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Church Services

Church Services

1. On this page you will find the details of Church contacts.

2. Church services for the month within the Benefice.

3. The monthly news letter.

1.CHURCH CONTACT DETAILS

Priest-in-charge

During the vacancy can you please contact one of the Church Wardens or the Readers. Thank you.

Readers

Joy Galliers-Burridge 01279 444870

Roger Burridge 01279 444870

June Denton 01279 723714

Churchwardens

Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

Michael Shaw - 01279 726792

Secretary

Christine Law - 01279 411646

Treasurer

Judith Denton 01279 723714

Safeguarding Officer:

Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

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Benefice of High Wych and Gilston with Eastwick

Church website: stjameshighwych.org.uk

Facebook: eastwick and gilston church’s

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MAY SERVICES

2nd May

5th Sunday of Easter

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

9th May

6th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

16th May

7th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

23rd May

DAY OF PENTECOST

(Whit Sunday)

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

30th May

TRINITY SUNDAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

May Letter 2021

Greetings in Eastertide: the church season which runs from Easter Sunday through to Pentecost and this year, falls on Sunday 23rd May. It recalls the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles and giving them the gift of tongues to share the Word of God in the languages of the many cultures that surrounded them (Acts 2).

Jerusalem then, as now, was a melting pot of cultures - as are the communities in which we live. Holy Week last month reminded us of our commandment to love one another (John 13, 34) and that remains the key challenge to us all today.

Through these difficult times of the last year, where we have all experienced the impact of COVID and others have also been coping with the painful challenges of raising issues of race and oppression, it has been heart-warming to see the kindness and care people have shown one another. Let us pray that this support may continue always.  

As we look to Pentecost we acknowledge that our Jewish neighbours will be looking towards the festival of Shavout and many of our Muslim residents will have been fasting to mark the Holy month of Ramadam. May we all celebrate the diversity in our villages and the mutual respect we have for each other’s beliefs.

I hope the better weather and easing of restrictions will allow us to start our more regular village events again and we plan to have a Community Dog Walk leaving from St Mary’s Church, Gilston on Sunday 2nd May at 3pm followed by afternoon tea back at the church. Do look out for further details of this and other events on our Benefice Facebook pages and churches website in the coming weeks and months.

We have some building repairs starting at St Mary’s church this week so our 2nd and 4th Sunday services will be reversed in May with the 2nd Sunday being at Eastwick and the 4th Sunday at Gilston – both 11:15 starts. (Midweek services of Evening Prayer will continue as scheduled.)

In closing: as things begin to return to normality I hope that we will all still find time to keep up our local walks and enjoy the blossom & bluebells.

Godspeed
Sarah Bagnall - Churchwarden (Gilston & Eastwick Churches)

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APRIL SERVICES

1st April

MAUNDY THURSDAY

8.00pm

Maundy Thursday Service

St James, High Wych

2nd April

GOOD FRIDAY

2.00pm

Good Friday Service

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

3rd April

EASTER EVE

8.00pm

Easter Eve Service

St Mary’s, Gilston

4th April

EASTER DAY

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

11th April

2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

18th April

3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

25th April

4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

April Letter 2021

He is risen!

Many people think of Christmas as being the ‘big one’ for the church, and despite being really significant it falls a long way behind Easter as the most important celebration of the year.

The period before Easter that we call Lent, can be a gift of time to us, to take a hard look at ourselves and be honest about our shortcomings and then make a conscious effort to change in readiness to meet the risen Christ on Easter morning. Some people do this by ‘giving up’ something that they enjoy, and others by ‘taking up’ something which is challenging or difficult or requires a discipline of commitment.

The week before Easter, known as Holy week starts on the Sunday with Palm Sunday celebrations as we recall Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Things rapidly change and the roller coaster of emotions intensifies, so that by Thursday we are marking the last supper, the arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, and the stripping of the altars, removing all the symbols and adornments from the church. Good Friday sees the crucifixion and the emptiness of the worlds light, continuing through Holy Saturday, until the evening when we hold the vigil, recalling Gods creation and deeds which reached fulfilment in Jesus.

It can be a dark time, before the dawn of the very best light.

Reflecting on this I can’t help but make connections with this last year of trials and tribulations, of fear and loss, or reduced freedoms and isolations. I’m sure that we have all learnt a lot about ourselves, and how we deal with these unusual circumstances. For many this has been a time of deep darkness and difficulty, but we must never forget that there has been so much new light shining through as well.

