Nottingham Churches Concert at St Mary's 28th October <p>Janeba Kanneh-Mason (piano), Braimah Kanneh-Mason (violin) and Stephen Kenny (trumpet) will be the soloists in the concert 7.30pm Saturday 28th October.</p> <p>The programme is:</p> <p>J. C. Bach Overture to Lucio Silla<br/>Hummel Trumpet Concerto<br/>Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.2<br/>Mendelssohn Violin Concerto</p> <p>The Orchestra of the Restoration is directed by John Keys</p> <p>Tickets for this excellent and exciting concert are available from the Nottingham Tourist Centre on Smithy Row (NG1 2BY) in the City Centre Tel. 08444 77 56 78</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:24:55 +0200 Coffee Break Concerts October 2017 <p>Our popular Coffee Break Concerts make a welcome return in October:</p> <p><br/> Saturday 14th October: </p> <p>Frans van Schoonhoven, violin &amp; Chiahu Lee, piano</p> <p><br/> Saturday 21st October: </p> <p>The Choir of St Peter’s &amp; saraBande</p> <p> </p> <p>Saturday 28th October: Adrian Lord, piano</p> <p><br/> Saturday 4th November: Stephen Cooper, baritone &amp; Paul Hale, piano</p> <p> </p> <p>All concerts start at 11am and last for one hour.</p> <p>Coffee &amp; biscuits are available from 10.15am.</p> <p>Admission is by donation to the church music fund.</p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 16:36:34 +0200 The Family Service in November <p>Our next Family Service will be held on Sunday 12th November.</p> <p>We meet at 9.45am at St Peter's Church and the service is tailored specifically for young children attending with their parents, guardians or carers. After a short worhsip we move to the Coffee Room for crafts and croissants.</p> <p>The Family Service is held at 9.45 on the second Sunday of every month so future dates are:</p> <p>10th December</p> <p>14th January</p> <p>11th February</p> <p>11th March</p> <p> </p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:54:27 +0200 A Letter from Bishop Paul October 2017 <p>Bishop Paul issued a letter to the congrgation of St Mary's on the morning of Sunday 6th October regarding the proposal to establish two new parishes out the the present City Parish. In particular he addressed the vision for St Mary's.</p> <p>This letter can be found in the St Mary's section of this website under the section 'Changes to the Parish 2017'.</p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:42:59 +0200 Bonfire Party at All Saints' Sunday 5th November <p style="text-align: left;">You are invited to attend the All Saints' Parish Bonfire Party on Sunday 5th November from 6pm.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">There is no charge for admission but people do bring cakes and traybakes to share and enjoy!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">It will be a lovely parish occasion - remember to wrap up warm!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">                                        <img style="background: #231817 none repeat scroll 0% 0%;" src=";auto=compress&amp;cs=tinysrgb" alt="Free stock photo of night, dark, forest, explosion" width="131" height="197"/></p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:32:27 +0200 An Evening of Music - Fundraising concert for Women of Faith Nottingham 28th October 6pm All Saints' Church <p>Nottingham born, MOBO nominee Freddie Kofi and his dynamic choir Present Future Generation</p> <p>will perform in a lively of musical entertainment</p> <p>startingat 6pm, 28th October</p> <p>at All Saints'</p> <p>Raleigh Street</p> <p>NG7 4DP</p> <p> </p> <p>Admission by donation - for the hardship fund to help people seeking sanctuary.</p> <p> </p> <p>Other contributors are:</p> <p>Fiona Baines with the Women of Faith Nottingham (A diverse group of women from Africa and Asia)</p> <p>and Nottingham Enlightening Word Congregation (Chinese Christians).</p> <p> </p> <p>We look forward to seeing you there.</p> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 16:42:18 +0200 Week of Daily Prayer for Our Common Home <p>The parish of All Saints, St Mary and St Peter, Nottingham<br/>   Caring for our Common Home:</p> <p><br/>A Week of Prayer for God’s Creation: </p> <p>do make use of words below through the week as we join together in prayer for the world in which we live.</p> <p><br/>October 1st – 8th 2017</p> <p><br/>Prayers by the Rev’d Dr Helen Hall</p> <p><strong>Monday</strong><br/>God who hears church bells beyond the stars,<br/>Who listened to waves washing empty beaches,<br/>Before life blossomed and unfolded.<br/>God who delights in dancing lights, beneath dark oceans,<br/>Who gazed on the first fish, flopping onto rock, and drawing breath,<br/>Before the first feet touched sand.<br/>God who feels, and moves and knows outside the confines of our understanding,<br/>Who accompanied dreamers and thinkers as consciousness woke,<br/>Before the pulse of words began to beat<br/>Draw near to us as we pray for the Creation of which we are a part. Amen.<br/>We think especially of our environment, of the needless waste, pollution and thoughtlessness which mar it and cause untold suffering to humans and animals. Of those who homes and habitats are destroyed or made toxic and ugly. Of the people of goodwill who work to bring cleansing, hope and healing.