From the Rectory – (July 2017)
Well goodness me, I can hardly believe that we are over half way through 2017, where has the time gone.
As many of you begin to look forward to the summer break, and hopefully a well-earned holiday, I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank you to those who work so hard at the many social events that are held in each parish.
Just recently, Ryman’s were open once again, and the good people of Apuldram church made and served tea and cake to the many visitors. This event is always a great opportunity to meet new people, and to sit and simply relax in the wonderful garden. Apuldram church also hosted a wonderful concert in June, a fantastic selection of music was provided by David Russell and Terry Stanton. I am not sure how much was raised exactly, but I know it was over £1000. So thank you David and Terry for giving your time and giftedness, and to all the people who attended, it really was a truly perfect evening.
Fishbourne Church and school have just had their annual fete, and what an amazing day that was. Such a lot of work goes into the planning, organising, and running this event, but every year it is a great success. This year the sun shone brightly, and very warmly, and people generously spent a lot of money. Again I am not sure of how much exactly was raised, but the figure at the moment is over £6000. If you were there on Saturday you will have heard that the school will buy new stimulating play equipment for the children, and the church are putting their part towards a new heating system, which may sound a bit odd in the middle of this heat wave, but winter will arrive all too soon.
Events such as these are so important for our communities, because they draw people of all ages together and allow us to relax and enjoy ourselves.
And there is more to come. Ryman’s will be open again later this year, and wonderful Sunday afternoon cream teas will be served in Fishbourne church hall throughout the weeks of summer. Do look out for the posters advertising both of the above. Two of the cream tea afternoons will be in aid of St’ Wilfred’s hospice.
And finally, looking a little bit ahead, in September, the annual ride and stride will be taking place. This is a diocesan event, and involves people riding around, or walking if they wish, to as many churches as they can manage. They get family and friends to sponsor them, and the money raised is shared between the local church and the Churches Historic Fund, which benefits beautiful old buildings like our own. Do listen out for further information, and do join in on the day, either by riding round on your bike, or perhaps offering to serve a refreshing drink to those who will visit our churches from across Sussex. It would be great if Fishbourne could reclaim the team trophy this year, so we are hoping a lot of you will sign up.
Social events are crucial to the life of any church, it is so important to play as well as pray together, so once again, to those who work so hard at organising each one, thank you on behalf of us all.
On this rock I will build my church – (June 2017)
Fishbourne Church has as many of you will know two patron saints. St Mary and of course St Peter.And you may well ask, what is a Patron Saint and why do we have them. In a nutshell, it is a saint chosen to be the special ‘intercessor’ in heaven for a particular place or organisation, such as a parish church, cathedral or hospital. In fact there are patron saints for just about every aspect of life from actors, dentists, musicians, to nurses, refugees and even the weather.
St Peter was the man on whom Jesus said he would build His church, the one who was given the keys to the kingdom.
Now when we think of the Saints, we imagine them to be very holy perfect people. But this is not so. If you read through the New Testament you will come across a great deal about Peter, much of which depicts him as a man who was unsure, a person who could be rash, irritable and at times for too hasty for his own good.
Yes, Peter is a great encouragement to us all, yes he fell short, yes it seemed as if he really did not understand Jesus very well at all and ‘let’ Him down by denying that he knew Him. But Peter was also gentle and firm, a man of great loyalty and love.
It’s quite incredible really, that the man who was a fisherman, married and not well educated would be chosen by Christ to build the church of which we are a part of to this day. Despite his somewhat wobbly start, peter was the one who addressed the crowds at Pentecost and worked miracles in Christ’s name. he refused to be silenced by the Jewish council and went on to admit the first gentile to baptism.
He encourages us to understand, that in Christ we can all do amazing things, and we are privileged to have him as one of our patron saints for Fishbourne. Many parishes hold what’s known as a patronal festival, an occasion of celebration to honour the Saint of their church.
And so, this year, on Sunday 2nd July, there will be a special service at Fishbourne, this service will involve and include the people of Apuldram and will be held at 11.00am. After the service we will have a lovely shared lunch in the hall, where there will be games, fun and hopefully lots of laughter.
So please do join us on this day, bring your family and friends as we give thanks for our patron saint, who not only intercedes on our behalf, buy encourages us even when we get things wrong.
For on this Rock, our churches are built.