Welcome to St. Bartholomew’s, Burwash




God, who at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your

Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

And evermore to rejoice in his

holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our


who is alive and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, now and for ever. Amen

Readings: Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:25-35, 37, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23




I was watching one of the frequent reports from the intensive care unit of a London hospital. By the side of one bed the medical team were battling to save the life of a desperately ill patient. Doing all they could to get more oxygen to enter his tortured lungs. Whilst, in a nearby cubicle, another patient was being taken off the respirator which had been breathing for him for many weeks. As the tube was removed we could hear the wonderful sound of the first unaided breaths being taken and with them the hope of a life restored and renewed.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for breath - “ruach”- translates into English as both breath and spirit   In the book of Genesis we read how God made man into a living human being by breathing life into him. Ezekiel witnesses the dry bones in the valley being resurrected by the breath of the Holy Spirit.   Pentecost Sunday celebrates God sending the Holy Spirit to the disciples renewing and transforming them in order that they might fulfil his purposes for them. Thus the church into which God continues to breathe life was born.

The Holy Spirit is God’s wonderful gift to each and every one of us. It comes to renew, challenge and disturb us in our thinking as individuals and church but also to inspire, encourage and enable us to be the people God wants us to be. We are never alone, never bereft for through the power of the Holy Spirit God is always with us.

Like the wind which blows where it chooses we can’t control where the Holy Spirit comes from or where it is going. It blows through the church sometimes, as on that first Pentecost, with the force of a hurricane sometimes like a gentle summer breeze. Always changing lives; helping, healing, offering hope and purpose. The spirit renews and transforms lives.

People sometimes feel guilty if they think they haven’t had such wonderful experiences as the apostles had on that first Pentecost. Or they feel jealous of those who seem to have had things like this happen to them. But God moves in mysterious ways among his people, dealing with each individual in a different way.

It is clear from words Jesus spoke himself that God longs to give the Holy Spirit to His people and that all we have to do is ask. What the spirit will do when he comes is anybody’s guess. But we should not doubt that God will give his spirit to all who seek him.


As those first believers differed from each other so none of us are the same because God’s church is made up of diverse people. A wonderfully enriching diversity which is to be celebrated. Every one of us has been given gifts and abilities by the Holy Spirit which not only encourage and strengthen us individually but, as the body of the church (wherever and in whatever form that may be) empower us to serve God and our fellow neighbours.  Wisdom, knowledge, healing, prophecy, discernment, whatever gifts we have been given as an individual can be used as a community in witness of God’s loving and saving grace for all of humanity and the form and direction that any particular spirit led life will take will be the one that will enable that person uniquely to bring glory to God.

The Spirit who came to the disciples on that first Pentecost is, of course, the same Spirit, who in connecting our lives with God, gives us life in all its fullness everything that life should really be. Not just the bits that can be seen, the outward visible trappings, but the inner parts the hidden depths of our being.

Over the past weeks life has slowed down somewhat for most of us but usually our culture tends towards impatience. Wanting everything here and now – the quick fix achieved in the shortest time and often with the least amount of effort. But that is not how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.   Rather it is a bit like the on line jig saw puzzles I have been doing where the picture remains a mystery until the final piece is inserted and all is revealed. Until Christ returns we are like that jigsaw, all works in progress as the Holy Spirit works within us.

Before the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples they were confused, frightened of the future, but he give them confidence and courage to go out into the world despite the hardships they suffered. Changing beliefs and attitudes. Making a positive difference to the lives of those they met.

On this Pentecost Sunday may we know the Holy Spirit filling us with confidence and courage and, despite the uncertainties and challenges of our world, may we work together in faith to fulfil the mission God has entrusted to each one of us.




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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