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday</strong><br/>Creator pouring love and energy into the sunlight which fuels life’s tree<br/>Redeemer who broke bread and made wine flow from water<br/>Sustainer who moves within all that lives and grows<br/>You purposed wholeness, abundance and joy for your works.<br/>You turn the wheel of the seasons in endless cycles.<br/>You ripen fruits in countless colours and a symphony of smells.<br/>You sit smiling at many tables, filled with love and warmth.<br/>You sit too on many street-corners, cold and hungry.<br/>You live in unheated flats, with empty cupboards.<br/>You cry as starving children whimper without comfort<br/>And unwanted adults eat alone in unchosen solitude.<br/>Draw near us as we pray in thankfulness for your gifts and in sorrow for our failure to share. Amen.<br/>We think especially today of all those who work to provide, transport and prepare food, of the Earth and networks which sustain us. Of those who are hungry and deprived of the physical or emotional nourishment they need to thrive, and the people who dedicate their time and resources to building a more equal world.</p> <p><strong>Wednesday</strong><br/>Companion of eagles soaring on the morning breeze<br/>Conspirator with tumbling fox-cubs and teasing monkeys<br/>Witness to the arguments of cows and the guile of octopus<br/>Observer of undiscovered tree-frogs and colossal squid<br/>the tiny and the gigantic, mocking us with equal, elusive ease.<br/>Bless us with an eternal sense of wonder and respect,<br/>Of curiosity and enthusiasm for our fellow creatures.<br/>Give us compassion and gentleness, and guide us to see that we know little<br/>And understand still less of the galaxy of life surrounding us.<br/>Make our footsteps light, and our hearts warm to their needs. Amen.<br/>We think especially today of the animal world, asking that your all of creatures should know the fullness of life you intended for them. We pray too for all who seek to humanely study and celebrate animals, and the work of those who seek to educate others about their needs.</p> <p><strong>Thursday</strong><br/>Fire and hail, mist and snow, storm wind fulfilling your command,<br/>Our psalmists, singers and prophets have long known<br/>You are found in quiet spaces, but not confined there.<br/>You dwell in the ray of summer light, bathing a quiet chapel.<br/>You vibrate in familiar words, softly intoned from dog-earred books.<br/>But you also lash down in wild rain, battering rugged hills on stormy days,<br/>Rushing through flooding streams, crashing through waterfalls.<br/>You infuse the melody of the blackbird’s song and the texture of the raven’s call.<br/>You pour the gold into the Harvest moon and the work of the honey bee.<br/>You are not a little god, kept in the small, dusty cupboards of our ideas.<br/>You are within and without your Creation, its heard and unheard heart-beat. Amen.<br/>We think especially today of the natural world which surrounds us, giving thanks for its mystery and beauty. We pray too for those who encourage Christians to see the importance of Creation to their faith, our responsibilities towards animals and the environment, and also for those who feel alienated from the Church because of our failings and indifference in these areas.</p> <p><strong>Friday</strong><br/>Word became Flesh, Flesh shared with sheep and oxen,<br/>Who kept you warm that first Earthly night,<br/>When Human Flesh had shut its door, selling warmth for gold,<br/>Not giving it freely to a fragile, unimportant infant.<br/>Word became Flesh, who entered into so much pain,<br/>Pain shared equally with non-human Flesh, lacking words to plead.<br/>You knew what it was to be hungry, beaten and held captive,<br/>Betrayed by people to whom you had given only love.<br/>You knew what it was to be valued in human coins,<br/>Stripped of your dignity and joy, humiliated for others’ amusement.<br/>You have walked the road trodden by so many innocent creatures,<br/>Be with them now in their pain, until they finally know the life,<br/>Your redeeming love brought, when you took on Flesh for all the world. Amen.<br/>We think especially today of animals who suffer through the cruelty, greed or neglect of humankind. We all think of all individuals and organisations who try to help, bringing veterinary care, rehabilitation and love and who campaign to change laws, cultures and practices where there are problems in farming, industry, entertainment or research.</p> <p><strong>Saturday</strong><br/>Image in which we are made, spark which lights the fuse of our being,<br/>We look to you in wonder, awe-struck at the trust you have placed in us.<br/>Set in a Creation beyond our understanding, you have made us stewards,<br/>Helpers and carers for a planet teeming with life, movement and energy.<br/>You have opened your hands and set us free, wills and minds to choose.<br/>We can turn our backs on our destiny, indulge in other pathways,<br/>We can hurt and exploit the world which created in love and bled to restore.<br/>We have done so, countless times, and are doing so now. And yet,<br/>You believe in us.<br/>You trust you with beings and landscapes infinitely precious in your sight.<br/>You notice each small sacrifice, gesture, step on a journey to a better future.