Weekly Pews News

no 20-27                                        Fourth Sunday after Trinity

5 July 2020                                     

Worship online
Chichester Diocese:


Radio & TV broadcasts: Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 8:10 am; Songs of Praise on BBC1 at 1.15 pm. Also Premier Christian Radio daily; Sunday service 7 am-1 pm (on DAB nationally, Freeview 725, mobile apps); Angel Radio Sunday service 9 am, rep 11.30 pm (local radio for the older community, on FM 89.3, DAB and online: http://angelradio.co.uk/)

Smartphone free apps: Daily Prayer, Pray As You Go, Lectio365 (from the 24-7 Prayer movement).  

Scripture Union online resources for young people: https://content.scriptureunion.org.uk/lockdown


Collect  O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father,for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever.   Amen.

Readings: Holy Communion Romans 8: 18-23; Luke 6: 36-42

The Eucharist Zechariah 9: 9-12; Psalm 145: 8-15; Romans 7: 15-25a; Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

Sunday 5 July

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

Church Family: Gill Cooper & Steve Cole; Heather Collins; Kate, James, Allyssia, Eden & Rocky Congdon & Cadence Schneider; Natalie, Jim, Holly, Daniel & Erica Copeland.

1–4 pm        Church open for private prayer

4 pm (weather depending) join Alison in Swandene to sing hymns and give thanks for NHS. See below.

Monday 6 July

Intention: our Archbishops, Justin Welby of Canterbury and Stephen Cottrell of York (from 9th July); the work of the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod; the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Church Family: Anne & Roger Cormack; Lila Cowee; Amanda, Stephen, Benjamin & Alice Cox-Rusbridge; Barbara & Alan Crew; Corinne, Tony, Darren, Joseph, Alistair & Zoe Crisp.

Tuesday 7 July

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

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

Anniversary: William Jackson (1980); Jessie Gleadle (1990); Louisa Harris (1998)

Wednesday 8 July

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

Anniversary: Isobel Myatt (1991); Frederick Daniell (1993)                                               

Thursday 9 July

Intention: the Queen and Royal Family, our nation and government, and our local MP Nick Gibb.

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

10 – 1 pm     Church open for private prayer

Anniversary: Joseph Jaques (1998); Frank Bailey (2002); Kenneth Jones (2005)

Friday 10 July

Intention: our local clubs and organisations, especially our Ladies’ Club and Men’s Group, and Pagham Luncheon Club.

Church family: Joy & Mark Garbett; Donna Grace, Aimee & Pete Boteler, Jane Ewers; Lea Grace, Marlee Grace-Edwards & Luke Edwards; Julie, Eric, Gemma & Zoe Green.

Anniversary: Ethel Alderton (1993); David Kearsley (2001); John Hayden (1999)

Saturday 11 July – Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550

Intention: our Scouts, Guides, Cadets and other local youth organisations.

Church family: Tricia Green & Ellie; Ann Gristwood; Jennifer, Jeff, Lara & Evie Gwynn; Elaine & John Hankin; Jo, Richard, Ella & James Hatch; Mo & Mike Hatzfeld.

Anniversary: Ian Hartley (1991); Guy Peace (2003); Alastair Stewart (201


We pray for all in need of healing in body, mind or spirit: Lynette, Rosie Sims, Richard Rundle, Terry Haskell, Jean Martin, Lila Cowee, Barbara Crew, June Evans, Zoe, Bea & Laurie Tucker, Shelagh, Karen Cox, Jim Druce, Jim Fowler, Father Chris.

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

Those who have died: Mike Cole.

We pray for Mike’s widow Lina, their family and friends, and those connected with his work at Selsey Lifeboat Station, as they mourn his loss. His funeral will take place at Chichester crematorium on 14th July.  A tribute to this faithful member of our Church family will follow.

We remember Church family 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: Manor Way, Mayfield Close, Meadow Way.

We pray for Revd Lucy Sullivan as she prepares to minister in Pagham and Aldwick from September.

We pray for all affected directly by Covid-19; for local holiday accommodation opening up for visitors


Good news! Revd Lucy Sullivan, currently in the final year of her curacy in Rottingdean, has been appointed to minister in Pagham and Aldwick parishes from September. She is to be officially licensed as Assistant Curate, and will send us a personal message to introduce herself shortly. She can be seen giving a Pentecost message on Chichester Diocese website: https://www.chichester.anglican.org/videos/.

