Author Archives: valerie



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Intercession rota – May December 2018


Tel. No


3rd Children’s Service  
10th Lindy Butters 830293


Derek Norgate 892374
24th Frances Hamson 830461


1st Children’s Service  
8th Margaret Philcox** 830258


WW1 Service. Fr Michael 830039
22nd Peter Armstrong  
29th Muriel Scott-Wood 830585
5th  Children’s Service  
12th Baptism (Fr Michael) 892988


Joint service at St Laurence, Catsfield  
26th Jonathan Webster 830768


2nd Children’s Service  
9th Lindy Butters 830293


Frances Hamson 830461
23rd Margaret Philcox 830258
30th Valerie Wellard 830039


7th Harvest Festival and Children’s Service  
14th Peter Armstrong**  



Derek Norgate 892374


Muriel Scott-Wood 830585


4th Children’s Service


11th Remembrance Sunday **  
18th Derek Norgate 892374
25th Lindy Butters 830293




Children’s Service  

Jonathan Webster**

16th Margaret Philcox 830258
23rd Valerie Wellard 830039
25th Christmas Day Fr Michael 892988


**PLEASE NOTE: If you are down to do the intercessions on the second Sunday of the month could you please read the names from the first Sunday as well as the second Sunday as they are not read out at the Children’s Service.  Thank you.

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June 2018 services



3 The First Sunday after Trinity

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service, 11am, Crowhurst


6 Holy Communion, Crowhurst, 10am


7 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


10 The Second Sunday after Trinity

Parish Communion, Catsfield, 9:15am

Parish Communion, Crowhurst, 11am


13 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


14 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


17 The Third Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


20 The Translation of Edward, King of the West Saxons, 979, Holy Communion, 10am

21 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


24 The Nativity of St John the Baptist

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

Flower Festival Evensong, 5pm, Catsfield


27 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


28 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield




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June letter

Otters and the Vestry


A member of the East Sussex Record Office recently telephoned last month to say that they were about to acquire some parish papers relating to Catsfield.  Up until the creation of parish councils at the end of the nineteenth century local government, at least in the countryside and small towns, was in the hands of the church wardens and an elected group known as the vestry.  As well as having to maintain the church building they were responsible for things such as road repairs and poor relief.  Regrettably the advent of parish councils led to the destruction of many of the old records, but a selection of Catsfield ones relating to the eighteenth century were discovered in a recent house clearance.  At some point there will be a published publicity picture of the papers being handed over whilst I gaze on in admiration!


Crowhurst also cropped up in a surprising way.  I was reading The Sword in the Stone, by T,H.White, which is basically the story of the young King Arthur being educated to be a good king by the wizard Merlin.  The young Arthur first meets Merlin when he is lost in the local forest and stumbles upon his home.  There is a delightful description of the upstairs room of the cottage, which among other things houses hundreds of thousands brown books in leather bindings, stuffed birds, the claws of a tiger, live grass snakes in ‘a king of aquarium’ and a couple of skulls.  Remarkably there is also a notice in Roman print reading CROWHURST OTTER HOUNDS.


In their heyday the Crowhurst Otter Hounds were quite famous. They were founded in 1902 and continued up until 1959 when they were disbanded, due to the decline in otter numbers caused by polluted water in the area.


Otters are protected and cared for now, but most of our ancestors would have felt very differently towards them.  In the middle ages they were hunted, due to a desire to protect the inland freshwater fisheries.  In an era when it was expected that you abstained from meat on Fridays, the day of the cross, and only ate fish it was vital to ensure a local supply if you were any distance from the sea.


Speaking personally I developed a soft spot for otters on reading the delightful tales of the riverbank folk in Wind in the Willows.  I also loved the story of Gavin Maxwell and Edal the otter up in Scotland.  Sadly I have never seen one in the wild, but have enjoyed seeing them at the Norfolk Otter Trust Head Quarters.


Otters don’t sadly feature in the Bible, but they do make an appearance in the historical writings of the Venerable Bede (670-735AD).  Bede, one of the most brilliant men ever to live was a gifted historian among other things and it is thanks to him that we know anything of the Saxon church in England.  Among the attractive stories he preserves are those about St Cuthbert (640-687), Bishop of Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast.  Cuthbert poured out his love on others, but fuelled it all by fearsome disciplines of prayer and fasting.


