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We are an Easter People

Dear Friends

Happy Easter!

I was so encouraged by the many positive comments about our Holy Week and Easter celebrations across Harbour Churches. Thank you to all who gave of their time and talent and a special thank you to all those who so beautifully decorated our church spaces for Easter.

This Sunday will be much quieter, but still joyful, with an 8am BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering and a 10am said service of Holy Communion at Birdham. I hope that this will give many of our key workers a much needed Sunday break.

St Pope John Paul II spoke of the Christian life as  ‘seeing with Easter eyes’. In doing so we are not only encouraged but also encouragers of others. Jane and I have just returned from a few days post-Easter break in the beautiful Purbecks. I was drawn to visit some of the many Dorset village churches. It was striking to see how vibrant the life of missional faith is in these little spiritual oases. I have returned refreshed and with renewed optimism for the life of the local church as witnessed in and through their church spaces.

We have much to be encouraged by. Our new website is up and running. Do feedback helpful suggestions to Sophie our Mission Support Facilitator. Alpha begins this weekend and I’m sure that the Alpha Team would welcome any latecomers! See website for details 😊
We are having our first post-Covid Pet Service on Sunday 23rd April @ 4pm in West Wittering.
On the fifth Sunday of April (30th April), our 10am One Church Family Service is being hosted by St Nicholas, Itchenor – please make sure we really will be full to overflowing! We hope to make this a feature of our pattern of worship moving forward.

We are all aware that for the best part of twenty years our Benefice has been particularly blessed with the number of available licensed clergy. We have been especially blessed to support curates in training. That resource, like all things, is subject to change. Ben and Michael have retired from active Reader ministry.  Susan, who celebrated a big birthday recently, assures me she is now only going to get younger… Bruce and Jim continue to be such a blessing but, as they reminded me recently, are both looking ahead to even bigger birthdays! And we continue to pray for Revd. Anthony and Carrie at this time.

So, it is a real ‘Easter moment’ to be able to celebrate the licensing of Claire and Mark Ralf and Sue Graham-Smith as Authorised Lay Ministers with permission to lead Services of the Word six times a year. Mark is already ALM with permission to preach. They will be formally licensed on the 26th April and will, supported by me, begin to assist in leading worship over the coming months. Please pray for them and pray for others to answer God’s call to share in the fullness of Christ’s ministry.

Assuring you of my prayers and trusting to yours


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