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Today is my birthday but what a difference a year makes.
Last year I spent it with my family and we went out to lunch together. This year my daughter has sung “happy birthday “ whilst standing on my drive and now I am alone again because I am “shielding “ which after 79 days is becoming harder and harder, physically, mentally and emotionally. Apart from this, I have so much to be grateful for. I have a caring and loving daughter and a wonderful friend who gives me support and encouragement. Thanks to Fr Keith (and Andrew of course ) I am able to take part in the weekly Mass and I have a garden so at least I can go outside and feel the sun on my arms and hear the birds singing. Best of all is that I AM ALIVE. Thank you Lord. 
                                                          Anon

Thoughts

We are fighting an unseen unknown foe that’s taken over our world,

It has no compassion, no sense of life into this nightmare we’ve been hurled.

Many thousand have died alone and afraid, why is it being so cruel,

What have we done to deserve such pain, how can we fight back with no tool?

But the one thing we do have that can’t be destroyed is the hope that lives in our heart,

We have to believe we’ll be masters again of our world and all of its part.

Are we learning as time goes by, should we try to forgive?

Are we thankful for all for sacrifices made in order that others should live?

Are we learning to be kinder to those in great need, are we doing all we could?

Are we loving each other and trying our best to let hope get us through and we should?

Believe we will win otherwise we will lose, and that must never be done,

We have much to fight for in our beautiful world, and all nature still grows in the sun.

To remember the lessons that have brought us together, to be better than we were before,

To be thankful for life and all of her gifts, to share love with each other once more.

It’s very hard to make sense of a world that’s unknown where people work hard to save lives,

We thank and applaud them for their never-ending care, remembering that they have family ties.

So I gather my thoughts that are still confused and head for home once again,

Believing one day this terror will pass leaving hope to ease some of the pain.

I pray for health and strength for all and when this virus ends,

I’ll hold on tight to those I’ve missed, my beloved family and friends.

When the world is well again, will we give back more than we take,

Can we make our lives more meaningful the choice is ours to make.

Lorely Draper

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
MICHELLE MARKS-THOMSON NEE KNIGHT
13th May 1961 - 19th April 2020

Lord, the many memories glow,
but now, how heavy the heart, and slow!
at times too heavy to carry a smile.
On my darkness, Lord, shine your light,
help me through every unsettled night.
In your goodness that will never cease
please give to those I dearly miss
your light, happiness and peace. Amen

My Little Garden

Good heavens it’s like a jungle out here with the earth like moss-covered stone,
We haven’t had rain for ages now but the weeds still grow strong and alone.
My flower-pots stand all empty and sad on the wall like soldiers on parade,
No beautiful flowers as in years gone by such a glorious picture they made.
All colours of the rainbow and perfume so sweet they would greet me as they sat on the wall,
With butterflies nestling and bees buzzing round but now there’s no flowers at all.
My hanging baskets sway gently in the breeze wondering what’s gone wrong,
Their tummies full of warm soft earth they’ve waited patiently for flowers for so long.
But soon the trailing flowers will bloom cascading in glorious colour,
Then my baskets will feel whole again and complement one another.
“Never mind don’t give up” I say to myself as I go to the garden shed,
I have all sorts of paint in different colours just waiting to be led.
Out of the darkness into the sun all ready to brighten my pots,
I’ll sort out the colours it will take a time of which I have lots and lots.
By the evening sky I have finished my task and what a wonderful sight meets my eye,
My pots of all colours sit proudly on the wall I smile and give a little sigh.
And I know some time soon new flowers will grow strong in their colourful new home,
So the weeds that still live in the earth that’s still hard will not be growing alone.
The butterflies and bees will be back I am sure and perfume again will fill the air,
From the flowers in their pots that sit on the wall there’s no place like my garden anywhere.

