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Drawing showing the extent of the Anglican Benefice of Seaview, St Helens, Brading & Yaverland on the Isle of Wight

Benefice Blog 2024

New Minister for the Haven Benefice

The eagerly anticipated notice seeking applications for the position of full-time Minister of our Benefice has now been published in Church Times. Full details of the role are on the Diocesan website, with the latter including our Benefice Profile and also featuring a Video Profile presented by Graham Pountney. The deadline for applications is midday on 12 July 2024 with the date for interviews set as 24 July 2024.

Posted 14 June 2024

Happy Easter - Still!

Our curate, the Rev Bevaly Rackett, reflects on the relationship between Easter - which, in the church calendar, lasts until Pentecost in mid-May - and Baptism...

In the church, Easter lasts a full 50 days, until Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Shame the chocolate doesn’t last that long!

Since the very early days of Christianity, Easter has been closely linked with Baptism. Anyone wanting to be baptised (or Christened, which is the same thing) would be questioned about their faith, given religious instruction, and then take part in a full week of daily services, prayers, and fasting, before an all-night vigil of prayer and Bible reading before baptism at dawn on Easter day. That way the person journeyed with Christ to the cross and entered into their new life as a Christian in the joy of his resurrection (return to life).

Today, Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God, which continues for the rest of our lives. For all involved, including parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises, and declaring our faith. The community of the church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future.

The service paints many pictures of what happens on the Christian way. The sign of the cross is made on the forehead as a reminder of Christ’s death for us. The covering with water represents drowning, dying to sin and being raised to new life with Christ, and a candle is given to show that Christ conquered evil so that everyone who is baptized walks in his light for the rest of their lives.

And what of the other symbols of Easter? Well, Easter chicks and butterflies remind us that new life comes from unexpected and often lifeless places – eggs or cocoons certainly don’t look very promising!

Spring lambs were offered at the Festival of Passover as sacrifices to say sorry for all the bad things people had done, so Jesus was seen as a similar sacrificial lamb, who gave his life so that we continue to be forgiven for all the bad things we do.

And Easter bunnies? Well, they are just cute, joyful – and also abundant, just like the life Jesus promises each of us when we commit to follow him.

Rev Bevaly

April 2024

Looking Forward to Lent

Our curate, Rev Bevaly Rackett, looks at the Christian season of Lent, which this year begins in the middle of February...

Since early days, Christians have devotedly observed the events leading up to the death and rising again of Jesus Christ (known as his Passion and Resurrection). We prepare for this by a season of penitence and fasting, prayer, and study, known as Lent.

Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday (which this year also happens to be St Valentine’s Day) is a time when Christians remember when Jesus was in the desert being tempted by the devil for 40 days. It’s a time of preparation for Easter, of self-examination, and of spending more time with God – in prayer and Bible study, in activities which help other people, and in fasting (giving up luxury foods such as chocolate, cakes or biscuits – which will be even more of a challenge on Valentine’s Day!)

That’s why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent: it’s a chance to use up rich foods like eggs, fats and milk, ready for more simple foods like fruit and vegetables. ‘Shrove’ comes from an Anglo-Saxon word, ‘shriving,’ which means to listen to someone’s sins and forgive them. Christians go to confession so that their souls may be cleansed.

It is a time to grow in faith and commitment to God. On Ash Wednesday we have a cross, made from the burnt ashes of last year’s palm crosses,put on our forehead as a sign that we have confessed our sins and have been forgiven. Check out the services to see where and when you can join us for this special service if you like. It is a time to change our habits, to look at our potential, and to try to determine what God is calling us to be doing now.

Why not spend some time during this Lent creating space for a personal encounter with God? God is always ready to connect with us - we just need to put aside the busy-ness of our daily lives and spend a little time talking and listening to Him (talking is easy, listening is much harder!) You never know what may come about after a conversation with God.

With blessings for the return of Spring.

Rev Bevaly Rackett
(Curate at the Haven Benefice)

February 2024

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