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Dear Friends

November already! As I write I’ve not long come back from my summer holiday and already we’re facing the end of the Liturgical Year!

November, of course, is always associated with fireworks as we commemorate the foiling of the attempt in 1604 by Guido Fawkes and his Roman Catholic conspirators to blow up the House of Lords during the Opening of Parliament. They were indeed terrible times.

November has one Principal Feast – All Saints’ Day, on 1st November but often transferred to the fourth Sunday before Advent, and two Festivals – Christ the King on the last Sunday before Advent and St Andrew’s day on the 30th of the month.

All Saints’ Day (always associated with the Lesser Festival of All Souls’ Day) reminds us that no Christian is solitary. Through baptism we become members of the company of saints whose mutual belonging transcends death. Both these festivals celebrate this mutual belonging. While the Feast Day celebrates men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen the grace of God powerfully at work, the Lesser Festival gives us the chance to celebrate on a more personal level, as we give thanks to God for those whom we have known who have been significant in our own lives.

All Saints’ Day has a very long tradition. In 837AD Pope Gregory IV ordered a general observance on 1st November of a festival known in medieval England as All Hallows, from which we get the name Halloween for 31st October.

Conversely the Festival of Christ the King is modern. It was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, initially for the Roman Catholic Church. The Anglican and many other Protestant churches adopted it with the Revised Common Lectionary. Thus, the annual cycle of the Church’s Year now ends with this Festival. The year that began with the hope of the coming Messiah ends with the proclamation of his universal sovereignty. The Ascension of Christ has revealed him to be Lord of earth and heaven, and final judgment is one of his proper kingly purposes. The Feast of Christ the King returns us to the Advent theme of judgement, with which the cycle once more begins.

St Andrew is perhaps my favourite saint. I worshipped for 44 years at
St. Andrews in Coulsdon; it was there I was licensed as a Reader. St Andrew, of course, was one of our Lord’s disciples – indeed one of the first, called with his brother Simon Peter to become ‘fishers of men’.

He is referred to in several places in the gospels – notably at the feeding of the five thousand and he was present at the Last Supper and was one of the four disciples who came to Jesus on the Mount of Olives to ask about the signs of Jesus’ return at the end of the age.

Church tradition has it that Andrew preached along the Black Sea, the Dnieper River as far as Kiev and in Novograd. He founded the See of Byzantium (later Constantinople) and was martyred on an X shape cross at Patras in Greece.

The alternative collect for All Saints’ Day sums up our feelings about the saints: 

God of holiness, your glory is proclaimed in every age:
as we rejoice in the faith of your saints,
inspire us to follow their example with boldness and joy.

Tony King, Reader, Ewelme Benefice

Common Worship: Times and Seasons , material from which is included in this text, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council, 2006


November 2018

Dear Friends

It was lovely to be able to travel with others from the Benefice team that went up to Bourton-on-the-Water to join the service of installation of Rowena as Rector. A very happy, and rightly so, Rowena and Malcolm and Elizabeth (no longer Beth) in their beautiful church.

Unfortunately, we have to report that our usual correspondent, Marion, has had a fall and broken her wrist. We hope you will make a good recovery but can well understand your frustration in not being able to do everything you normally do. We also think it must be catching as Mary Jones has also had a fall and she broke her hip, so she's had an operation and is recovering at home.

On a brighter note we can report that the churchyard at St Mark's is looking better than it has for a long time. The bushes are well trimmed, the graves cleared of brambles etc and the grass cut beautifully. Many thanks to the groundsmen for their hard work and to John Kay, the Town Clerk, for organising it.

Our Harvest service was lovely, so good to see so many in the congregation and we do appreciate the wonderful singing from the choir. Thank you to everyone who provided refreshments, especially Kath Brooker's daughter Shirley for her gorgeous cup cakes. Thanks also from Judith to Averil and Kate who helped make the church look its festive best.

With every Blessing

From Philip



Diary for November 2018

Sunday 4th                 11.30am Morning Prayer (BCP)

Wednesday 7th           2.30pm Prayer Group meet in the Omega Rooms

Wednesday 10th         St Mark’s Committee meets in the Omega Rooms

Sunday 18th               11.30am Morning Prayer (CW)

Friday 30th                   2.15pm Poetry Reading in the Omega Room.

Church opening

St Mark’s church will now only be unlocked on Wednesdays and Fridays.  A notice will be put on the door directing visitors to contact numbers for those who have keys.  If you want to access the church outside these days, please contact the Parish Office.


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