Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas services

CHRISTMAS SERVICES at St Peter and St Paul, Seal
Sun 23rd TODAY - 6.30pm Carol Service

4pm Crib service - the Christmas story told simply as we make our crib and sing carols.
11.30pm Midnight Mass

10am Communion service for all the family, with a story instead of a sermon.


Everyone is welcome at everything, no matter how young or old you are, no matter whether you are a regular or have never come to church before. No one will mind what you wear or whether you know what you are doing! No one will hassle you to join anything, commit yourself to anything or sign up to anything. Whoever you are, whatever your life story or background you are welcome here!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Visions of the Nativity 3

The third of our Advent Breathing Space series is here.
Visions of the Nativity 3:

Tonight we were pondering the well-peopled nativity scenes (often of the Adoration of the Magi),  like this one by Antonio Vivarini.

Friday, December 14, 2012

USPG changes its name to Us

USPG is an organisation which Seal Church has supported for many years (our special links are with Ruth and Saulo De Barros in Brazil, where Saulo is Bishop of the Diocese of the Amazon). This year it has changed its name. It now known simply as Us. The name may have changed, but the work is still the same, bringing hope and help to communities all round the world. Here is their latest video, about tea pickers in Sri Lanka. Why not sit down with a cup of tea (fairtrade I hope...?) and watch it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Visions of the Nativity 2

The second of our Advent Breathing Space Communion talks is here, on the theme of the "glow in the dark" baby, like this one, painted by Gerard Van Honthorst.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Harare - Good news

You may have read in previous posts of the situation the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe has been in for several years now. Throughout the country clergy and congregations have been unable to worship in their churches, which had been taken over by rival clergy and bishops sympathetic to  Robert Mugabe. A court case finally restored the churches to their rightful congregations and on Sunday Harare Cathedral is to be re-hallowed as part of this. Bishop Brian, the Bishop of Tonbridge, is to be there to represent Rochester Diocese as we are twinned with the Diocese of Harare.
A letter from Bishop James can be found here, and a prayer for the people of Zimbabwe written for this occasion is below.

Make your ways known upon earth, Lord God,
your saving power among all peoples.
We thank you for the life and witness of your Church in Harare
and pray with them this day as they celebrate the re-hallowing of their Cathedral.
Renew Bishop Chad and your Church there in holiness,
help them and us to serve you with joy.
Let not the needy be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Enable them and us to be instruments of your peace
and let your glory be over all the earth,
in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Rochester Cathedral Concert Tues 11th Dec

Rochester Cathedral have asked us to give a plug to their annual Christmas Concert next Tuesday at 7.30pm. Happy to do so - it will be a splendid evening I am sure!
They will be singing Handel's Messiah (Part 1) and other Christmas music as well as some carols for the audience to join in with as well.
Tickets are £12 or £8 (concessions) on the door.
More details can be found here.

Advent Breathing Space: Visions of the Nativity

The first of our Advent Breathing Space candlelit Communion services took place yesterday evening. In these three services I will be reflrecting on three different classic portrayals of the nativity story in art. The first service looked at the image of Jesus as a newborn lying naked on the ground (see the example right by Fra Angelico) while Mary and Joseph kneel in prayer, an image that can seem rather odd to us - who'd leave a baby lying about like that, cold and uncomfortable...?

If you would like to read the talk, it is here on our sermon blog (the next two talks will be posted after they are delivered.)