Church opening: we are looking at the possibility of the church opening for public worship with all Covid-safe measures in place. In the meantime we will continue to open just for private prayer on Sundays 1 pm4 pm and Thursdays 10 am – 1 pm.

A nationwide ‘Clap for Carers’ and celebration of the 72nd birthday of the NHS is planned for Sunday 5th July. Alison Blenkinsop would be delighted to welcome others to join in her regular Sunday hymn and community singing in Swandene from 4.15 pm. This Sunday it’s likely to be from 4 pm, after the church closes, and end in time for neighbourhood celebrations from 5 pm. Chairs and drinks will be provided. Contact her on 261131 or 07784 544981 if you plan to come, to get last-minute timing details.

Freewill Offering Trudi writes: thank you to everyone continuing to make freewill offerings to the Church via PGS and Standing Orders, and in person to me. To discuss changing your method of giving, please contact me: trudikearsley@hotmail.co.uk; 01243 263597/07703597353.

Face masks: Trudi has made washable cotton masks for protection of others. Contact her if you would like one for a small donation to Church funds. Over £400 has been raised so far! Thank you, Trudi.

Beating the Bounds: a report is attached of the fifth and final day, walking from the harbour entrance to the church. Have you been inspired to do a prayer walk in your area, or even all round Pagham?

Chichester Diocese pastoral helpline, ‘Hearing You’, for listening and prayer support: 01273 425047.

Samaritans: call free on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you.


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, 01243 261131, 07784 544981.


Romans 7 v 15-25a                  The Fourth Sunday After Trinity                          5 July 2020

When I think of civil wars I think of the English Civil War in the 17th century between the Parliamentarians (Cavaliers) and the Royalists (Roundheads); or the 19th century American Civil War between the Northern and Southern States; or the 20th century Irish Civil War between Irish Republicans and Irish Nationalists over whether or not to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Today’s reading from Romans 7 in the NRSV has the title ‘The Inner Conflict’. (The NRSV is the translation I am using for this series of sermons unless otherwise stated). As we read these verses they read like a ‘civil war’ going on within the life of Paul, but this is something which we can probably all identify with. Paul says ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’ v15, and ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do’ v19, etc

In Ephesians 4v22-24 Paul uses a metaphor of putting off the old and putting on the new. He says the change that being a Christian makes to us is a bit like putting off one set of clothes, and putting on a new set of clothes.   A change of clothes is something that people notice, the change which our faith makes to us should be noticeable. When we become Christians the change should be noticeable. We put off the old and we put on the new.  It is not only putting off (that is negative), it is also putting on (that is positive).  The putting off is sweeping the rubbish out of our lives, the putting on is allowing the Holy Spirit in to direct our lives.

It is as though our lives as Christians are written in a biography of two volumes.  Volume 1 is the story of our lives before we were Christians – the old self, and Volume 2 is the story of our lives since we became Christians.  The old life is finished that is Volume 1, the new life has begun that is Volume 2.

I will never forget preaching at a service of baptism by immersion, probably 40 years ago.  I was the Youth Leader and Lay Reader in the church at the time. Opposite the church was a school with a swimming pool, and this particular Sunday morning one of the young people from the youth group was being baptised.  So we started the service in church then all went across the road to the swimming pool for the actual baptism.

I used a visual aid based on the TV programme “This is your Life”. Do you remember Eammon Andrews (and later Michael Aspel) surprising people with his ‘Red Book’? My visual aid was based on that idea, except I used two volumes. ‘This is your Life Volume 1’ was the story of the old life.  It contained those things of the former self before becoming a Christian.  It contained stories of all those things of the old life that we must put off.  They must be dead and buried.  ‘This is your Life Volume 2’ was the story of the new life, life since becoming a Christian.  It contained the stories of the things that we must put on and continue putting on, now we are ‘Risen with Christ’.

The idea was that as I was talking about the old life before becoming a Christian, I would throw Volume 1 into the water of baptism. It would sink to the bottom, dead and buried. Buried in the waters of baptism.  Then I would hold up Volume 2 and talk about the things we must put on, because we are risen with Christ, the new life we must now live and in which we want to live.  But what happened?  As I was talking about the old life I threw Volume 1 into the water, it went down under the water to the bottom of the swimming pool, dead and buried, buried in the waters of baptism. I then held up Volume 2 and began speaking about our new life as Christians with the risen Christ. The problem was that as I was talking about our new life in Christ, Volume 1 that was supposed to be at the bottom of the swimming pool did not stay there, it bobbed up to the surface again. I was a bit embarrassed by this, but carried on talking. I was also annoyed because I had made Volume 1 from a box file in which I had put some weights which I thought would hold it down!