Let’s not forget the sacrificial actions of so many to keep us safe, healthy, fed and watered. The emergence of new friendships and closer relationships with neighbours and former strangers as we each looked out for each other, and when we asked ‘how are you?’ we actually really wanted to know and paid attention to the answer.

My parents, both Londoners and in their late teens when the war broke out, would probably have referred to it as the ‘spirit of the blitz’. They would often tell me of the strength of community spirit, the shared enemy and the acts of quiet generosity and kindness that were demonstrated day after day.  Each small act bringing a light of hope into another persons life.

As we approach Easter this year there is a real hope that we can see the dawning of new freedoms and a new beginning.  I for one do not want to return to the old ‘normal’ if that means going backwards to how things were before March 2020, I want a new normal that retains all the good that we have found in each other, where neighbours and strangers alike, look out for each other simply because we are fellow ‘humans’ and if we have learnt anything then it has to be that this is more important than ‘all the other stuff’ that used to be the main focus.

As Christians we believe that Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might live it in all its fullness. This is not just a gift for ourselves as we are charged with sharing that gift of love with the world in all that we do.  We don’t always get it right, but we keep on trying and we have each other to support and help each other on the way. 

During the Easter vigil service on Saturday evening ( 3 April 2021 at 8pm St Mary’s), I am privileged to be the one to announce that Easter has begun with the words “Alleluia he is risen”.  I fully expect that the normal joy felt at this moment will be magnified this year as the sense of hope and new beginnings will be even more tangible than ever. 

You would of course be most welcome to join us, and share in that joy, but always know that we are there and are praying for you.

May you know the love of the risen Christ this Easter.

The Reverend Su Tarran

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MARCH SERVICES

7th March

3rd Sunday of Lent

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

 

 

 

 

 

14th March

4th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

 

St James, High Wych

 

 MOTHERING SUNDAY

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

21st March

5th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

28th March

PALM SUNDAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s,

Eastwick

 

 

 

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

               March Letter 2021                                                                        

 Dear Friends,

As you drive into our villages some things are still the same. The sign by High Wych allotments telling you if you’re driving too fast, relatives still tending graves in the churchyards and the bin men still dutifully collecting our  refuge. Other things have changed. No lights on in our pubs. Village hall car parks  on a Saturday night empty of cars to take party revellers home. The school playground is eerily quiet.

I have just read Professor Tom Wright’s book called “God and the Pandemic” where he makes comparisons with the pandemic and the Second World War. Speaking about 1930s Germany, Pastor Martin Neimoller said: First they came for the Jews; but I did nothing because I am not a Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because I am not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did nothing because I’m not a Catholic. Finally, they came for me, but by then there was no one left to help me.

 

 So in some way it may have been with the British and American reaction to the coronavirus. First it hit the Chinese, but we aren’t Chinese and China is a long way away and strange things (like eating pangolins) happen there. Then it hit Iran, but we didn’t worry because Iran, too, is far away, and anyway it’s such a very different place. Then it struck Italy, but we thought, Well, the Italians are sociable, tactile people, of course it will spread there, but we’ll be alright. And then it arrived in London and New York...And suddenly there was no safe space on the planet. Then there is that inevitable question of “Where is God in all this?”

At present I have the privilege of working in one of the vaccination centres in Harlow. From the window I can see the queue snaking round the car park and wonderful volunteer stewards supporting and encouraging in the freezing weather. It reminds me that the last time I stood in such a queue was at Heathrow Airport clutching my passport. Here the queue is a for a passport that mercifully you cannot buy with money and where humanity reaches out to give hopefully  a passport to life beginning with the most vulnerable. I am intrigued by the diversity of the queue. There are those with portable oxygen and indeed those who may have benefitted from the same followed by folk in their eighties sporting track suit and trainers who have run a couple of miles to reach their appointment. Others hide their faces from the advancing needle whilst a few want to watch the vaccine drawn up in case you are injecting them with some unknown substance. Jokers screech before being jabbed - unhelpful to the person behind who confides they have been awake all night worried about the anticipated event. The computer temporarily crashes and the slow forward momentum of the queue halts . A  man frustratingly remarks “Jesus Christ! Is this the queue?” No one  replies and no one answers back; after all it’s not as if we are queuing at Primark for the January Sales! This is a queue in which you obey the rules where we are aware there are many out there that would take our hallowed place. And  I think “Jesus why don’t you surprise him and the whole queue and answer him and say out loud “What bothers you my friend? You look upset – come and tell me all about it.”