<br/>You bless our efforts and restore what has been lost.<br/>Angels sing for every tiny victory, no act of kindness or healing is futile,<br/>With you and through you, a New Heaven and a New Earth will dawn. Amen.<br/>We think especially today of the role of human beings in caring for God’s Creation, and of our special responsibilities. We pray for those who have a vocation to work particularly in these fields, for environmental and animal charities, for scientists, conservationists, campaigners and volunteers. We also ask that all Christians should see the importance of these tasks to their personal faith. And we remember those who are struggling with the suffering and destruction which they see around them, and ask for hope, comfort and strength.</p> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:28:22 +0200 The Family Service in October <p><img src="data:image/png;base64,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" alt=""/></p> <p>Our next Family service will be THIS SUNDAY 15<sup>th</sup> October at 9.45am</p> <p>Come for worship, crafts and croissants. Come and meet</p> <p>new friends including Penny the platypus.</p> <p>All are welcome.</p> <p> </p> <p>The Family Service takes place on the 2nd Sunday of every month at St Peter's so</p> <p>future dates will be:</p> <p>12th November</p> <p>10th December</p> <p> </p> <p>We will look forward to seeing you and Penny can tell of her adventures.</p> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:12:56 +0200 Sung Eucharist for Animal Welfare - This Sunday 10.45am at St Peter's <p>This Sunday morning's Sung Eucharist will be a special service</p> <p>for the Anglican Society for Animal Welfare (ASWA) </p> <p>at St Peter's on Sunday 8th October at 10.45 am.  </p> <p>ASWA is chaired by the Rev'd Dr Helen Hall;</p> <p>the celebrant at the service on 8th October will be the President of ASWA,</p> <p>                              the Rt Rev'd Dominic Walker, former Bishop of Monmouth,</p> <p>and the preacher will be Rev Jennifer Brown, tutor at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and editor of Animal Watch magazine.</p> <p> </p> <p>We look forward to welcoming you to this service</p> Sun, 01 Oct 2017 17:00:36 +0200 Reshaping Policing Priorities for the Public - Public lecture by Paddy Tipping <p>Annual Public Lecture</p> <p>Tuesday 10th October 2017</p> <p>at St Peter's Church (next door to Marks and Spencer)</p> <p>St Peter's Square, Nottingham, NG1 2NW</p> <p> </p> <p>Admission free - no tickets needed</p> <p>Light refreshments available from 5.30pm</p> <p> </p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="217" height="165"/></p> <p> </p> <p>As the world around us shifts dramatically this lecture will look at the ever-changing nature and role of policing in our lives. The level of demand on police resources has grown and crime itself has changed with some of it increasingly taking place on line. These challenges will continue and, in many ways, intensify.</p> <p>Paddy Tipping will speak abou the challenges of matching the priorities and expectations of the public with the reshaping of national and local policing to confront current and future demands.</p> <p>For further information contact the Parish Office on 0115 948 3658 or office</p> <p> </p> Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:13:40 +0200 St Mary’s Obit service 2017: Sermon by Rev. Christopher Harrison <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">St Mary’s Obit service 2017:  Sermon by Rev. Christopher Harrison</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></strong></p> <p>Today we give thanks for and commemorate all those who, over the centuries, have made St Mary’s what it is today.  There have been many remarkable acts of generosity, both financial and other, and it is wonderful that this journey of renewal, development and enhancement is still continuing as vigorously as ever.  A tremendous church building like St Mary’s should be viewed not through the lens of the present day, but as the result of the many layers of history which make up its composite and complex structure.  Each generation has made its contribution and left its mark:  from the Saxons whose original church on this site has been completely lost, to the Normans, a few traces of whose building remain; and then those visionaries from the medieval period who were largely responsible for the building which we see today, drawing on the huge and far sighted munificence of those who gave massive sums of money for the wellbeing of church and city.  Much work was also done to the church in the Victorian period in particular; there was also the building of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in the early 1900s, the substantial programme of cleaning and repairs which took place some years ago, and more recently the installation of the new floor and the renewal of the roof. These are only the major items in a long series of works to the building, and indeed the pace of such works shows no sign of slowing down.  