Sunday, June 06, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news


June 6  Trinity 1

Morning Worship podcast   Morning service sheet       Hymn words (both services)

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

Don't forget that you can also listen to a shortened version of the podcast by phoning 01732 928061 -  if you know someone who doesn't "do" the internet, please pass on the number to them. It costs the same as any phone call to a Sevenoaks number.

In Church

10 am Holy Communion with a hymn outside the church after the service.

6.30pm Breathing Space Holy Communion
Numbers limited to 35 people. Facemasks required unless medically exempt. Services are said, with recorded music – there is no singing in church, but we do now have permission to sing outside, so there will be a congregational hymn at the end of the 10 am service outside.


On Zoom this week  email for links

ZOFFEE - informal chat at 11.15 am

Wednesday Zoom Church 11am 
Children's Choir will meet in person in the church hall garden from this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm

Zoom Adult choir contact for the link

Trinity 1
Genesis 3.8-15, Mark 3.20-end
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is accused by his family of having gone “out of his mind”, and by the religious leaders of being in league with Satan. His madness/crime? To heal  the sick and care for those on the margins. It might not seem like either madness or crime to us, but it threatens their view of the proper place of a dutiful son and brother, an ordinary carpenter from Nazareth.Adam and Eve by Zampieri
The Old Testament reading is a reflection on the way in which we are all born into a world which twists and warps us. We are frail and fallible, and dependent on God for help. 
This detail from a larger picture of Adam and Eve meeting God after they have eaten the forbidden fruit captures that sense of hopeless confusion we can all feel when life goes awry.


This week is "Churches Count on Nature" week. Check out the "wildlife safari" packs here

