16th April 2021
Dear Parishioners of the Upper Itchen Benefice,
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 2.22-23
I’ve made three formal vows of faithfulness in my life. The first to my wife Jenny on our wedding day, the second and third were before my ordination; to my bishop, and to Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty the Queen is the supreme governor of the Church of England after all, in addition to being our sovereign or head of state. A constitutional monarchy is not perfect, and the historic divisions at the Battle of Cheriton are still perhaps present today in one form or another. Yet the role of Prince Philip in the stability and modernisation of the Royal Family has, I believe, benefited us all. He shared with Queen not only a loving and dutiful faithfulness to each other, but also towards God. The Hebrew word hesed to describe God is often translated into English as ‘steadfast loving-kindness’. In any leader, priest or politician or prince, to be worthy of their authority, they must share in the leadership quality of God’s own steadfast loving-kindness. May you live out your own vows of faithfulness by the same Spirit. Alleluia!
Third Sunday of Easter 18th April
09:30 Cheriton, BCP Mattins – with Gillian
09:30 Beauworth, BCP Holy Communion – with Revd. Christopher
11:00 Hinton Ampner, Prayer and Praise Eucharist – with Revd. Christopher
Please remember to wear your facemask, keep socially distanced, and use hand sanitiser when attending in-person worship. Doors will be open for ventilation.
Following the Benefice Eucharist held at 12noon on Friday 16th April for the soul of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the use of officially commended prayers, and the tolling of bells, please know the online book of condolence is still available, as commended for our use by the Royal Family: https://www.royal.uk/books-condolence
God save The Queen.
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