Bede describes how whenever possible he would stay up all night praying.  He would walk into the cold sea, around Lindisfarne, so it kept him awake. Once another monk spied on him and witnessed the shivering Cuthbert emerging from the sea at dawn.  A pair of sea otters then came up out of the water and wrapped themselves around Cuthbert’s feet to warm them.


Otters may not appear in the Bible, but the prophet Isaiah (65:21-25) looked forward to a time when all might become friends and that the wolf and the lamb might lie down together.  Those who are in harmony with God and with their neighbour do seem to have special affinity to nature; somehow the natural world is not threatened by them.  Harmony and peace are great things and the fruits of a deep experience of the beauty of God.


Fr Michael


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March services including Holy Week

Morning Prayer is normally said at 8:30am in Catsfield on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and, in Crowhurst, on Wednesday. Evening Prayer is normally said in Catsfield at 5pm Monday to Wednesday.

In term-time Crowhurst School holds a weekly Wednesday service at 9:10am in St George’s



1 S. David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c 601, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


4 The Third Sunday of Lent

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


7 S. Perpetua, Martyr at Carthage, 203, Holy Communion,  10am, Crowhurst


8 Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, 1910, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


11 Mothering Sunday

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning and Parade Service 10am, Catsfield

Family Morning and Parade Service, 11am, Corwhurst


14 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


15 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


18 Passion Sunday

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


21 S Benedict, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 550, Holy Communion, Crowhurst, 10am


22 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield




Palm Sunday 25th March

Joint Parish Procession with Donkey, Palms and Family Communion; Discoverers (Sunday School) also meets, 10am, Crowhurst

(procession starts at 10:00am, on the grassy area, nearest the church at the entrance to Forewood Rise)

Monday 26th March

Compline (Night Prayer), 8pm, Catsfield


Tuesday 27th March

Stations of the Cross, 7:30pm, Crowhurst


Wednesday 28th April

Holy Communion, Crowhurst

Litany and Compline (Night Prayer), 8pm, Catsfield




Maundy Thursday 29th March


There is no 9:30am service of Holy Communion, since there should only be one celebration this day.  However Morning Prayer will be said at 9:30am.


Evening Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper And Watch, 7:30pm, Catsfield  (Holy Communion will be finished by 8:30pm.  We then keep a watch in church, until midnight, when we keep vigil as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane.  People come and go as they wish during this.)


Good Friday 30th March

Good Friday Liturgy, 9:45pm, Crowhurst

Watch of the Passion; ‘The Three Hours’, Catsfield

(We remember the three hours that Christ spent on the cross through readings, hymns, reflections and prayer.  People are invited to come and go and to stay for as much as they wish. Hot cross buns afterwards in the Village Hall)


There will be a children’s act of worship, but at the time of going to print this has yet to be settled.


Easter Even 31st March

Morning Prayer, 9am, Catsfield

Evening Prayer, 5pm, Crowhurst




Family Communion, Catsfield, 9:15am

(Easter Egg Hunt afterwards)

Family Communion, Crowhurst 11am

(Easter Egg Hunt afterwards)

Evensong, 6pm, Catsfield



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March letter

All Creatures Great and Small


One of the more extraordinary stories of the British Isles is the account of the sea voyage of the sixth century monk Brendan.  After hearing rumours of an earthly paradise, across the sea, he set off with seventeen brother monk in a boat made out of cowhide on a wooden frame.  From the account of his journey it remains highly likely that he did cross the Atlantic Ocean, sailed through the fog of the Newfoundland banks, and made it to North America.


In a direct line from England, Newfoundland is the closest point to us. From Penzance (haunt of the famous pirates!) it is a mere 2116 miles!  Even in these days of frequent air travel I still thought it showed a degree of dedication when I recently met a Canadian priest, who had travelled from his Newfoundland parish, to join a group of us on retreat in Norfolk.