Today's Gospel story retold.
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. 
Congratulations to Tom and Abbey
Abbey and Tom enjoy a glass of bubbly outside the church after their weddingOur first wedding at Seal since 2019 took place yesterday, and it was for our own Abbey Sanders, a regular member of our choir here, who married fellow teacher Tom Lawrie. Our warmest congratulations to them both.
Although we couldn’t have any live singing in the service, some of Abbey and Tom’s friends recorded the anthem “View me Lord” remotely (and Abbey was able to take part as well, which was an added bonus of being able to do these things digitally). Philip put the recordings together and we enjoyed the finished result as they signed the Marriage Document. Abbey and Tom said we could share it, so here it is for you to enjoy, along with a photo of the happy couple enjoying the warm sunshine and a glass of bubbly in the churchyard after the service.  Abbey looked gorgeous in her trademark 40's/50's style (and Tom looked good too!)
Many thanks to those who attended our APCM on Zoom last Sunday. The draft minutes can be found here. I am pleased to welcome Paul and Sally Thompson as our new churchwardens. They have offered to serve together for the next year, during which time we hope to develop teams to support the work involved and create a more sustainable pattern for the future.
We recorded our thanks to Gesiena van Setten for her service as a churchwarden, and especially our gratitude for her tireless support during all the vicissitudes of this last eighteen months. We wished her well as she takes a long-overdue break from applying for faculties and overseeing building work!
We are looking to recruit people who might be able to share in various areas of the work of the church, including helping organise maintenance and carrying out some of the tasks associated with the finances of the church. Look out for the “situations vacant” board which will go up in church over the coming weeks, where we hope to share specific tasks which we are looking for help with.
We also welcomed back onto the PCC for another three year term Mark Turner, Rosemary Pattullo and Jonathan Heeb, and thanked Rosemary Milton-Thompson who came off the PCC.
I also explained at the APCM that I will also be asking people who already carry out roles within the church to fill in a volunteer role description, so we have a record of what each role involves to help us with recruitment and make sure we have a proper overview of who needs what DBS checking and safeguarding training. If a team carries out a role (e.g. church cleaning, serving, coffee rota etc) only one member will need to fill in the form. I will gradually be contacting people to ask them to do this, but the forms can be found here, so if you have a volunteer role in the church, please feel free to get ahead and do this yourself.  
It is a special place for many, for a variety of reasons. For some it is the last resting place of a loved one, for some it is simply a beautiful space full of wildlife, with lovely views to enjoy. We are hoping to recruit some people who might help us both to take care of the churchyard, litter picking and caring for it as an ecological haven, and to record memorials in some areas of the churchyard, mostly Victorian and Edwardian, for which we have never had a burial map. If you would like to help with either or both of these projects over the summer, please email me to let me know at
The first churchyard mapping session will be on Saturday July 3 from 10am – 12 noon. Anyone of any age will be welcome to come along and help us record who is buried where, and instructions will be given on the day to do this. Children and families are welcome.
If the wildlife of the churchyard is something that interests you, you might like to check out the “wildlife safari” packs here, on the website of Caring for God’s Acre, an organisation which promotes the care of burial grounds. This week is “Churches Count on Nature” week, when people are especially encouraged to find out about the natural resources of their local churchyard
OUTDOOR CHURCH will resume on Sunday June 13 at 4pm in the churchyard by the war memorial. As we are allowed to sing outside, we will include a couple of hymns in this short service (no more than 30 mins), which will be very informal, interactive and based around a Bible story. All ages are welcome.
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR will meet in person this Wednesday from 5-5.30pm for the first time since March 2020. We will sing in the church hall garden to provide an added level of covid security. The children have been turning up faithfully to our Zoom sessions for the last year, but it will be very good to be able to hear each other and sing together in person again!
Sadly, there is no news yet on when adult choirs can begin to meet.
FRIDAY GROUP - This group is meeting weekly on Fridays at 10.30 am outside the Church hall. Come along and join them for an informal natter in the sunshine (we hope…)
HYMN OF THE WEEK  Guide me O thou Great Redeemer
I don’t seem to have featured this very popular hymn yet in our weekly newsletter, though it has appeared in our weekly podcasts, so it is about time I set that right!  It is very popular at sporting fixtures – one of the only places other than churches where people regularly sing together (when we are allowed to!) – so has a wide appeal.
It was written by William Williams. also called Pantycelyn (1717-91). He was one of the leaders of the Welsh evangelical revival movement of the 18th century. Having originally been ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church, he eventually became a minister in the newly founded Welsh Calvinist Methodist church. He wrote around 800 hymns, and travelled more than 100,000 miles on foot and horseback as an itinerant preacher. Williams, often known simply as Pantycelyn was famous not only as a minister and hymn writer but as a champion of Welsh language and culture. Most of his hymns were written in Welsh, including this one. The English version we sing is a fairly free translation by Peter Williams (no relation – 1722-96), but William Williams also made his own translation, and the two were often mashed together, which is why some versions say “Redeemer” while others say “Jehovah”.
The hymn’s imagery is taken from the Old Testament story of the Exodus. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land, led by a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. God fed them with manna – the bread of heaven – and eventually they crossed the river Jordan into Canaan. In the hymn this is an image of our pilgrimage through life, across the “Jordan” of death and into the new life beyond death.
The tune, Cwm Rhondda, is far more recent than the words. It was written for a hymn singing festival in 1905 by John Hughes (1873-1932) It was so enthusiastically sung in the trenches during WW1 by Welsh troops that allegedly German troops in the opposing trenches learned it from them.
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven
Feed me till I want no more.
Open thou the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream shall flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer
Be thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever give to thee.
  • Why do you think this hymn has become so popular?
  • What does it mean to you?
O Christ of the least and the homeless
O Christ of the lost and betrayed
Come close to me this night
That I may come close to you.
As you watched me with care at my soul’s shaping
Look on me now with grace.
As you blessed me with light at the sun’s rising
Shine on me now with love.
J. Philip Newell, from “Each Day, Each Night”.
This lovely evening prayer asks for God’s care through the night. It reminds us that we are perfectly known. Christ who “watched at my soul’s shaping” will not abandon us. He is Christ, “of the least and homeless”, of the “lost and betrayed”. He is there because we need him, not because we have done anything to earn his love.

I do love an outdoor swimming pool. It’s lovely to be able to see the sky as you swim, but even if London’s new ‘Sky Pool’ was not reserved for the residents of the exclusive apartments next to it, I would give it a miss. Whoever’s idea it was to suspend a transparent (!) swimming pool ten stories up in the air, it obviously wasn’t someone who feels like me about heights…

Here’s a video of it, if you have a stronger constitution than mine. I am averting my eyes even from the video…

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