Sermon from the Vicar 27 March 2016 Easter Day

Easter Day 2016 Acts 10: 32-43 Resurrection 1 Corinthians 19-26, John 20: 1-18

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

Today we celebrate the joy of our faith, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This is the truth; that the love with which Jesus loved is stronger than death, indeed it is the power of the resurrection.  As Paul writes to the Corinthians, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.  This means that what we see in Christ’s resurrection will one day be ours when he comes again.

In the reading from Acts we heard a summary of the story of Jesus.  As we look more closely at the particulars of the resurrection it is important to keep this larger context in mind.  Indeed the healing, freedom, the meals, the forgiveness are all signs of resurrection and salvation, every bit as much as an empty tomb and a pseudo-gardener.

Mary Magdalene, in her deep devotion to Jesus, came early to the tomb, while it was still dark.  She found the stone removed.  Believing that Jesus body had been taken, in anguish she alerted the disciples.  They came and look. The Beloved disciple began to believe but did not understand..

Mary remained weeping by the tomb.  The grief over Jesus’ death is enough, but to snatch is body is simply outrageous.

Mary couldn’t see who it was she was talking to. She didn’t know it was Jesus until he called her by name.  Then her eyes were opened.  Jesus warned her not to hold on to him, but to go and tell the other disciples.  She went and announced to them, “I have seen the Lord.”

As in the time of Jesus, so in our own time, people have trouble believing in the concept of the resurrection.  Some think it was indeed a body snatch and/or an idle tale made up by distraught disciples.  Others think it’s all spiritual and quite ghostly.  Yet others think it’s a nice idea of death and new life a bit like the way that spring follows winter so we can have an optimistic outlook on life.

Paul tells us that Jesus’ resurrection is the first fruits of those who have died. This is not resuscitation whereby death will come at some later time. The Gospels emphasise this by relating things that Jesus does that he didn’t do before the cross such as appearing through locked doors and he also, of course ascending.  But neither are we talking about some sort of disembodied phantom: the gospels are also at pains to emphasise this as they have Jesus eating and offering himself and his wounds to be touched.

Jesus risen life has some continuities with life before, such as his wounds of crucifixion, and some differences which mean people who knew Jesus well didn’t immediately recognise him.

Jesus risen life is something new.  It represents a fresh category of bodily existence never seen before or since by human beings but I believe this is what it means to say Christ is risen.  It is indeed the first fruits.  How this translates from the first fruits to those who will be made alive in Christ when he comes again is a mystery. Once people insisted that they were buried in cemeteries so that they would face east when they rose.  Most people don’t worry so much about that these days.

Science can’t really understand the concept of a general resurrection and what happens to all the molecules and so on.  But then that mightn’t be the right question to be asking either.  Scientists have a habit, like most of us of not seeing what they don’t expect.

We might think it is strange that Mary didn’t immediately recognise Jesus and mistook him for a gardener.  But, as I say, people usually don’t see what they are not expecting.  Once some years ago, I was asked to take a wedding blessing for a couple who had been married in a registry office in Europe.  The ceremony had all the trappings of a wedding:  the gowns, the setting and the priest.  They hadn’t told their friends that they were already married and they didn’t want me to say anything as they wanted to surprise them afterwards at the breakfast.  I said I couldn’t misrepresent what the occasion was and I would have to say that they were already married.  But I told them not to worry because nobody would actually hear that because everybody was expecting they were coming to a wedding.  And so it turned out: not a single person heard it and the surprise worked.

Mary wasn’t expecting Jesus resurrection and it was only when he called her name that reality broke through.  Let’s not limit the scope of the resurrection to what we think is possible. If we do, we’ll miss most of what Christ is doing in his risen life right under our noses.  The purpose of this festival is to open our eyes and ears to what we don’t expect.  So when you hear the Lord call your name you will know he is risen and you will be able to go out from here and announce to your friends the best news the world has ever heard, “I have seen the Lord.”    The love with which he loved me is stronger than death.  He is risen indeed Alleluia!

In this faith let us now renew the promises of our baptism.