Newfoundland may be the tenth province of Canada, today, but up until 1949 it was a separate British Dominion.  One of the most moving war memorials I have seen from the Great War is that at the Newfoundland Memorial Park, on the Somme. It shows a caribou calling into the sky, as it sounds its tribute to all the Newfoundlanders who laid down their lives on behalf of Britain.


Another haunting call you may well hear in Canada is that of the loon bird.  The Canadian Church actually refers to it in its own verse of that popular hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.


The rocky mountain splendour

The loon bird’s haunting call,

The great lakes and the prairies

The forest in the fall.


The original hymn was written by Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, wife to the Archbishop of Armagh, in the mid nineteenth century.  Her hymn was part of a much wider attempt to explain the opening part of the Apostles’ Creed where we stress our belief in ‘God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.’  Mrs Alexander was remarkably successful to judge by the enthusiasm with which the children of Catsfield and Crowhurst School still sing it.


Newfoundland is certainly rich in wildlife with its mouse, caribou and black bears on land and the whales and dolphin in its waters. Whilst a Dominion it actually had its own version of the Red Ensign, the flag of the Merchant Navy, which included a  representation of a fisherman offering the rich harvest of the sea to Britannia.


It was Charles II who officially endorsed the Red Ensign in 1674 and there lies the second connection with the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.  The tune to which we normally sing it is called Royal Oak.  We have our own Royal Oak Lane in Crowhurst, which was probably named because it led past an inn of that name.  The term Royal Oak became a popular term for hostelries after the restoration of the monarchy on the 29th May 1660; it commemorated the fact that the young Charles II had once had to hide up an oak tree to escape his pursuers.


Every 29th of May top show your loyalty to the newly restored monarchy you were expected to wear oak leaves.  You would probably also have enjoyed dancing to the tune named Royal Oak.  Royal Oak was the tune to a patriotic ballad, in praise of the returning House of Stuart, called The Twenty-Ninth of May.  Martin Shaw (1875-1958) the English composer was so enchanted with the tune that he adapted it to fit All Things Bright and Beautiful.


So next time we sing All Things Bright and Beautiful you can firstly ponder the wonders of God’s creation in our own land and beyond.  You can also remember that beauty is a quality of God. Wherever we find beauty, be it in art or music, it is always a good thing to deploy it, as Martin Shaw did, for the worship of our Heavenly Father.


Father Michael

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February services

Morning Prayer is normally said at 8:30am in Catsfield on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and, in Crowhurst, on Wednesday. Evening Prayer is normally said in Catsfield at 5pm Monday to Wednesday.


1 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


4 Sexagesima

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service, 11am, Crowhurst


7 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


8 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


11 Quinquagesima

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


14 Ash Wednesday

Holy Communion and Ashing, 10am, Crowhurst

Holy Communion and Ashing 6:30pm, Catsfield


15 Holy Communion, 10am


18 The First Sunday in Lent

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


21 Ember Day, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


22 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


25 The Second Sunday in Lent

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


28 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

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February letter

Fill-dyke February


February doesn’t receive the best of presses from our English poets and authors. Shakespeare speaks of a ‘February face, so full of frost, of storm and cloudliness.’  Then there is the poet William Barton:

February fills dikes, overflowing fields

And streams, turns paths to slippery ooze.’

February does, of course, boast St Valentine’s Day on the 14th, but this year it also clashes with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  On the face of it this doesn’t seem to be a very happy coincidence, since it is hard to tell your beloved that you won’t be receiving chocolates this year, because you ought to give them up for Lent.


On the other hand St Valentine’s Day does link in with Lent through its celebration of life. As well as celebrating romantic love St Valentine’s Day is the day that birds traditionally start to mate.  It is a celebration of the start of new life after winter.  William Barton in the second stanza of his poem rejoiced in all the green shoots, buds and stems that February brings.


