Two year’s ago we went into lockdown the day before Mothering Sunday. This year we are celebrating all who care for others in a mothering role. We have space to remember those we love and see no longer and those with whom we have a co placated relationship. Revd Chris Kennedy is our guest preacher.
We are saying goodbye to Nick on Tuesday 15th March at 10am. If you are travelling by car there is free parking on the roads around the church but with a school and orthodontist on the road please leave yourself enough time to find a parking space. We are on the 281/285 bus route and near Teddington and Hampton Wick stations.
We have accessible toilets and a ramp but no disabled parking space so if you need this let us know and we can put out bollards. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org
Our service is at noon on the 2nd of March up at the high altar.
Please use the main doors as the ward surgery is happening in the family chapel.
This offering comes from the Vicarage. Jacob is in front of the camera and singing. Peter is behind the camera and did the edit.
Happy Christmas from all of us however and where ever you celebrate.
Our Memorial Carol Service with Dignity Funeral Services was a delight.
Please join in with the singing at home and perhaps light your own candle to remember those that you love and see no longer.
We are keeping it low key as we are still in a pandemic but this Sunday the 26th September we are having a harvest festival. We will have a collection of non perishable foodstuffs for our local foodbank and a retiring collection for CAFOD’s Afghan Refugee Fund. https://cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news/Afghanistan-crisis-appeal
We will start singing again with some well known harvest hymns this week.
Fruits of the harvest but remember our foodbanks want tins. No marrows!
The site is looking really good at the moment. The wildflower meadow under the statue of St Mark at the Down Road end of the site is in full flower. This was planted in 2019 and it is in its second year of flowering. It is full of British wildflowers which are attractive to bees.
The roses are in full bloom in the memorial garden and around the St Mark’s Road boundary of the site. These are Rosa Rugosa Alba.
The Sheddington vegetable plot is looking good.
Our no mow May for the grass has turned into, not even mowing in June as our gardener’s van has broken down but the bees and other insects seem to be enjoying it!
We will be putting more posters up around the site with the title ‘Hope on the Railings – the summer edit’ to encourage people to stop and spend a moment reflecting on the beauty of creation.
Our APCM Service will be this Sunday in our 10am service. We will review our last year and look forward to where we are going next.
Mothering Sunday is likely to be difficult for many this year. This is the second year we are in lockdown and just popping round to mum’s house with a bunch of flowers is completely out of reach for those who don’t live close to their mothers. It is always a complicated festival as adverts for cards and flowers and gifts are hard on those who wanted children but didn’t have them or those who have difficult relationships with their mothers. In 2021 there will be many households where mum died of Covid and there is no one to send flowers and a card to. It will be a first for many and there will be grief.
For others the celebration of Mother Church is equally difficult. We know that the church struggles with issues around sexuality but in 2021 it has been made clear that it also struggles with racism. Along with the stance that some churches take on women’s ministry, we have a church that does not welcome everyone, however much we want to believe it does.
That is uncomfortable but we cannot heal what we cannot name.
As a mother I can stay with all honesty that motherhood is not easy. For all those mothers who have homeschooled this past year I salute you. A tough gig got so much harder. Mothering is not all hearts and flowers however nice it is to get chocolates, flowers, a card and maybe a nice bottle of rose for Mothering Sunday (I can hope they are reading this!)
This week in our gospel we see one of the most harrowing images of the cost of motherhood. Mary the mother of Jesus is at the foot of the cross. The Mary that we saw on our Christmas cards as a young woman with her new baby is alone but for three friends. She watches her son dying. The son she gave birth to, nurtured as a toddler, raised as a child and was angry with as an adult is dying slowly. What can she do? She can’t make this better. All she can do is be there. That takes courage.
We live in a world that is full of words yet sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is be present, wordless. To witness.
As Christians we may be moved to pray yet the words won’t come. If the pain is too great, then words fall silent. Perhaps all we can do is hold our hands in a gesture of prayer, or just want to pray and hope that is enough.
As Jesus is dying he sees his mother and his compassion overcomes his pain and he names her new son his friend the beloved disciple. If we believe that Jesus is both fully human and fully God, we see in this act God’s loving kindness and justice and mercy in the words of Jesus. That is what our God is like. God sees us. God is with us even in times where words cannot do justice to the pain that is felt.
We face the reality of what happens next over Easter. The pain of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Frightened women at the tomb on Easter morning and the joy at the resurrection.
Our God is a God of surprises and Easter Sunday is coming but until then we are seen and we are loved.
Gospel Reading John 19.25b-27
Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.