Sermon from the Vicar 26 March 2016 Holy Saturday

The Easter Vigil 2016 Gen 22: 1-18, Exod 14: 10-15:1a, Isaiah 55: 1-11, Ezekiel 37: 1-14, Ezekiel 36: 24-28, Romans 6: 3-11, Luke 24: 1-12

The Easter Vigil is liturgy of the Church where whole proclamation comes together and we go right to the very core of our baptismal faith.  We began with the light of Christ, kindled from a brazier in the darkness.  It reminds us of the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it, even the darkness of death. That is the message of Easter seen vividly over these great three days.

The purpose of this Easter Vigil liturgy is that we renew our union with this light, indeed with Christ in his resurrection. In his resurrection we discover that the love with which he loved us is stronger than hate and death.

We are here to renew our life in Christ by reaffirming once more the promises of our baptism.  We do this personally as part of the Church and in doing so we rely on the grace of Christ’s faith.

Life in God, indeed baptismal life is grounded on the decisive encounter of human faith and God’s response. The readings we heard this evening as we waited and watched demonstrate this theme:

Abraham was tested by God to offer up what was most precious to him, what he most cherished.  By faith he did this, and discovered that God provided more than he could have imagined.  The psalm reminded us that when God shows us the path of life, we discover the fullness of joy.

The people of Israel struggled to believe God’s promises. Moses believed God and told them all they had to do was to stand firm, keep still and watch for the deliverance of God.   God provided and they sang for joy when they witnessed God’s glorious triumph.

Isaiah spoke a message of comfort and hope to the people of Israel in the brokenness of their exile in Babylon.  Perhaps these are words Jesus’ disciples read that Sabbath day following Good Friday.  Isaiah tells Israel to listen and to seek the Lord that they might live because the word of God will accomplish its gracious purpose.  The refrain repeats God’s message, “Trust and do not be afraid, because God surely is your salvation.”

Ezekiel sees Israel like a valley of dry bones:  Hope is lost.  Yet with the Spirit graves are opened, bones gain spirit, Israel lives.  They are given a new heart and a new spirit: A place to be and a right relationship with God.

In the wait, as we hear these stories of God’s love and of the response of faith, we think of our own personal faith.  Perhaps life is difficult, perhaps you’re tired out, perhaps your own soul is cast down, and you struggle to hope and believe.  I know I do at times.

Yet, out of the darkness come the words, “Christ is risen!”  These women, looking among the dead, discover that Jesus is alive.  He has been raised.  They are told to remember.  When our soul is cast down, the one thing we struggle to do is to remember. Then we need to remember stories of faith, like we’ve heard tonight.  These women find an empty tomb and are told to remember what Jesus had said about being handed over to sinners, being crucified and rising again.

When they do remember, they go and tell the eleven and all the others.  But they were still in amnesia.  They thought it was just an idle tale.  Peter, though, had just enough imagination, hope and faith to think it was worth a trip to the tomb to see for himself.  He came away amazed.  This story marks the beginning of the infectious resurrection faith of the early church.  This faith is that having died and risen with Christ in baptism we will never die again.  Death has no dominion over us anymore.  The church of our own day needs to recover this kind of faith.

Perhaps you have come here tonight with faith hanging by a thread: hope almost gone.  If you have this liturgy is most of all, the place for you.  The purpose of this vigil is that we meet our risen Lord:  We hear his words of peace as he comes to us in bread and wine.  But first of all we draw near to him around the font that through his grace our faith might be renewed.  For those of you who are not baptised, as you are sprinkled, think of this as an invitation to come to the waters yourself, to share in the death and resurrection of Jesus personally in baptism at some future time.  For those of us who are baptised we have been to this place or one like it, before at our baptism.  For many of us this was long ago, perhaps even beyond our memory. This is a moment to remember when we first came to faith ourselves.  It is a moment to recall the excitement we once had in knowing Jesus for the first time and indeed to rekindle that. It is a moment where we will be re-grounded by the encounter of faith with God’s response: That response being the love by which we have been loved which has proved stronger even than death.

