Sunday 25 February
10.30 am        Family Eucharist with Holy Baptism
Every Wednesday at 7.07 pm, 15-minute Midweek Reflection

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The Bishop’s Lent Appeal

This year St Mary’s PCC has agreed to support the bishop’s Lent Charity which will be raising funds to purchase a Water Bowser for use by the Diocese of Marsabit in northern Kenya. This will help them to transport water to the more remote communities that they serve.
More information about the background to the appeal can be read here.

March Tidings magazine will include an envelope for contributions to the appeal.

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Lent 2018

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on 14 February.
The usual Midweek Reflection service at 7.07 pm will not happen on that Wednesday. Instead, the church will be open from 6.45 pm for personal reflection and self-examination, followed at 7.30 pm by a service of Holy Communion with imposition of ashes.

Also, details of the various locations for the Lent course have now been received from Churches Together Wivenhoe as follows:


Led by Betty Rampling  01206 825397

Led by Glyn Stanway 01206 822620

10.30AM STARTING 22nd February at 46 VANESSA DRIVE
Led by Vic Copus  01206 824528
7.30PM STARTING 22nd February at 2 AMBERLEY CLOSE
Led by Jean Goody 01206 615886

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Stations of the Cross

During Lent, St Mary’s church will be privileged to house an exhibition of the Stations of the Cross by local artist Michael Fletcher.

While these Stations are modern in execution, they had followed the tradition by being Fourteen in number.
However, Michael later discovered that modern versions now often include a Fifteenth Station and has added one for “Resurrection” to the series, which will first be displayed on Easter Sunday.
Depicted on the right is an image of the Twelfth Station “Jesus dies on the Cross“. An article by the artist, explaining how he came to paint the series, can be read by clicking here.

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Quiz 2018

Quiz Night on 3 February was enjoyed by 70 participants and one thing is certain: judging by the different quality of the groans, the scrumptious cakes (gateaux really!) provided by the catering team were enjoyed a lot more than the Doris Day round that QM Peter Kerr had teasingly  prepared once more!!
In future we should try pretending that the DD questions are our favourites – perhaps that way we will eventually escape them. 🙂

Many thanks to everybody who supported this fundraising event and congratulations to The DAWS on winning the 2018 Quiz- a new plaque will soon be added to the trophy.

The winning team

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Lent courses 2018

This year the Lent study course has a new format, and another change is that there will be daytime as well as evening sessions to choose from.
Churches Together Wivenhoe  have organised the meetings so that hopefully more people will be able to attend.

The 5-week course will use the York course On the Third Day as a study guide.
Details are on this poster.



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Come and Sing

On Good Friday, 30th March this year,  St Mary’s Singers will sing Wondrous Cross by Colchester based composer Alan Bullard .
Rehearsals start in St Mary’s church on Thursday 1st February at 7.30pm and continue every Thursday until the event. We seriously need more singers to enable us to perform this work and particularly men, although all voice parts welcome.
Do contact Graham or any SMS/choir member for more details or come along on 1st February.

The following is from the composer’s website:
Wondrous Cross is a reflective work that weaves the traditional Seven Last Words of Christ with linking biblical passages, well-known hymns, an arrangement of ‘Were you there’ and settings of sacred texts, including ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’ and ‘Ave verum corpus’ to create a moving and at times dramatic work.

To give a flavour, here is a snippet of Drop, drop, slow tears.

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Church organ repairs

On Tuesday 9th January the repair work on the organ started with the removal of all of the organ pipes to Kevin Rutterford’s organ pipe workshop in Finchingfield.
Many pipes had suffered after 130 years and, due to the soft nature of the metals used, were collapsing under their own weight. Over the next two weeks the pipes will be straightened and remade where necessary ready for installation back in the organ by the end of the month.
Services will be accompanied by the piano while the organ is out of action.
Graham Wadley, Director of Music

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Bishop Stephen’s New Year message

We used to measure time by the rising and setting of the sun and by the cycle of
the moon. All this was apparent to the naked eye and needed little additional
calculation. We called these days and months.

Then we observed the movement of the sun, and added years: and then, at some
point, hours and minutes; and then named the days and months and numbered the
years; and then clocks and calendars and, eventually, the pulsating throb of the
mobile phone in your pocket telling you your next appointment is due and mapping
all that you will do today, tomorrow and until you are no more.
No wonder a wise African bishop asked why it is that we in the west have all the
clocks, but they in Africa have all the time. We have become imprisoned by
precision. Every moment is accounted for.

So Happy New Year! Happy new turning of the chapter from last year to this
year. In one sense it is just another rising of the sun; but it is also an invitation
to reflect.

How will I measure this New Year?

How will I measure my life?

Will it be by days and months? Or will it be by what I do in them and what I
Or will it be by the love and generosity with which I do these things and inhabit
these days?

So this is my prayer for the New Year: O Lord, teach me to measure my life in
something other than years. Amen.

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Organist recognised in New Year Honours

News tonight that Graham Wadley has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to church music.
He’s had to keep the secret since last November which, he said, had been really hard.

Many congratulations to Graham on a well-deserved award.

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Christmas Eve Baptism

In what is quite an unusual event in St Mary’s life, we celebrated the Baptism of Gabriella today in true Lithuanian style, with special savouries and a half a metre tall traditional Baptism cake to accompany the coffee and tea after the service.
What a great date for this occasion! Many congratulations to the parents and godparents.

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