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Jane Austen weekend.

Click on the Social tab at the top of the Home page for a write up of our Jane Austen weekend.

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Jane Austen weekend October 2017

The Jane Austen Weekend

 

We seemed to have gone back in time as a series of bonneted ladies and men in breeches meandered their way to Crowhurst Village Hall. It was of course the Jane Austen evening as we marked the bi-centenary of her death.

 

The hall itself had been transformed into a gracious Regency Drawing Room with attractive curtains, silver candelabra, floral displays and silhouettes of Austen’s principle characters displayed around the room.  Up on the stage Sandra Hunt has also arranged a small writing desk for the writer herself.

 

Jane Austen did put in an appearance, when Elizabeth Hone read from some of her letters, but mostly we heard from her characters. John and Katie Spall made a splendid Mrs and Mrs Bennett and Liz McCall, as Lizzie Bennet, turned down the marital proposal of the obsequious Mr Collins played by Richard Day. Chris Newton became the snobbish Sir Walter Elliot with narration read by Anne Auger.  Jo Crouch then read the part of Mary Elliot. Fr Michael went military for the night and as the anguished Colonel Brandon recounted the moral indiscretions of Willoughby.  Jan Stewart then concluded the readings with a passage from Emma.  Presiding over all the literary readings was Mike Stewart, looking highly rustic in his smock. He introduced each section where we were both informed and entertained regarding Jane Austen’s life and writings.

 

We enjoyed a period menu drawn largely from recipes used by Martha Lloyd, Jane Austen’s friend and housekeeper, at her Chawton home. We began with a cold platter and moved on to Mr Darcy’s Beef Steak Stew or Henry Tilney’s chicken one pot.  The Regency period didn’t much go in for potatoes, so we had it with a generous portion of herb pudding.  We were rather spoilt for puddings with syllabub, apple pie, plum pudding and all sorts of variants on bread and butter pudding. Valerie Mighall and Frances Hamson produced the first two courses and Ray Grayson and Pam Thomas co-ordinated the puddings.

 

Towards the end of the evening the Crowhurst Regency Dancers performed a gracious reel up on stage. Rather like the Generation Game volunteers were then invited to have a go with hilarious results. The evening concluded with the famous clip of Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, diving into the lake at Pemberley.

 

On the Sunday a special commemorative service was held at St George’s. Many of the congregation went into costume again.  If you had looked inside the tower you would have seen three ladies in poke bonnets furiously pulling the bell ropes.

 

Jane Austen is rightly rated as a gifted novelist.  Her wise and witty observations of love and romance, virtue and failure are as pertinent as when she first penned them.  The novels abound in clever turns of phrase and memorable characterization, which have translated very well to the world of film and television.  What is perhaps less immediately apparent is that her Christian faith was an important part of her life and lies behind many of the theme explored in her novels. She was born into a Vicarage family and had numerous clerical relations. Two of her brothers ended up as clergymen as did four of her cousins and her naval brothers also seem to have been known as devout men.  Frank took his obligation to lead prayer on board seriously and was known as ‘the officer who knelt in church.’

 

We took the Prayer Book Service of Morning Prayer and followed it pretty faithfully.  The exceptions were the use metrical versions of psalms, since it is more likely that these were used in a parish setting.  We also included a couple of hymns contemporary with Jane Austen, although she is unlikely to have sung any.  The singing of hymns was regarded as showing signs of religious enthusiasm, so would have been frowned upon within the Church of England two hundred years ago.  Famously Jane wrote to her sister, Cassandra, on the 24th January 1809 that ‘I do not like the Evangelicals.’ However she seems to have changed since only five years later in a letter to her niece Fanny Knight she wrote, ‘I am by no means convinced that we ought not to be all Evangelicals, and am at least persuaded that they who are so from Reason and Feeling, must be happiest and safest.’

 

The Crowhurst Choir sang the Te Deum beautifully. We were very grateful to Jane and Linda Ireson, from Catsfield choir, who performed ‘The Good Old Way’ for the anthem. 