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

Sermon from the Vicar 25 March 2016 Good Friday

Good Friday 2016 Isaiah 52: 13-53: 12, Hebrews 4: 14-16, 5: 7-9, John 18-19

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.”  On Good Friday we witness to that love in all its fullness in Jesus death on the cross.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

I think of these words when I walk in the corridors and wards of the hospital. I think of them when I visit the prison.  I think of them when I hear about people in our own city beset by unresolved earthquake claims, when I read in the paper and watch coverage of world events such as natural disasters, wars, influxes of refugees, and so on.  The pain that surrounds us seems overwhelming, and, if you are anything like me, passing by without looking too closely is the safest option.  That way we don’t have to confront the sorrow.

In reality, people’s suffering isn’t ‘nothing’: it is something and each person’s sorrow is unique.  Jesus could not walk by sorrow and suffering.  Loving as Jesus loved means going to where the pain and sorrow are most intense.  This is the way he loved people, by healing them, by raising them, by freeing them.

Jesus reflected the pain and sorrow so that the leaders of the temple and nation could not possibly miss it, by parables, by teaching and argumentation.  In doing this he not only consoled individuals and families, but he confronted the evil one the Devil; indeed the reason that there are people who are poor, oppressed, captives and blind.    Those in charge of the current arrangements didn’t like what Jesus reflected to them of reality.  They decided that by killing Jesus they could destroy his message and the hopes of people who believed in it.  Loving as Jesus loved means telling the truth and bearing the cost.

Chris Trotter’s opinion piece this week in The Press included comment arising from last December’s (COP 21) Climate Change Conference in Paris.  An American Journalist interviewed a scientist working for the Tyndale Centre for Climate Change who said, “So far we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do we are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly…many are ultimately choosing to censor their own research.”  When asked why, he continued, “What we are afraid of doing is putting forward analysis that questions the paradigm; the economic way that we run society today…We fine tune our analysis so that it fits into the economic reality of our society, the current economic framing.   Actually our science now asks fundamental questions about this idea of economic growth in the short term, but we’re very reluctant to say that.  In fact, the funding bodies are reluctant to fund research that raises those questions.”

Loving as Jesus loved means telling the truth and bearing the cost. We have to realise that the kingdom of God that Jesus speaks of is just as alien, and difficult to conceptualise, as a response to climate change and global poverty that involves a different economic and political paradigm.

Pilate said to Jesus, “So you are a king?”  Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king.  For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”  Jesus also said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

On Good Friday we are called to face the truth:  The truth about ourselves and our family, the truth about our city and our nation, the truth about our world.  We recall the awful cost of bearing the truth in the cruel suffering and death of Jesus on the cross and how this was integral to the office of Messiah.  On Good Friday we proclaim the freedom that comes from knowing that truth.  The truth is that God loves us and when we know that truth it will set us free.  This is the atonement that Jesus accomplished on the cross.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.”

Loving as Jesus loved means showing the world, and that means everybody, how much God loves them and laying down our life for them.   

Emil Brunner wrote, “Only at the Cross of Christ does man see fully what it is that separates him from God; yet it is here alone that he perceives that he is no longer separated from God.  Nowhere else does the inviolable holiness of God, the impossibility of overlooking the guilt of man stand out more plainly; but nowhere else also does the limitless mercy of God, which utterly transcends all human standards, stand out more clearly and plainly.”

We move shortly to the Veneration of the cross.  In venerating the cross we do not adore the material image, but rather what it represents. In kneeling before the crucifix and kissing it we are paying the highest honour to our Lord’s cross as the instrument of our salvation. The Cross is inseparable from His sacrifice that he made once for all.  In reverencing His Cross we, in effect, adore Christ. On Good Friday is customary not to celebrate the Eucharist.  This veneration of the cross, this adoration of Christ precedes our reception of communion from the Sacrament, reserved last night.  In the veneration of the cross and by receiving communion we continue to proclaim Christ’s death until he comes again.  Loving as Jesus loved means being raised from the dead.

Amen

 

Sermon from the Vicar 24 March 2016 Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday 2016 Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

We come to the beginning of the Triduum, the three days where embark on a continuous liturgy which concludes with the Easter Vigil.  We are not in church the whole time, but three days make up a whole which moves through the Solemn Mass of the Last supper including foot washing, and  the watch which is kept overnight until Good Friday morning.  Then we gather for the Tableau and then at noon for the liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and after a time of rest and preparation we begin the Easter Vigil where we wait to hear the story of God’s mighty acts and finally out of the silence comes the proclamation of the resurrection.

