Letter for August 2019
Our Church of England churches have a patron saint, an individual Saint like ours in the Benefice, though some are dedicated to Jesus – St Saviour, Emmanuel, Christ the King, or to an aspect of God like Holy Trinity. In High Wych the parish church is St James the Great – dedicated to James the brother of John – they were the sons of Zebedee working in the family business with their father, fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Both men were among the first to be called to follow Jesus. They are named in the Bible as being with him at various significant points in the story e.g. Mark 14:33 before his arrest, both were disciples all their lives, and James was beheaded by King Herod [Acts 12: 1-2] soon after church began to spread and grow. The pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela is the journey to the cathedral in Spain where his relics lie. His feast day is July 25th.
St Botolph was one of the earliest and most revered of medieval East Anglian saints, and he became known as the patron stain of wayfayers and some aspects of farming. A young 7th century Saxon noble, Botolph was sent with his brother to a Benedictine Abbey in France to be educated. Botolph returned to east Anglia and was given a grant of land to build a monastery. The site likely to have been near Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Botolph died in 680 after a life famous for Christian endeavour and teaching. The Danes destroyed the monastery he found in 870. Two and a half centuries later his relics were taken from the monastery ruins to be placed in other churches, including Westminster Abbey. Perhaps the original church in Eastwick was near the route taken to lay Botolph’s bones to rest.
Our third church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin in Gilston. Mary was a young Jewish girl living in Nazareth when Gabriel, and angel messenger from God announced that she was chosen to be the bearer of Jesus, the baby Son of God. Her response “Let it be to me according to your word” revealed her natural sense of obedience and trust in God and her reverence for his Word in scripture. She was unmarried but engaged to a good man, a carpenter named Joseph, who after some worry and heart searching chose to look after Mary and Jesus, acting as a father or the even though the child was not his.
To many Christians Mary is close to being divine, but to protestants like me she is a wonderful example of an ordinary person who said yea to God – possibly risking her life and certainly her reputation and safety to allow Gods plan for the world to happen through her on the first Christmas day in Bethlehem. August 15th is the day we especially remember and give thanks for Mary and this year we will mark the “Patronal Festival” at our ancient church in Gilston on the 18th the nearest Sunday, with our Diocesan Bishop Dr. Alan Smith. He has not been part of worship in either St Botolph or St Mary before and we are delighted to welcome him to preside and preach at St Marys on Sunday 18th August at 11.15am – do come and meet him over refreshments after the service. He is coming back in November to take the Act of Remembrance at the Eastwick War Memorial on Sunday 10th and to preside at the Service in St Botolph.
Come and join us for a different sort of Get Together on Sunday August 25th when we’ll meet at St Botolph for our next Dog Walk, starting at 3.00pm for a circular walk and return to Church for tea and cake. Everyone young and old is welcome – with or without dog!
God Bless you and yours
Information on Botolph from the website of The Parish and ward church of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London.
18TH AUGUST - 11.15AM SERVICE AT SYT MARY'S, GILSTON WILL BE PRESIDED OVER BY DIOCESAN BISHOP DR ALAN SMITH WHO WILL ALSO BE PREACHING ON THAT DAY. DO COME AND MEET HIM OVER REFRESHMENTS AFTER THE SERVICE.
SUNDAY 25TH AUGUST 3.00PM
FROM ST BOTOLPH’S, CHURCH
FOR A CICULAR WALK AND RETURN TO THE CHURCH FOR TEA AND CAKE AND A CHAT. EVERYONE YOUNG AND OLD ARE WELCOME, WITH OR WITHOUT A DOG.
Saturday 7th September and Sunday 8th September - St. James' Church Scarecrow Festival. High Wych, Sawbridgeworth, Herts CM21 0HZ Saturday, September 7th, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday, September 8th, 12 noon- 5 p.m.
This will be our 4th annual scarecrow festival. From September 1st - preceding the scarecrows , spray painted bicycles decorated with flowers will be placed along the main High Wych road up to High Wych School and down High Wych Lane (the road leading off the triangular green )up to The Manor of Groves hotel and golf course. There will also be smaller bicycles made from recycled plastic decorated by children from High Wych school and other children from the village. From Thursday 5th until Tues 10th Sept scarecrows will be placed along the same route. There is no scarecrow trail form to purchase - it is all free - but do come and visit the hub of the festival at St. James' church. Here there will be numerous stalls and more scarecrows such as those created by the local brownies and St. Elizabeth's Centre. Barbecued food and teas/coffee and cakes etc can all be purchased here and there will be further stalls inside this beautiful church. Toilets are located at The Memorial hall and a disabled toilet inside the church.
Last year car parking was a problem but The Rivers Hospital have kindly leant us their first car park on the right where there are 75 places. The walk from here to the church is approximately three- quarters of a mile but there will be plenty of scarecrows along the route to see. We also have limited spaces in The Memorial Hall next to the church and also a considerable number of spaces in the school on the other side of the church. Last year many people parked in Sawbridgeworth and walked up or used the foot paths to access The Festival.
On Sunday 8th Sept there will be a Festival church service beginning at 9.30 a.m and finishing at approximately 10. 45.a.m. All are warmly invited to this and to come and share in our community thanksgiving. On Sunday afternoon at 1.30 pm. we will be entertained by a local ukulele band. The raffle and winners of the scarecrow competition will be announced at 4 p.m. The scarecrows will be judged by Ian our village postman and by "the people's vote" which you can make at The Festival. Children, Bob the Builder will also need your help to build " a bridge for charity" in the church yard to help save Postman Pat's cat, Jess who is stranded on a bridge that has been partly washed away . We look forward to having much fun together. Please ring 01279 724247 if you have any questions. Thank you.
Coffee Shop – The Coffee Shop is open on Tuesdays between 8.45am -10.00am in term time. Come and enjoy some fresh ground coffee and home-made scones. All welcome.