It is not just the large works which matter; we have all benefited from the installation of the kitchen and lavatories, as well as, more recently, the new digital organ; the wonderful new display boards will enhance St Mary’s for years to come; and the essential works to the chapter house, the war memorial and steps, and various areas of masonry and stonework, largely hidden to most of us, have all been important. </p> <p> </p> <p>Sometimes we know the names of those who left their imprint on St Mary’s; but there are probably just as many, if not more, whose names are not held in any records.   We give thanks by name, later in the service, for some of the more significant benefactors, through whose generosity St Mary’s is what it is today; but we must also remember the multitude of donors now forgotten or unknown, whose contribution is no less significant, even if more modest in scale.  Legacies such as those in recent years from Miss Philips and Mrs Feaver; a range of local and national trusts and charities; and of course the substantial contribution of the Heritage Lottery Fund to the recent roof and heritage education project.  The Friends of St Mary’s, of course, continue to play a very active and important role in enhancing the church, and we look forward to the completion to the project to gild the nave roof angels.  The roles of our church architect, Peter Rogan, and our Fabric Committee, chaired by Paul Sibly, have been crucial in all of these recent projects, and we are greatly indebted to them for all their work over quite a few years now.</p> <p> </p> <p>So what should this ancient commemoration mean to us today?  It is a reminder, first, of the continuity of the history of this city and of the role of the Church within it. We are connected in a visible and tangible way with those who have gone before us here.  This is not mere sentimentalism or nostalgia for its own sake, a backward looking escapism from modern life.  This service recalls those, known and unknown, on whose shoulders we stand, both here in the Church and in the city as a whole.  These were people who played their part in constructing a system of social, economic, ecclesiastical and political institutions which took centuries to build, establishing precious freedoms and rights which are still the envy of many other countries.  We neglect their memory at our peril.</p> <p> </p> <p>And then just ponder, as you look around you, upon the scale of their generosity.  The costs of constructing this building in today’s money would be colossal. This was money which our benefactors chose not to spend on some huge country house and estate, but on a building which would enable God to be worshipped at the heart of Nottingham for years to come.  Our largest benefactors were, of course, people of substantial means.  But we, their spiritual descendants,  should still be roused and inspired by their huge generosity – not forgetting, also, all those who gave much less, but from more humble means, and in a spirit of personal sacrifice. </p> <p> </p> <p>This, of course, is not just any ordinary building. Those who designed and built St Mary’s, through the goodwill of its benefactors, were building to the glory of God as well as demonstrating the fruits of Nottingham’s prosperity.  They worked at the limits of architecture and of construction techniques, as well as new exploring new dimensions of beauty as expressed through the qualities of this church.  In our own generation, as I have reminded us, we are playing our own part in conserving and enhancing the beauty of St Mary’s church, as well as carrying out essential repairs and maintenance to the highest standards possible.  In doing so, we are leaving our own mark on the Church in such a way as to show that we also value beauty, art and architecture in a church context, especially when these are an expression of what is divine and not merely human.</p> <p> </p> <p>We should remember also, on this day, that one of the strengths of St Mary’s is that it also represents a coming together of church and city, of God and industry, the worlds of finance and of spirit.  For much of this nation’s history this was a natural partnership.  Today, however, we have to work harder to enable such a partnership to bear fruit, both in terms of the Church’s impact on society, and in order to gain the respect of the increasing numbers of people for whom God means little or nothing. St Mary’s has a long tradition of being at the heart of civic life in Nottingham.  This means being active in public debate on matters of local and wider importance.  It means that St Mary’s should be a building where people can come together as representatives of church and other faith groups, local governments, public and private sector organisations, and all those other institutions which make up our city.  I hope and pray that this key role of St Mary’s church will continue and indeed grow, in spite of all the pressures on us in this increasingly secular age.</p> <p> </p> <p>The inheritance left to us in the form of this great building is not an easy one to manage.  Our benefactors have left us, as we all know, with the responsibility of covering substantial ongoing costs, towards which there is no automatic help from public bodies.  I have referred already to some of those who play a key role in this.  