Weekly Pews News

no 20-14                              Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday

5 April 2020

Follow services online: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online

Broadcasts: Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 8:10 am; Songs of Praise on BBC 1 at 1.15 pm. For young people: Guardians of Ancora (free game-app); Chichester Diocese resources:  https://youth.chichester.anglican.org/ChildrenChurchesandCovid-19/

5 April – Palm Sunday

Collect for the day Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen.

Today’s readings

Holy Communion (BCP Sunday next before Easter)

Readings: Philippians 2: 5-11; Matthew 27: 1-54

The Eucharist

Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-9a; Psalm 31: 9-16; Philippians 2: 5-11; Matthew 26: 14 to 27: 66

Intention: our children and young people, and their leaders; our Sunday School and Saints (older children).

Church members: Natalie, Jim, Holly, Daniel & Erica Copeland; Anne & Roger Cormack; Lila Cowee; Amanda, Stephen Benjamin & Alice Cox-Rusbridge; Barbara & Alan Crew; Corinne, Tony, Darren, Joseph, Alistair & Zoe Crisp; John Crockford.

Anniversary: David Morrison (2015)

6 April – Monday of Holy Week

Intention: our Archbishops, Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York; the work of the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod; the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Church members: Sarah, Shane, Oliver, Harriet & Henry Crow; Jeanne Dalton; Margaret Darlow; Sue Davis; Brenda Dobson; Carole & Richard Druce; Kathleen Dudley.

Anniversary: Nellie Horlock (2009); Joyce Burns (2011); Jim Saunders (2016)

7 April – Tuesday of Holy Week

Intention: our schools, colleges and universities; all teachers and learners, governors and administrators.

Church members: Jo Eden; Carole & Gary Edwards; Sue Edwards; Roland, Sally-Ann & Vicky Ell; Jenny, Stuart, Sophie & Georgia Ellis; David & Paul Evans.

Anniversary: John Fairclough (2001)

8 April – Wednesday of Holy Week

Intention: the hungry, homeless, refugees and asylum seekers; the work of Church Army, Christian Aid and all relief agencies; our local charities Stonepillow and Bognor Regis Foodbank.

Church members: June & Bruce Evans; Hugh Evans; Ayshea, John & Trinity Feaver; Lynda, Philip, Riley & Caitlin Foyn; Vicky, Joseph, Oliver & Harry Fuller; Clare & Abigail Furse; Heather & David Gamble.

Anniversary: Philip Smith  (2005)

9 April – Maundy Thursday

Intention: the Queen and Royal Family, our Nation and Government, our local MP Nick Gibb and MEPs.

Church members: Joy & Mark Garbett; Donna Grace, Aimee & Pete Boteler, Jane Ewers; Lea Grace, Marlee Grace-Edwards & Luke Edwards; Julie, Eric, Gemma & Zoe Green; Tricia Green & Ellie; Ann Gristwood; Jennifer, Jeff, Lara & Evie Gwynn.

Anniversary: Derek Bech (2016)

Readings for Maundy Thursday: Exodus 12: 1-4, 11-14; Psalm 116:1, 10-end; I Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-17, 31b-35.

Good Friday: Isaiah 52: 13 to end of 53; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10: 16-25; John 18: 1 to end of 19.

Easter Day: Holy Communion (BCP): Colossians 3: 1-7, John 20: 1-10 The Eucharist: Jeremiah 31: 1-6; Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24; Acts 10: 34-43; John 20: 1-18


We pray for all in need of healing in body, mind or spirit: Lynette, Chloe Green, Rosie Sims, Nicola, Richard Rundle, Terry Haskell, Jean Martin, Gemma Green, Lila Cowee, Barbara Crew, Brenda Dobson, Keith Smith, June Evans, Zoe, Bea & Laurie Tucker, Karen Cox, Jim Druce, Val.

For urgent prayer, contact Gillian Purvis (267597) or Colin Wood (264192) to activate the Prayer Chain.

