Welcome to St. Bartholomew’s, Burwash

United Benefice of Burwash,  Burwash Weald & Etchingham  

Churches opened for private prayer for the week beginning Monday 6 July 2020                                                                                                                                                                                  



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St Bartholomew &

Assumption & St Nicholas Etchingham

9am - 4pm


St Philip

9am - 4pm


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All Churches



All Churches

Closed following Morning Services



Advice has now been received from the Diocese as to the measures we need to take in order to resume public worship in our churches. We are working hard to implement these and are planning to hold a service of Holy Communion in St Bartholomew's at 10am every Sunday for the foreseeable future..


                               5th Sunday after Trinity -  12 July 2020




Almighty and everlasting God,

by whose Spirit the whole of the church

is governed and sanctified,

hear our prayer which we offer

for all your faithful people,

that in their vocation and ministry

they may serve you in holiness and truth

in the glory of your name;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Readings: Isaiah 55:10-13, Psalm 119:105-112, Romans 8_1-11

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


Last week David and I received an e mail from the people from whom we are purchasing our future home and attached to it were a number of photographs of the garden. Lloyd and Karen are keen gardeners and so, despite the knowledge that they themselves probably wouldn’t be there to reap the benefits of their labours, to occupy themselves during the lockdown they planted vegetable seeds. Judging by the height of the runner beans and the luxuriant foliage on the tomato plants they took great care over the sowing of the seeds. Discarding any stones which damage the developing roots and the weeds which might strangle the delicate young plants quickly eradicated.

The farmer in the parable of the sower and the seed could probably have learnt a thing or two from our generous benefactors. Because instead of carefully preparing the ground before planting his seeds it would appear that he is just scattering handfuls around. Some fall on the path where the birds come along and eat it up; others on stones where it sprouts but then withers and dies because it doesn't have any soil to put its roots down into. Some fall among thorns where the young seedlings grow but are strangled by the larger stronger weeds which surround them. . It is somewhat surprising that any of the seed lands in the good soil where it manages to thrive and produce a great yield.

The disciples, like many Jews of the time, expected that when God finally acted to bring his kingdom to birth this would happen in a blaze of glory in a movement which would bring freedom justice and peace wherever it travelled. The suggestion that instead it might come not only through the puzzling words of a preacher but also the mixed response of his listeners must have seemed very strange.

But this was and remains Gods way of working and is therefore why the Word of God is so important. Isaiah says that the Word goes out and does its own work in people’s hearts and lives and indeed that is what some words do; they change people. But not everyone who heard Jesus words then or who hears them today has the desired reaction.

We know that the parables Jesus told were not just pleasant stories told to keep his listeners amused. We also know that he often used analogies and in this instance – the farmer is, of course, God and the seed the Word of God.  

As the sower was scattering the seed everywhere so God doesn’t limit where He sows his Word. Rather God sows in every place and in every way imaginable.

I sometimes wonder why this story is not called the parable of the soil because it is the soil on which the seeds are sown which forms the main point and it is these soil types that a lot of us will experience in our own lives, not just when planting seeds but in how we relate to God

Some fell along the path’. Imagine a middle-eastern road hardened by years of travel by humans and animals. No soft soil in which the seeds can be protected from the beaks of the hungry birds. If we don’t take God’s Word seriously, if we don’t absorb it into our very being that’s the soil we’re representing.

Then the rocks. These people have heard God’s Word but it has not been planted deep enough to enable it to be the root from in which their lives grow and mature. When the times are good their faith springs up like a young plant in the warmth of the sunshine and the soft gentle rain. But when then storms of life hit, just like the seedling in the strong heat of the day the fragile faith will wither and die for lack of continued sustenance

Some fell among thorns. These people hear God’s Word but do nothing with it. They understand it but don’t truly accept it. They teach it, but don’t practice it. So what happens? The source for satisfaction comes from external things. Anything which brings quick yet so often temporary gratification. Even though the seed was planted in good soil, the thorns choked it, just like these things can choke us from depending on God.

But Jesus doesn't call our attention to the seed that is lost. "Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen!

Initially Jesus entrusted, twelve people to go out and start the church of which we, together with millions of others are members today. As God knew what he was doing when he sent Christ to scatter the seed, amongst those first disciples he knows what he is doing when he sends us to scatter them today.

There may be times in our lives when our faith is shallow, easily distracted but equally there will be times when we are as though firmly planted in good soil and we need to use these opportunities to share the seed, God’s word with others. Perhaps talking to our friends and neighbours about our faith, inviting them to come to church. Others will try to show their Christian faith by example. Random acts of kindness, supporting charities. All can be ways of sowing seeds. Yes some will fall on places where it never takes root, others will fall in places where it gets a good start but doesn’t last. Some will get choked out by competing interests. But Jesus tells us that some of the seeds we scatter will find good soil where it will establish roots and with care and nurture grow in strength and maturity

And since we can't predict where the seed is going to fall, or whether it will produce fruit we scatter it where we can and pray that like the vegetables in our new garden they flourish and blossom into new life.



                                   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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