I must also mention our vergers Michael Scott and Duncan Purves;  all those who give of their time to care for the building and keep it open to the public, and indeed all those donate towards its upkeep and enhancement. </p> <p>If we can’t give much money towards the upkeep of this church – although every pound counts – then let it be the time, the skills, the talents that we can give; for what really matters is the fact that we give of ourselves for the benefit of others and for the glory of God, rather than just keeping everything for ourselves.  We therefore thank you, Lord God, for all those who have given so fully and so generously to you here in this Church; may we be good stewards of the inheritance left to us, and equip us with the financial and spiritual resources necessary to hand it on to those who will follow in the years to come.  Amen. </p> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:12:11 +0200 Open Churches Day - St Mary's 9th September <p>St Mary's Church will be open as part of the Diocese of Southwell &amp; Nottingham's 5th Open Churches Weekend</p> <p>9th September 10am to 4pm</p> <p>Refreshments will be available.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:44:20 +0200 Coffee Break Concerts - October 2017 <p>We have just finished our latest series of coffee break concerts at St Peter's and look forward to welcoming you to the next series on October.</p> <p>Saturday 7th October 11am: Stephen Cooper, baritone</p> <p>Saturday 14 th October 11am: Frans van Schoonhoven, violin &amp; Chiahu Lee, piano:</p> <p>Saturday 21 st October 11am: The Choir of St Peter’s Church with saraBande</p> <p>Saturday 28 th October 11am: Adrian Lord, piano</p> <p>All concerts start at 11am and last for one hour</p> <p>Coffee and biscuits are served from 10.15am</p> <p>Admission is by donation</p> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:41:14 +0200 Sale Table at Fairtrade & Christian Bookshop <p> </p> <p><img class="center" style="float: left;" src="" alt="" width="246" height="138" title=""/></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Have you visited our Fairtrade and Christian Bookshop recently?</p> <p>At present we have a sale table for various beautiful craft items - the items vary from day-to-day so do come in and see what is available.</p> <p>We look forward to seeing you very soon.</p> <p>The shop at the St Peter's Centre is open between 10am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday.</p> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:59:07 +0200 Family Service on 8th October at 9.45am <p><img src="data:image/png;base64,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" alt=""/>October is a little different - this month we have TWO family services to offer and we hope to see you at both</p> <p>Our next Family service will be THIS SUNDAY 8<sup>th</sup> October at 9.45am</p> <p>Come for worship, crafts and croissants. Come and meet</p> <p>new friends including Penny the platypus.</p> <p>All are welcome.</p> <p>Then the following Sunday on 15th October we will have another Family Service with more</p> <p>crafts afterwards.</p> <p>The Family Service takes place on the 2nd Sunday of every month at St Peter's so</p> <p>future dates will be:</p> <p>12th November</p> <p>10th December</p> <p> </p> <p>We will look forward to seeing you and Penny can tell of her adventures.</p> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:34:04 +0200 Nottingham Pride, Saturday 29th July <p>On 29th July St Peter's church hosted a group of Christians who were present in support of the Nottingham Pride march. The church steps provided an excellent vantage point for the lively parade as it went through St Peter's Square.</p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align:center"><img class="center" src="" alt="" width="318" height="239" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align:center"><img class="center" src="" alt="" width="324" height="242" title=""/></p> <p style="text-align:center"><img class="center" src="" alt="" width="334" height="251" title=""/></p> <p> </p> <p>Christians at Pride exists to provide a joyful, loving, inclusive Christian presence at Pride festivals in London and elsewhere in the UK. They met on the steps of St Peter’s church.</p> <p> Whether young or old, catholic or evangelical, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, asexual, or straight, everyone was welcome to come and join the group.  </p> <p> You can see pictures of previous Pride events, and get hold of a ‘Christians at Pride’ t-shirt, on the website – <a href=""></a>. </p> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:32:01 +0200 Sermon for the Service celebrating 100 years of Women in the Royal Navy 9th July 2017 <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Sermon given by Rev Christopher Harrison at a service to mark One Hundred Years of Women in the Royal Navy</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">St Mary’s Nottingham 9<sup>th</sup> July 2017</span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Our celebration today is not just of an anniversary.  It is rather a celebration of a journey which has taken place over the last hundred years.  A journey which started with modest but brave beginnings, which has seen the role of women in the Royal Navy grow and develop, and reach a point which, today, represents a considerable distance travelled since those early days 100 years ago.