This Month

March 2021

All our church services have now moved online and can be joined on our Facebook page at 10.30 am every Sunday morning, or at anytime via the On-line Services tab above.

Midweek Reflection is online, with a Youtube video being posted every Wednesday late afternoon on the News page.

During Holy Week on Monday 29, Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 March, Greenstead with St Anne’s church (which is one of our Partner Churches) will live stream a service of Compline (Night Prayer) on their Facebook page.
The services will also be available on their website and begin at 7.30 pm.

On Good Friday 2 April we will run again the video of the Passion reading.
The narration is done by the Lammens family and illustrated with stills from the Wivenhoe Passion Play. It will be accessible from a link posted on the news page here at 2 pm on that day.

When we receive an update about possible church opening for Easter Sunday we will update here as soon as we know.

Lent for Life

For many it is not the spirit of Lent that is the incentive to live their lives in moderation. The month of January seems to have replaced the season of Lent as many among us take up a healthier life style at the beginning of the year, not for religious or ethical reasons but because we have been indulging ourselves at Christmas and New Year and our bodies need to recover from the excesses. This year was not any different.
Sales of food and drinks had rocketed last December. Major food retailers made huge profits. A surprising and telling statistic from December 2020 in comparison with the same month in the previous year was the increase by 13% of the sales of champagne. Not a surprise that January was announced as the month to live more soberly and get rid of any excess weight.
The message of Lent seems to come too late and to be irrelevant at this time of year. One may wonder what the value of the annual observance of Lent is. The answer is found in the difference between fasting during Lent and slimming in January. Giving up chocolates and alcohol in January only aims at a healthier life for yourself. The fasting in Lent is an expression of our solidarity with the poor and our care for the needy. In Lent we feel to some extent what it means to live in poverty and what we save by spending less is shared with others. The slimming is only a side effect of our fasting.
Lent is a reminder that we should live detached from consumerism and freed of all commercial and social pressure to buy more. By not being enslaved to material items we become free. We no longer concentrate on ourselves but God and neighbour become our focus; not just for a few weeks (for example after an indulging month like December) but throughout the year.
Every year we choose a charity for Lent. This year’s is WaterAid, a charity that provides clean water supplies in places where there is none. You may have read in last month’s Tidings how crucial clean water for washing and drinking is in the combat against the virus. Your support for the Lent charity saves lives.
May your fasting, sharing and praying be a programme not just for Lent but for your entire life.

OTHER CURRENT ST MARY’S ACTIVITIES

  • Sunday morning on-line Communion service at 10.30 – live on our Facebook page
  • Midweek Reflection, every Wednesday – on Youtube & this website’s News page.
  • St Mary’s Singers singalong – by email to choir members
  • Bible study – via Zoom with Revd Dr Sara Batts-Neale. Email revdrsara@gmail.com for the Zoom link
  • Phone buddies – by telephone, contact the Rector
  • St Mary’s Bellringers – via WhatsApp and Zoom
  • e-Newsletter – by email subscription
  • Tidings Magazine – Royal Mail distribution to subscribers