Lorely

Blitzing The Kitchen

Today’s the day I told myself its time to blitz the kitchen,
I’ll spring clean like mad and do it proud, it’s my favourite room to sit in.
I’ve scrubbed and bleached and polished, in places neglected in the past,
I’d forgotten the skirting boards are white “gosh what a guilty blast”.
Next on my list I’ve washed my cupboards to within an inch of their lives,
Thrown away rubbish that’s been lurking in drawers, sorted forks, spoons and knives.
My tiled kitchen gleams in the sun, grease and dust disappeared,
I chose the tiles myself, long ago, still love them after all these years.
My gas stove stands proudly shining as in days of long ago,
The fridge freezer’s had a wash and brush-up and is now all aglow.
The kettle sits there singing for a cuppa at half past two,
And my kitchen windows sparkle in the sunshine just like new.
The laminated floor looks pristine because I’ve had the time,
To dust and polish and clean everywhere to make my kitchen shine.
The kitchen is my happy place it serves me well you see,
Where I’ve had so many cheery chats with friends and family.
We’ve laughed a lot and cried a little over life’s ups and downs,
And talked through all our problems with just a few sad frowns.
The kitchen will keep our secrets and never betray our trust,
Everyone needs a sanctuary, a place just for them is a must.
The kitchen brings me solace too as my thoughts turn back over the day,
Little problems all sorted out all worries have slipped away.
The cat comes in to have his supper and I finish the last of my tea,
New day tomorrow what will it bring I’ll just have to wait and see.
Come on cat it’s bedtime now as up the stairs we come,
All lights out, peace and quiet fills the house so “good night God Bless everyone”.
                                                                                                         Lorely Draper


`Jabberwocky’ has been with me for as long as I can remember, probably primary school. I just love the sound of it. Nonsense makes the heart grow fonder. 
Hope you enjoy it. Fr Keith

Jabberwocky 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
      And the mome raths outgrabe. 

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 

He took his vorpal sword in hand; 
      Long time the manxome foe he sought— 
So rested he by the Tumtum tree 
      And stood awhile in thought. 

And, as in uffish thought he stood, 
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, 
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, 
      And burbled as it came! 

One, two! One, two! And through and through 
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! 
He left it dead, and with its head 
      He went galumphing back. 

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? 
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy! 
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” 
      He chortled in his joy. 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
      And the mome raths outgrabe.                      Lewis Carroll 


Vanessa, my daughter wrote this prayer for me and I would like to share it with my family at
St. Helen's. 

Thank you God for our food and drink, 
Thank you God for making me think 
before all this chaos came into light 
There were many more people in even worse plight. 
Thank you God for the sun and the sky 
Thank you God for asking us why? 
we take for granted our beautiful life... 
why we only appreciate in times of such strife? 
Thank you God for our family and friends 
And I pray you can help us all make amends. 
Help us to love and be thankful much more 
And please let us survive this peculiar war.
                                                   
Patricia Bird

Dear all,

I found this message in my latest 
National Trust magazine and I thought it would be good to share it with you all.    

In these uncertain times                          
we know you might feel unsure ...
But flowers still grow, birds still sing          
and waves still sweep the shore.

And with the rising 
and setting of the sun
Nature reminds us all
that brighter days will come

This message of hope is sent to you all
with my prayers and thoughts for better times soon. 
Keep well and stay safe.
Christine James
Church Warden

HEARING YOU - A local response to the Coronavirus crisis

The Diocese of Chichester with Together in Sussex are launching Hearing You, a new pastoral phone line to enable the people of Sussex to feel connected and supported.

It is a phoneline that will provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It will be staffed by volunteers who are trained in pastoral care and listening skills: clergy and licensed lay ministers.

All volunteer listeners will:

•   Have an active DBS and have completed     
     
safeguarding training with the Diocese of   
     
Chichester

•   Be able to point callers to their parish clergy

•    Direct callers to other organisations offering    
      
specialist support if appropriate

•    Offer to pray for the caller or for their concerns.

NB:  This is not a substitute for the emergency services (111 or 999) or a counselling service.  It is a human, Christian response to anyone who turns to the Church in this time of need.

Hospital chaplains within the diocese will also be able to direct people to the service.  The phonelines will be open to anyone living in Sussex whether they currently attend a church or not.  

The service will initially run from today to the end of May, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 7.00pm.

The Hearing You number is: 01273 425047

For details about volunteering, please contact: Luci Fievet on 01273 421021 or email: 
luci.fievet@chichester.anglican.org

ALSO:
We are launching a simple statement for people to take into hospital with them.  Some people will need it printed by a friend, neighbour or parish priest.
We advise that every household should have one of these statements ready for use.

This statement will explicitly declare a person’s Christian faith, and request access to a Church of England a chaplain while in hospital.   

A template for this statement is available on the Diocesan website and is attached to this Ad clerum.  Here.


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