Maundy Thursday recalls the last night that Jesus spent with his disciples, and the things he left behind for them and for us.   These are the gift of the sacrament of the Eucharist as a focus for his continuing presence; The gift of the foot washing as a way of understanding greatness in service, and the body of teaching and prayer in John 13-17 which is like Jesus’ last will and testament.

It all can be summed up in the New commandment: That you love one another as I have loved you, you should also love one another.

As we move through these three days it is the quality of Jesus’ love that we need watch for, because that is what we are commanded to enact among ourselves, and it is by doing this that we will be recognised as Jesus’ disciples.

Tonight we heard the story of the Passover.  This is the account of how at the end of a series of plagues against Egypt and the Pharaoh the Lord brought one last plague which would cause the death of the first born of humans and animals in Egypt.  The Passover was the means by which the Israelites would be protected from this plague by putting the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and then hurriedly eating a simple meal, in readiness to flee.  This day became a festival of Israel’s liberation by God.

It was the context of the Passover that Jesus used to interpret his sacrificial death as the formation of a new covenant.  While the Israelites were saved in the Passover, there was massive destruction of life and grief.  The collateral damage was enormous.  The reinterpretation that comes with Jesus’ death is that there will be no collateral damage.  There will be no retribution.  The violence of his passion and death will be absorbed and not handed on.  This is the heart of forgiveness, and it is the first quality of the love of Jesus, that he asks us to practice among each other.

As Paul writes to the Corinthians, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”  Jesus gives us of himself.  His body is the bread broken for us.  His blood the wine poured out is the new covenant.  This action is an offering, it is a sacrifice.  Jesus is handing his body, his blood, his life over to God.  When we celebrate the Eucharist we give thanks for the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and in response we offer our own sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.  The theme of sacrifice calls us to deep reverence concerning the sacrament.  The outward form of this is genuflection or bowing and the inner essence is adoration.  We carry this deep reverence into the Watch at the conclusion of this Mass.

The third quality of love is community. Jesus showed us how to form true community through service and he demonstrated an acted parable as he took a towel and washed his disciples’ feet.  Jesus took the role of the servant who, in those times, would have washed the feet.  He showed that in order to live in community we must surrender ourselves to it, and this was his call to Peter.  We must acknowledge our inability to follow Christ without the kind of community Christ established when he washed his disciples’ feet. As disciples learn about serving one another they are blessed and reveal the glory of God which is revealed in Jesus. The form might be different now, but the intention of humble service remains, and is a hallmark of authentic Christianity.

The quality of Jesus love is seen in forgiveness, sacrifice and community which are at the heart of the Eucharist.  As we mingle water with the wine in the offertory the priest says, “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”  What this means is that his love, shown in forgiveness, sacrifice and community in his humanity allows us to share in the divine life of the Holy Trinity.

As we come to the washing of the feet this is the time of intercession and thanksgiving.  It is a time to pray contemplatively for the needs of our world, our nation, the Church, the sick and them who mourn and the departed.  May this remembrance of our Lord’s actions open our hearts to all that God would ask of us in service in and through this community, in our family and in the world at large.

May the peace we share at its conclusion be the expression of our desire to make this remembrance real in the world around us.  Amen.

 

 

Letter from the Vicar 27 March 2016

Fr Andrew Starky small

 

Dear Friends

Welcome to S. Michael’s this Easter Day as we celebrate the resurrection. Today the church is resplendent with colour and beauty as we rejoice that Jesus has been raised from the dead. The weeks of Lenten preparation are behind us and we have accompanied our Lord, as well as we could, on the way of the cross. Now we join with the apostles and saints to praise God for his wonderful gift which has broken the power of sin and death. We re-affirm our baptismal identity as people who are united to Christ in his death and resurrection, and we join in this Eucharist with the whole company of heaven in joyful praise and thanksgiving.

The readings we hear today tell the story of the empty tomb and the promise of new life that becomes integral to the preaching of the early Church. During the Great Fifty Days of Easter that begin today we will reflect on the risen life of our Lord, and the birth and spread of the Church animated by the Holy Spirit. It is time for us to align ourselves and our Church with the joy of the resurrection, and allow it to determine our life priorities.

