Blog, January 28th

The Presentation of Christ

A cloisonné enamel work from Georgia. 12X10 cm. Artist unknown.
Now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Bible readings: Malachi 3: 1-5.  Luke 2: 22-40

Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Christ. It is forty days after the birth of Jesus. This festival is also known as Candlemas. The presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity. “In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the song and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess.  We remember that Christ is the light of the nations. We pray for all countries and the end of war. On this day candles are blessed during worship and then taken to our homes so that we can remember the light and joy of Christ in our daily lives.

T.S.Eliot, A Song for Simeon

Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
The stubborn season has made stand.
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.

Grant us thy peace.
I have walked many years in this city,
Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
Have taken and given honour and ease.
There went never any rejected from my door.
Who shall remember my house, where shall live my children’s children
When the time of sorrow is come?
They will take to the goat’s path, and the fox’s home,
Fleeing from the foreign faces and the foreign swords.

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel’s consolation
To one who has eighty years and no tomorrow.

According to Thy word,
They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
With glory and derision,
Light upon light, mounting the saints’ stair.
Not for me the martyrdom, the ecstasy of thought and prayer,
Not for me the ultimate vision.
Grant me thy peace.
(And a sword shall pierce thy heart, Thine also).
I am tired with my own life and the lives of those after me,
I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those after me.
Let thy servant depart,
Having seen thy salvation.


Keeping in Touch with a Penlee cluster 

If you are fairly new to churches or events organised by the Penlee cluster churches then you might want to fill in this form which can be found on the Penlee Cluster website (or in paper form in our church buildings)

Then you will receive the blog link and weekly newsletter emailed to your inbox each week alongside other exciting upcoming events. This form allows you to join the electoral roll of the churches allowing you to vote at the annual meetings and other consultations that may happen this year.


Weekly Blog/ newsletter and website

Please send all information for the newsletter and blog in by Wednesday evenings to any of the following: teamleader@penleecluster.org.uk , josie.huntley@penleecluster.com and communications@penleecluster.org.uk


Choosing a new bishop of Truro

On behalf of Simon Robinson, Chair of the Vacancy in See Committee, I would like to invite you to join a public consultation meeting on 6th February 2024 at 7pm for one hour. This meeting is open to anyone who might wish to attend.

Meeting ID: 997 1717 1573    Passcode: 983305


Inclusive and welcoming church

As you will know there has been much discussion in the public press and in the Anglican Church about the blessing of same sex unions. Below are the prayers that have been written and approved for use.  Please read the prayers and pray about this.  Do you believe that we should offer these prayers to couples in our churches?  I ask that you talk to PCC members and your clergy about this.  We need to make a pastoral decision. 
Every blessing Sian and Andrew Yates.

Prayers for covenanted friendship: new prayers issued by the bishops.

“N and N, we delight in your desire to dwell more deeply in the grace of Jesus Christ by sealing a covenant of friendship with each other.  We pray that, strengthened by the prayers of your family and friends, you may know God’s help to live in love and faithfulness.”

The friends may say to one another:
N, I offer myself to you in love and friendship; may these words be a seal of my trust and delight in you.
Where you go, I shall go:

I will seek to share your burdens and your joys.
I will pray that you will know God’s blessing
and walk with you wherever God calls us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The minister may say the following prayer:

Faithful God,
in whose love we are called to abide;
give N and N the grace
to dwell in the gift of devoted friendship.  In their life together,
may they be bound in your love and promise all the days of their lives,
seeking each other’s welfare,
bearing each other’s burdens
and sharing each other’s joys;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lent, Holy Week and Easter in the Penlee Cluster

Lent resources and groups.

Meeting God in Mark by Rowan Williams.  Each week we will be offering notes and a guided way to reflect on Mark’s gospel.  The book costs £9 and can be ordered from The Edge of the World bookshop in Pz or online.  But you don’t need a book to take part. The book is a fresh look at the message and meaning of Mark’s Gospel by one of the world’s greatest living theologians.  Rowan Williams explores the essential meaning and purpose of St Mark’s Gospel for complete beginners as well as for those who have read the Gospel many times before and want to see it in a fresh light.

Written at a highly accessible level and packed with illuminating spiritual insights, this book would make a perfect gift for anyone thinking about confirmation, while also appealing to people who may simply be curious about Jesus and the Gospels and want to learn more about his significance.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Together we will be using part of this book each Sunday to reflect on the Easter story.  There will also be a weekly group looking at the play version of this book and thinking through the implications for our daily lives.  We will also be holding two school days in Holy Week based around the book. 

Christian Aid – ‘Act on Poverty’ a weekly course

Together we’ll enable churches and individuals UK-wide to gain a deeper understanding of experiences of poverty, local and global. We’ll be sharing stories of faith and activism that challenge the status quo.  And we’ll be offering inspiration for actions big and small so that we can all take action to tackle poverty together.

