Sunday, November 08, 2020

Sunday Worship links and other news from Seal for Remembrance Sunday


Dear friends

The links to our worship this week, and other news and resources for reflection are below.
We can't hold any services in the church at the moment, but our online worship is still going strong. This week there is just one recorded service, which you can either watch or listen to, a "special" for Remembrance Sunday, which is also available on the phone (01732 928061), so do pass that number on to anyone who isn't online. Our usual podcasts of morning worship and Evensong will be back next Sunday. 

As in the spring lockdown, there will be plenty of other opportunities online and by phone to stay connected and join in with worship. This weekly email, will continue, as will our various gatherings for worship and chit-chat on Zoom - you can dial in by phone to these if you don't "do" the internet.
It's worth keeping an eye on the blog  for news of what's on at Seal. I can post this newsletter to anyone who can’t access it otherwise, and I will continue to put a copy of it on the noticeboard in church, since we are allowed to stay open for private prayer.
Those who can't access the internet might also like to check out the Church of England’s “Daily Hope” line on 0800 804 8044.  Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. There are also services and resources from the Church of England nationally. Check out the C of E website here

Throughout this time, there has been work going on behind the scenes at Seal Church to support people who are vulnerable or struggling, and this will continue too. If you need a chat, or practical help, please get in contact and we will do what we can to respond. 

We can do this (again!), with the help of God, and one another!

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas

Nov 8 Remembrance Sunday
Online Worship

Remembrance Sunday service
Remembrance Sunday service sheet

On Zoom this week  email for links

Zoffee: Sunday at 11:15 am  Join us for a chat.

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
Zoom Children’s Choir  Wed 5-5.30pm  Fun singing with Anne Le Bas
Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact for the link.

This year, sadly, we aren’t able to gather around our War Memorial to mark Remembrance Sunday, but I have recorded a service at the Memorial in the church, which records not only those who died in the two World Wars, but also those who served in the WW1 and survived. These aren’t the only memorials in our church and churchyard, though. As you may realise from the sign by the lychgate, like many churches, we have some Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard. There are five in all, three in a row near the War Memorial and two others in other places in the churchyard.
Within the church itself there are a number of other memorials. All three grandsons of Louisa, Lady Hillingdon, whose family owned Wildernesse House were killed, their memorials are in the Lady Chapel. They are also remembered by the lectern which their grand mother gave to the church, which is such a familiar feature of the church now. Church lecterns are often in the shape of eagles, because the eagle was believed to be the bird that flew highest – closest to heaven. Our lectern, however, is in the form of an angel, carrying in its hands two branches. We don’t know who made it, but it seems to be intended to be an angel of peace, a fitting reminder of the loss this family suffered.  
Another memorial, on the North Aisle wall commemorates Gordon T.P. Brown, the grandson of one of Seal’s churchwardens, whose memorial is beside his grandson’s.
Remembering those who have died is important to us. When we remember someone, we affirm their value and proclaim their uniqueness. There has never been anyone like them before and there never will be again. To many of us the names on our memorials are just that – names - but as we look at them we recall that to others they were a precious child, sibling, husband or wife, whose lives were changed irrevocably by their loss. War casts a long shadow not only over those who fight it, but on their families too. But just as the damage and loss  of war falls on individuals, this time of Remembrance reminds us that it is born in individual actions too, in petty fears, suspicions and hatreds, in the casual de-humanisation which treats others as less worthy of empathy and understanding than we are. Remembrance calls us to look outwards, to be aware those names on our memorials, and the many names we will never know, but also inwards, to our own hearts, to find and root out the seeds of war which lurk in all of us.
As I have said, we can’t gather physically this year to remember those who have suffered, and still suffer, the effects of war, but I have recorded a Remembrance Service which will be accessible online from the church website from 8am on November 8th, and also on the phone, as our dial in podcast this week. It includes the two minutes silence. You can listen or watch at any time, of course, but if you want to observe the two-minute silence at 11am, you should start the recording at 10.40.
You are welcome to visit the War Memorial in the churchyard or in the church, but it would be better not to go there at 11 am ; if everyone has the same idea, a crowd could build up, which would risk people getting too close to one another.

You could stand on your doorstep or at a window at 11 am instead, as many people have decided to do.

We usually collect for the Royal British Legion at our Remembrance Service, and this year, the Legion is really struggling, because it hasn’t been possible to sell poppies in the normal way. Now that public worship in churches is banned, they will be hit even harder. Please consider making a donation online at
or, if you can’t do this you can donate in other ways:
BY PHONE 0345 845 1945
To donate £2 text POPPY2 to 70545*
To donate £5 text POPPY5 to 70545*
To donate £10 text POPPY10 to 70545*
*Texts cost £2, £5, or £10 plus one standard network rate message (typically 97% of the donation amount goes to the Royal British Legion).
BY POST Freepost Plus RTZT-ATBH-RGBZ, The Royal British Legion, Bumpers Way, Bumpers Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6NG.