 

Austen’s novels explore all sorts of moral issues, so we had readings from both Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice paralleled with biblical passages.  We were also able to draw upon the three prayers, in the Prayer Book idiom, which she wrote for private family devotions.  Her prayers encourage spiritual self-examination, thankfulness for blessings received and intercession for family, friends, neighbours and the wider world.

 

Austen enthusiasts may ask why we held a weekend in Crowhurst.  Sadly there is no evidence that Jane Austen ever visited Crowhurst although she did know members of the Papillon family, who had connections with the village. She did stay in Sussex at Worthing and had relations at Shoreham.  Her unpublished novel, Sanditon, was also set in a fictional seaside village not far from here.  Possibly her naval brothers knew Captain George Hardinge (1781-1808) who is commemorated in the church. Hardinge was considered another Nelson after his victory against the French ship Piémontaise in 1808.

The main reason for the commemoration was simply that the works of Jane Austen continue to give a great deal of pleasure to those who read them and provoke much discussion.  There was certainly plenty of that when everyone gathered post-service, in the Parish Room, for Bath buns, yeast cake, spa water or a Regency cup of tea or coffee in fine china.

 

 

 

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December letter 2017

Travel on a Train

 

On the way to a preaching engagement in Oxford I had to travel by underground to Paddington Station, the home of the famous bear. On the underground people seem to have perfected the art of blanking the world out.  A group of very enthusiastic buskers entered the carriage with their brass instruments and drum.  They clearly noted my clerical collar and gave us a good blast of ‘When the saints go marching in’.  I felt obliged to look enthusiastic and put some money in the cap being passed round. Everybody else in the carriage pretended nothing was going on.

 

At the next stop the cheerful buskers left and a beggar entered the carriage. He announced that he was cold and had nothing to eat and would be grateful for any spare money.  I didn’t give him any, because I could see he had a bag with food in it.  I was the exception, however, since nearly everybody else came to life and gave him something. I felt the carriage’s disapproval of my meanness.

 

I do believe in helping those in need, so I find it difficult ignoring those begging for money. Sometimes I do give money although I prefer to give time to listen to someone, buy food, or to contribute directly to a charity. In the story of Paddington Bear he is simply left at the station with a label saying ‘Please look after this bear’ and the Brown family do exactly that. For most of us life isn’t quite that simple.

Nevertheless the coming of Christmas should challenge us to reach out to others. It is a time when we celebrate God reaching out to us by becoming one of us in the manger at Bethlehem.  We are called to love others as God loves us, so that does mean reaching out to others.

It can be a minefield navigating how to help others. If you suspect somebody may do something unhelpful with the money you give are you right to give it?  On the other hand what if you ignore someone who is genuinely cold and hungry and has no one else?  It is a difficult one to sort out.  All I can say is that the principle of active love to others is right, but how we do it is for us to decide; sometimes we may need to show tough love.

At many of our Christmas services we do give the collection away; sometimes to charities in this country and sometimes to those overseas. It is a gentle reminder that at Christmas God reached out to all the peoples of the world and we are called to do so today.

 

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December Services including Christmas 2017

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.

 

 

 

3 Advent Sunday

Holy Communion, 8am, Crowhurst

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service and Baptism, 11am, Crowhurst

Advent Carol Service, 6pm, Catsfield

 

6 St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

7 St Ambrose of Milan, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

8 The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 6:30pm, Catsfield

 

10 The Second Sunday of Advent

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

 

13 St Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 10am, Crowhurst

 

14 St John of the Cross, Poet, Teacher, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

17 The Third Sunday in Advent

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

Carol Service, 6pm,   Crowhurst

 

18 Senlac District Scout Carol Service, Crowhurst, 7pm

 

19, ‘Carols in the Village Hall, 6:30-8pm, Catsfield

 

20 Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

21 St Thomas the Apostle, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

24 Fourth Sunday of Advent

Holy Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Holy Communoin, 11am, Crowhurst

 

24 Christmas Eve

Crib Service, 3pm, Catsfield                                   

Christingle Service, 4:30pm, Crowhurst

 