We remember in our prayers Church members who live in residential care or usually receive communion at home: Beatrice Armstrong, Mary Baxter, Madge Breakspear, Lila Cowee.

We pray for God’s blessing on all who live in our parish: Elm Close, Esher Close, Fletcher Close.

We pray for all affected by Covid-19, and our leaders and health advisers in all their decisions


Covid-19: all places of worship are closed but many services continue online, and broadcast on radio and TV. There are also many virtual resources for daily prayer, for example the Daily Prayer and Pray As You Go mobile apps (Google and Apple), and also online: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer, and https://www.thykingdomcome.global/prayer-resources.

Our previous vicar Mark used to pray for Pagham Church members on a monthly rota at Morning Prayer. Now these members are being added to the diary prayers, so that we can pray for each other by name.

New! Pagham Church Facebook page ‘Thomas Becket’. This is for everyone to see what our Church family is doing. Please like and follow the page, join in the conversation, and share with friends and family. For those online but not on Facebook, do follow the news on the Pagham Church website. For those not online, see the contact phone numbers below.

Church roof: the stonemasons’ work is now completed, but the last of the tiling has been delayed by the current lockdown. We are deeply grateful to all who fundraised and donated, and all who have worked on the repairs, so that this beautiful church could be kept safe for the coming years.

Palm Crosses: unfortunately we can’t distribute these this year. WHY NOT make a cross from greenery, and put it on the outside of your house instead? https://thedeaconsbench.com/a-beautiful-idea-for-palm-sunday/

Easter Garden: we will miss seeing Bruce Evans’s beautiful display at the church gate this Easter, but we could create a simple Easter garden outside our houses. There are many ideas online.

Foodbank: our support is needed more than ever. Now that we can no longer collect food items in church, please consider donating into the crates in supermarkets, or give monetary help which is urgently required.https://bognorregis.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/

My Sisters’ House: the work of supporting vulnerable women and their children is even more important during this time of crisis. The team there say: “With heavy heart, due to COVID-19, we have made the decision to cease face to face or group work until further notice. We are still here for you. Please email office@mysistershouse.info, phone 01243 697800, or message us via Facebook for support.”Please continue to pray for this work. https://www.mysistershouse.info/

 Our next Pews News comes out on Maundy Thursday to cover the weekend, and Easter week.


Churchwardens: Mike Wake and Stephen Cox-Rusbridge: churchwarden@paghamchurch.org, 07899 705632//07974 177905.

Church website update: email editor@paghamchurch.org to add content.

Safeguarding Officer: Jan Brockhurst: safeguarding@paghamchurch.org.

Pews News: Alison Blenkinsop: pewsnews@paghamchurch.org, 261131.



Palm Sunday                                    5 April 2020

Matthew 21: 1-11

Now Jesus comes on public display. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem, this Palm Sunday story was the only occasion that Jesus deliberately drew attention to himself. And so he fulfils the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 ‘Rejoice, rejoice, people of Zion!  Shout for joy, you people of Jerusalem!  Look your king is coming to you!  He comes triumphant and victorious, but humble and riding on a donkey – on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ For three years during his public ministry people could make up their minds about Jesus, or leave making a decision until later.  Now he forces them to do so. Jesus declares himself King, and everyone has to make up their minds.  And that includes us.

One of the Psalms which was sung at the end of the Passover meal was Psalm 118 v25 “Save us Lord, save us! Give us success, O Lord!  May God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  From the temple of the Lord we bless you.”  As the Jews sang this they looked forward to a new deliverance from their enemies, like the one long ago in Egypt.  The crowd saw in these words reference to the Messiah, the Coming one.  This was their cry on that first Palm Sunday “Praise to David’s Son! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord!  Praise God!” (Matt 21:9)

The corresponding passage in John 12:13 says it explicitly, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord!  God bless the King of Israel!”

