Welcome to St. Bartholomew’s, Burwash

Thursday 21 May 2020 will be Ascension Day.  Unfortunately we shall not be able to celebrate together in our churches but the diocese have issued the attached which gives information about on line services from Chichester and prayer resources for Ascension to Pentecost. - see more information in Church services section


7th Sunday of Easter


O God the King of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us

and exalt us to the place where our

Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Readings: Acts 1:6-14, Psalm 68:1-10,33-36, 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11


When Verity was aged about three we were shopping one Friday lunchtime in a very busy shopping centre in Croydon and then the moment every parent dreads. I was distracted and in those few minutes I took my eye off her she let go of the handle of the buggy and disappeared into the crowds. She was safely returned to us by a security man but that fifteen minutes or so Verity was missing was probably the longest, most frightening time of my life with the thoughts of imagined horrors racing through my mind as I waited for news.


Waiting seems to figure largely in our lives at present. We are waiting for the government to lift some more of the restrictions enabling us to meet socially, to shop, to have haircuts and of course for our churches to re-open. Then there are those who may have slipped from the headlines but continue to wait for peace or justice in the troubled areas of the world. Those in trouble, pain or distress waiting for hope, healing, reconciliation.

Of course not all waiting is linked with fear or sorrow. My journey home from London when I was attending theological college involved a thirty five minute wait between train connections. At times, when it was cold, and I was hungry I admit that this could be frustrating, especially if the scheduled 35 minutes stretched to forty five or even an hour but usually, as long as I had a book, my i player and a bar of chocolate to sustain me, I was quite happy whiling away the time in the waiting room. For, if like me you are a people watcher (or, as my daughters would remark, nosey!), railway station waiting rooms can be a source of pleasure. Then there are the months waiting for the birth of a baby, a child waiting for their birthday or Christmas or the long anticipated arrival of a loved one returning from a trip overseas. Excitement and joy in waiting

The theme of waiting also runs deeply through the life of the church. Advent, Lent, the period between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Then a further wait of 40 days until Ascension Day and now we are again waiting to celebrate Pentecost (the sending of the Holy Spirit) next Sunday.

Depending upon what we are waiting for it can sometimes it can be a disturbing or challenging time. Perhaps difficult to sense God in the midst. Where is God in all this? Where is God when we feel that He is far from us, absent, distant, seemingly out of reach?

Today’s Collect as we pray “leave us not comfortless but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us …”seems to acknowledge this – reminding us that at times such as these we pray for the Holy Spirit, to be sent to us, to nudge us and remind us that we are not alone but are comforted. But how can we sense God comforting us?

We would usually obtain our encouragement and comfort from meeting together in church. Whilst praying together, sharing in Holy Communion, chatting over coffee. Those activities we are unable to do at present but you may be joining one of the many services being streamed on line. Either, thanks to Revd Graham and Julia Lewis, locally or from our own Cathedral or even the churches of families and friends.

But there are also other ways through which we can sense God – who, in the words of St Augustine, is sometimes nearer to us than we are to ourselves. Perhaps as you read your Bible or the weekly homilies. As you pray in your own homes or see God’s hand in creation whilst working in your gardens or out walking in the local countryside. And then there are the phone calls from friends which often come unexpectedly at the moment we are feeling the need for the sound of a human voice. I have learnt through my own experiences that God, through the Holy Spirit, has a way of nudging me and that person who keeps popping into my mind at three in the morning is probably in need of some support or encouragement.  

Sometimes one of the most difficult aspects of waiting is the feeling of helplessness, of not knowing what to do. But the Epistle reading this morning offers us some guidance as to how we are to live as Christians here in God’s kingdom on earth. 1 Peter 4 includes the instructions to “keep alert”. We are to learn to read the signs of God’s presence. Alert to God already at work ahead of us. Alert to His prompting us and to be mindful of how we can best serve the communities in which we live and work.


On this Sunday after Ascension as we await Pentecost may we remember what Christ told his followers before he ascension: “you are to be my witnesses even to the ends of the earth” So in our waiting, may we consider how our way of living bears witness to the love and power of Christ.

I pray for God’s comfort, hope and peace for you all in your waiting. God Bless.



Coronavirus (Covid -19) guidance for churches


Revised guidance has been received from Bishop Martin which now gives permission for clergy to enter the churches in their care for personal prayer.  However the church building must remain closed for public access meaning that the church may not be opened for public worship attended by a congregation.  As from tomorrow (Thursday) I shall be saying Morning prayer at 9am in the church either in Burwash or Etchingham.  Please continue to let me know if you would like prayers said for yourself or another.


If you need to speak to a Priest please telephone or e mail Rev Sally 01435 882301


God Bless you all. 



 Parish Safegaurding notice12.1905/12/19

If you are unfamiliar with any of our services we hope these notes will be of  use to you and that we will be able to welcome you into our Parish family:


Our normal* service pattern is as follows :

  • Every Sunday at 8am – Holy Communion - a traditional said celebration of the Eucharist taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) 
  • 1st Sunday of each month at 10.00- Family Service- a short service aimed at families to come along to worship and have fun. Children and young people are encouraged to actively participate.. Coffee is served afterwards.  
  • 1st Sunday of each month at 6pm- Evensong – a traditional evening service as set out in the Book of Common prayer. The service includes readings, psalms and hymns 
  • 2nd Sunday of each month at 10am - Matins - a traditional morning  service as set out in the Book of Common prayer. The service includes readings, psalms and hymns. 
  • 3rd Sunday (& 5th if applicable) of each month at 10am - Family Communion – using a version of Common Worship liturgy which reflects the richness and variety of worship which is available for use Sunday by Sunday. Coffee is served afterwards. 
  • 4th Sunday of each month at 10am - Parish Communion - a celebration of the Eucharist using Common Worship which uses more modern language together with additional readings and hymns

  • Also on the 2nd & 4th Sunday of each month our Sunday Club meets during the main 10am service at the Rectory from 9.45am. The Sunday Club then normally join the Church Family in the Church at 10.45am. Please contact Celia Merchant or one of the Sunday Club Leaders for more details.

At all our services there are facilities for pre school children.Toys & books are always available in our Childrens Corner.

*Please check for changes to service patterns in the Burwash Village Magazine each month or on our website.


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