St Mary’s Ascension Day Edition

Gathered Services, Ascension Day, Christian Aid

Spring flowers

Ahead of Ascension Day, this update from St Mary’s starts with news about a return to ‘gathered services and then continues with:

… and the usual listings of services and contacts but first:

Resuming Gathered Services

Now that the lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, we are cautiously returning to gathered worship. We had a gathered indoor service on 2nd May and there is another planned for Sunday 16th May, which will also be streamed on Zoom. The details for the service on 30th May have not yet been finalised, but for more information, please contact the church office nearer the time.

If you would like to attend any of the gathered services, please book your place by emailing [email protected]. Numbers will be limited to about 25 due to social distancing measures. Please wear a mask.

Gathered Services will continue be ‘Zoomed’

Communion Services will continue to be recorded on Zoom so that anyone who is not able to attend for any reason can watch later. A huge thank you to all those who make this possible.

Messy Church and Praise on 4 Services

The Praise on 4 team hope to return to a gathered service on 27th June, and Messy Church hopes to return to church in July. Both teams look forward to welcoming everyone back to gathered services!

Christian Aid Week—10th-16th May

The climate emergency is one of the greatest injustices we face. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it everyday. Extreme weather means people like Rose are struggling to survive without a reliable source of water. Your gift could help a community build an earth dam, so when the rains do come, they will have the water they need to live.

We have not been able to organise a door to door collection this year, but we have been able to set up an online donation page instead. The details will be publicised on the church and village hub Facebook pages, and here is the link to our church fundraising page. Please do support us if you can!

Thank you!

Celebrating Ascension Day—13th May

40 days after Easter, the Church traditionally celebrates the event recounted by Luke, of the resurrected Jesus being taken up into heaven:

As Jesus said this, he was lifted up while they were watching and a cloud took Him out of their sight. They were gazing into heaven as He disappeared.


Acts 1:9-10
Jesus ascended

Luke says that the disciples were gazing into heaven as Jesus disappeared. But where exactly is heaven? I find theologian Tom Wright’s analogy helpful. Heaven and earth, he suggests, are the two halves of God’s created world. Not so much like two identical halves of an orange occupying different spaces, but more like  two different properties of the one object. In other words like two different but interlocking dimensions of God’s reality. This, he believes, is how the early church understood heaven and earth.

Seen in this light, therefore, the risen body of Jesus is the first (and so far the only) object which is fully at home in both dimensions, anticipating the time when heaven and earth will be renewed and united. Jesus was lifted up because He was going into God’s dimension, and the cloud was recognised as a sign of God’s presence.

What does this mean for us today? The disciples’ response after witnessing this event was to return to Jerusalem and devote themselves to worship and prayer. And we can follow in their footsteps because it is through prayer and worship that we too can “know, enjoy and be energised by the life of heaven right here on earth”*. Amen to that!

Best wishes, Liz Dixon

* Acts for Everyone Part 1—Tom Wright

A Blessing

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace. Amen

From Numbers 6:24

Services & Other Dates

All events are on Zoom unless stated otherwise.  Kids’ Church is our new form of Sunday school for children.  Note, no Evening Prayer Service during winter months.

9th May9:15 amMessy Church on Zoom
10:00 amService of the Word on Zoom
13th May7:30 pmAscension Day Service led by St Michael’s Church, Myland on Zoom
16th May10:00 amGathered inside service in St Mary’s Church, also streamed on Zoom, followed by:
11:30 amAnnual Church Meeting on Zoom which all are welcome to attend.
23rd May9:15 amPentecost – BCP Communion on Zoom
10:00 amPraise on 4 service on Zoom
30th MayJoint Villages Service with guest speaker—details to be confirmed
If you would like to receive the Zoom links for any of our services, please email the church office at: [email protected]

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Assistant Curate:Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursdays).
  • Church Wardens:
    Peter & Caroline Finlay, — [email protected] or 07926 387551 and
    Kate & Stephen Penrose, — 07973 421306
  • Lay Readers:
    Richard Chadborn—01206 240541;
    Michael Foster—01206 241022;
    Joy Budden—01206 241871.
  • 3 Parish Families’ Worker:
    Jo Jeffery—07853 586683.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Pastoral Assistant:
    Dorothy Chadborn – 01206 240541
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: lwb.wb.gh.pari[email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    email: [email protected].
  • Website: Stmaryswestbergholt.co.uk
  • Follow us on Facebook:
    www.facebook.com/stmaryswestbergholt.