Category Archives: worship

Future Services

Many of you will have seen the service for 29th March.  For future services I would like to enable more people to contribute.  So…

If you have only a telephone with no special features …

Alan can record any comments you would like to make over the phone.  Please call the Rectory and arrange a time to do this.  It will involve calling Alan on his mobile – and a number will be provided to do this.

If you have a smartphone/computer with camera and microphone

Worship has developed over the years into the form that it has, but now we are temporarily unable to meet there are other ways to express our faith.

Please let me know whether you would like a live service that lots of people can join and join in.

If you would like to record a video or sound; make something and take a picture of it; write some prose; share something you found on the web – whatever you have found that has fed you spiritually; please send it to Alan to pull it together.  With Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter coming up I am sure we could create a cornucopia of material for others to enjoy.

Large files can be sent to Alan via https://www.filemail.com/

If you don’t know how to use the computer to do this

  1. Click on the magnifying glass at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Search for Camera
  3. Click on the Camera App option
  4. Click on the Video button on the right hand side of the screen so that it is white.
  5. Click on it again to start videoing
  6. Click the red square to stop videoing.
  7. Open File Explorer and then Camera Roll – you should find the video you have recorded there.
  8. Use FileMail or PCloud (works better on mobiles) to select a video and send it to Alan.

I look forwards to receiving lots of material.

Services suspended but the Church is still here

Public worship in Church of England churches is being suspended in the light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic. but the church is still here and looking at ways we can continue to serve and to pray.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, have written a letter to all churches asking them to put public services on hold until further notice. But, where possible, churches will remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.

They urged congregations to be in the forefront of providing practical care and support for the most poor and the most vulnerable during the crisis. And they also encouraged clergy to maintain the ancient pattern of daily prayer and, where possible, the eucharist – live streaming worship if they have the resources to do so.

“Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,” they wrote. “Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.

“We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support.

“Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it.  Ensure the night shelters wherever possible are kept open. There are many very encouraging schemes happening right across our country in communities to focus on caring for the most vulnerable and do continue to play your part in those.

“Then by our service, and by our love,  Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel – a hope that can counter fear and isolation – will spread across our land.”

They added: “This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly are a church for all, or just the church for ourselves.

“We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world.”

The archbishops have joined other church leaders in calling for a day of prayer and action this Sunday (Mothering Sunday) particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services.

Further information on what the suspension of public worship will mean will be available as soon as possible on the Church of England website. This page will be regularly updated.

The Church will be providing a range of resources to enable people to continue to walk with God at this difficult time. This includes #LiveLent daily reflectionsprayer for the day audio and text and Alexa and Google Home smart speaker apps.

In the days and weeks ahead, the Church will be significantly expanding this output with audio of a simple daytime prayer and night prayer service, more video content and some live-streaming, new mental health reflections to support people, and webinars to help churches stream sermons, events and make the most of social media. Read more here.

The aim will be to make as much as possible available in simple downloadable and printable formats for those who can’t easily access the technology.

 

Picture by Tony Mclachlan on Unsplash.

 

 

Prayer… but not what you might expect

Join us this weekend as we focus on prayer in many, varied and perhaps unexpected ways.

On Saturday, February 29th and Sunday, March 1st, the three churches in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale will be offering opportunities to join in different sorts of prayer, ranging from eating pastries to going for a walk, from Welsh prayer, music and cakes to creativity in God’s presence.

The focus is on simply being with God and listening to God, trying to discern what God wants for our churches and community and what our part is in this.

There will be a labyrinth at St Mark’s, Alma Lane, GU9 0LT, and prayer stations in all three churches (St Mark’s; St George’s in Badshot Lea, GU9 9LD; and St John’s, Hale Road, GU9 9RP) and you are invited to call in and pray during the weekend*.

Then join in any or all of the following:

Saturday

9.30am: Pastries and Prayer – Join us for a prayer breakfast at St Mark’s and walk the labyrinth.
10.30am: Guided Mindfulness at St Mark’s.
3-5pm: Welsh prayer, Welsh harp music and Welsh cakes and tea at St John’s.
7pm: Candlelit service of prayer and a vigil at St John’s. Stay for as long as you want.

Sunday

2pm: Prayer walk, starting at St George’s. Walk between all three churches or join in at St John’s from around 2.30pm and St Mark’s from about 3pm.
3-4pm: Prayer and Art and Craft at St Mark’s. Create in the presence of God. Art and craft materials will be available but you are welcome to bring your own – eg knitting, crochet, clay etc
4.30pm: Come to St George’s and join a Benedictine Office of Readings with psalms, prayers, readings and meditation.
6pm: The weekend will finish with Taizé at St John’s.

