Sunday 24th January 2021
Third Sunday of Epiphany
Following a Pastoral letter from the Bishop of Norwich, the Mass will not take place at St Giles until further notice owing to the Covid-19 situation.
The Churchwardens will continue to open the church occasionally for private prayers and visiting pilgrims but that may not be weekly as the weather is so cold and the church is colder! COVID-19 restrictions are regularly updated on the Church of England pages. Masks must be worn by everyone in the church and social distancing must be observed at all times.
Jesus was a great miracle worker and even today he is still performing miracles, for Christ is busy transforming lives. So let us come together to worship our dynamic God, encouraged in the knowledge that he does not leave us as we are but wants to change us from within.
“Let us run with the stars and offer gifts with the Magi…with shepherds let us glorify Him, with angels sing hymns, with archangels join in chorus…let us travel through the life of Christ that we may be born afresh in Him.” St Gregory Nazianzen
We are continuing to include below the details of the Sung Mass which we would have been celebrating on this Sunday in normal times. You may like to look up the readings and the hymns below and reflect on the opening sentences of the Mass.
This week our hymns are from the New English Hymnal. You can click on the titles of the individual hymns to hear recordings. Thank you to our organist Ian Graydon for supplying these links. Details of each hymn are also available on line at Hymnary.org
The photo above shows the view of Norwich to the west from the top of the church tower. It was taken by Raymond Scott on 14th November 2009.
Introit Hymn 56 Songs of thankfulness and praise
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
First Reading Genesis 14:17-20
Second Reading Revelation 19:6-10
Gospel acclamation Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Cantors Christ was revealed in flesh, proclaimed among the nations:
And believed in throughout the world
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Priest Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
All Glory to you, O Lord
Gospel John 2:1-11
Priest This is the gospel of the Lord
All Praise to you, O Christ
Homily Fr Peter Varney
Offertory Hymn 484 The Church’s one foundation
Communion Hymn 369 Happy are they, they that love God
Post Communion Prayer
whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world:
may your people,
illumined by your word and sacraments,
shine with the radiance of his glory,
that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed
to the ends of the earth;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
Recessional Hymn 440 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation
Next Sunday’s readings for Candlemas: Malachi 3:1-5; Psalm 24; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40
Rector Canon Darren Thornton (part-time) also UEA Chaplain (day off Monday) 01603 623724 Click to email
Churchwardens Rowena Atkinson (01603 455729) Bob Emsell (01603 439632)
Newsletter & Traidcraft Kate Baldry (01362 695503) Click to email
Church opening times for private prayer
The Churchwardens will open the church for private prayer on Tuesdays and Saturdays, mid-morning to lunchtime.
Dates for January / February
Our January charity The Church Urban Fund
Monday 25 January The Conversion of Paul. We also today remember the soul of Fr John Aves, priest, who died in the Holy Land in 2004. May John rest in peace and rise in glory.
Sunday 31 January Candlemas
World Leprosy Day
Our February charity Norwich Samaritans
Sunday 7 February Homily on line – Fr David
Tuesday 16 February Shrove Tuesday
Wednesday 17 February Ash Wednesday – no evening Mass (cancelled)
Sunday 21 February First Sunday of Lent
Sunday 28 February Homily on line – Fr Peter
From Fr Darren
Very regretfully we shall not be meeting for worship at St Giles until further notice, owing to the Covid-19 epidemic. As soon as we can open, we will let you know.
Fr Peter Varney had been going to give the homily today, and he has kindly provided the text which you can download here. The homily is illustrated by one of Fr Peter’s paintings which he has included in the file.
The most important thing at the present time is that you remain safe and are extra careful. I will be holding you all in my prayers as I have a daily Mass for our community. If you have a specific prayer request do email it through to me. As we hold in our prayers all those who are suffering with Covid-19 and those who are caring for them, you may have seen this clip on the local news recently about how our main hospital is coping. We hold everyone at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in our prayers and thoughts.
The Mass for the Baptism of Christ on 10th January can be viewed on line by clicking here, and you can also download the liturgy. We are most grateful to Ben Shread for his commitment and hard work in making the recording available for us all.
Our fundraising for Church funds will continue with a bumper Easter raffle. We have over 30 raffle prizes which will be drawn on Easter Sunday morning (4th April). Raffle tickets will go on sale once we can return to church to meet for worship. Tickets will be £2 a strip. Donations of raffle prizes will also be very welcome!
New fundraising idea for this year. Have you ever had a Simnel Cake? They are eaten at Easter and are a type of fruit cake that contains plenty of marzipan. They are topped with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven apostles of Christ, minus Judas. They are delicious cakes and this year Elsie is kindly going to make some to help us raise some much-needed funds for the Church. They will cost £18.50 and if you would like one we ask you to place your order by emailing Elsie by clicking here. Orders are required by the end of February please, and cakes can be collected from church from Easter Sunday onwards. (Sorry, no deliveries.) We thank Elsie for making our Easter Simnel cakes and hope everyone will order one! Money please to Elsie on the day of collection or when you see her.
