Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast links and other news: July 18


Dear friends

The links to todays audio podcasts, Zoom sessions etc are below.

I will be taking time off from July 19 – Aug 7, and there will be no podcasts or newsletters for the Sundays when I am not working, but I will email the links to the Church of England’s national recorded service.
You can also find recorded worship from the C of E on the Daily Hope phone line 0800 804 8044.
On my return I will be scaling back this weekly newsletter to include just the link to the podcast, what’s on in the coming week and any church and community news.
From Aug 8 I will be producing just one slightly shorter podcast each week, which will be available online and on the phone as is currently the case.
This week’s newsletter will be the last, therefore, in its current format, but I will still be keeping in touch each week by email. I hope you have enjoyed these newsletters over the last 16 months!

Best wishes
Revd Canon Anne Le Bas

July 18 Trinity 7

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.

4pm Outdoor Church in the churchyard. 
With two hymns, a Bible story, and prayers. Very relaxed and informal - come along and join us. 

6.30pm Evensong
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.


During the week, in person and on Zoom - email for Zoom links

ZOFFEE - This will be the last of these online informal chats on Zoom at 11.15 am, so do join us if you can! 
 Jul 18, 2021 11:15 AM London

No Wednesday Zoom Church until Aug 11

No Friday Morning Prayer in church until Aug 13 

Friday Group - 10.30-12 noon in the church hall garden

Trinity 7
Jeremiah 23.1-6, Psalm 23, Mark 6.30-34.53-end

James Tissot: Jesus teaches the crowd by the seaKevin is preaching this Sunday, so I don’t want to second guess what his message might be! The Gospel reading, however, gives us a snapshot of the ministry of Jesus, besieged by needy people, and aware that his disciples were also under pressure, “with no leisure even to eat.” He tells them to “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile”. The rest turns out to be short-lived, because the crowd follow him, but I like to think that even the short boat journey together might have provided a bit of a break. It’s a reminder that giving continually, without refuelling ourselves with rest, food and prayer, isn’t good for anyone, even Jesus! That’s a good message for all of us (me included) at this time of year, when many people are taking a break. It may not be easy to get away this year, but perhaps we can all try to do something different, even in small ways, to broaden our horizons, take a break, and just breathe, so that when the “crowd” comes pressing in on us, whether that is an actual crowd, or a crowd of worries, we are able to regard them with the same unworried compassion as Jesus.


Today's Gospel story: Sheep without a shepherd
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. Please tell us if you would like us to contact you.
Although most legal Covid restrictions will be lifted on July 19, we are very aware that the pandemic has not gone away and also that many people will still need to take extra care because of their own vulnerabilities or those of people they live with. Because of the added complication that I am taking time off from July 19-Aug 7, and that the detailed guidance from the Church of England has only just arrived, we don’t propose to change the arrangements we have for worship at Seal until Aug 15 at the earliest. While we won’t be able to insist on people wearing face coverings from July 19, we would still like to recommend it, out of consideration for others, and we hope that people will still maintain a safe distance from one another. I will keep you updated on any decisions we make, but the principle will be that we will not rush into change – just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should or we will!
There will be no Morning Prayer on Fridays July 23 & 30 or Aug 6. Morning Prayer will begin again on Friday Aug 13th. There’s nothing to stop you praying on your own  - in church or at home – however, so do keep praying. You can follow the Church of England’s Daily Prayer on the website here  (there’s an audio version as well!) or by downloading the Daily Prayer app.
FRIDAY GROUP - This group is meeting weekly on Fridays from  10.30 – 12 noon in the Church hall garden, or inside if necessary. Come along and join them for an informal natter in the sunshine (we hope…)
From Know Your Neighbours
Recipes are slowly coming in for this book, which we are hoping to publish in aid of Church funds. Please, do let us have your favourite recipes, and we can share them through this little publication, which we hope to have ready in time to sell as Christmas presents. Just email your favourites through to this email address.
The Short Mat Bowls Group meet in the Village Hall on Thursday evenings , and are looking for new members. No special clothing is needed, but nothing too smart - dress for comfort. They start around 6.10 pm, so just go along, or email Alan for more information
Sevenoaks District Council summer Family Fun Days are back! These are organised by the council, together with Play Place, and take place all around Sevenoaks through the summer. The first event of this season takes place from 10am - 2pm on July 26th, on Seal Recreation Ground. In past years, these events have been enjoyed by so many families - a free play date with lots of other local families - a great project!