But a wise old elder of the church, someone for whom I had great respect, said to me afterwards. ‘I’m glad it did that, because that is what happens in my experience, the old self bobs back.’ And I agreed with him. This is what the devil wants, he wants to destroy the purposes of God in us, render us ineffective, to make the old self that we thought was dead, dominate us. This was Paul’s experience in Romans 7. There is a spiritual civil war going on inside us.  It is as though the old self clings to us and we are always tempted to drift back into the bad old ways. I am sure we all experience this conflict in our own lives as Christians. We know God’s will, love it, but find in our own experience that by ourselves we cannot do it. It’s as though there are two people in our skin, but both pulling in different directions, we are a living civil war.

As I was writing this I stopped for a break and switched on the TV news and there was an item on Covid-19. There was a film of a little boy playing football with his dad. And then he was interviewed and the reporter was asking him about how he felt about going back to school. He said ‘I want to go back, but I don’t want to go back. I want to go back to see my friends and see my teachers; but I don’t want to go back and do school work, and do homework’. A little civil war was going on within him!

In Romans Chapter 7 Paul writes about God’s law, the moral law, the Ten Commandments – and of our inability to keep the law – because of our sin. Paul talks of the relationship between the law and sin in v7-13, and then, in v14 he says ‘For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin’. We know for ourselves that however much we know the law of the Lord, however much we believe it, however much we want to keep it, there are times when we fail. We say we can’t help it. In our own strength we are helpless. Paul himself tries to pass the buck ‘Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me’ v16-17. Paul recognises that in his own power, however good his intentions, sin can be stronger and more powerful than his best intentions.

So Paul writes as though there is a conflict, a civil war going on inside him.  He wants to keep God’s law, but sin fights so powerfully within him that it makes it so difficult. He says ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do’ v19. Then he says in v24‘Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Not What will rescue me, not what method or what programme or what technique or what experience will rescue me, but ‘Who will rescue me…’  Paul continues in v25a ‘But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’   So Paul has argued that we are both free from the law of God, yet we need to keep it. On the one hand we are free from the law as a means of salvation. Salvation is through faith in Christ, it is all of grace.  Yet on the other hand we should keep the law as a way of holiness.  We are to be holy as God is holy. This is to be our response to that amazing love of God. But in our own strength we fail.

There is a story of an owl and a centipede.  The centipede got fed up with walking around on the ground with all those legs so he went to see the owl, the wisest creature in the forest.  The owl thought about the problem for a few days and when the centipede came back the owl said ‘I’ve worked out the answer.  What you need to do is to learn to fly.’  The centipede said ‘thank you very much, Mr Owl, that’s a great bit of advice, but how?’  To which the Owl replied, ‘Listen centipede, I give you the theory, you work out the practice yourself.’

But God doesn’t say to us ‘go and work it out yourself’.  He doesn’t say, ‘Here’s the text book, here’s the theory, you work out how to apply it.’  Of course he doesn’t.  He gives us the Holy Spirit, his mark of ownership upon us, but also his power at work in us.  Interestingly there is no mention of the Holy Spirit in Romans 7. That must wait until we read Romans 8 next week

Sometimes I question our Lectionary! The Lectionary reading for today is Romans 7v15-25a. Look in your Bible and you will see that this section called ‘The inner conflict’ is v14-25. I do not understand why the lectionary omits v14 ‘For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin’, and also omits v25b which says ‘So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin’. These verses sum up Paul’s argument and our dilemma. With our mind (and heart and soul) we want to serve the law of God, but with our flesh we serve the law of sin.  But no one can serve two masters at the same time! This is our civil war.

We must put off the old which is incompatible with our life in Christ, and put on the new, a new lifestyle compatible with it.  Holiness is not something into which we drift. It is a deliberate act of our renewed minds. But it is also a continual battle. Remember ‘This is your Life Volume ‘1 bobbing back to the surface of the swimming pool! But thank God, that in Christ and the power of His Spirit, we are on the Victory Side – we read about it in Romans chapter 8.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Colin Wood