April 2019

'View from the Rectory' is the monthly column from our Rector, published in our Parish magazine.

View from the Rectory

Palms, feet, a cross and an empty tomb…..(plus eggs and a Bank Holiday or two)

This past Christmas we had record numbers attending services at St Mary’s as we followed the star to the stable. We hosted services for our Brownies, our local school and had a packed church for our annual crib and Christingle services, as well as on Christmas Day itself. Thanks to our children we had our massive star installation (which even made the local press) and enjoyed more lights in and around the church. We also had a great time, thanks to landlady Steph’s hospitality , and Tony Hancock’s musical skills, playing and singing along to carols in the Queen’s Head. It seems to be what we do at Christmas time- carolling, hanging up decorations, exchanging presents, church going and generally getting into the mood to celebrate and party. It’s all so joyful.

Easter (the festival more central to Christianity) is something of the poorer relation when it comes to getting us in the mood to celebrate to the point that we can exclaim ‘Christ is Risen’: I’ve been reflecting on why this is.

For a start, it follows the season of Lent when there are no flowers in our church and quite a number of us are miserable from giving up chocolate or booze. Most of us don’t get time to draw something of the full value from an extended season of reflection, study or prayer as we’re too busy counting the calories, suffering hunger pains or wine withdrawal symptoms. By the time Holy Week (this year 14th - 21st April) comes around, we’re probably focussed on our plans for the Bank Holiday weekend and a trip to the seaside or even further afield.

Easter just doesn’t have the same build up to the ‘big day’ that Christmas does and it can pass us by almost without notice.

I’d like to invite you this year to take a second look at Holy Week and to join us at St Mary’s for a series of services that could open up something of the meaning of Easter for you and yours.

 

  • Palm Sunday 14th April- Join us at 10am to hear a dramatic reading of the story of Holy Week. Wave a palm. A service for the family with no communion.
  • Maundy Thursday 18th April - Join us at 7pm as we hear Jesus explaining to his disciples what was in store for him. We share communion and you can have your feet washed by the Rector to symbolise the humility of service. There is a dramatic stripping of the altar.
  • Good Friday  19th April- Spend a reflective hour at the Cross from 2pm and share in a simple communion.
  • Easter Day Sunday 21st April- A service of  celebration and thanksgiving of a God who cannot be kept down. We proclaim that ‘Christ is Risen’ and share the first Easter season communion….oh, and there may be the odd chocolate egg to collect.

So this Easter may the waving of Palms, the washing of feet, the stark reality of the cross and the wonder and mystery of the empty tomb say something to you of why Easter really is the reason for the season….and do enjoy your chocolate egg!

 

Every prayer and blessing

Rev’d David Coleman, Rector

St Mary’s Church West Chiltington

Office- The Rectory, East St, West Chiltington, West Sussex RH20 2JY

Office phone-  01798 813117

Mobile- 07710688033

Email- rectorwestchilts@gmail.com

Twitter- @rectorwestchilt and @stmwestchilts

Facebook- St Mary’s West Chiltington (official)

www.stmarywestchilt.co.uk