 

*St John’s will be open from 9am on Saturday until the end of the Vigil and from 9.15am until after Taizé on Sunday. St George’s will be open on Saturday 9am-4pm and until after the Office of Readings on Sunday. St Mark’s will be open on Saturday 9.15am until noon and Sunday afternoon until 4pm.

 

labyrinth

Walk a labyrinth at St Mark’s.
Top picture by Chirag k, Unsplash

Hear God in the stillness

There are two new services being introduced into the parish in the next few weeks, both of them opportunities to have some stillness and pray.

The first is Said Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), a service beloved by many but which has declined in popularity in the last few decades. The second is a Taizé service, a simple service based on chants and silence.  They will take place monthly for  a trial period of six months, starting with Evensong on the final Sunday of the month at 5pm at St George’s, Badshot Lea – January 27 is the first one – and Taizé on the first Sunday of the month at 6pm at St John’s, Hale, with the first one on February 3.

The idea is to give us a chance to find some stillness so that we may hear God speak. Lesley Crawley says: “It feels so amazing, miraculous even, that God speaks to us ordinary folks and our lives are transformed forever.

“I believe that to experience such things we have to deliberately put ourselves in the way of God. We won’t hear God speaking unless we make time and space to do so. In our parish there is so much going on that sometimes I wonder whether God can accidentally get sidelined; and so we are offering two opportunities each month to have some additional stillness and prayerfulness. These will be located in particular buildings but are for everyone, irrespective of whether you go to a different church, or no church.”

BCP Said Evensong has been chosen by Lesley because it is a service she has loved since she discovered it during her curacy. She says of this discovery: “I loved the BCP, I loved the poetry of the language, I was charmed by the way that words have changed their meaning, and I enjoyed using those words with their old meaning. I found particular words and phrases incredibly challenging or comforting or meaningful – they pulled me into the presence of God. I loved the way that words were paired together like peace and concord, celebrating the depth and range of our language and behind that the diversity of all the peoples with their languages over many centuries who have come together to make our complex and many-faceted nation. The repetition was also helpful – saying almost exactly the same thing each week meant that I could experience the same words that had so blessed me the previous week and I found that those words continued to bless me from then on, week in and week out.”

Taizé has been chosen as a ‘doorway’ through to a closer experience of God. Lesley says: “I find that the experience of chanting enables me to step through the chants into the presence of God. Perhaps it is because I’ve always found it easier to learn things that are sung rather than said. For instance, at school I was rubbish at learning poems but I knew lots of pop songs off by heart! The chants are in various languages (although I tend to stick to the English and Latin chants) but actually language is irrelevant, it is just a tool to step into that place of intimacy with God.”

Craig Nobbs will be leading Said Evensong at 5pm St George’s on Sunday, January 27, and thereafter on the last Sunday of the month. Come along if you love BCP or have never experienced it and be swept along with its beauty.

Lesley will be leading the Taizé service at 6pm at St John’s on Sunday, February 3, and thereafter on the first Sunday of the month.

Lesley adds: “If neither of these services speak to you but something else will help you draw closer to God then please do that, and if you want some help setting something up then please contact me”.

 

God above us, within us and at the bottom of the garden

A Celtic Service

God above us – trees, birds and sunshine, stars and moonlight – God above us.

God within us – hope, tears and laughter, love and wonder – God within us.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with my son about the Celtic service at St George’s I was going to be taking part in, with Wendy Edwards and Dave and Helena Walker. As a joke – I think – he asked  Is that where you paint your face blue and dance around with no clothes on?”

I said that was not what we would be doing and he seemed disappointed ! However it did make me think that other people may have similar ideas.

So to reassure everyone, on Saturday, July 14 at 5pm, 22 of us met in the garden of St. George’s for a Celtic Service. The weather and setting were just right.

Wendy led our worship beautifully with words and prayers, and told us how she found God at the bottom of her garden. Helena and Dave prepared an area for us do do various art activities, and brought a large Celtic cross they had painted.

We sang some familiar hymns and some new songs and sang The Lord’s Prayer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

Afterwards we all stayed to chat over refreshments of shortbread, Welsh cakes and homemade fruit bread, with tea and coffee.

It was a beautiful service. Thank you Wendy. I look forward to the next one.

Margaret Emberson

PS And we did NOT paint our faces blue and dance around with no clothes on!

 

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