Rector’s Letter – November 2020

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Benefice Safeguarding Officer: Rita Harrison-Roach is the Benefice Safeguarding Officer for Rogate with Terwick and Trotton with Chithurst Benefice. or Rita can be contacted on: (01730 818339)


Rector’s Letter – November 2020

‘Christ Centred – Community led’

Dear Friends,

The feast of ‘Christ the King’ (22nd November) was established by Pope Pius XI at the beginning of the twentieth century at a time when many felt that Jesus was being pushed to one side in the political debate of the day with the rise of fascism and Communism. He established this feast as a reminder of the centrality of Christ, ‘The Light of the world!’ A former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell wrote a hymn to, ‘Christ the King’, as the ‘lights went out across Europe’ in the 1930’s:

‘Christ is the King – O friends rejoice.

Brothers and sisters with one voice

Tell all the world he is your choice’. Alleluia

As George Bell watched his world collapse into power hungry violence, with the seeds sown for a holocaust of the Jewish people and of ethnic minorities; the rise of fascism and communism, and the destruction of many through the eventual war, Bishop Bell knew that here of all times was the need to celebrate true power and the true King.

In these days of Coronavirus, the lights again seem to grow dim, with economic, with social as well as health issues and fear abound, and with leaders unable to fully know what course of action to take.  Many of the feelings, emotions, and challenges faced by the Second World War generation, while different in their causes and extent, they have echoes for many today; shortages of goods, feeling socially isolated, familial dislocation, a sense of the unknown, a feeling of being forgotten, and the collaboration of nations and communities to face a common foe. In these ‘covid’ times, it has been stressful and anxious, but we have not shut ourselves off from each other. There have been countless wonderful acts of kindness and care, often sacrificial ones. We’ve seen these acts of goodness in health and in care, we’ve seen them in the community and in our neighbourhoods. Most often they have come not from power or position but from love and vulnerability.

If we really wish to honour those who gave for our today,  then we should pray that we always remember the past, acknowledge the present, and look to the future with renewed vigour to bind up the broken hearted, to heal and minister to the sick, to reach out with hope and light to all who fear and who live in darkness.  Bishop Bell’s hymn concludes:

‘So shall God’s will on earth be done,

New lamps be lit, new tasks begun,

And the whole Church at last be one’. Alleluia

Remember we are not to be socially distanced, but physically distanced at this time. We have much work to do.

Yours in Christ


PS. Sadly there will be no Christmas Market this year but we will raise some money on Advent Sunday – 29th November after the 10.15am United Benefice (non-Eucharist) service, with a cake stall at the back of the church. Please bring with you monies to buy lots of cakes after the service, to support those in greatest need in our link parish of St Luke’s Peckham. Your support in lieu of Christmas Market would be appreciated. Please contact Harriet Heslop (821311) to support, help or bake, and sell.

Please note that services, within the United Benefice have now re-started but online worship continues to be available as well. Links at the top of the page.

There are new regulations around weddings and funerals, and for more information,

please contact the rector:

The Revd. Edward M. Doyle 01730 821576           

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