestry Meeting – rearranged for 17th March
My apologies for the late cancellation of our St Mary’s Vestry Meeting which was due to take place on Wednesday gone. This was due to an ongoing family matter which may have required Sam and I to drive south at very short notice. Although we did not in the end travel, the possibility remains that we will probably need to do so with a minimum of prior notice. I have now rearranged this meeting to take place on Wednesday the 17th of March at 7.30 pm, when I hope I will be present and better prepared.
A note from our Organist
I continue to promote that St Mary’s Organist, Mr Matthew McVey, has asked me to highlight this once more in today’s Newsletter: “As hymn singing in Churches is currently a ‘no go’, and we are unable to meet together for worship, I am inviting everyone to take part in some ‘virtual hymn singing’. I fully support Matthew in this venture and encourage members of both our congregations and afar to consider joining in. Matthew has very kindly provided his email address should you want to get involved in some way, and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our notice board at the front of the Church will, from the 21st of March onwards, display a ‘Stations of the Cross’ poster which will then be replaced on a daily basis. I shall ensure that a picture of the poster is also put on the relevant Face Book Page.
First Minister’s announcement
As a result of the First Minister’s announcement this week, Places of Worship will be allowed to open on Palm Sunday, the 28th of March, with a maximum of 50 persons being allowed in. I have recommended that we open on that day unless the Vestry is in opposition to this. The decision is ours to make. So, looking ahead, I am hopeful of the following services:
Friday 26th March: Pre-Recorded Service (I intend to continue this for a while yet as I feel it remains to be beneficial to those who still choose not to attend)
- 28th March – Palm Sunday: 10 am Service at St Mary’s
- 29th March – 10 am Morning Prayer at St Mary’s
- 30th March – 10 am Morning Prayer at St Mary’s
- 31st March – 7 pm Compline at St Mary’s
- 1st April – 7 pm Maundy Thursday Service at St Mary’s
- 2nd April – 3 pm – Good Friday – Reserved Sacrament Service (Possibly a Vigil commencing at 7 pm) at St Mary’s
- 3rd April – Pre-recording Easter Sunday Service at St Mary’s
- 3rd April – Holy Saturday (Not yet decided whether am or pm service) at St Mary’s
- 4th April – Easter Sunday 6 am Sunrise service with Fire at St Mary’s4th April – 10 am – Holy Communion Service (followed by a zoom lunch at 1230) at St Mary’s
Services/ Events at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral week commencing Sunday 14th March 2021
- Lent Devotional Prayer – 7 pm, live, every evening during Lent via Cn Terry’s Face-book Page
- Tuesday 16th March – 11.30 am – Pre-recording service for St Patrick’s Day
- Wednesday 17th March – 7 pm – Pre-Recorded Service broadcast on Diocesan FB Page
- Wednesday 17th March – 7.30 pm, St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Vestry Meeting
- Friday 19th March – 10 am, Pre-Recording for Sunday Broadcast
- Sunday 21st March – 10 am, Pre-Recorded Broadcast Holy Communion
“Self-denial means knowing only Christ and no longer oneself”
Rev Canon Terry Taggart