Weekly newsletter: 14 March 2021

The Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, Wingates

14 March  2021

Mothering Sunday

Service of the Word


 Colossians 3: 12-17
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 19: 25b – 27
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Collect for Mothering Sunday
God of love, passionate and strong, tender and careful: watch over us and hold us all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord


Carol Pharaoh’s Homily – 14th March

Today, on the day the church calls Mothering Sunday, I asked some of the children to describe their mums or grandmas or older sisters or cousins.  Here’s some of what they said.

“My Mum is kind and she looks after me.  She plays games with me and lets me win.  She takes me on lots of bike rides and walks. She works very hard and I love her.”
“My Mum is nice; she looks after me and she is lovely”.
“My Nana is one of the kindest people I know. She is always there for you and will always want to cheer you up if you are sad.  She makes the best lamb dinners ever.”  
“My Mum is funny and silly sometimes but that’s what makes me happy.”
“My Grandma is very kind.  She is a very keen walker and she is really good at telling stories.  She is a huge chatterbox.”
“My Mum is lovely and caring but when she goes shopping, she says she will be 5 minutes but she is actually an hour!  I love my Mum.”    

There are some lovely thoughts here.  If you watch our on-line service you will discover more.  Those who mother us actually come in all shapes and sizes and roles.  Sometimes they are foster parents or grandparents or aunties or sisters or cousins or friends.  Sometimes they are actually dads or uncles or brothers.  Thank you to you all.  You are all superstars and you deserve our thanks today and our utmost admiration.
I’m sure that all these people really enjoy their roles but I imagine too that you can find it very challenging at times.  Tony Blair once famously said, after one of his children had been in a spot of bother, that it was harder being a parent than being Prime Minister.  Relationships and families can be very complicated and there’s often a whole mixture of different emotions we can feel.  
I’d like to share 2 thoughts today.  First of all, I found this thought in one of my resource books by Susan Sayers.
‘We are fortunate that many churches have stained glass windows in them.  In them there are many different colours.  Some of the colours are dark and some are bright.  Family life is often like this – a whole picture made up of bright and dark colours, of happy and sad times, angry and contented times, worrying and relaxed times.  Family life is like a work of art.  It isn’t just us on our own who are making these works of art – it’s us and God together, and we go on making them all through our lives.  We need to remember that whenever there is a whole lot of dark, sad colours, God will brighten it for us with the rich, warm, colours of his comforting love.’  [Susan Sayers.]
I like the idea that our families are works of art.  A work of art takes a long time to perfect.  Our families, no matter how they are made up, are works of art and will take a lifetime of work, one which will constantly change with the passing years, in colour and in form.  
Our families are all different and will have different people in them and because of this we have to accept that sometimes our families will be under strain at times.  We might fall out and get cross with each other.  It’s part of what being a family brings.  There’s no doubt it’s tough at times and family life has been under a different kind of strain in the last 12 months.  The second thing I would like us to consider today takes up this theme.  

‘Today we are reminded that we all need to look after each other in mothering, unselfish, caring, loving ways as our loving God treats us.  When we were little our parents had to dress us, because we couldn’t do up the buttons or tie our shoe laces.  St Paul in our reading tells us that we should clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and most of all, love.  A good way to remember that we are called to look after one another is to think of clothing ourselves with these qualities.  So, every morning when we get dressed, we can think of putting on the clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience and tie everything together with love.  That way we’ll be learning to look after one another the way our God looks after us.’  [Susan Sayers]
So, here are 2 things we can think about today.  Today, as well as thanking God for all our relationships, we need to remember to thank God for giving us our families of all shapes and sizes that are special and works of art.  We also need to be mindful of those qualities we need to work at, those clothes we have to put on, to care for each other as God would want us to, today and every day.
Today isn’t a day of celebration and joy for everyone.  Today can be a very sad day.  So, finally, we ask God to comfort these people and pray that through the tears they will find joy in knowing they are special and loved by Him.  

May God bless us all.  Amen.

Faith Pictures – a fresh way to talk about things that matter
Faith Pictures is a short course designed to help Christians talk naturally to friends, neighbours and colleagues about what they believe. The heart of the course is about helping people to identify a single picture or image that embodies something of their faith. This is because the kinds of communication which best stick in the mind are concrete and rooted in story.
The course aims to be accessible and light-hearted, without jargon or inflexible methods. Each session contains a short video and encourages discussion.
Every Tuesday at 7.00p.m.  for 6 weeks.
Every Thursday at 2.00p.m.for 6 weeks.

Please email Carol, Angela or Malcolm to let us know you want to join us and we will send you the link and more details.  Thank you.

 Zoom Coffee mornings
On Sunday mornings at 11.30 we hold a coffee morning on Zoom to which members of all churches in the Team are invited. For  access codes, please email Carol. Come along and join us!

Advice for parents with children of school age.

There is new guidance in place and we are now asked to monitor attendance (or your ‘intention’ to attend church) for school admission purposes.  Sadly, we can't fit everyone into our churches at the moment, St Thomas' Church is still closed and we have less services than normal.  We also know some of you have concerns about coming back to church.  So, we are not monitoring attendance or ‘intention’ using the usual signing in methods.  Instead, if you come to church or would ‘intend’ to come if it wasn’t for COVID-19 restrictions or concerns, please email us each week on the following dedicated email address.  bdhww.churchattendance@gmail.com

Please give both your name / your child or children’s names and the church you would usually attend.  Please do NOT use any other email address to register church attendance as these will not be included.

 If, when restrictions ease, we decide on another method of recording church attendance, we will publish details of the new process.      

Thank you, Carol & Angela



Governors at Canon Slade have recently issued a statement saying that they are not asking churches to record the attendance of children and young people at worship services for the purposes of supporting future applications to Canon Slade School until all churches are fully open. For the time being, for all other schools, parents are asked to continue to email their attendance or 'intention to attend' to our dedicated email address



FOOD COLLECTIONS   Urban Outreach say thank you for your support. 

You can bring your donations with you when you come to a Sunday Service in any of our churches. Just place your donations in the Grub Tubs provided.  You can also bring donations to St John’s, Wingates between 10 – 11 am on the first and third Saturdays of every month. (Next collection day Saturday  20  March 2021)

You might find it easier to make a financial donation to Urban Outreach.  You can do this via their website  https://www.urbanoutreach.co.uk/