We also will have some delicious homemade marmalade and Easter novelties for sale at church. Elsie is on the lookout for donations of Cadbury Creme Eggs for those novelties, so if you can help please do email her on the same link above. Thank you.
The St Giles Foodbank Voucher scheme Since we have been in lockdown again the numbers of those in need calling at the Rectory have increased further. The vouchers enable those who live in our Parish to buy fresh food and vegetables (not alcohol) whilst supporting the local businesses within the parish. The scheme works well, and any financial donations you can send towards this project are gratefully received. You can send a donation to our Treasurer John Baldry (gift aided if possible, please) or make a bank transfer to our PCC account – please contact John for more details. Thank you for your help and support in ‘loving our neighbours’ within our Parish.
Thank you so much to all those who gave during the Advent Stewardship appeal. Together we have raised the incredible sum of £2923 plus Gift Aid of £557 which we shall be able to claim, making a total of £3480 raised by the Advent Appeal. In what has been a difficult year this has been tremendous! Thank you also to those who donated prizes for our Christmas raffle, which raised £304, and to Elsie whose Christmas cakes raised £270. The grand total of our Advent fundraising is £4054.We thank God for his goodness and all that he gives us.
Saying our prayers – thank you to those who have sent and continue to send prayer requests for me to bring to God during the daily offices. It has been a good way to keep in touch and hold you and your situations in prayer. If you have prayer requests do email me, be those prayers of needs or worries or something you want to give thanks to God for. All of our prayer requests matter to the God who has created us. As I pray for you perhaps you would be kind also to pray for me.
For your reflection For Christians the new year becomes like the clean sheet of writing paper for the writer, the clean empty canvas for the artist and the open road for the traveller: because in 2021 we have a Christ-like story to write, a Christian picture to paint and a Saviour to follow into the future.
Good News for Norwich and Norfolk(Winter Edition) is available online here.
From Fine City Neighbours network – In these tough times, Fine City Neighbours want to celebrate the way that folk across Norwich have come together to support one another. They have set up a website with advice, guidance and inspiration for connecting with our neighbours, as well as links to more direct support for those who need it. You don’t need anyone’s support to be a Fine City Neighbour, but if you want any help, they’re here – click on Fine City Neighbours and have a look round their website.
The St Giles weekly newsletter will continue to be available for you to view online by clicking here. You can also receive your own copy in your email as soon as it goes live by signing up to receive the posts in your email. Scroll to the bottom of this page, type or paste your email address in the ‘Follow’ box, and click ‘Follow’. Alternatively you can email John to add your name to the list. Either way, you will then receive an email from WordPress asking you to confirm that you want to receive the updates. Click on the ‘Confirm Follow’ button in the email. It will open a WordPress page in your browser with the details of your setup, but you can simply close the page. (It is there just in case you want to change any of the settings listed.)
Our Mass booklet is available for download as a pdf file.
St Giles Twitter page shares our news and photos day by day. Our particular thanks to Hakan for maintaining and updating this service.
The Facebook pages of Norwich City Churches and Norwich East Deanery are frequently updated including news from St Giles.
The current Norwich Diocese prayer calendar is available on line here.
The Norwich East Deanery prayer calendar for November to February can be downloaded here.
The Church of England’s online weekly services from 22nd March are all available to listen to here. Today’s service on the Third Sunday of Epiphany marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, featuring contributions from Chemin Neuf and led by Revd Charles Hadley. The General Secretary of Churches Together in England, Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, speaks of living with difference, and you can download the order of service here.
Norwich Cathedral has suspended all public worship since 13th January owing to the current Covid-19 situation. However, streaming daily worship is available on line – click here for details.
The Sunday Hope podcast is a weekly audio podcast produced by Norwich Cathedral for the whole diocese. The most recent podcast can be heard here, together with the complete Sunday Hope archive since 22nd March last year. And podcasts of services at Norwich Cathedral can be watched on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.
St George’s Tombland have daily Morning and Evening Prayer on their YouTube channel and a Facebook page with links.
For an online Anglo-Catholic Mass it is worth checking on the Walsingham Anglican shrine church, St Mary’s, Bourne Street and St John The Divine, Kennington, amongst many others available.
The latest eNews from the Diocese of Norwich can be viewed here. It will keep you busy following up a wide variety of links about events, activities and ideas across the Diocese. You can read past issues of eNews (usually a fortnightly publication) here, where you can also sign up to receive each new issue in your email box.
St Giles Charities 2021 Our monthly charities during 2021 are: January – The Church Urban Fund; February – Norwich Samaritans; March – Water Aid; April – The John Aves Education Project in Dheisheh / Bethlehem; May – Christian Aid; June – Médecins Sans Frontières; July – The Magdalene Group; August – The Children’s Society; September – The Church Army; October – The Leprosy Mission; November – The Matthew Project; December – The West Pottergate Community.
Our 2021 Church Motto text is…… ‘Be kind to yourself’!