Sleaford Parish Church 

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July 2021

Posted on July 1, 2021 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (7666)

I have been looking back over past editions of the Coronacle. This is the 22nd edition! In the 7th edition I wrote (just as we were preparing to return to public worship) that this wasn’t the end of restrictions but probably the beginning of the end. How wrong one can be! I never expected that we would still be living under restrictions 12 months later. The June date for the easing of restrictions has passed and (at the time of writing) I do not know what will happen when we reach the J...

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Ordinary Time!

Posted on June 3, 2021 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (3830)

Ordinary Time! The Sundays after Trinity that lead us from Pentecost to Advent – almost half of the church year. I love the phrase ‘ordinary time’, it carries with it a sense of relief – relaxation – after all the festivals. The Oxford dictionary defines ‘ordinary’ as having no distinctive features, normal, not interesting or exceptional. In ecclesiastical usage ‘ordinary’ is the normal state from which we can either dip below in the penit...

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May 2021

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (82)

The month of May is framed by bank-holidays – May day and Whitsun (the old name for Pentecost). The actual bank-holidays may have become a little disconnected with the historic celebrations in terms of both the dates and traditional customs, secular and religious. This year, dancing around a maypole will be impossible even in those villages that do still have a maypole. With our traditional celebrations of May Day and Whitsun the feast of the Ascension can get a little lost. It is alway...

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Easter Message 2021

Posted on March 31, 2021 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (44)

The past twelve months may have felt like the longest Lent ever. If we think of Lent in terms of giving something up, then how do we begin to enumerate everything that has been given up over the past year? With the festival of Easter we are beginning to see (once again) a lessening of the restrictions placed on our lives by the pandemic. Yet we know that the national, not to mention global situation, is still fragile. Many of us have now received the first dose of a vaccine and hopes of a ret...

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Palm Sunday

Posted on March 17, 2021 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (37)

Palm Sunday is normally a day of drama: the service would begin outside the church, in the marketplace. With palm crosses lifted high we would go in procession around the church – singing! Often we would have a dramatized reading of the whole passion narrative. These dramatic touches set the scene for the drama of Holy Week. Holy Week is dramatic, from the stations of the cross, through foot-washing and the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday, to kneeling at the foot of the cross ...

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Vicar's Message - 5th March 2021

Posted on March 4, 2021 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (79)

Vicar's Message- 5th March 2021

Last year I recorded the Mothering Sunday service in the Lady Chapel. It was the first service I recorded for YouTube and the only Sunday service to be

recorded in the church (without congregation) before the Archbishops ordered the churches to be closed. By the time we get to Mothering Sunday this year 135 services will have been recorded (and are all still available to watch on YouTube). As Mothering Sunday marks the first anniversary of t...

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Vicar's Message - Feb 2021

Posted on February 3, 2021 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (37)

I can’t believe it is nearly Ash Wednesday! Lent is almost upon us. Our first YouTube service of lockdown was for Mothering Sunday – the mid-point of Lent. Ninety-five services have subsequently been filmed and made available on YouTube. Some of those services have been recorded in front of a live congregation, others in an empty church or the vicarage sitting room. The course of this pandemic has taken us through the full cycle of the Christian year. And so, we come to Ash Wednes...

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Lockdown 3

Posted on January 20, 2021 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (55)

Lockdown 3.0 – who would have guessed that we would be in lockdown again! For all the talk of recapturing the spirit of March once again, this lockdown is very different. In Lockdown 1.0 there was a sense that if we do what we are told the pandemic will soon be over. The streets were empty, wildlife recolonised urban spaces, people stood at their front door and clapped for the NHS. After the respite of the summer November brought Lockdown 2.0 – a time-limited lockdown that many ac...

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Christmas Message 2020

Posted on December 15, 2020 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (399)

A voice cries out in the wilderness…’ I wonder what you think of when you hear the word ‘wilderness’. There are few places in the UK that qualify aswilderness – Ranoch Moor is one of them. ‘Bleak’ and ‘inhospitable’ are words that come to my mind. The ancient Near East may be known as the fertilecrescent but the fertility of the land is in comparison to the desert and harsh Canaanite Highlands that surround the fertile plains. It was on th...

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Vicar's Message - November 2020

Posted on November 18, 2020 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (548)

At the time of writing my last piece for the Coronacle I knew that Remembrance Sunday would be different this year. I had not expected that the country would be back in Lockdown. I am not the only one to notice that this lockdown feels very different to the one that began in March. The first lockdown was marked by clapping for the NHS, traffic missing from the roads, birdsong, and other signs of nature in spring bloom. We are now deep in autumn: trees are shedding their leaves and the nights ...

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