4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

With the grim milestone of over 100,000 deaths to date having been reached last week, it is good to see that the numbers of infections and deaths on the island are slowly beginning to come down.

It is also very encouraging to hear how many of you have now received your first vaccination!

Sadly, we cannot open our churches for public worship yet, but I wanted to draw your attention to an important festival of the Church which is coming up on Tuesday, namely Candlemas; also known as The Presentation of Christ in the temple, or the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Candlemas marks the end of 40 days since we celebrated Christ’s birth at Christmas, and the three titles given to this day give us a clue to the three things which are being remembered on this day.

Firstly, the recollection of the prophecy of Simeon in the Temple that the infant Jesus would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to the people Israel”; the Jewish rites surrounding childbirth for women, and the offering of a first-born Jewish child to God for His service.

Candlemas provides us with a sort of “hinge”, between the birth of Jesus at Christmas and our starting to look towards the cross; and the liturgical colour changes after the Eucharist at Candlemas from the white of Epiphanytide to a more penitential colour as Lent approaches.

Normally, we would have had a mass, with a candle-lit procession, as we remember that we were once presented at church for our baptism. At our baptism we were dedicated to God, and given the name, “Christian.” We received a lit candle from the paschal candle, at which the priest said, “God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and has given us a place with the saints in light. You have received the light of Christ; walk in this light all the days of your life.

Although we cannot be together to celebrate this Feast, let us spend some time on Feb 2nd pondering our own baptism and what it means to us in our daily discipleship and how we carry out this instruction to “walk in the light of Christ”.

Feb 2nd will also see the funeral of Eileen Jones, who used to be a faithful member of All Saints. Her coffin will be received into church at 4.30pm on Monday Feb 1st and will remain in church overnight. It will leave church at 11.00 on Tuesday Feb 2nd.

Her funeral will be at the crematorium at 12.00, but it will be immediate family and close friends only. However, we hope to have a memorial requiem and the interment of her ashes in due course. If you would like to attend the reception of her coffin, or to be there when she leaves church, you would be very welcome.

My love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

4th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

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Reflection

4th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

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The image above is of a Romanesque fresco in the former bell house of Lambach Abbey. Christ heals a man possessed in the synagogue of Capernaum. Two groups of men are looking at what is happening, the twelve people on the left are probably the twelve apostles. It dates to the 11th century Creative Commons CC0 License

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

First of all, thank you to all who have responded to the document I sent about the new Deanery Plan. It would seem that of the people who have responded in terms of St Alban’s, several think it would make more sense for St Alban’s to be partnered with the Ventnor churches, as they are already engaged in some joint working, eg Messy Church ministry in Upper Ventnor; and there is historical precedent for them having been involved in other joint ventures in the past.

However, there are others who think differently about this, who would not want to see St Alban’s going in with Ventnor, and who suggest a different configuration, maybe including St Alban’s, All Saints’, Whitwell and St Lawrence.

All Saints’ is a different kind of church from St Alban’s as, with its rich heritage and history, and its picturesque village location, it is a magnet for visitors. We already have a significant ministry of pastoral care for the visitors who come into our church from across the world, and it is important that that work is maintained and built upon.

As I said last week in the document I circulated about this, we do not at this stage need to have detailed plans; but the Area Dean is trying to get a sense of the “direction of travel”, as she and the Deanery Council analyse the proposals from all the island churches. These will be considered by Deanery Council and then Deanery Synod, before being presented to the Bishop on Feb 22nd.

Our Gospel reading this Sunday, which tells us about Jesus’ call to Simon, Andrew, James and John, has something to say to us as we wrestle with the questions about our future as churches.

The positive response of these first disciples to Jesus’ call to follow him and help with the work of building the Kingdom continues to ring down the generations, via St Paul, whose Feast of Conversion we keep on Tuesday Jan 25th.

St Paul, having been actively persecuting Christians before his encounter with Christ brought about his conversion, subsequently worked tirelessly to spread the Good News of the Gospel.