Group time table
Wed 9 am: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe at St Mary’s school
Wed 10.15am: Lion, Witch and Wardrobe sessions at St Peter’s
Wed 6pm: Act of Poverty: Sian and Andrew’s house, Kings Rd
Thurs 11am: Meeting God in Mark by Rowan Williams at St Marys
Thurs 5.45pm: Meeting God in Mark at Paul church


Sunflower project

This project will begin on Easter Day with the giving of sunflowers seeds.  It will be a creative project over many months as the churches, like sunflowers, track the sun and all that is good and of God in this place.


Contemplative Prayer

Mon 29th Jan at 7pm at St Mary’s church. Do join us for half an hour when we listen to a short reading and are guided into a period of silence and contemplation where we can either use a mantra to focus upon, or rest in the presence of our Lord.


NightChurchPZ

At NightChurch on Saturday we had a few new visitors, and were blessed indeed when a quiet chap walked in and casually asked “Don’t ‘spose you’ve got a piano?” Pointed in the direction of the piano, we were expecting a bit of ivory tinkling, not the jaw-dropping beauty and skill that we were treated to. We were all very much moved and it made our night. Rhys said that he was happy for us to share a recording, so please head to Facebook and Insta to hear a wonderful rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Whilst you’re there if you could like our pages that would be great!

At NightChurch we like to run an art activity and we’re really enjoying the collage. Thank you so much to everyone who donated calendars, glue and magazines. We would really appreciate more magazines to chop up, so please do keep bringing them in to St Mary’s. Thank you also to Jacqueline who made some lovely chocolate slices which were infinitely more popular than the stuff we bought from the shop!

We’re also always happy to have more volunteers, so if you’re interested please speak to Alice. Bright blessings,
Alice


St Mary’s school newsletter

(If using a tablet or phone you can scroll the newsletter by swiping with you finger, on a computer please use the scroll bar to the right of this wonderful picture.)


Worship in the Cluster from Easter

There was a wonderfully positive meeting last week as Worship Leaders and helpers met together to think about and plan worship until Christmas.  Such enthusiasm.  Thank you.
If you wish to help with readings, prayers or greeting people please give your names and dates you are unable to help to a church warden on Sunday.

The next Worship Leaders’ session will be on Tuesday 13th Feb:
2-4pm.  We will be planning Holy Week and Easter worship.
We will also be exploring Iona morning worship.


Richard Wescott – Lay Reader in training

Richard is training to become a Lay Reader and is spending some time in Penlee Cluster experiencing life in a different church.  On Sunday January 28th he will be preaching at Paul.

Part of the course involves taking an in depth look at a church congregation and its make up – So he will be handing out survey questionnaires this Sunday.  Richard writes, ‘This is a brief survey to gather a snapshot of the size of the congregation, the age demographic as well as the reasons that you chose to worship at this church.  What do you like about the church life, what do you dislike, and what other church activities are you involved in, if any?  I will compare this to how many live in the Parish and the number on the electoral roll, and I will use this to prepare an anonymous presentation about my findings to the Diocese lecturer.  I also look forward to sharing it with you on Sunday, 18th February, when I shall return to help lead the worship.’


Holocaust Memorial Day – Fragility of Freedom

The 27th of January is the day for everyone to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed under Nazi persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.  The 27th of January marks the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.  This year, the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is the ‘fragility of freedom’.  The Council of Christians and Jews has written the following prayer to reflect this theme,

A Prayer For Holocaust Memorial Day 2024:
The Fragility of Freedom

Eternal God, we come before you, conscious of the fragility of freedom,
to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
We lament the loss of the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust,
the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, and victims of all genocides.
Remembering the past, help us today to use what freedom
we have to stand up for those whose freedom is denied.
We pray for a day when all shall be free to live in peace, unity and love.    Amen.

Find out more at the


Website of the week

BBC SOUNDS DESERT ISLAND DISCS Radio 4

The cast away on January 14th was Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani who is the Bishop of Chelmsford and also the lead Bishop for the Church of England for Housing.  She was born in Isfahan, central Iran, the youngest of four children to Hassan Dehqani-Tafti, the first ethnic Iranian Anglican Bishop of his country, and his wife Margaret.  In 1980, in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, her family were targeted and forced to leave the country.  She arrived in the UK aged 13 as a refugee.  Four decades on, Guli has yet to set foot back on Iranian soil.  She was ordained as a deacon in 1998 and a priest the following year.  She was consecrated a bishop in November 2017, making her the first woman from a minority ethnic background to be ordained as an Anglican bishop in the UK.  The programme tells her moving family story.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001vbq7


Date for diary

Sea Life Soft Play will be turning 10!  You are invited to join me, to celebrate Sea Life Soft Play’s 10th birthday party on Friday 10th May 6-8pm.   Live music from True Foxes / drinks and nibbles.

Please let me know if you are able to attend this event by Friday 3rd May: Molly.


News from around Penwith Deanery

Read the latest Implementation Team meeting minutes.


Other Articles;

Memory Café

United Nations Climate Change conference in the United Arab Emirates

Care for Creation

We want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

More Information;

St Mary’s CofE

A happy Church of England School in a stunning location with an entrance directly off Penzance Prom.

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