</p> <p> </p> <p>The Women’s Royal Naval Service was founded in 1917, during the dark and difficult years of the First World War. There were not enough men for all the jobs within the Royal Navy.  But this came at a time when in society more widely, women were finding new roles and seeking greater opportunities.  The Suffragette movement was part of this movement for change.  It therefore seemed increasingly natural that women should take on certain responsibilities within the Royal Navy, albeit within a distinct organisation known as the Women’s Royal Naval Service, WRNS, or Wrens.  There were, however, clear limits as to the roles which those in the Wrens could take on, under the motto ‘Never at Sea’.  But these roles soon grew from the clerical, the catering and telephonist jobs to sail making, driving, maintaining aircraft, signalling and coding.  Some Wrens worked overseas during the First World War, in Malta, Gibraltar and Italy.  Numbers grew rapidly, and at the end of the war in 1918 the Wrens had around 5,000 ratings and nearly 450 officers. </p> <p> </p> <p>By the time the Second World War began in 1939, the roles and responsibilities undertaken by the Wrens grew further.  Wrens became wireless operators, meteorologists, cipher officers, supply officers and Boats’ Crew Wrens.  Some of these tasks required considerable technical skills.  There were those who worked with the Royal Marines; some worked in combined operations, including service on the continent of Europe following the D Day landings.  Serving as a Wren did not necessarily bring with it a guarantee of safety; in August 1941 21 Wrens were killed on board the SS Aguila, when it was torpedoed en route for Gibraltar.   By the end of World War 2, around 75,000 Wrens had served, playing an invaluable role in our nation’s war effort and making their unique contribution to the Allies’ victory.</p> <p> </p> <p>After the War, the journey continued.  In 1949, following the outstanding service of the Wrens in the war it was announced that the WRNS would become an integral part of the naval service, along with the Women’s Royal Naval Reserve, which was formed in 1952.  However, women remained excluded from seagoing, flying, and weapons training roles.  But this was to change, and the formal integration of women into the Royal Navy gradually took place over a number of years as from the 1970s.  The training of men and women became more and more integrated, and an increasing range of naval roles became open to women.  HMS Mercury welcomed its first female First Lieutenant in 1979.  In 1990, the Royal Navy asked Wrens – both officers and ratings – to volunteer for service at sea, and the first group joined HMS Brilliant in October of that year.  The Women’s Royal Naval Service was formally disbanded on 1<sup>st</sup> November 1993, with around four and a half thousand women integrated fully into the Royal Navy. </p> <p> </p> <p>No longer were women simply playing a supporting role; they could serve in the Royal Navy on equal terms with men.  It was not long before women in the Royal Navy were given the opportunity to combine a career with family life.  Women soon began to take up a range of key roles such as helicopter pilot, minewarfare and clearance diving officer, and members of the submarine service.  Women soon rose to senior positions in the Navy and there were those who secured honours such as the Green Beret and Military Cross.  Women have served in the Royal Navy in conflicts such as the first Gulf War, the Balkans, the 2003 Iraq War and in Afghanistan.</p> <p> </p> <p>We are proud, here at St Mary’s, to join in the national celebrations of 100 years of Women in the Royal Navy.  The last hundred years have seen a remarkable journey from the time of the first Wrens.  It can be said with some truth, I believe, that while the increasing role of women in our armed forces generally has in some respects gone hand in hand with wider social changes, it has also helped to drive those wider changes.  As women have shown so clearly, by their role in the armed forces, that traditional stereotypes no longer apply, this has actively contributed to the creation of new and more modern role models, in which women are not automatically seen as just taking on the supporting roles, with the more important jobs being kept for the men.  I have to say that in our own parish it has been splendid to have the wisdom and experience of Rachel Farrand, who was formerly a member of the Royal Naval Reserve; and also at St Peter’s Sarah Newby, who has recently been accepted for naval training.</p> <p> </p> <p>We heard references in our two readings today to the power of the ocean.  We are also reminded of this by the fact that today is Sea Sunday, the day when we remember and pray for all seafarers, especially any who are in particular need or distress.  And so we recall that any form of service at sea, whether military or civilian, brings us face to with forces which are far beyond any human control.  The ocean is a wonderful, exhilarating place; but it also reminds us of our human fragility.  We can use and enjoy the ocean, but we can never tame it.  In the same way, we can relate to God as individuals praying to our Creator, but we can never successfully challenge or thwart the mighty power of God, whose ways are very often not our ways.