Sunday 28 April

10.30 am  Family Eucharist
Every Wednesday at 7.07 pm: 15-minute Midweek Reflection

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Church bells for Notre Dame

As always when there is unusual ringing activity, we tell our neighbours why by posting.
Today, at 7 pm for  7 minutes, St Mary’s bells will ring in common with those of cathedrals and churches nationally.

The bells will be rung ‘open’ rather than tolled, as Maundy Thursday is also a major festival of the church.

Tonight at 8pm there will be a Sung Eucharist with stripping of the altar.
Afterwards the church will remain open until 10 pm for private meditation.

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Vestry repairs

When Erwin mentioned the vestry repairs last Sunday, not everyone would have been aware of the extent of the work that had to be done. So here are some photos of the work in progress. Bakers (the contractors) will return on 24 April when the plasterwork has dried sufficiently to begin the painting.
The cracked coping stones that allowed the ingress of water have also been replaced.

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Children’s Easter activities

Saturday 20 April 2-4 pm in the church

For the making of the Easter Garden we would very much appreciate contributions of small greenery and tiny/small flowers or blossoms.
If anyone can provide some, please bring it to the church at 1 pm on Saturday 20 April.
Many thanks!

Other activities will include art and craft work; no doubt something to do with chocolate as well; and the five Easter Stations where ‘witnesses‘ to the occasions will tell of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

And then we’ll have our party 

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Annual Parochial Church Meeting

The APCM will be held on 14 April at 12 noon, following on from the morning service (after coffee!)
Copies of the Annual Parish Report have since 29 March been available to be picked up from the large table in the North aisle of the church.

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St Mary’s Lent Charity 2019

St Mary’s PCC has chosen LIFE Trust as our LENT CHARITY
The LIFE in LIFE Trust stands for Let It Flow Engineering, a small charity that, as its website explains,’ has been established to support the ongoing work of delivery of projects, chiefly those concerned with the provision of safe water and sanitation,
to some of the world’s poorest communities.’

St Mary’s in particular wishes to support the Kisya Kagaana project in Uganda, as we already have the link with Namalemba in that country.
On Sunday 24 March, during the morning service at 10.30 am, Douglas McCormick will give a presentation with slides about this project.

If you cannot be there, you may want to listen to an interview with Douglas in which he speaks about the project. .
The most up-to-date project information is on this link to the LIFE Trust website

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Confirmation service 2019

In a wonderful service, conducted by the diocesan bishop the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, 10 candidates from St John’s Colchester and St Mary’s Wivenhoe confirmed their commitment to a Christian life and discipleship of Jesus.
At the end of the service the bishop and newly confirmed processed out of the church, carrying candles to symbolise taking the Light of Christ out into the community, before returning inside for the group photo. Here’s a glimpse.

Rosemary, who is our link with Namalemba in Uganda, had told the community there about the forthcoming Confirmation and had passed on the names of the candidates to her correspondents, with the request that they pray for them. Today we had their email response:

Greetings from the Christian women of Namalemba to our sisters of Wivenhoe U.K.
We want to assure you that we joined you in the prayers of our brothers who were confirmed on 3rd March.
We prayed at 09:00 hours East African Standard Time. The prayer was led by our Vicar, Lastone Bagaga for 20 minutes. We hope that your people had a peaceful prayer, which will guide them in executing their work.
Please convey our love and greetings to them and to all our brothers and sisters with much hope that they will have a peaceful Ash Wednesday on 6th March.
God Bless You.
Betty Mafuko, Betty Kakya, Charles.

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Visiting bellringers

A touring band of ringers will visit St Mary’s tower on Sunday 3 March and are expected to ring the bells between 3.15 and 4.15 pm.
The band’s members hail from all over the country, from Dundee to Wiltshire, and are touring the Essex/Suffolk borders over 5 days, ringing 8 churches each day.

To properly understand such dedication is probably beyond most non-ringers but it’s a big thing within campanology circles.
We hope our neighbours will bear with this event with tolerance – as we hope the Wivenhoe ringers would be indulged when they visit elsewhere.

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LENT course 2019

The Lent course will be run at the Methodist Church this year and all are very welcome,  whether regular church goers or not. It will run for four weeks, on a Thursdays from 7.30 pm, 14th March, 21st March, 28th March and 4th April.

Jesus said ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full’ and over the four weeks we will explore that further, in an informal and supportive group.
We will look at what this might mean in our full and messy lives, what does ‘fullness’ look like, what causes us to run on empty and how we might possibly help others experience fullness.
The world of TV, literature, poetry and rock music will all feature at some point!

Eleanor who will lead the course says: “I’m happy to take bookings and my number is 07730 535748.  I’m also more than happy to have a chat with anyone if they are unsure about attending.”


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Blind Auction & Supper Evening

Unfortunately this planned event has had to be cancelled because ticket sales have not gone well due to prospective attendees’ prior commitments on this date.

Bonnie Hill is organising this fundraising event which is on Saturday 16 March, 7 pm at Toad Hall, 16 Colchester Rd.
TICKETS – £8.00 per person plus bring your own drinks and a wrapped gift.

If you haven’t enjoyed a Blind Auction before, this is how it works.
In addition to buying a ticket, which will include a lasagne & pudding supper, everyone is asked to bring a single small wrapped parcel, maybe an unwanted gift.
In the auction everyone has the chance to bid “blind” for each unknown item. All bids are limited to 20p.
If you have made a bid in that round and the numbered ball you were given upon arrival is drawn out, you are the winner.
There are only 30 tickets so please get your tickets sooner rather than later as you may be disappointed if you wait.

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Tony Forsgate: 90 not out

We tagged a celebration  on to the end of the morning service on 17 February.

Graham Wadley, Director of Music, said:
“We’re celebrating Tony’s 90th birthday and also marking his retirement, last Christmas, from St Mary’s choir after just over 50 years singing with us, man and boy – though I don’t remember the boy bit! He first sang here until his voice broke, then devoted part of his life to cricket and rejoined the choir in the mid 70s singing bass -just as his father Tom had done before him. When Tom retired Tony took over the family tradition of singing bass. Daughters Judith and Alison were also members (at that time we had a choir of over 20-odd children) and shortly afterwards Shirley joined as well. In those days we had two services and Tony was incredibly loyal. So thank you Tony, for all your time and devotion. You always said that you couldn’t read music but I think you underestimated your ability!”

Tony responded: “Can I just thank Graham for all the work he puts in for the choir. At that time we had 40 members and for those who are still singing: thank you very much!
Good memories!”

Erwin presented a bouquet to Shirley, thanking her for all her support over the years.
Cake and sherry were enjoyed by all.

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