All Age ideas

You could draw a poppy picture, or make a poppy and put it at the War Memorial in church. 

You could talk about what peace looks like and write or draw something that shows what you think.

Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:
Your email will be read by Anne Le Bas and Kevin Bright, the Vicar and Reader of Seal Church who will hold you in their prayers. 
O God our help in ages past
This hymn, sung every year at our Remembrance Sunday service in Seal, which is also on this week’s recorded service, was written by Isaac Watts, in 1708. Watts was a prolific hymn writer, author of over 750 hymns, and is one of the earliest writers of what were known as “original songs of Christian experience” – hymns not based on passages of Scripture - which were regarded with suspicion by the Church of England. Watts, however, had no such hesitation. He was a Non Conformist (Congregational) minister, and therefore not bound by these feelings, and many of his “original songs”, like “When I survey the wondrous cross” and “Joy to the World” are sung today across all denominations. “O God our help” , as it happens, is based on scripture, however. It is one of the settings Watts made of the Psalms – this one is based on Psalm 90, “Lord, thou has been our refuge from one generation to another.” It has become immensely popular, with its recognition that whatever changes in the world around us, God is still our “shelter from the stormy blast” and our “eternal home”.
The tune to which it is normally sung, St Anne, was written by William Croft in 1708 when he was organist at St Anne’s Church, Soho. The tune has been used in works by many other composers including Handel,  Vaughan Williams and Arthur Sullivan, and also JS Bach whose set it as a fugue in his Prelude and Fugue in E flat major.
Prayer of the week
This prayer is not specifically for Remembrance, though it is as appropriate for it as it is for any other time of trouble. As we begin a second lockdown, many people are feeling downhearted or afraid, fearing the impact on their mental health, their finances and their jobs, as much as the coronavirus itself. The prayer was written for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, and with its reminder that God has “brought us this far”, it seemed a good prayer for this week.
Risen, reigning Christ,
In you past, present and future
Are brought together in one great hope.
Renew our faith in you,
So that the past may not hinder us,
Nor the future frighten us.
You have brought us this far,
Continue to lead us
Until our hope is fulfilled
And we join with all God’s people
In never ending praise;
For your name’s sake


A chance to pray
The Church of England has called its congregations to look on this coming month as a month of prayer for our nation, and for all who are struggling with this new lockdown. They have suggested that at 6pm each day, people might pause to pray, and have provided all sorts of resources on their website to help people do so. You can find out more here.
I know that 6pm may not be a good time for everyone – if you have families to feed, or are still going out to work and travelling home it may not be possible to pray then, so I wondered if we might adapt this idea a bit, and see if we can get a rolling wave of prayer going, with people simply saying the Lord’s Prayer (you can use other prayers, or just sit with God in silence, of course) on the hour at time of their choosing through the day (and night if you are an insomniac, or joining us from some other part of the world. ) You don’t have to tell me which hour (or hours) you are choosing to pray, but it would be good to be able to have some sense that we have the day “covered”, so if you’d like to commit yourself to a particular time, please let me know. It would be good to be able to pass on how many people (I won’t include names) are praying at the top of each hour! You can email me on our prayer email address, and just put the time in the subject line if you like.
I’m sure you’ll recognise the hymn from which the name of this prayer initiative is drawn – it’s “The Day thou Gavest, Lord, has ended”, with its lovely description of prayer continuing day and night as the world turns.

And finally...
It’s good to know that the daftness of the British people can’t be suppressed by the vicissitudes of life.
I came across this ITV news story about Major Mick Stanley’s fund raising initiative to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, which involves him rowing 100 miles in a boat made out of corrugated iron, curtain hooks and hosepipe… (as you do!) A week or so ago, he was halfway there. Let’s hope the name of his boat “Tintanic” isn’t prophetic, though I don’t think there are many icebergs in the Chichester canal!

"An 80-year-old retired army major has reached the halfway mark in his charity challenge to row 100 miles at 2mph in his home-made boat.
Michael Stanley, who served in The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, created the boat, named the Tintanic, out of two sheets of corrugated iron, curtain hooks and hosepipe.
“Major Mick” has set himself the target of rowing it 100 miles along the Chichester canal in West Sussex and has now reached the halfway mark.
He has raised more than £24,000 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Bosham, having originally hoped to collect just £1,000.
Mr Stanley said he was “absolutely astounded to meet this wonderful milestone. The work of the hospice is more vital now than ever”.
Alison Moorey, the hospice’s chief executive, said: “We are deeply grateful to Major Mick for his wonderful 100-mile ‘Tintanic’ challenge in support of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
“At any one time we are supporting 330 patients both here at our beautiful purpose-built hospice in Bosham and with the majority in their homes. Many of whom have been comforted by Major Mick’s story.
“The fundraising and awareness he builds for the vital work of the hospice in these challenging times is a timely reminder we can all do something to make a difference to local lives.”
Mr Stanley has released images of the construction of the Tintanic, including trial runs in a swimming pool and at sea.
Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
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