St AnselmGrant, O Lord, 
that we may hold to you without parting,
worship you without wearying, 
serve you without failing
faithfully seek you
happily find you
and forever possess you, 
the only God, 
Blessed now and forever. Amen

This prayer is one which I usually use, in slightly adapted form,  at baptisms, as we pray for the newly baptised. It is on the little cards I give to godparents and families to help them pray for their children as they grow up. It was written by St Anselm (1033-1109) was Archbishop of Canterbury nearly a thousand years ago, a Benedictine monk from Aosta in what is now Italy, who was sent to England in the reign of William Rufus who succeeded his father, William the Conqueror in a time of great conflict and turmoil. He was a prominent theologian, whose influence was profound on those who came after him.
This little prayer, with its two groups of three petitions is memorable and, I think, full of joy. It reminds us of the adventure we are called out on by God, to “faithfully seek” him, in the knowledge that we will “happily find” him if we do so. That is my prayer for us all as we continue our journey through this difficult time. 

Since March 2020, I have shared many prayers in this newsletter. I hope that at least some have echoed your own thoughts and feelings. If so, you might like to collect them together and copy them into a notebook of your own, as your own personal prayer book, adding any that I haven’t included which are special to you. All the past newsletters are on the church blog. which is searchable, in case you want to find a particular prayer you remember reading here.

HYMN OF THE WEEK Glory to thee, my God this night 
Which hymn to choose for the last of these newsletters?   Although I have included over 60 hymns over the last 16 months,  there are so many favourites  I have missed out.  (I may throw the odd one into the abbreviated newsletter I will be putting out from now on, but  won’t promise to do so regularly!)
In the end, having pondered for a while, I decided to finish with this  evening hymn, the work of two “Thomases” – see below. The reason I chose this will be obvious to anyone in our children’s choir, because we finish every children’s choir session with the first and last verses of this hymn, and have done so ever since we started back in 2017. Before we sing it, I always ask the children to tell me what “blessings of the light” they have found that day or that week – things that they want to give thanks for. “Being with friends, playing in a football team, a good day at school”…sometimes even “being at Children’s choir” gets a mention! The answers are as varied as the children.    During the pandemic, when the adult choir has been meeting on Zoom, we have often sung it there too as we end our sessions. Singing on Zoom has been a strange experience, with everyone  muted except me and Philip because the time  delay means we can’t sing together, but those who have joined in have found it invaluable, not only to keep their voices in trim, but also because it has kept us in touch with one another. This hymn will always remind me of the love and support that these sessions have offered, which has been very precious to those who have come to them. Hopefully from September we will be able to restart our normal choir practices in church, and when we do, anyone will be welcome to join us, of course!
Bishop Thomas Ken stained glass windowAs I mentioned above, this hymn is the work of two “Thomases”. Bishop Thomas Ken, (1637-1711), pictured left, wrote the words. He was Bishop of Bath and Wells, and was influential in the reigns of Charles II, James II, William and Mary and Anne. He had a reputation as a gentle but firm leader, who stuck to his principles, even if that meant confronting kings. When Ken was chaplain to the Bishop of Winchester his residence was chosen to house Charles II on a visit to the city. When Ken discovered that he intended to come with his mistress at the time, Nell Gwynne, Ken refused to accommodate him. For a chaplain to say no to a king was a risky strategy, but Charles seems to have taken it in good part. When the bishopric of Bath and Wells fell vacant, Charles remembered Ken’s principled stand, and is said to have asked “Where is the good little man that refused his lodging to poor Nell?" and insisted that he should become Bishop. He may not have always liked his decisions but he wisely recognised that kings needed people to stand up to them!Ken wrote this hymn while he was a fellow at Winchester College and curate of a local church. Winchester College was then a school for boys from less well off families, who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford a good education, and Ken had been a student there himself as a boy. He probably wrote this hymn, as well as others, for the students to sing, so my choice of it for our children’s choir is very appropriate!
I don’t sing all the middle verses with the children, partly because I think “teach me to live, that I may dread/the grave as little as my bed. Teach me to die, that so I may rise glorious at the awful day” might take rather a lot of unpacking (and emotional aftercare) for children today. Evidently in the 17th century, with high rates of infant mortality, Thomas Ken had no such qualms, and in a sense I think he was right to include these words. Being aware that we will not live forever helps us to value each day, and make the most of it.
Ken’s words encourage us to reflect on whether we have done that, to ask forgiveness for what has gone wrong each day, and give thanks for all that has been good.
The tune, “Tallis’ Canon” is by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) whose long career also brought him into close contact with a series of monarchs as court composer – Henry VIII, Mary and Elizabeth I , and spanned the tumultuous period of the English Reformation. Tallis himself  was , and remained, a Roman Catholic throughout all the religious changes of the period, but managed  , somehow, to   adapt to the changing times and requirements of these three monarchs , switching his style to suit each one. This tune, which, as the name suggests , can be sung as a round,   was originally written as the tune for a metrical version of Psalm 97 in the Elizabethan collection of Psalms written by Matthew Parker. Protestantism was suspicious of fancy church music, and insisted that the words should be clearly sung, as if they were being spoken.  Tallis’ tunes, in their simplicity, fitted the bill very well.

