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‘The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.



19th April at 7pm Tickets £3

Vicar’s blog: three weeks Three great weeks just beginning at Malmesbury Abbey. If you’re reading this on your i-Pad in a holiday cottage or on a Barbados beach, two things: one, we’re sorry that you’re missing so much; two, can I come next year? We begin this Sunday by playing with the furniture. The Abbey will be stripped bare after the Sunday 4pm service, then on Monday morning we have soft play for parents and toddlers, after which Sandra Chin and her team move in to construct the Labyrinth and the art exhibition arrives. A labyrinth is a maze-like structure, but unlike a maze it has only one path that loops and turns backwards and forwards to the centre and then back out. The most famous remaining intact labyrinth is that found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France, built around 1200 AD. Pilgrims used to walk it as a symbolic journey to Jerusalem, with a view to finding Christ at the centre; a spiritual pilgrimage for those who could not afford to travel to Jerusalem. The labyrinth has become increasingly popular over the past 20 years and it can be used as a tool to inspire prayer, to illuminate the

scriptures and to meet with God. The Abbey Labyrinth, for adults and children, will tell the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross and at the same time it invites us to discover more about ourselves and about God. Don’t miss the late-night labyrinth next Wednesday. From April 10th to April 20th we not only have inspirational worship on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Day, but also a small festival of the creative and performing arts. Please pore over the brochure, come to absolutely everything, and invite your neighbours and friends. We particularly need everybody in the Abbey to liberate themselves from their sofa and come to Riding Lights on Maundy Thursday; this is part of us supporting mission and discipleship through the professional performing arts. The Sunday after Easter (April 27th) is Vision Sunday at Malmesbury Abbey. In the morning we all come together to a combined 11am Holy Communion. This is risky as somebody might be in your normal chair. As part of that service I’ll be interviewing various Abbey leaders about their vision for the year ahead; there will be activities for Junior Church during this. And after a picnic lunch together (please bring one!), at our Annual meeting at 1.30pm we take an hour to pray and get down to business and elect churchwardens and church council members for the year ahead. If you have a diary, please put all this in. Thanks.

Abbey Diary THIS SUNDAY: APRIL 6th 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church, The Grid & Baptism 6pm The Mix//Campbells EACH DAY

9am Morning Prayer Labyrinth & Art Exhibition MON 7th 9.30am Soft Play WED 9th 10.30am Holy Communion 5pm-10pm Labyrinth by Candlelight 10pm Night Prayer THUR 10th 10.30am Time for Chat 4pm Evening Prayer 7pm Choir Practice SAT 12th 10am Meet the Artists 7.30pm Josh Flowers & the Wild//Tristan Cork NEXT SUNDAY: PALM SUNDAY 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Outdoor Holy Communion 4pm Café Church, Junior Church & The Grid 6.30pm Prayer for North Korea HOLY WEEK DIARY April 14th Phantom of the Opera April 15th Glory! April 16th God & Dinosaurs 2 April 17th Riding Lights ‘Inheritance’ April 18th Fauré’s Requiem April 19th BBC Wiltshire Easter Service April 20th Bishop Lee preaching April 27th Vision Sunday/AGM

John 11:17-45 17

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’ 23 Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ 24 Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ 27 ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ 28

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ 37 But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ 38

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.39 ‘Take away the stone,’ he said. ‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.’ 40 Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ 41 So they took away the stone.

Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’ 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’ 45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Additional Reading: Romans 8:6-11

small group resource + 1.



4. 5. 6.

Read verses 17-27 together. What is the most significant thing Martha says to Jesus, and what is the most significant thing Jesus says to Martha? Justify your answers. Now do the same for the second most significant thing both say. Read verses 28-37 together. What is the most significant thing Mary says and does, and what is the most significant thing that Jesus does? Again, justify your answers. Read verses 38-45 together. What, where or who was Lazarus experiencing before coming back to life? If Lazarus knew Job 19:23-27, what might he have been expecting as he died the first time? Three beatitudes: Revelation 14:13, Rev 19:9 and Rev 22:14. What do they each teach Christians about death? What does 1 Corinthians 15:21 mean? Which verse in the John passage links most directly to this verse? See verse 35. What would Jesus most weep over in our communities, in our lives?

daily readings MONDAY Psalm 73 John 14:1-14

TUESDAY Psalm 35 John 14:15-21

WEDNESDAY Psalm 55 John 15:1-17

THURSDAY FRIDAY Psalm 40 Psalm 22 John 15:18-16:16 John 16:17-33

Open Doors—North Korea Join us to pray for persecuted Christians in North Korea on Palm Sunday. Come along to St Aldhelm's Chapel in the Abbey on 13th April at 6.30pm to pray for about an hour. We will be using the booklets "Time to live like a North Korean" which are available at the back of the Abbey. This prayer time replaces the usual Monday evening meeting. More details from Mike Langtree.

Children’s Teas at 4pm There will be no children's teas during the Easter school holidays; except potentially the chocolate Easter Egg they find on Easter Day in the Easter Egg hunt! If you would like to join the team and provide teas next term, please contact Many thanks.

Vision Sunday/AGM Our annual Vision Sunday and Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday April 27th. There will be a Festival Communion at 11am, including children’s activities, a picnic lunch together and then the Annual Meeting from 1.30pm-2.30pm. During that meeting we will be electing our churchwardens for the year ahead and also seeking to elect 4 people to our Deanery Synod and PCC, and 3 others to our PCC. Please talk to Neill if you are interested in serving for 3 years on this important decision making body for our church.

Baptism in September 2014 The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be with us in Malmesbury on Saturday 13th September at 4pm for an outdoor celebration with baptisms in the river. Anybody who is interested in being baptised, or reaffirming an earlier baptism, is asked to e-mail at this time to register an interest. Registration forms will be available shortly and the Pilgrim course, which will be the preparation for the baptism, will take place at 8pm on July 7, 14, 21, 28 and September 1 & 8. Neill will be leading this with Lee Barnes who is coordinating candidates for the North Wilts Deanery.

Noticeboard Electoral Roll The Electoral Roll of Malmesbury Abbey is the formal list we keep of all those adults who consider the Abbey to be their normal place of worship. Those on the Electoral Roll can vote in our annual elections for churchwardens and church council members, and they are also eligible to stand for election themselves. We are currently updating the list, which is also useful communications data for us, and would really want to encourage everybody who isn’t on the Electoral Roll to fill in a form at the Abbey this Sunday. If you are reading this while away on holiday and would like to be added to the roll, please e-mail Sandie,, and we’ll make a note and catch up with the paperwork on your return. Many thanks.

Douglas Holt—thank you Douglas would like to thank the churchwardens, stewards, sacristan, admin, catering team, sound desk and all those involved in making his retirement service a wonderful celebration last Tuesday.

Friday e-Mailing If you would like to receive an e-mail every Friday from the Parish Office, with a link to this News Sheet online and other additional notices and links, please contact Sandie Brown at

10 years On Easter Day, Neill will be celebrating exactly 10 years as vicar of Malmesbury Abbey. At the 10.30am service that day, Bishop Lee will be saying a short prayer for Neill as the next 10 years begins(!) Later in the day, at 8pm after Choral Evensong, Neill, Marilyn and the girls will be at the Whole Hog for a celebratory glass together. All, in party mood, are very welcome to come along.

MALMESBURY ABBEY MAUNDY THURSDAY 7.30pm £10 ADULTS, £5 STUDENTS/UNDER 18 Available from the Abbey Bookshop


Abbey News Sheet 6th April 2014