Concert today (Sunday) at 1600
This afternoon, join Create Music Youth String Ensemble (CMYSE). Following a successful 2023, including playing at Music for Youth Proms at Royal Albert Hall, CMYSE are excited to present their first performance of 2024: Connections! The programme will include Telemann: Don Quixote Suite, Grieg: Norwegian Dances, Arrangements of Copper Family Songs by Peter Copley, Grieg: Norwegian Airs, and a self-composed piece. Entry is free, doors open from 4pm. For more information visit:…/whats-on/cmyse-connections/

Ash Wednesday – 14th February
There will be a Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes at 1900. Please bring last year’s palm crosses to church by Tuesday so they may be burned to make the ash.

Prayers of Love and Faith
The PCC recently voted unanimously to support the offering of ‘Prayers of Love and Faith’, that is, prayers within a main Sunday service for couples in a so-called ‘covenanted friendship’.

The Church of England has published this Note:
‘Friendship is an important category of relationship in Scripture
and in Christian tradition. Christians belong to those whom Jesus
Christ calls his friends, for whom he lays down his life. Christian
friendship involves mutual love and harmony with one another,
sharing one another’s burdens and joys, in conformity to Christ.

These Prayers for a Covenanted Friendship are available for those
who wish to express their mutual love and loyalty before God in a
deeper way. The conditions needed are defined by these friends,
as are the type of goods they commit to embody. The inclusion of
covenanted friendships in the Prayers of Love and Faith reflects
the importance of deep friendship, particularly in a world in which
commitment is often associated only with sexual relationships.
Covenanted friendships embody a type of relationship that is both
committed and non-sexual, which is not exclusive, yet deeply
meaningful, particular, and seeking to grow in holiness.

Covenanted friendships are relationships of an entirely different
nature to marriage. Those who wish to seal a covenanted friendship
may be of the same sex or opposite sexes. The friends may be
married to other people, or unmarried. The friendship is by
definition not sexually intimate. It will likely be expressed in practical
forms of sharing aspects of life together. As with all friendships, care
will need to be taken to identify the nature of the covenant and how
the bonds of covenanted friendship will complement other
friendships and (where relevant) the bonds of marriage.’

A ‘thank you’
We are incredibly grateful to Father Anthony for conducting such a special baptism service for our son, Ethan, last Sunday. Our heartfelt thanks to him; our Churchwardens; everyone who organised and helped and to our wonderful congregation for their warmth and generosity which helped to make Ethan’s baptism such a special and memorable occasion. Thank you for all Ethan’s cards, gifts; for prayers and good wishes – they are very much appreciated. Helen, James (and Ethan)

Hassocks (not the town…)
In anticipation of the internal reordering works beginning after Easter, we are starting to clear out items that will no longer be required. Among these are a good number of embroidered hassocks (kneelers). If you made one in the past and would like it back, or if you are simply interested in having one, please pop into church and help yourself by the end of February. A suggested donation of £10 would help our fundraising! There is a credit card donation device if you don’t have cash… Please share this notice so as many people as possible get the opportunity to take one (or two).

Bible Study
The group meets in church on Tuesday mornings at 1000 for an hour or so of discussion, reflection and fellowship, currently working through the Gospel of John. Do feel free to dip in and out.

Knit & Natter
The group meets on Wednesdays at 1900 in church. New members always welcome. Some of us knit, and we all natter. Just come along!

Church Development Project
We have been granted a Faculty by the Chancellor of the Diocese to carry out what we hope will be Phase 1 of a two-phase project. The current Faculty permits the following: removal of existing pews and pew platforms; removal of the existing temporary kitchenette; installation of a new kitchenette in the office/vestry; provision of a mobile servery; installation of a new underfloor heating system and floor finish; installation of new wall mounted radiators; construction of a new platform at the east end of the Nave; installation of a ramp at the east end of the south aisle; removal of existing, and installation of new, power and data services; installation of new drainage services; redecoration throughout.

Work will begin after Easter and it is anticipated that the church building will be closed from the beginning of April until October/November, so we will be able to celebrate Easter and Christmas this year in the church. Sunday services will be celebrated in the Village Hall at 1000 by permission of the Bishop. On a very few dates, the service will need to be at 1700 because of prior bookings. Bible Study on Tuesdays and a service of reflection on Thursdays will be held at the Plough Inn. Knit & Natter will be held at the Vicarage on Wednesdays at 1900.

We have lodged a Planning Application with Brighton & Hove City Council for Phase 2 of the project, that is the creation of a modest extension on the north side of the building to allow for better toilet facilities (including an accessible toilet and baby change facilities), a working kitchen, a new office and a meeting room which can be used, heated and lit independently of the main building. If successful, we will need to apply for a further Faculty seeking the Chancellor’s permission to carry out that additional work.

Genesis 9:8-17; Mark 1:9-15
Related readings: Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Peter 3:18-end

Esther 14:1-5, 12-14; Psalm 138; Matthew 7:7-12