Christmas

 

MIDNIGHT MASS              Catsfield                     11:30pm

 

25 Family Communion                     Crowhurst                 10:00am

 

26, St Stephen, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

27, St John the Evangelist, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

28 The Holy Innocents, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

31, The First Sunday of Christmas

Parish Communion                  Catsfield                     9:15am

Parish Communion                  Crowhurst                   11:00am

 

January

 

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

Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

7 January, The Epiphany

Family Communion                Catsfield                     9:15am

Children’s Service                   Crowhurst                   11:00am

 

 

 

 

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Photo of Jane Austen service. Open read story to view.

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Intercessions November -May 2018

Intercessions

Tel. No

November

6th Children’s Service
12th Remembrance Sunday Fr Michael

19th

Derek Norgate 892374
26th Lindy Butters 830293

December

3rd Children’s Service
10th Frances Hamson ** 830461

17th

Margaret Philcox 830258
24th Valerie Wellard 830039
25th Christmas Day – Fr Michael 892988
31st Peter Armstrong
January
7th  Children’s Service
14th Baptism (Fr Michael) 892988

21st

Muriel Scott Wood 830585
28th Derek Norgate 892374

February

4th Children’s Service
11th Lindy Butters 830293

18th

Frances Hamson 830461
25th Margaret Philcox 830258

March

4th Jonathan Webster (No children’s service this week 830768
11th Mothering Sunday Children’s Service**

18th

 

Valerie Wellard 830039

25th

Peter Armstrong

April

1st Easter Sunday Valerie Mighall

 

830247
8th Muriel Scott Wood ** 830585
15th Derek Norgate 892374
22nd Fr Michael (St George’s Service) 892988
29th Jonathan Webster 830768

May

6th

Children’s Service
13th

Lindy Butters**

830293
20th Margaret Philcox 830258
27th Valerie Wellard 830039

 

**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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November 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 All Saints’ Day, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

2 All Souls’ Day,

Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

Holy Communion, 10:30am, Crowhurst

 

5 All Saints’ Sunday (The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity)

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service, 11am, Crowhurst

 

8 The Saints and Martyrs of England, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

9 Margery Kempe, Mystic, c 1440, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

12 Remembrance Sunday (The Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity)

Parish Communion and Act of Remembrance, 9:15am, Catsfield

Remembrance Sunday Service, 10:50am, Crowhurst

 

15 St Machutus, bishop, Apostle of Brittany, c. 564, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhrust

 

16 St Margaret, Queen of Scotland, 1093, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

19 The Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

 

22 St Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

23 St Clement, bishop of Rome, Martyr, c. 100, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

26 Christ the King

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

 

29 Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

30 St Andrew the Apostle, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

3 Advent Sunday

Holy Communion, 8am, Crowhrust

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Children’s Service and Baptism, 11am, Crowhrust

Advent Carol Service, 6pm, Catsfield

 

 

 

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November letter

As dim as a Toc H lamp’

 

Anyone who served in the Armed Forces up until the late 1960s is likely to have heard someone lambasted for being ‘as dim as a Toc H lamp.’  Toc H is an international charity dedicated to serving others whose roots are in the First World War.  In 1915 an army padre, the Rev’d Philip Clayton, set up a rest home for the troops in the town of Poperinge.  It was named Talbot House after Lieutenant Gilbert Talbot, who had been killed earlier that year. Whatever the formal name it soon became abbreviated to Toc Aitch, which were the predecessors of today’s phonetic letters T – Tango and H- Hotel.

 

Tubby Clayton created what he referred to as an ‘oasis in a world gone crazy’, which could be a place of rest for all.  Famously everyone was treated exactly the same once they were inside: ‘All rank abandon ye who enter here’ was the motto.

 

There was a popular reading room, a pleasant garden, tea on the constant go, singalongs around the piano, concert parties and treats for the local children.  Right up in the loft was a chapel known as the Upper Room.  The attendance was always voluntary, but the services were packed and there were usually men standing all the way down the stairs and on the landing too.