</p> <p> </p> <p>But it is also important for us to recall today the guiding hand of God who has enabled, slowly but surely, changes and developments to be made in the role of women in the Royal Navy which have surely contributed enormously to the life of our nation as well as to the position of women in society at large.  We give thanks for all the Wrens and other women who have served in the Navy over the last hundred years.  We pray for those who are just beginning in the honourable role of serving in the Royal Navy.  And we commend to God all people, women and men, who serve in our Royal Navy today, in their responsibilities of protecting our land, guarding our national interests, and helping to maintain peace in the world.  Amen. </p> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:36:34 +0200 Sermon for Pentecost <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Sermon preached by Rev Christopher Harrison on Pentecost Sunday at St Mary’s Nottingham, 4<sup>th</sup> June 2017</span></strong></p> <p>Today is Whitsunday, or Pentecost.   Pentecost is the day when the Church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples, after Jesus had left this earth and returned to his heavenly Father. The word   ‘Pentecost’ comes from the Greek word for fifty, and this day is exactly fifty days after Easter (including the Sundays at the beginning of the period and at the end).   So Pentecost Sunday, depending as it does on the date of Easter, also changes its date from year to year.   In fact, Pentecost was a Jewish feast, which the Jews celebrated long before the first Christians adopted it - it was a feast of thanksgiving for the wheat harvest.   Whitsunday became the popular name for Pentecost in this country, because it was often a day on which baptisms took place - Whit meaning ‘white’, in old English, and referring to the white robes of baptism. </p> <p>So who or what is the Holy Spirit, whose coming we celebrate today?  Let’s try to build up a picture of the Holy Spirit, as he is seen at work in the New Testament.   The Holy Spirit assists with the conception of Jesus, through Jesus’ mother Mary; he is also with John the Baptist, from the time when he was still within his mother’s womb.   The Spirit, symbolised by a dove, is said to have descended on Jesus when he was baptised by John the Baptist. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah, saying that the ‘Spirit of the Lord is upon me, anointing me to bring good news to the afflicted’.   Jesus casts out demons in the power of the Spirit.  He also refers to the ‘Spirit of truth’, contrasting life in the Spirit to life as governed by one’s lower nature.  Jesus urges his followers to be born of spirit, not of human nature. He says that when people receive the Holy Spirit they are ‘clothed with the power from on high’.</p> <p>At the Last Supper, as we hear in today’s gospel reading, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to be with the disciples after he has left them.   He calls the Holy Spirit the ‘Counsellor’ - which is one translation of the original Greek word ‘paraclete’. The Holy Spirit, as ‘Counsellor’, will give the disciples guidance, inspiration, and the wisdom of God.   The word ‘paraclete’, however, has two more meanings.   One of these is that of ‘advocate’.   An advocate is a person who stands up for you, or defends you. So the Holy Spirit would speak through the disciples when they were persecuted.   The third meaning of the word ‘paraclete’ is ‘comforter’; which means that the Holy Spirit would also give the disciples strength and comfort in times of distress.   Jesus added that the Holy Spirit was the means whereby he would remain with the disciples after he had left this earth, saying that through the Spirit he would come back to them, and not leave them as orphans. Before ascending to heaven, he tells his disciples to go out to all nations and baptise people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. </p> <p>The first of today’s readings, from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, tells how Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit upon the disciples was fulfilled on the day of the first Christian Pentecost. This is the famous account of the Spirit’s coming like a mighty wind, a description which is connected with the idea of the Spirit being the breath of God.  On that occasion the Holy Spirit was also experienced in the form of tongues of fire resting on each of the apostles.  The apostles were given the power to speak in languages other than their own, so that people from many different races could hear about Christ in their own language. </p> <p> All these images of the Holy Spirit are not designed to be confusing - they are simply what we find in the Bible, and reveal how difficult it is to describe one who is beyond all description.   That being said, St. Paul is quite clear about what the Holy Spirit does:</p> <p>- The Holy Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts</p> <p>- The Spirit gives us new life:   ‘the harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life’ (Gal. 6.8)</p> <p>- The Spirit helps us to pray, by praying through us when we cannot pray ourselves</p> <p>- The Spirit sets us from the law of sin and death</p> <p>- The Spirit brings saving justice, peace and joy. </p> <p>In 1 Corinthians 12 St. Paul describes the Spirit as giving gifts to believers, different gifts to different people:   the gift of wise speech; the gift of faith; the gift of healing; the working of miracles; the gift of prophecy; the gift of speaking in different tongues and of interpreting these tongues.  