There is much sadness and heartache in the world at present. Suffering is experienced on every side, from our personal lives to the anguish of a planet beset by global warming. Today we proclaim that such suffering, as real as it is, will not have the last word. Easter is also a time when we remember loved ones who have died, and recall the hope of the resurrection that nourishes our prayer that they will rise with Christ in glory.

Celebrating Holy Week and Easter is our biggest festival at S. Michael’s, and I want to thank all those who have laboured in small ways and large to ensure that our proclamation of the death and resurrection of Christ is all we would want it to be. The magnificence of the liturgies, the music, and the adornment of the church as we have gone from the bareness of Good Friday to the resplendence of Easter Day, has been truly inspiring. Thank you one and all. But most of all, thank you to all those who are present with us today, for the most important thing any of us can do is to come and show our gratitude to God by worship.

May you have a very happy and blessed Easter.

Fr Andrew Starky

 

Parish Notices

 

  • Lent Studies: notes are now available from Bishop Victoria, Fr Peter and Fr Andrew.
  • Regatta on Avon: lunch today 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
  • The Meditation Group meets on Tuesday at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge.
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
  • Garden Tea Party for Cassandra Johnson 2 April. Details Jill Woodside (338 9590).
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.

 

Change of date: the Parish AGM will now be on Sunday 1 May

Please send Annual Reports to Louise as soon as possible, preferably by email.

Letter from the Vicar 20 March 2016

Fr Andrew Starky

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on Palm Sunday as we enter Holy Week together. Today, as we begin the liturgy in the school atrium by blessing the palms and then walking in procession to the church, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We can catch the sense of occasion in all this and be caught up in the grandeur of it. Then as we progress further into the liturgy we read the Passion of our Lord Jesus according to Luke. This reading, set within our Eucharist, re-orients us to the content of Jesus’ suffering and death, which we will enter with him for the rest of this week.

This evening at 7:00 pm we offer the Stations of the Cross with hymns and choral reflections. This is a traditional way of entering into the final hours of Jesus’ life, as we move around the fourteen stations that surround the nave. As we do this we recollect how each station relates to the suffering of the world, and even to our own personal journey at this time. It is worth noticing which station elicits a movement in your spirit and to make that a part of your meditation during Holy Week.

During Holy Week, from Monday to Thursday we will continue Morning Prayer at 8:00 am, with the School Holy Week Devotions at 8:40 am in the church (Mass on Wednesday). We suspend our normal schedule of 10:00 am services, so that we may celebrate Mass at 6:00 pm Monday to Wednesday. Then on Maundy Thursday at 7:30 pm there is the Solemn Mass of the Last Supper, with foot-washing. This moves into the Watch, which is kept until we say Morning Prayer at 9:00 am on Good Friday. At 10:00 am on Good Friday there is the Children’s Tableau, followed by the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion at 12 noon. Holy Saturday is a day of rest but also preparation before the Great Easter Vigil, which begins at 7:30 pm. On Easter Day we will joyfully celebrate the resurrection at both Masses and with Solemn Festal Evensong at 7:00 pm.

Following Mass today there is the final talk in our Lent Series. It is about Holy Baptism and how it makes present in us the death and resurrection of our Lord. As Jesus laid down his life, so during this week we are offered the opportunity to lay down our life by suspending our usual rhythm, and walking with our Lord more closely on his journey to the cross. S. Michael’s offers a unique and full opportunity to do this in the inspirational liturgies and music which lead us on the Way.
Do join us.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

 

Parish Notices

Easter Flowers: donations are being accepted by Jill Woodside (today) and Louise Glossop (office).
Bible Study Group resumes on 18 April. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Volunteers for Maundy Thursday: names for foot-washing to John De la Bere.
Maundy Thursday Watch: after the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament remains on the Altar of Repose until the next day. Members of the congregation keep watch for an hour during the night. If you can do this, please sign the list in the porch so that we can ensure that at least two people are present at all times.
Working Bee for brass cleaning etc: Saturday 26 March from 10:00 am.
Supper after the Vigil: on Saturday evening the celebrations will continue with an Easter supper in the parish lounge, to which you are all warmly invited. It would be appreciated if you could bring some light nibbles or a drink to share. Offers of help to Claire Preston, please.
Regatta on Avon: lunch on Easter Day at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
Reports for the Parish AGM on 17 April: to Louise by 31 March please.
Diocesan Educational Evening: Professor Chris Marshall on the theological foundations of reading and learning from Scripture, at S. Christopher’s 1 April 7:00 pm.
Invitation to a Garden Tea Party honouring bride-to-be, Cassandra Johnson. 2 April, written invitation available from Jill Woodside.
Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
Needlework Group meets monthly, details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
Final Lent Study today: Holy Baptism Fr Andrew Starky

