April 2022 Ovingdean News
In the forefront of all our minds this Lent has been the war in Ukraine and those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
Lent and Easter is a powerful time to remember that the cross is not an act of passivity in the face of suffering but, through self-giving love, an act of resistance over all that is wrong in the world. This is something you all know and is evident in the kindness and good works that abound in our wonderful village. As part of this, a huge thank you to Abbie and all who helped raise funds at the cake sale for those affected by the earthquake - well done and thank you. If you would like to make a further donation can I suggest you make this directly through the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) campaign: www.dec.org.uk
Holy Week this year starts on Sunday the 2nd of April with Palm Sunday and includes Stations of the Cross, a Maundy Thursday evening service and a play and vigil on Good Friday. Details of the services and events for Holy Week are included later in the magazine. Finally, on 9th of April, it is Easter Sunday and we will gather to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection and triumph over death and evil. Everyone is welcome and we would love to see you.
This month I wanted to talk a little bit about occasional services and sacraments in the church. We get lots of questions ('Can I .....?') about these important events so I thought I'd give a little more information here.
Baptism and Christenings: Baptisms (also known as Christenings for infants) usually take place as part of the 10am Sunday service, though private baptisms are possible by arrangement. The child or adult is sprinkled with holy water from the font and they are welcomed into the Christian faith. Last year we had a first adult baptism in the sea which was amazing but if you don't fancy this, the church font is always an option! Baptism is free and openly offered to everyone.
Confirmations: If you were baptised at a christening when you were a child, your parents and godparents made promises of faith on your behalf. As a young person or adult, you can affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ at a Confirmation service. Confirmation is free and we offer a short and interesting preparation course for those wanting to confirm their faith this way.
Weddings: St Wulfran’s is a beautiful place of deep spirituality and there is no better way to start your marriage than with God’s blessing. You can get married at St Wulfran’s if you live in the village, worship with us or have another qualifying connection - just get in touch with me and I can advise you on this. There is a charge for being married in church and I can explain the fees and the options around the format of the wedding service. If you have been divorced I am pleased to say you can also be married at St Wulfran’s.
Blessing after a Civil Marriage: Many couples who have had a civil wedding decide they would like to dedicate their marriage to God in church soon afterwards. A husband and wife can have their marriage blessed in church, whether they got married in the UK or abroad. As mentioned in last month's Ovingdean News we are awaiting guidance on services of blessing for same gender couples - please just get in touch with me if you would like to know more.
Renewal of Vows: It’s possible to renew your wedding vows any time after your wedding day, regardless of whether you had a church wedding or not. It’s a bit like a marriage refresher and is often used on special anniversaries but also after a period of difficulty including sickness. These are always really lovely services.
Healing and Care: If you need healing, myself or someone from the healing team is always available to provide healing ministry. We can also bring you Holy Communion if you are housebound. For those who are dying, the ministry of the last rites is available, please contact me for more details.
Funerals: If you would like a funeral at Wulfran’s or would like a priest from St Wulfran’s to take a funeral at the crematorium for example, please get in touch. We are here for everyone in the village. As I work part time I can’t always take every funeral and when I’m not available one of the other priests based at St Wulfran’s will take the service. There are some fees set by the Church of England for taking a funeral, please get in touch for more information.
Burials: We have a beautiful, peaceful and spiritual churchyard where residents from the village, worshippers at St Wulfran’s and people with other qualifying connections can be laid to rest (burials and interment of ashes). Please get in touch with me if you would like to discuss a burial at the churchyard and more details around eligibility, costs and churchyard arrangements are on our website. www.stwulfrans.org.uk/home/life-events
I hope this information is helpful. Have a very happy Easter.