St Mary’s Stormy Edition

Jesus asleep during storm alarms disciples

This edition starts with thoughts on recent storm damage and then addresses Lent matters and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Storm Damage

Dudley, Eunice and then Franklin. In the space of just a few days, storms wreaked havoc in the UK. Power lines were cut, properties damaged, trees fell down, some were injured and tragically a few lost their lives.

On the Sunday after Storm Eunice, and as Storm Franklin gained momentum again, across the six parishes we worshipped in churches which had lost window panes and trees, all whilst hearing the reading from the bible of Jesus calming the storm from Luke’s gospel.

As the storm builds, Jesus is asleep in the boat, the disciples become frantic and eventually wake Jesus up saying ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown.’ In Marks gospel, it says the disciples said ‘don’t you care if we drown?’

Jesus Cares

Of course Jesus cares, he cares deeply for all of his children, and he gets up rebukes the wind and the raging waters and the storm subsides.

But that doesn’t mean that storms still don’t occur, whether that is the aforementioned physical storms, or the emotional or mental storms that might assail us throughout our lives.

And sometimes, we like the disciples may feel in a place where we want to call out and say ‘Jesus, don’t you care that we are drowning?’ and the answer for us is that of course he cares, he is indeed, as he was for the disciples, in the same boat with them and us. He is always with us. He can’t protect us from every storm, but he is with us through them all.

Lent Journey

This month we begin our journey through Lent, as we travel with Jesus to the cross. A stark reminder that Jesus himself had to suffer both spiritual and physical storms in his life. We see his pain and torment in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he cried out, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.’

Jesus travelled through his own storms, and is with us through ours too. May we trust in him and may God bless you.
Reverend Heather

Lent Carbon Fast, Groups & Prayer

There are three Lent-specific activities taking place during Lent, a Carbon Fast, Lent Groups and Prayers.

Lent Carbon Fast Challenge

In the Bible, caring for Creation is God’s first instruction to humans. During Lent, an organisation called Climate Stewards is encouraging us to take up the challenge to find new ways to reduce our impact on the natural world and our global neighbours.

You can sign up through the link below to receive  weekly emails suggesting easy, medium and harder challenges to try related to the seven weekly themes of:

  • 1—fast from social media or tv.
  • 2—Fast from unawareness—expand your knowledge.
  • 3—Fast from silence—speak up.
  • 4—Fast from electricity—live more simply.
  • 5—Fast from driving.
  • 6—Fast from meat and dairy.
  • 7—Fast from food waste.

Lent Groups

Rev Heather Wilcox has written a Bible Study Course which be focusing on our Sunday readings for Lent. Our regular Bible Study Groups will meet weekly, from 8th March to 5th April, to study this material and you are very welcome to join the following groups:

  • Tuesday afternoons @ 2pm at Sue Day’s house. (please contact [email protected] for details)
  • Tuesday evenings on zoom @ 7.45pm: Meeting ID: 852 5818 3545, passcode: 814244 (please contact:        [email protected] for more details).

Lent Prayer Activities in Church

Throughout Lent (from Saturday 4th March until Easter) there will be prayer space activities in the Church, changing weekly, to reflect the set Gospel reading for the week. All are welcome to come in and have a look at the prayer spaces and try out some of the simple activities, such as writing in a sand pit something we are sorry for and then wiping the words away to remind us of God’s forgiveness.

One of the prayer spaces will include an opportunity to light a candle and say a prayer for the people of Ukraine.

 The church will be open from 9am to 3.30pm each week day and children accompanied by parents are very welcome.

Services & Other Dates

6th March10:00 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
13th March10:00 amMessy Church
20th March11:15 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
27th March10:00 amMothering Sunday – Praise on 4 Service (also on Zoom) with refreshments served from 9.45am
3rd April9:30 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
10th April9:30 amMessy Church
For those services which are also being zoomed, please contact the church office on 01206 243683 or [email protected] for the zoom link.

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox
    email: [email protected]
    tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
  • Assistant Curate: Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday).
  • 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.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    email: [email protected].
  • Website:
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