St Denys' and St Mark's Joint Benefice

  • The Rectory
  • Mayfield Road
  • Rotherfield
  • East Sussex
  • TN6 3LU

01892 852536
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February 2018

This month, the letter comes from the Bishop of Horsham

Early in February, the Church remembers Jesus being presented in the Temple. Wise and holy old Simeon, utters the words of the Nunc Dimittis, including: to be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of your people, Israel. It is the proclamation that Jesus is not simply for those associated with him, the Israelites, but for everyone else as well, the non-Israelites, the Gentiles.

Clergy get used to people casually referring to God and to prayer as 'your department' or 'your business'. 'Have a word with your boss' people joke; 'say one for me.' It is as if people acknowledge prayer as valuable, even important, but consider it someone else’s business. Perhaps there is too much truth in those jokes that imply prayer is for the specialists or professionals rather than everyone else. The 2018 Year of Prayer reminds us that prayer in the name of Jesus, like Jesus himself, is for everyone and not just for those most publicly associated with him.

Certainly clergy should pray for their people daily at Morning and Evening Prayer, but they are also bidden to ring the church bell to tell everyone that it is happening. Church bells both announce that people are being prayed for and call them to join in whether in Church or elsewhere. If you cannot hear a church bell, you can set an alarm on your watch or mobile phone creating a regular reminder to pray.  There are many opportunities to learn about praying this year, not least in Lent which also begins this month, but let me commend to you the Daily Prayer of the Church, which you can download to your PC, smartphone or tablet. Just visit your App Store, search for Church of England, download and join in.

With prayers and good wishes,

+Mark Horsham