O God of truth and justice,
we remember today the consequences of hatred
in lives brutally extinguished
in hearts torn apart
in memories scarred with pain.
As we remember and honour the victims of hatred,
lead us to sorrow over the sins of humanity.
Draw close, we pray,
to mothers and sisters,
wives and grandmothers
and all relatives and loved ones left behind,
and heal the pain in their souls.
And teach us, O Lord,
to learn how to live for a world
where differences are respected and valued,
and where fear and mistrust
can never overwhelm us
nor vengeance be stirred in our hearts.
Give peace we pray, to the people of Srebrenica;
that their lives may be restored
through your grace.
25 years ago, on 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladić overran and captured the town of Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia which had been declared a UN Safe Area. In the days following, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. Thousands of women, children and the elderly were forcibly deported.
On the 11th July, we honour the victims and survivors of genocide, and pledge to creating a better, stronger, and more cohesive society in the United Kingdom. By doing this we give ourselves hope of illuminating the darkness and creating a safer community for all.
Unusually, my eye was drawn to the simple empty ‘basket of blessings’ in the
church door when I entered St Margaret’s after Lockdown, because I felt that
its image had spurred me on to action during the pandemic. With the church
and village hall closed, and with support from Mother Nicol (who was advising
the congregation to put extra food in the supermarket collection points at this
stage), I set about getting four food collection points set up around the
neighbouring villages. In Sharpthorne in our own Costcutter’s, where my son
was working we added the first, then premium organic fare at Plawhatch Farm,
followed by Horsted Keynes Store and the Fellows Barkery in Ardingly.
The response and the generosity of the villages were immediately
overwhelming, and around Easter we were having to re-empty the baskets daily
to make space for all the food. If there had been hoarding in the early days,
people were now giving back all that extra food, and buying some more pasta
and sauce on top.
As I began to take the boxes to the central Emergency Food Hub in Haywards
Heath Town Hall, an additional centre to the Trussell Trust food banks
because they were struggling to manage double their capacity during the
pandemic, I noticed how basic the ingredients were that were being sent out.
With a little help from the fellow foodbank volunteer Lucinda Meagher, a
former employee of the IMPACT foundation, a charity based in Haywards
Heath, and Fiona Rocks in Ardingly, we set about getting funds to add
something extra to these basic boxes.
Within weeks, we were sending out healthy recipes using donations and
additional fresh food, such as eggs and cheese, for families. Before long we had
32 recipe bags going out to 32 families of four or more weekly.
The feedback has been really positive, with many families reporting doing more
cooking together, and asking for outdoor cooking sessions in the summer.
That call to Mother Nicol has resulted in over 1,000 meals going out in the
local area, supported by the generosity of the parish.
We are still waiting for government and Church of England guidance to be
published regarding the opening of churches for public worship. Once we
have received this guidance, we will let you know more details on how this will
work for us to enable us to gather again at our churches safely. In the
meantime, please continue to join us for online worship.
In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother, and Saviour.
In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvellous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well,
and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
Help us to know your presence
even in the darkest times.
Remind us how much we are loved
and help us share that love with others.
In Jesus name
At the end of the school year, we will be presenting the 10 Year 6 leavers of West Hoathly Primary School with a Bible – a symbol of our Christian care and nature for the young people of our Church school, and a reminder to them of their time there. If you would like to sponsor a Bible (at a cost of £14.40 per Bible), please speak to Mthr Nicol.
as you pour your anointing Spirit on us
so may we pour out your love
on those we will have contact with today;
may we demonstrate by what we say and what we are,
that all are valued and precious in your sight
because they are your people.
Churches from Highbrook and West Hoathly, Crawley Down, Turners Hill and Worth Abbey have put together a special ecumenical Pentecost service. This will take place today (Sunday 31st May) at 3pm, and can be watched on the All Saints’ Crawley Down YouTube channel:
Sadly due to the lockdown, we were unable to hold many of Lent fundraising activities. However, from the Pancake Party and donations, we did raise £74.66. We know charities are more in need of support than ever, so we have split the total and sent it to Family Support Work and Chestnut Tree House hospice for children. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
Dear Highbrook Resident,
While putting up next year’s calendar and reaching for 2018 diaries we hope you will add:
Friday 16th February 18.30 at Village Hall. A Meeting to further discuss the role of the Church in the Community.
We had a well-attended Meeting last year.
We who administer the church would like to update you on our plans and proposals and have your feedback. In the end, the church depends on your support. We are very much its temporary custodians and we need to be able to reflect your thoughts and to say what support we have in the community (whether or not you are a regular churchgoer) in our discussions with the Church Authorities, which is particularly important during the Interregnum.
Tony Osborn and Adam Hackett on behalf of All Saints PCC
(See Event in Diary)