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Holy Week

A Quick Guide to what goes on in Holy Week


Every year I do my best to encourage people to keep a good Holy Week by preaching about it, , leading a Lent course and sending out the Parish Easter cards. We are very blessed that we always seem to have such a massive turnout on Easter Day.  It is the most important day of the year, so that’s great, but it is the conclusion of the story.  This year I would like to encourage even more people to mark what comes before.


Palm Sunday: Crowhurst, Procession and Parish Communion, 10am-11am Catsfield and Crowhurst join together to act out the riding of Our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on a donkey.  We meet at the top of Forewood Rise and follow the donkey holding our palm crosses and branches.  At the church door we stop to remember the entry into Jerusalem.  The joy of Palm Sunday gave way, by the end of the week, to the sadness of the cross, so we act out one of the Bible’s accounts of the crucifixion.


Monday to Wednesday In order to make it clear that Holy Week is the most significant week of the year some extra devotional services take place.  On Monday and Wednesday night we have compline (Catsfield at 8pm), a simple short service said as you prepare to go to bed.  On Tuesday night we have the stations of the cross, at Crowhurst (7:30pm), which involves moving around fourteen pictures of the journey to the cross and reflecting on the significance of each one.


Maundy Thursday: Catsfield Sung Eucharist 7:30pm-8:30pm

Watch 8:30pm-Midnight

Our principle act of worship is the gift of Holy Communion and this is the night we give thanks for it. It is a special and charged atmosphere in which we also re-enact Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet.  Nobody has to have their feet washed, but people are invited to come forward.  After the receiving of Communion we then empty the church of all its ornaments and hangings so it is stark for Good Friday.  We also re-enact the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Christ asked His friends to keep watch with him; they failed, so we try and do better. At a side altar decked with flowers, to symbolize the garden, and covered in candles, Christ, reposes in his sacramental presence overnight (This is why it is called an Altar of Repose).  People come and go for fifteen minute slots up until midnight to be in Jesus’s presence and to pray for themselves, their loved ones and the parish.  There will be sign up lists, so we know that at least two people will always be there.  To my knowledge we are the only parish left in the Deanery which manages to keep a watch going until midnight.


Good Friday ‘Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by’

Without Good Friday there could be no Easter Day. This is the day when God gives his all for us by laying down His life on the cross, so He might take on the bully of death.  In our worship there really is something laid on for everyone.

Crowhurst:  Good Friday Liturgy 9:45am-10:30am.  This service is quite stark as we relive the cross through a series of Bible readings and hymns.  A giant cross is brought in and those who want to are invited to go forward to show a mark of respect as a sign of their appreciation of all that God has done for us.  There is also the chance to receive Holy Communion, from what was reserved on Maundy Thursday.

Catsfield: The Three Hours. 12pm-3pm.  We are the only parish left in the Deanery which still keeps it in the traditional way. Every half an hour a short reading is delivered, a few words of reflection offered and a hymn sung.  People come and go as they wish and it finishes at 3pm; the hour that Christ died.  Hot cross buns follow in the Village Hall.

Catsfield: Chidlren’s Workshop 1:30pm-3pm.  We meet in the hall for crafts and at 2:30pm undertake a walk up to the church, carrying a cross and stopping to reflect on Christ’s journey.  Hot cross buns follow in the Village Hall.


Holy Saturday: Catsfield, Morning Prayer, 9am and Crowhurst Evening Prayer 5pm

ot cossHot It is very easy to loose today in a flurry of flower arranging and church cleaning, but we also reflect upon how Christ descended into the realm of the dead, so that there might be nothing in life or death that could separate us from his love.


Easter Day: Catsfield, Parish Communion, 9:15am and Crowhurst, Parish Communion, 11am. This is the most important day of the Christian year as we celebrate the victory of life over death.  As a sign of the new life we renew our baptism promises and are ‘lightly sprinkled’ with water. Both churches are beautifully decorated and there is an Easter Egg hunt afterwards.


Because we like to pull the stops out for Easter we also have a Sung Evensong at the end of the day at 6pm.

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Coffee shop opening hours

Please note that during the School holidays our Friday coffee shop will open from 10-30 until 1-30. During term time the coffee shop will open from 8.30 – 11.30 to finish in time for the playgroup who use the room from 12 noon.

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There is now a link to current rotas at the top of the Home Page

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Baptisms, Burials, marriages and miscellaneous entries 1558-1757 on History page

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Burial Register from 1929

We now have our Burial Register from 1929 on the website.  Click on the history page and you will find it there.

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