In his letter to the church in Galatia, he explains how the Spirit also enables those in whom he dwells to bear spiritual fruit; such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self-control.  </p> <p>I’ve set out how the Holy Spirit is described in the New Testament.   But does the Spirit still work among us in the same way today?   The answer is yes - and there should be no great surprise about this. Jesus said to his disciples that he would be with them until the end of time - the Holy Spirit is the way in which he brings this about.   The Holy Spirit is in fact none other than God himself at work within us, both as individuals and as a society; forever trying to draw us closer to God, if we will open our hearts, our minds and our lives to God, fully, sincerely, genuinely, intent upon hearing the voice of the Spirit of God within us. This response need not be spectacular or dramatic;   it does not require the fervour and emotional intensity of a pentecostalist or charismatic service. In fact, the Spirit’s work is usually more lasting if we keep sight of the immense mystery which lies at the heart of God, and allow this to quieten our hearts and minds so that we can little by little see the Spirit active in our lives, and hear the voice of the Spirit deep in our hearts. This is the voice which takes us beyond narrow self interest, to things which will be of wider benefit to our neighbours, to our church and community and to our world.   This is the power of God which creates the water of life welling up within us when we live lives which are rooted in prayer, and centred on God. It is the power which gradually gives us the gifts which nourish the fruits of the spirit which I quoted earlier - particularly faith, hope and love - the greatest being love. </p> <p>I’d like also to say that over the years, I have come to see the Holy Spirit as being the way in which God helps, guides, encourages us to lead lives which are in accordance with his purpose for us.  One of our main tasks here on earth is to discern the purpose which God has for us – ie why we are here – and to fulfil that purpose to the best of our ability.  This applies to us from our childhood to our later years; the purpose God has planned for us may of course go through several phases over this period.  But essentially, God, through the Holy Spirit, invites us to consider what we are doing with our life; how we are doing it; and the people with whom we are endeavouring to fulfil God’s purpose for us.  What, how, and with whom.  Every so often it’s important for us to stand back, reflect, think, pray, and ask ourselves how we think we are doing in relation to God’s purpose for us.  Do we think we have found that purpose?  If not, take the first step in trying to discover it.  Are we doing the various things that our life involves in a way which is in line with the teachings of Jesus, as set out in the New Testament?  Only we – and God – can know for sure.  And have we found the right people to be alongside us on our journey towards what God desires of us?</p> <p>On this Whit Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.   Their lives were dramatically transformed:  they became convinced of God’s purpose for them, and devoted their whole lives to God and were given the strength with which to do this.  Is this Whit Sunday a moment for you to think afresh, with the help of the Holy Spirit, about God’s purpose for you?  What, how and with whom?  Even though we are unlikely to experience a rushing wind or tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit is always present to those who desire and seek God; and, in our journey of purpose and faith, the breath of God will always be there as our advocate, our counsellor, and our strength.  Amen.</p> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:43:50 +0200 Coffee Break Concerts - Next series will be in October 2017 <p>We have just finished another very successful series of Saturday morning concerts.</p> <p><strong>The next series will be in October 2017</strong></p> <p>Saturday 7th October 11am: Stephen Cooper, baritone</p> <p>Saturday 14 th October 11am: Frans van Schoonhoven, violin &amp; Chiahu Lee, piano:</p> <p>Saturday 21 st October 11am: The Choir of St Peter’s Church with saraBande</p> <p>Saturday 28 th October 11am: Adrian Lord, piano</p> <p>All concerts start at 11am and last for one hour</p> <p>Coffee and biscuits are served from 10.15am</p> <p>Admission is by donation</p> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:09:48 +0200 Friends of St Mary's church Annual General Meeting <p>The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of St Mary's church will take place in the Chapter Room at St Mary's following the 10.45 am service on Sunday 16th July.  All are welcome to attend, to hear reports of the last year's activities, to elect officers and members of the Executive Committee, and to discuss forthcoming plans and events.</p> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:06:45 +0200