So what sort of King was Jesus?  He was the King of Israel.   The crowd interpreted this in terms of Jesus as being a political King, a soldier king, a conquering king. This was the type of Messiah they were expecting.  One to save them from the hated Roman authorities.  Jesus had heard of this political, nationalistic fervour that was being aroused.  How did he react? He could go with the flow, ride in to Jerusalem on a horse, the symbol of war and of a warrior King.  But no, Jesus made another choice and rode in as Zechariah had prophesied and rode in on a donkey.  The donkey was a symbol of peace, of humility.  Jesus was coming as King, but not the King they were expecting.  He is the King of Israel, but he de-militarises their ideas about the King.  He came as King of peace. The people didn’t understand this at the time, so they still greeted him like a political King.

And so Jesus came as King of Israel.  But this King of Israel was the King of peace, of gentleness, of  mercy, forgiveness, grace.  It was a costly mission.  As the hymn writer put it in ‘Ride on, ride on in majesty’, – ‘in lowly pomp ride on to die.’  It is tragically ironic, that in the Holy Land today there is no peace.  That many wars have been fought in the name of religion. Jesus came to bring peace, but the peace that Jesus came to bring was peace in our human hearts.

Yet, ironically again, Jesus also came as the King of division.  That may surprise some of us.  But we just have to think on to what happened a few days later on Good Friday.  Many of the crowd who shouted their ‘hosannas’ on Palm Sunday shouted ‘Crucify him’ on Good Friday. They were fair-weather supporters.  Jesus was not the King they were expecting after all. Jesus could have seized political power, worn a crown of gold studded with diamonds.  Instead he wore a crown of thorns.  The crowd turned on him.  Jesus suffered the pain of rejection ‘crucify him, crucify him’ they cried.  He had been betrayed by Judas, the disciples fell asleep.  Acclamation for Jesus had turned to isolation.

In 21v10, “when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into an uproar.  ‘Who is he?’ the people asked?” It is of course a question for each of us, and perhaps a question we need to ask ourselves as we enter different stages of our Christian journeys.  Perhaps within the routine of the Christian year, a question to ask ourselves each Palm Sunday Perhaps especially this Palm Sunday when, due to our Church being closed due to the coronavirus, we cannot wave palm branches, nor palm crosses, nor walk in the Churchyard round the Church as we traditionally do.

The question about Jesus ‘Who is he?’ is one that continually offers us choices.  As our circumstances change, perhaps bringing in a change in income; perhaps we have health problems which brings changes to us, perhaps we encounter bereavement which brings change to us. Or how do we react to the big ‘Why’ questions? Why has this happened to me, why suffering, why the coronavirus?  Each change brings us choices.

What sort of King is Jesus to you today?  In that crowd who welcomed Jesus and waved their palms and cried ‘Hosanna’ there were many who were fascinated by him but were not committed to him.  In the crowd were opponents of his, they resisted everything he said.  In that crowd were some who were indifferent, they were unaffected by him, despite all that he had done, despite the teaching and the love and the mercy and the miracles, it didn’t touch them, they were unaffected.  But also in that crowd were some who were committed to letting Jesus be King of their lives whatever their circumstances.  Which group are you in?  Have you made up your minds as to what sort of King he is?

We know the story of course.  The ‘Hosanna’s’ of Palm Sunday changed to the cry of ‘Crucify him’ on Good Friday.  Perhaps we can interpret that as if to say it is sometimes easy to go with God in the times of blessing and victory and prayers answered the way we want them.  It is not so easy to stay with God during the difficult times, the times of pain and rejection.  Yet if we would share his Kingly triumph, we must be prepared to follow him in the way of the cross.

What sort of King is he to you?  It is your choice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Colin Wood



The Collect for Palm Sunday


Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Read also the Liturgy of the Passion:


Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14 to 27:66

he church is closed for visitors and private prayer until further notice.