Performed by Joy and Ruth Everingham © 2020

We’ve all probably realised at some point that we’ve got an overdue library book, but this story from the Sheffield local news is in a different league all together!

Overdue library book returned to Sheffield Cathedral after 300 years

As returning your library book late goes, it takes some beating!

By David Kessen
Sheffield Cathedral has just had a book brought back after being taken out by a reader – and it is believed to be 300 years overdue!
Delighted staff at the 800-year-old venue opened a parcel that arrived in the first class post this week, to find the book with a note explaining its owner, who had recently died, had left a note asking for it to be returned.

Rev Canon Keith Farrow with the 300 year old book The Faith and Practice of a Church of England ManNow the book, The Faith and Practice of a Church of England Man, is set to go on display at the church, which was well known for its library until Geogian times.
The Reverend Canon Keith Farrow, vice dean and canon missioner at the cathedral, said when it was still a church it used to have a renowned library, believed to have been dispensed with during the Georgian period.
He said: “Where in the building it was, we’re not sure. We have a few books from that period from the early Georgian and onwards, so we think probably at the time of the first re-ordering of the church in the late Georgian period, the library was probably dispersed.
“This little book was first written in 1688 and this book is a 1704 reprint.
"It has come back to us because a lady in Wales, whose godmother passed away, found it amongst her belongings. In her will was the bequest that it should return to Sheffield Cathedral.
"Inside, it’s actually dated 1709 and it’s very beautifully written, it says ‘this book belongs to ye lending library at Sheffield church’, which is Sheffield Cathedral.
"So this has obviously been taken out of the lending library and not returned.
"You can imagine someone coming into the lending library and actually borrowing this book.”
He joked: “I’m trying to work out what the librarian’s fine would be – you never know, we might get a new roof or something with the fine! But I did promise the family I wouldn’t charge them the fine – they’ve returned the book and that’s wonderful. So this little book, just over 300 years ago, left the library. Now it's come back home so it's a joy to have this little jewel back here in Sheffield Cathedral.”

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