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Chrism Oils, Ukraine and Words of Power

Ovingdean News - May 2022

We had a beautiful and vibrant Easter at St Wulfran’s and I would like to thank everyone who helped make this sacred time so special. A big well done and thank you also to Jeanie and all the cast for such a wonderful late late panto show. I’m looking forward to next year's offering already.

Each year, on the Wednesday before Maundy Thursday, priests from all over the diocese are called to attend a ‘Chrism Mass’ where we renew our priestly vows with the Bishop and the oils of healing, Baptism and Chrism (oils for consecration) are blessed and distributed to the parishes. It's always a beautiful service and this year it was held in the magnificent All Saints Church, Hove and I especially enjoyed the Zinafe musicians, who brought great passion and energy to the proceedings.

Bishop Martin’s sermon (reflecting on Luke 4: 16-21) was extremely hard hitting and prophetic and I wanted to share just a small part of it with you here (please contact me if you would like a copy of the whole sermon).

‘The spiritual and moral processes of liberation that are good news for the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed also give shape to the built environment where freedom and justice flourish….Rubbish housing, poor quality schools, overcrowded roads that pollute community space, empty mansions and apartments owned by absentee landlords, and a host of other vanity projects – these are the evil signs of institutional greed and its power to corrode the moral fabric of our relationships as it also contaminates the earth and dismantles its rhythms. And then there is Ukraine, where the impact of destructive greed and evil is seen even more clearly and shockingly’.

‘The images from that warzone should be like icons in our liturgy this year, illuminating the potency in our celebration of the paschal mystery of Easter…..This potent work of truth and love is, quite literally, in your hands, and I have been reminded of that by seeing photographs of Ukrainian clergy celebrating the sacred mysteries of redemption in the arenas of destruction where they minister……Surrounded by the debris and impact of hostility, priests and laity together were enacting a profound commitment to unity in its most intimate form of mutual self-giving, and to their part in shaping a new society, a protest of love arising from the ashes of war. They were starting to repair the ruined cities. This is God’s work in our hands, for made in God’s image we are its architects and builders, its priests and prophets’.

We are resurrection people and I hope this May and the coming summer is a time of hope and peace. I would like to thank all those people from the parish who have quietly, but with much determination, come forward with regard to offering their homes to Ukrainian refugees or offering to support those who have.

Please do contact one of the Churchwardens, who are coordinating these efforts, if you would like support or would like to help in any way. As part of all of this, I am in contact with the owners and I hope soon, the new leaseholders of Ovingdaen Hall School and I am asking them to consider offering accommodation and support to refugees. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated and helped raise funds to help Ukraine, including Abbie and all those who helped raise so much money through the cake sale. If you can, please consider additional donations this May to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC):

May will be another busy month in the life of the parish, we have two weddings in St Wulfrans to look forward to and we also have the Village Assembly on the 22nd of May, where we will have the chance to come together and discuss the opportunities to increase sustainable and more affordable energy production in the village.

This brings me to my final point about the cost of living that is affecting many of us at the moment, especially those on low or fixed incomes. If you are starting to struggle, please reach out for help before things get really difficult and one of the best places to get support and help is through Moneyworks 0800 988 7037

Every Blessing

Fr Richard

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