Letter from the Vicar 13 March 2016

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we reach Passion Sunday. Today marks the beginning of Passiontide, the time when we enter even more deeply into the passion of our Lord, which has its climax on Good Friday. Entering into and, in some way, experiencing the anguish of another is never an easy thing to do. Our natural inclination would be to avoid this, because we have enough worries of our own without taking on someone else’s trouble. It is only in the presence of great love that a person will take on the pain of another. The Gospel reading today provides us with one such example in the tenderness and generosity of Mary of Bethany.

In the reading from the Letter to the Philippians we hear Paul saying that if you are like him and want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, then it is necessary to share with Christ in his sufferings and become like him in his death. As much as it would be good if it were so, there is no bypass route round the cross. Whether it be in our theology, our pastoral practice, or in our life experience, we know that sharing in the sufferings of Christ is integral for those who seek to attain the resurrection from the dead.

The sufferings of Jesus were particular to him and located in history. However, our meditating on them opens the door for us to gain a greater spiritual insight into suffering in its many forms in the present time. The Stations of the Cross and the liturgies of Passiontide lead us to a deepening of understanding and empathy, so that we may be as Christ to those we meet who are suffering. Today, both the liturgy and the Lent talk—Fr Peter Williams on the Passion—will give us much to reflect on, I am sure, as we prepare for Holy Week.

Holy Week: Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and our High Mass begins at 9:30 am in the school atrium with the procession of palms. Can anyone help the school children make Palm Crosses for half an hour on Wednesday, 9:30 am in the Year 4/5 classroom? Or can you come on Saturday at 10:00 am to help make crosses for Sunday? (Some flax is available but more is always appreciated.) Next week there will be other opportunities to help prepare for Easter, details are on the back page.

During Holy Week Morning Prayer will be said at 8:00 am Monday–Thursday and there will be no 10:00 am Masses. (Please see the programme details on your bookmark.)

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Easter Flowers: donations are now being accepted by Jill Woodside (Sundays) and Louise Glossop (office hours).
Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Women’s Group meets on Tuesday in the Old Library after the 10:00 am Mass (approximately 10:45 am). Please bring any gifts for Walsh House for preparing and wrapping. Parking off Durham Street. All welcome. Details Pat Evans (358 0127).
Meditation Group meets on Tuesday, 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
Volunteers to make palm crosses Wednesday or Saturday: details Kathryn Starky.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Concert Les Bons Vivants: Christopher’s Classics Thursday 7:30 pm at S. Michael’s. Details on notice board.
Launch of Youth Group: Friday 3:30 pm in the lounge. Details Shaun Graveston.
Volunteers for Maundy Thursday: names for foot-washing to John De la Bere.
Maundy Thursday Watch: after the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament remains on the Altar of Repose until the next day. Members of the congregation keep watch for an hour during the night. If you can do this, please sign the list in the porch so that we can ensure that at least two people are present at all times.
Working Bee for brass cleaning etc: Saturday 26 March from 10:00 am.
Regatta on Avon: lunch on Easter Day at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Reports for the Parish AGM on 17 April: to Louise by 31 March please.
Diocesan Educational Evening: Professor Chris Marshall on the theological foundations of reading and learning from Scripture. S. Christopher’s, 1 April 7:00 pm.
Invitation to a Garden Tea Party honouring bride-to-be, Cassandra Johnson. 2 April, written invitation available from Jill Woodside after Sunday Mass.
Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
Needlework Group meets monthly, details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
Final Lent Studies: today- The Passion- Fr Peter Williams, next Sunday- Holy Baptism- Fr Andrew Starky.