 

After the war had ended Tubby Clayton wanted to do something to keep alive the keen sense of fellowship that they had felt at Talbot House and to promote service to others.  Toc H was born.  At the start of a Toc H meeting an ancient world lamp (think Aladdin’s lamp) is always lit to symbolize the light of service to others, which can break down all barriers.

 

The Toc H lamp isn’t actually very bright so it is not difficult to see how the expression likening someone’s intelligence to its dimness developed.  But a little light can still achieve a great deal and make all the difference.

 

On Remembrance Sunday we will remember the dark tragedy of war along with showing our gratitude to those who fought for freedom.  We also commit ourselves to working for that better world where the light is never extinguished and the darkness might be totally driven away.

 

At the opposite end to the actual flame a Toc H lamp has a cross.  The design is based on the Cross of Ypres, which is an historical reminder that Talbot House served those who fought on the Ypres Salient.  But the cross is also a reminder that the cross is the ultimate sign of God’s service to us and that out of that dark tragedy came the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

We are committed to making this world the best we possibly can, but we also have the hope that our ultimate home is with the risen Lord.

 

Fr Michael

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October services

October

 

1 The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity (Harvest Festival at Crowhurst)

Holy Communion, 8am, Crowhurst

Family Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Harvest Thanksgiving Service, 11am, Crowhurst

 

4 St Francis of Assisi, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

5 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

8 The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity (Harvest Festival at Catsfield)

Family Communion for Harvest Festival, 11am*, Catsfield

Parish Communion and Discoverers (Sunday School), 11am, Crowhurst

 

11 Holy Communion,10am, Crowhurst

 

12 St Wilfrid of Ripon, Bishop and Missionary to the Kingdom of Sussex, Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

15 The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion, 9am, Catsfield

Family Morning Service, 10am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

 

18 St Luke the Evangelist, Holy Communion, Crowhurst

 

19 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

22 The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

A Service of Commemoration for the Bi-Centenary of Jane Austen, 11am, Crowhurst

(Discoverers Sunday School, will still be meeting at 11am too)

 

25 St Crispin, Martyr at Rome, Holy Communion, 10am, Crowhurst

 

26 Holy Communion, 9:30am, Catsfield

 

29 Feast of the Dedication of the Church

Parish Communion, 9:15am, Catsfield

Parish Communion, 11am, Crowhurst

 

31 All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), Procession from Village Hall for Service of the Light in the Church, (6pm start from the Village Hall)

 

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October 17 letter

Cannibals

 

Robinson Crusoe is the story of an Englishman shipwrecked on a tropical island for twenty-eight years.  Crusoe escaped from the ship with just the captain’s dog and two cats.

 

But Crusoe learned to survive on the island.  He went foraging and eventually learnt how to grow barley and rice and to turn grapes into raisins.  His harvest was really important for him and his gratitude to God for His goodness grew and grew.  October is also the month we will be celebrating our own Harvest Festivals (Crowhurst on the 1st at 11am and Catsfield on the 8th also at 11am).

 

Crusoe had plenty of challenges on his tropical island, which included having to share it with occasional visits from cannibals.  He was pretty shocked by this and famously saves one man, whom he christened Man Friday on account of the day he was saved.

 

Christians, of course, have sometimes being accused of being cannibals too.  Our principle service of Holy Communion obeys the instructions of Our Lord Jesus Christ to offer to God the gifts of bread and wine.  The bread symbolizes our daily work and the wine speaks of our social and non-working life.  As these gifts are brought up in church they stand as an offering of our whole life to God.

 

We then believe that God makes them even better, as Jesus uses them to make Himself present to us today.  Following the words of Jesus, Himself, we talk about receiving His body and His blood.  It is perhaps not surprising that this has been misunderstood and people have thought that we might be cannibals.

 

Well we aren’t!  To be a cannibal you have to have a dead body.  Christians believe that Jesus is definitely alive and with us today.  Holy Communion is one way of letting the risen Jesus continue to enter into our lives.

 

Fr Michael

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