Thanks to the missionary work of St Paul and those who have come after him, Christians have been called down the generations to assess what being a follower of Jesus really means; to ask why they are followers, and to question what this means in terms of their daily discipleship. In light of the current changes in the Deanery, it is pertinent for us to also ask what type of church does God want our churches to be; and how should we proclaim the Good News in our own day?

With my love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

3rd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

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Reflection

3rd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is a wall mosaic from the 6th century and is in the nave of the Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna. Further information

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

This has been a very worrying week, with the numbers of Covid infections and deaths from Covid continuing to rise on the island; but is encouraging to hear how many people from among our congregations have now been vaccinated, as this gives us the greatest hope of coming out of lockdown.

Many of you will have known Eileen Jones, who was a regular member of All Saint’s until age and frailty overtook her. Sadly, Eileen died recently. I don’t have confirmation of the details of her funeral yet, but I will let you know in due course. Meanwhile, please pray for the repose of Eileen’s soul and for all her family who mourn her loss.

Thanks go to Keith and Tom Burden, cheered on by Jackie(!), for getting the window at St Alban’s repaired again so quickly. The jackdaws will now have to look for alternative accommodation!

Monday 18th sees the start of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. This is an ecumenical, international annual event, which is traditionally held between 18th – 25th January.

For 2021, materials have been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp, Switzerland. The theme is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, based on John 15:1-17. This theme expresses the Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.

Unfortunately, this year resources can only be found online. You can find them by going to ctbi.org.uk; but we can all pray for the unity of the church and for reconciliation and a fairer sharing of the world’s resources, which is so needed in these times of such division and social injustice around the world.

Every year, Christian Aid provide daily reflections during the week for prayer for Christian Unity, with Go and Do action points linking into the important work of Christian Aid in the relief of poverty and advocacy of justice. Resources can be found at christianaid.org.uk

If you would like to donate to the work of Christian Aid, you can go to the website, as above, or you can call 02075232046 and speak directly to a member of the giving team.

Please do contact me if you are struggling in any way during these difficult times, and please be assured of my continuing prayers.

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

2nd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

Reflection

2nd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew by
Lorenzo Veneziano, dated 1370 and is to be found in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin Creative Commons CC0 License

The Baptism of Christ

Dear friends,

Well, the predicted national lockdown has now happened! I am so relieved we took the decision together to suspend public worship at our churches when we did, because this has been shown to be entirely the right call to have made.

Sadly, Dennis has had to take the additional decision to close All Saints’ completely, even for private prayer; and St Alban’s will also remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Sunday worship can be accessed, though, via live streaming from a number of sources, including eg the Minister, Portsmouth Cathedral or Walsingham Anglican Shrine. If you’d like more options, please get in touch with me.

newportminster.org
portsmouthcathedral.org.uk
walsinghamanglican.org.uk

You can also find worship being broadcast on the TV or radio, e.g.

BBC 1 Sunday Worship at 10.00
Radio 4 Sunday worship at 8.10
Radio 3 (daily)Choral Evensong at 15.00

I will continue to put the Sunday readings on the website, together with a weekly homily, either by me or others, plus my usual weekly pastoral letter.

For those of you who usually go to All Saints’, if you know of people who do not have internet access, but would like to access these weekly resources, could I ask you to print out copies and get them to them, please?

For those who normally go to St Alban’s, I will continue to get copies to you in the usual way.

Although the vaccine programme is currently being rolled out, it will obviously be a while before we are out of lockdown. This will be a time of continuing to care for one another at distance, by phone, email and, of course through prayer. However, for those who are shielding, or who need help with shopping etc, help is available from the Godshill Volunteer co-ordinators:

Alison Child tel: 840179
or
Rodney Downer tel: 854203

In Ventnor, the community hub can offer similar help to vulnerable people tel; 835775 / 857848 9.00 – 16.00 Mon – Fri.

Please do contact me if you’re struggling in any way; and, if you know of someone who is ill and they would like me to contact them, or to pray for them, please let me know.

In the meantime, please be assured of my love and prayers.

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

The-Baptism-of-Christ-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

A Reflection

The-Baptism-of-Christ-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is a painting dated 1498-1500 by Pietro_Perugino. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie in Vienna Creative Commons CC0 License