The term Lent literally means spring, which is why Eastern Orthodox Christians sing enthusiastically how, ‘The spring-time of the Fast has dawned, the flower of repentance begun to open.’ Spring is my favourite time of the year, because everything seems to be growing again and there is hope; the snowdrops, Candlemas bells give me especial pleasure


These days I also feel enthusiasm about Lent as a special time in which to grow in my love of God and neighbour.  Jesus believed fasting was a good thing, which is why it has been linked into Lent.  Sometimes we don’t take that as seriously as we should; one thinks of the parishioner who proudly announced that not only was he giving up lemon in his gin and tonic, but the tonic too! Neither should we avoid any suggestion of fasting by announcing that we have taken something extra on.


A good keeping of Lent, for most of us, involves putting something down and taking something up.  Some moderation in food or drink remains a good thing, but there may be many other things we can put down for a while.  I can’t help feeling that a bit of time off social media might encourage people to talk to those who are in the room with them.


The keeping of the forty days of Lent is based on the forty days Christ spent in the wilderness.  He made time to be open to growing in God’s will.  When He came out of the wilderness He was ready to preach the good news.  Lent gives us the opportunity to confront what may be wrong in our lives and to start the springtime growth that will help us flourish.


Father Michael


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Reading list January – June 2018

Readings List: January to June 2018


Date Reader Phone Old Testament Epistle
07 January Children’s                          
14 January Lindy Butters 830293 2 Kings 4:1-17 Romans 12:6-16a
21 January Derek Norgate  892374 2 Kings 6:14b-23 Romans 12:16b-end
28 January Sarah Tomisson 830497 Malachi 3:1-5    Galatians 4:1-7
04 February Children’s    
11 February Alison Lewis 439994 Genesis 9:8-17              1 Corinthians 13:
18 February Hilary Langdon 830244 Genesis 3:1-6 2 Corinthians 6: 1-10
25 February Jennie Yeo 838157 Jeremiah 17: 5-10 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
04 March Peter Armstrong 428262 Numbers 22:21-31 Ephesians5:1-14
11 March* Children’s                
18 March Frances Hamson 830461 Exodus 24:4-8 Hebrews 9:11-15
25 March < Valerie Mighall 830246 Zechariah 9:9-12           Philippians 2:5-11
01 April #  Richard Windred 830725 Exodus 12:21-28 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
08 April Derek Norgate 892374 Ezekiel 37:1-10 1 John 5:4-12
15 April Muriel Scott-Wood 830585 Ezekiel 34:11-16a          1 Peter 2:19-end
22 April Margaret Philcox 830258 1 Maccabees 2:59-64 Ephesians 6:10-18
29 April Lindy Butters 830293 Job 19:21-27a James 1:17-21
06 May Children’s  
13 May Jenny Yo 838157 2 Kings 2:9-15 1 Peter 4:7-11
20 May Sarah Tomisson 830497 Deuteronomy 16:9-12 Acts 2:1-11
27 May Alison Lewis
Isaiah 6:1-8 Revelations 4:1-11
03 June** Children’s  
10 June Hilary Langdon 830244 Genesis 12:1-4  1 John 3:13-end
17 June Richard Windred 830725 2 Chronicles 33:9-13 1 Peter 5:5b-11
24 June Peter Armstrong 428262 Isaiah 40:1-11 Acts 13:22-26


  • Candlemas  < Palm Sunday  *Mothering Sunday   #Easter Day   **Whit Sunday                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



If you are unable to make one of the dates, please kindly contact another reader on the list to arrange to swap.



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January Services

Parish Kalendar



For baptism, weddings and funerals please contact the rector.

Confessions are by appointment.

Morning Prayer is normally said at 8:30am in Catsfield on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and, in Crowhurst, on Wednesday. Evening Prayer is normally said in Catsfield at 5pm Monday to Wednesday.








 1 New Year’s Day and the Feast of the Naming of Jesus

Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


3 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


4 Holy Communioin, 9:30am, Catsfield


7 January, The Epiphany

Family Communion              Catsfield                     9:15am

Children’s Service                 Crowhurst                 11:00am

10 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


11 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


14 The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


17 St Anthony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


18 St Prisca, Martyr at Rome, c 265, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


21 The Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst


24 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst


25 The Conversion of St Paul, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


28 The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlesmas)

Parish Communion and Procession, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion and Procession, 11am, Crowhurst


31 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst




1 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield


4 Sexagesima

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service,11am, Crowhurst

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