Then a  95 year-old gentleman  trips over his walking stick as he hurries forward and falls smashing his  face and knee on the ground. No social distancing  now – humanity reaches forth to offer tissues for his bleeding nose  - someone removes their coat to pillow his head. The angry man stairs at the ground. Having mentioned your name on arrival, he does not realise that you are also in the queue and that you stand alongside each one of us sharing our day – loving us and wanting you to be part of our day even when we show no acknowledgement.

Finally to refer back to that question “Where is God in all this “ I conclude with the end of a poem written by  Malcolm Guite.

And where is Jesus this strange Eastertide?

He slips away from church, shakes off our linen bands

To don his apron with a nurse: he grips

And lifts a stretcher, soothes with gentle hands

The frail flesh of the dying, gives them hope,

Breathes with the breathless, lends them strength to cope.

On Thursdays we applauded, for he came

And served us in a thousand names and faces

Mopping our sick room floors and catching traces

Of that corona which was death to him:

Good Friday happened in a thousand places

Where Jesus held the helpless, died with them

That they might share his Easter in their need,

Now they are risen with him, risen indeed.

Janet Bellingham

SERVICES FOR JANUARY 2021

 3rd January

Second Sunday of Christmas The Epiphany

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

 

 

 

 

 

10th January

The Baptism of Christ

 (1st Sunday of Epiphany)

9.30am

Holy Communion,

 

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

17th January

2nd Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

24th January

3rd Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s,

Eastwick

31st January

4th Sunday of Epiphany

(Candlemas)

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

                                                                                        

JANUARY 2021 LETTER

Hello friends

It is coming up to Christmas as I write this letter.  St James at High Wych have already had their Carol Service on the 13th of this month, the service was different to previous years, obviously no singing from the congregation, but the choir sang, and it was beautiful, the singing was the best I have every heard at St. James, so a big thank you.

The way we have all adapted and rearranged our lives to keep our families, friends and ourselves safe since last March is amazing.  We have managed to have church services in all three churches safely when permitted, and some have attended these.  Services have been streamed every week since the beginning of April.  We have had to adapt to much more technology in our lives by watching services in our own homes and have met people and have meetings via Zoom.

Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and trusting in God to give us patience to wait until we have all been vaccinated, then we can think about a future where we can reach out and touch a loved one again.  
The High Wych village on the 12th lit up all the Christmas trees made in parking cones, that village and church people had made, it looks an absolute treat with the decorated trees twinkling away, there are so many trees, it must have taken many dedicated hours to assemble them, well done to everybody involved.  And as we looking at the trees Father Christmas passed by to give added excitement to the event.

Gilston and Eastwick are to have their Community Carol Service on the 20th December, it is to be an outside service around the War Memorial at Eastwick and it will be (or was depending when you receive your magazine) at 5.30pm.

We are PLANNING to have Christingle services again this year (2020), they will be different because of Covid 19 restrictions, but nevertheless there will be the Nativity story, carols (choir only) and Christingles.  By the time you read this, you will know if it all worked out or not. Times are 3pm and 5pm at both Gilston and High Wych churches on Christmas Eve.

The Bible stories through December and January are all very familiar to us, Mary and Joseph travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem for a census, the birth of Jesus in a stable, the angel Gabrielle, telling the shepherds that a special baby had been born and to go and see him.  Then a bit later the wise men who followed a new star to its destination in Bethlehem, where they found the baby, born to be King of the Jews, and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Then we come to the part of the story that could easily be part of a modern-day thriller, The evil king Herod plotted to have the new born baby killed to protect his role as king.  Fortunately, Joseph was warned of his plot and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt and stayed there until Herod died, in the meantime Herod had all the baby boys killed trying to find Jesus but he failed to do so.  If you think the Bible is a boring read, try reading the first few chapters of Matthew, I am sure you will change your mind.

I do wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas, many of us will be celebrating Christmas alone or with very few others but staying safe and being patient is part of our lives for now, so let us look forward to a bright new healthy future in 2021, with lots to look forward to and friends and family to catch up with.

Love and blessing to you all,

Joy

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