The Parish of S Michael and All Angels
SUNDAY 26 April 2020
THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Did not our hearts
burn within us
Dear friends as you will have heard we cannot have any public services at S. Michaels during the current emergency. Mass and the Daily Office will continue to offered every day, but in the Vicarage. Even if you can’t be with us you will be in our prayers.
We are producing this sheet each week instead of our usual notice sheet, to keep everyone in touch and to provide some things to help you as you pray. The only way for us to do at the moment is to send it with an email. Please pass sheets or information on to those for whom we don’t have an email address.
THIS WEEKS GOSPEL READING.
They recognised him at the breaking of bread
Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
Fr David continues our Parishes liturgy and prayer in the front room of the Vicarage. He will do this until the Bishops permit him to enter church. Mass will be offered at 10 on Sunday and usually around 9 on other days.
The Anglican Bishops have forbidden all podcasts etc. from church buildings. If you want to follow a service online it is therefore perhaps best to see here
MAKING A SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.
Even if we cannot be at mass and receive Holy Communion, we can always make a Spiritual Communion. God will always fill our hearts with his grace if we ask.
WEEKLY OFFERINGS. We know that this will be a time of financial hardship for many. But if those who are able can keep up their regular giving to our Parish, it will enable us to keep operating as normally as we can. We cannot have collections, but there are still bills to pay. The best way to do this will by Internet banking. The details are Sort Code 30-99-88, Account No 00160771, Account Name is PCC Saint Michael and All Angels Abbey Wood. In the reference section please put your name followed by; ‘Offering’.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE THIS SHEET BY EMAIL OR YOU KNOW SOMEONE ELSE WHO WOULD PLEASE TELL FR DAVID ON firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want us to bring someone or something to our Lord in prayer, please let Fr David know. Prayer is one of the most important things that we can do at this time.
Please remember these people in your prayers
This is a funny cartoon. It is however wrong. The Church of course isn’t its buildings, it is the Body of Christ, formed of all the baptised faithful. We can of course pray and worship God anywhere. As Christians some element of daily private prayer is an important dimension of all of our lives. In some sense no prayer is private, we say ‘Our Father’, not ‘My Father’. Perhaps one of the good things that may be emerging from our Lockdown, is the concept of Family or Household prayers, as people pray with those they live with. Many people have found value while they have been unable to attend church from services broadcast over Internet or even recorded ones on You Tube, and that is good. But the cartoon is wrong to equate these things with the gathering of Christians publicly in a sacred building.
The early Church often met in houses, especially after they could no longer meet in the Temple or in Synagogues. But that was not private household prayers but the Christian Community of all sorts of people gathering in a house large enough to accommodate them and wherever possible a room in that house was set aside specifically for worship. Very soon houses were specifically bought only a place for the Church to gather and worship. Gradually as the Church grew and as persecution ended, the churches Sacred Places became more and more prominent and public, often modelled on the Basilica.
The official Church of England Sunday Worship that has been livestreamed over the past few weeks has taught us why our church building is important. On Easter Sunday the Archbishop of Canterbury led worship from his Kitchen. He chose to do this rather than from his private chapel. No doubt Jesus is happy to go into a kitchen, but surely if he knocked at our door, we would show him into the best room we had. We would do that because that is worship – recognising what He is, who we are and giving him of our best.
Last Sunday a Cathedral Canon led a lovely act of worship from her home with her Family. But it was a Family, it was Middle Class and it was White. I am single was I included? I am working Class am I included? I am of a different race or nationality is it also for me? What if I come from a broken family or have been abused? Worshiping together in a church takes us beyond our circumstances, our background, our ethnicity, our status. We gather as God’s children in our common family home, the Church. It is a space that enables all to come, enables us to be ourselves and enables us to come to God and He to us.
It is of course right that we do not gather as Christians for worship and fellowship in S. Michael’s at this present time. However, I think the decision not to allow clergy to worship and pray on behalf of their flock in the building is wrong. It would have been valued by many and been a powerful sign in our community.
Last week our work of resorting our Stonework and Windows should have started. It has of course had to be postponed until later. But we are not carrying out that work because we believe our building is a thing of heritage, but we because we believe it is the living temple of God’s presence in our community. Living because we gather there for love and for worship. A temple because it is a scared space where we encounter God. In our community, because it is the active sign of God’s love for this place and its people.
Our absence from worship in the building we love, will I pray strengthen our resolve over the coming few years, not just to restore its fabric, but the renew it as a living place of holiness for us and for all.
© Fr D Sherratt April 2020. Fr David exerts his right as author of this piece and to its Intellectual Property
Our worship this week
Mon 27 Monday of the 3rd week of Eastertide
Tue 28 Tuesday of the 3rd week of Eastertide
Wed 29 Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor
Thu 30 Saint Pius V, Pope
Fri 1 Saint Joseph the Worker
Sat 2 Saint Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor
OUR PARIS H LIFE
EYES NOT DOWN. The Bingo scheduled for Saturday 2 May, will now of course not be taking place. As to do so would be illegal – hopefully, it will be something that can resume soon.
FUNERALS. If you know of anyone who has to arrange a Funeral over the coming weeks, please advise them that if they want a member of the clergy to take the service, they will have to tell this to the undertaker, otherwise they will be given a Civil Celebrant.
If you would like Fr David to conduct a funeral please give the undertakers the contact details on this sheet.
PASTORAL WORK If you need him for something or just want a chat, please phone or email Fr David, he is here for you. During the current situation either email him on email@example.com or phone him on 07796 432357
If you are self-isolating and need help getting shopping etc., please let him know and he will do his best to find someone to help you. A kind person has donated a quantity of food etc. for a family or persons who may need it. Please contact Fr David if we could help you or someone you know of.
SAINTS AND FEASTS. Amon the Saints that we celebrate this week is S. Catherine of Siena, 1347-1380. Who was the daughter of a Dyer in Siena, but who began to live a single life of prayer in her home. After many years of being solitary she began to go into the world, caring for the sick in hospitals and around calling for reform in the Church. She was a woman from a humble background, but she was not beyond taking on Bishops and Popes when she felt they failed the Church.
On Friday we remember S. Joseph, the Foster Father of our Lord, but we think of him particularly as working as a carpenter and as the model of human labour.
On Saturday we remember S. Athanasius, 296-373. He became Bishop of Alexandria and was one the Churche’s greatest early theologians. It was a time of much theological dispute in the Church and for a while he was almost the only voice proclaiming the truth the nature of Christ, that every Sunday we now proclaim in the Creed.
PARISH PRIEST. Fr David Sherratt. Tel. 0779432357
Assistant Priest Fr Derek Robinson
Churchwardens Mr Peter Ludlow, Mr Christopher Harper
Safeguarding Officer Mrs Susan Robinson
PARISH MAGAZINE. We are unable to print and deliver this at the moment, but we have placed some of the articles from the May Magazine on the Parish Website.