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St George’s Church, Great Bromley

Newsletter

February 2021

Dear Friends

Our services have moved on line and you can find links to the details below. There is something every Sunday in February from one of the churches in the benefice. We hope that you enjoy the newsletter. If you know someone who would like a copy of the printed version, please let Jenny know. If you know anyone else who would like to be added to the mailing list for this newsletter, please email using the link at the bottom of this newsletter (the blue envelope).

Best wishes

Gregory and Jenny

Churchwardens

From Canon Stephen Carter

FEASTING & FASTING

Despite not being able to meet up with family and friends over the Christmas period, I still somehow managed to put on over half a stone in weight. Some of us compensated for the lack of company with an even greater indulgence of food and drink! Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17th and offers the annual opportunity to remedy some of the excesses of the Christmas period.

There are many people, even those with no Christian faith, who use Lent as a time to lose a bit of weight and improve their physical fitness. There is a lot to be said for the tradition of giving up something for Lent: whether chocolate, cake, alcohol or some other pleasure. In a self-indulgent age, a little self-discipline doesn’t do us any harm. That may prove more difficult this Lent, as we have all had various privations forced on us because of the pandemic.

Many of us feel that we have had to give up so many pleasures over the last year. We will feel keenly the isolation from family and friends and our usual social activities. Many of us had to cancel holidays. Even days out have been curtailed when we are supposed to stay at home and not travel. So perhaps this year, the prospect of voluntarily giving up something for Lent holds little attraction.

But I would suggest that there is still wisdom to be found in the Church’s ancient rhythm of feasting and fasting. Eastern Orthodox Christians have much to teach us. When I compare my own observation of Lent with Orthodox friends, I think I perhaps trivialise what is a serious season. Lent is not just about losing a bit of weight, as worthy as that might be. It is an opportunity for a few weeks to change gear and redirect our energies to deepen our relationship with God. Fasting, or denying ourselves certain pleasures, can be an outward expression of that inner resolve. If this is accompanied by a renewed effort to pray and read the Scriptures, Lent can be a real time of growth for us.

We will all miss being able to join together in church to begin the season of Lent. We hope and pray that our churches will be able to open again for Easter. How wonderful it would be if we are able to gather together in church on Easter day this year, to sing our Alleluias and celebrate the Resurrection. Our Easter joy will be all the greater if we have first walked with Christ in the way of the Cross during Lent.

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy, but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we walking in the way of the Cross may find it none other than the way of life and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (The Collect for Lent 3, Common Worship)

Stephen

Things to do in Lent

Canon Carter has reminded us that Lent (Ash Wednesday 17th February to Saturday 3rd April) is an opportunity to think seriously about things to give up and things to take up - 'to change gear and redirect our energies to deepen our relationship with God’.

Discussion Group Weekly from 24th February, on Wednesdays at 11am. This is an informal discussion and prayer by phone (approx 30 mins). A reading or poem or picture will be sent in advance to anybody who would like to join. The sessions are not connected so it doesn’t matter if you only attend one or however many you can manage. If you would like to try it please email church@greatbromley.org.uk for a copy of the reading or poem or picture, and details of how to dial in (it's very simple and just the normal cost of a local phone call). Or if you don’t have email, please phone 01206 230688 for details.

Lent Book For your own reading, a couple of books are shown below. Click on them to go to their details in Blackwells Bookshop.

DIY Why not set up a Conferoo or Zoom call with a friend or two to make your own Lent group?

link to Stephen Cherry's 'Thy Will be Done' Lent Book 2021
Margaret Silf's Soul Journey - lent book

On-line Services in February

Our churches are open for private prayer:

  • Great Bromley Church on Wednesdays and Sundays, 9am to 3pm.

  • Little Bromley Church every day

All February services will be on line only. Click here to go to the services page of the St George’s website, to see all the services available from St George’s, St Mary’s, Lawford, and St Mary’s, Little Bentley. If you wish just to go to the St George’s Youtube Channel, then click below.

St George's Great Bromley YouTube Channel

Light Your Candle at Candlemass

On Sunday 31st January we will be celebrating Candlemass - the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

You can watch the service from St George's, at home on Sunday 31st January any time after 10.30am. Near the end of the service when the candles are blessed at the font in St George’s you can light your own candle at home. As was the custom, Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to be blessed in the Temple, and on this day each year we celebrate Jesus, the light of the world, who is recognised first by Simeon, the priest in the Temple saying that Jesus is ‘to be a light to lighten the gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel' (Luke 2). Below is a link to the Nunc Dimittis from BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2018.

Nunc Dimittis - BBC Young Chorister of the Year Ischia & Royal Wedding Trumpeter David Blackadder

Prayer for Candlemass

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thee, that as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh; so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers for the Nation

The archbishops have invited us all to pray daily (especially at 6pm). There is a specially written daily prayer here.

Charity

British Red Cross

St George’s Volunteer Wanted

If you can spare one hour per month to sweep the paths round the church, that would be wonderful. If you would like to help, please contact Jenny on 01206 230688. Thank you.

Are you on the Church Electoral Roll?

If you are resident in Great or Little Bromley or you normally attend services at St George’s, then would you like to support us by joining the electoral roll? Please email church@greatbromley.co.uk for a form or phone Jenny 01206 230688.

Music

The music this month is all sung by Tenebrae, conducted by Nigel Short.

Tchaikovsky - ‘Legend' - the Crown of Roses

Legend (The Crown of Roses) - Tchaikovsky - Tenebrae conducted by Nigel Short

Allegri - ‘Miserere’ (Psalm 51) Save this for Ash Wednesday. It was written for the Sistine Chapel (see the Art section below).

Miserere mei, Deus (Psalm 51) - Allegri - Tenebrae conducted by Nigel Short

Thomas Tallis - ‘If ye love me’.

If ye love me - Tallis - Tenebrae conducted by Nigel Short

The Art of the Cartoon

All aboard the St George’s virtual charabanc for a trip to the V&A!

Walt Disney’s characters were originally drawn by hand and this 1930s art form was simply called ‘cartoon’. This is the centuries old word for a drawing made as preparation for a painting or for a tapestry. One of the greatest series of cartoons (in the ancient sense) was created by Raphael in 1513 onwards for tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. They show incidents in the lives of St Peter and St Paul. The V&A has the seven surviving cartoons and while the museum was closed in lockdown they have analysed and photographed the cartoons. You can see amazing digital photographs and commentary. The tearoom too is closed so you will have to make your own tea. Click on the image of the Mortlake Tapestry below to go to the V&A.

The Story of the Raphael Cartoons by the Victoria and Albert Museum

Poetry

The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul: 25th January

Malcolm Guite has written a poem - click on the image of St Paul below to read or listen to it.

The Revd Dr Malcolm Guite's poem for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Giving to St George’s

Thank you all for your support which is invaluable to the continuing work of the church. If you would like to help, please see the Donation details on the website.

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