Welcome to St. Bartholomew’s, Burwash


We have now received instructions from the Church of England regarding face coverings and church services. Is strongly advised that face coverings are worn during all church services. It is also advised that you sanitise you hands before and after removing and replacing your mask in order to receive communion.




United Benefice of Burwash,  Burwash Weald & Etchingham  

Churches opened for private prayer for the week beginning Monday 10 August 2020                                                                             



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All Churches



St Bartholomew


Assumption of Blessed      Mary &

St Nicholas

9am – 4pm


St Philip

9am - 4pm


All Churches



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..



The Ninth Sunday after Trinity - 9 August 2020




Almighty God,

who sent your Holy Spirit

to be the life and light of your Church:

open our hearts to the riches of your grace,

that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit

in love and joy and peace;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Readings:  1 Kings 19:9-18, Psalm 105:1-6,16-22,45b, Romans 14:22-33


Matthew 14:22-33

We were on holiday and Lucy and her father were having fun in the swimming pool.  Verity really wanted to join in with them but was teetering around on the edge frightened to take the leap in to the water. For ages she tried to summon up the courage but always as she was about to take the step she lost her nerve. Then, swimming up to the side, her father holding wide his arms calmly said to her “I know you are scared but keep looking at me and jump darling.  I promise I will catch you.”  Taking a deep breath and keeping her eyes firmly fixed on her father she launched herself into the safety of her daddy’s arms.

This morning’s Gospel reading follows immediately after last Sunday’s account of the  feeding of the 5000 when, even before performing  that miracle, Jesus had been looking for a place to get away from the crowds; to rest and pray.  So, after the people had been fed, Jesus sent the disciples ahead in the boat to go across the Sea of Galilee whilst He remained behind to go up on the mountain where at last he could find some solitude.

Let us imagine we are one of the disciples.  Just a couple of days earlier they had received the  news that John the Baptist had been executed by Herod but, because of the crowds who kept demanding Jesus’ time, had been unable to mourn.  They attempted to retreat for a while by boat but, obeyed Jesus instruction to return to shore in order that, because of his compassion, he could minister to the people.  Then they were facilitators and witnesses to that incredible miracle which was considered to be so important that that it is recorded in all four gospels.  Now, not surprisingly they are emotionally and physically exhausted – and they find themselves, without Jesus who has gone alone into the mountains to pray, marooned in the middle of the lake, being battered by a mighty storm. 

Now bring the story back to us.  There we are getting on with life.  Everything is going as usual.  We have made plans to visit friends or family, perhaps take a holiday.  We have regular employment, the children or grandchildren are doing well at school and those we love are fit and healthy. Life is as smooth and calm as a mill pond. Then suddenly everything changes and the storm breaks.  A loved one falls ill. The job is no longer secure. A pandemic strikes. Our calm life is turned upside down and, not unnaturally, we are scared.  

Back to the disciples for whom a bad situation becomes worse as in the midst of their fear of being drowned they are suddenly presented with the sight of somebody walking toward them – on the water. It isn’t really surprising that under the circumstances they didn’t recognise Jesus, and were absolutely petrified believing that he might be a ghost.  But Jesus quickly re-assures them. “Take courage, do not be afraid, it is I”. And that is exactly what he does today. When our lives are suddenly turned upside down. When tragedy strikes. When we are frightened or need encouragement Jesus still speaks to us

And isn’t this what some of history’s most faithful people have demonstrated.  Not all of them were great believers but they knew that God might be encountered anywhere and sometimes the most turbulent periods of our lives are also the places where God breaks through.

In saying to the disciples “take heart” he is not dismissing their situation or the danger they were in but he is dismissing their fear and the words “It is I” would have resonated with them as these were the words God spoke to Moses at the site of the burning bush. As we see Jesus walking towards his friends in the midst of their danger so God draws close to us.

In his place I am pretty sure I would not have reacted at Peter did. I don’t know about you, but given the position the disciples were in, and knowing that on a previous occasion  they had seen Jesus calm a storm and rescue them from danger  I think my response would have been, “Lord, if it is you, get us out of this!”  But not impetuous Peter who so often seems to speak or act before he has really thought the situation through. 

Some commentators suggest that Peter is actually testing Jesus but that doesn’t seem a very sensible theory.  What if he was wrong? Perhaps it was fear rather than faith that propelled Peter out of that boat. He, like the rest of the disciples, knew what these storms could do, he had heard the stories, probably seen the damage first hand, possibly attended funerals of friends lost in similar circumstances and like the rest of the disciples he was desperate.   And so climbing over the side of the boat and lowering himself into the rough waves Peter shakily makes his way towards Jesus. When you think about it the same often applies to us. Our faith is sometimes the desperate step out of the boat and into the sea of trusting that Christ is here to catch us

At the beginning Peter was fine but then his focus slipped from Jesus as he began to notice the strong wind and the large waves and like the meaning of his name petros (or rock) Peter started to sink calling out in his fear “Lord save me”.

Nothing had really changed from the moment Peter climbed out of the boat. It wasn’t as though the storm had suddenly got up or the waves become bigger. It was just that his focus had moved from trusting Jesus to concentrating on the danger he was in.

This serves to remind us that whilst it is important not to dismiss the situations which cause us fear, sorrow or pain. It is important however that as we recognise and acknowledge them we keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. The Son of God who is to be worshipped yet still holds out his hand and draws us close.  


                                   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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