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‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.’

16/03/14 MALMESBURY ABBEY


The Labyrinth, 2012

Vicar’s blog: Holy Week Festival In a two weeks the brochures for our Holy Week Festival 2014 will be available online and for delivery. But as I am already getting a lot of questions like ‘Dinosaurs?’ ‘Phantom of the Opera??’ here are a few answers: During the week before Palm Sunday the Abbey will be dominated by the large Labyrinth (see above) where we will each get the chance to make a devotional journey to the cross as we wind our way around concentric circles. This is designed for both adults and children. On the evening of Wednesday 9th April we will have a candlelit late-night Labyrinth concluding with Night Prayer with Plainsong at 10pm. I met for a couple of hours this week with the A-level art students from Malmesbury School as they make their final preparations to their Stations of the Cross pieces. This really impressive body of work, depicting Christ’s journey from Gethsemane to Calvary, opens Tuesday 8th April, and on Saturday 12th at 10am I get to interview the artists informally over coffee and hot chocolate. Come along. The truly amazing Josh Flowers & the Wild return on the Saturday evening for a blistering evening of blues/rock/organic folk supported by the scrumpy & western


Wurzel-rapping of Tristan Cork. Wow! Don’t miss this, and bring friends along who might be allergic to church. After our Palm Sunday worship Monday gets a little unusual as in a darkened Abbey we project the 1925 B&W Phantom of the Opera with live organ improvisation from Anthony Hammond; and yes, that’s his real surname. Tuesday night will be an explosion of worship with Glory! at 7.30pm and then on the Wednesday Night the dinosaur man, Mike Taylor, is back to talk about his latest discoveries in God & Dinosaurs 2. He will mess with a few heads as he holds the Bible, evolution, and dinosaurs all nicely together in one Christian palaeontologist’s brain. Riding Lights are bringing a major Passion Play, Inheritance, to the Abbey on Maundy Thursday. This will be an evening of engrossing drama intermingled with short times of prayer and worship, and will devotionally prepare us for our services on Good Friday, including Fauré’s Requiem with the Abbey Choir at 6pm. BBC Wiltshire are recording a special Easter Celebration on Easter Eve at 7pm, this is ticketed and is raising money for the May Moore Trust. And then on Easter Day Bishop Lee is preaching at 10.30am, and we have 4 other services. I suggest we all find a corner of a sofa in the café and simply move in for the duration. I will.

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Abbey Diary THIS SUNDAY: MARCH 16th 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church & the Grid 6pm The Mix//Campbells EACH DAY 9am Morning Prayer TUES 18th 7.30pm Parenting Course WED 19th 10.30am Holy Communion 7.30pm Malmesbury School Chamber Concert 7.30pm Refresh! at URC THUR 20th 10.30am Time for Chat 4pm Evening Prayer 7pm Choir Practice FRI 21st 10.30am Creative Response SAT 22nd 10am Healing in the Streets NEXT SUNDAY: MARCH 23rd 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Morning Prayer & Baptisms 4pm Informal Worship ADVANCE ABBEY DIARY April 7th Labyrinth opens April 8th Stations of the Cross begins April 12th Josh Flowers & the Wild 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 June 3rd Glory!


John 3:1-17 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’ 4

‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ 5

Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’ 9 ‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.10 ‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’ 16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

daily readings MONDAY Psalm 32 John 4:1-42

TUESDAY Psalm 50 John 4:43-54

WEDNESDAY Psalm 25 John 5:1-30

THURSDAY Psalm 34 John 5:31-47

FRIDAY Psalm 41 John 6:1-21


Additional Reading: Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about – but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 13

It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

small group resource + 1. Why do we think Nicodemus came to see Jesus on his own? What was the purpose of his visit - was he a genuine enquirer or was he trying to trip Jesus up? Is it significant that he came at night? What does this passage tell us about how we ourselves should approach Jesus? 2. Verses 14 & 15 refer to a story from Numbers 21:4-9. Have a look at that passage and think about why Jesus might have used that particular image to refer to His coming crucifixion. 3. In verse 5 Jesus talks about the need to be 'born again'. Take some time in your group to share your experience of what it has meant for you to be 'born again'. 4. Bishop Mike is encouraging all of us to become more confident in sharing our faith. Following on from Q3, think together about how you might tell your faith story to a friend who asks you. (You might want to get into pairs for this bit.) Help each other to see what are the most compelling bits about your faith story, and how you can tell it well to someone who is interested. 5. Spend some time praying for more confidence in sharing your faith, and for some of the people who might be interested to hear your story.


Posies on Mothering Sunday Message from Diana Crowe: We would like to have posies to give out at the services on Mothering Sunday, and I need a willing team to put these together as well as donations of flowers and some greenery. I suggest a workshop in the Abbey on Saturday morning, 22 March, from 9.30am to midday. Please let me know if you can help in any way, so that I can see if the exercise will be workable. Diana Crowe 01666 825470/07805793687 or leave a note in the 'Wardens' pigeon hole or with the Stewards.

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, 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 4 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.

5.25pm A reminder to parents and carers of children in Bubbles & Splash, at our 4pm service, that they now need to pick up their children at 5.25pm and bring them back to the Abbey.

Baptism by the Archbishop 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 by Daniel’s well. Anybody who is interested in being baptised, or reaffirming an earlier baptism, is asked to e-mail neill@malmebsuryabbey.com at this time to register an interest. Registration forms will be available soon 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 Come to New Wine, 3rd-9th August There are already 20 or so Abbey folk on their way to an inspiring, refreshing and fun week together of deepening friendships with each other, and with God. As an Abbey we want to encourage as many people, young and old, to come and join us. You can caravan, camp, commute, or get accommodation nearby in Shepton Mallet. If you're interested in going, please let me know. To book on-line go to: http://www.new-wine.org/summer/united-2014-week-2 See you there!!! Revd John Monaghan

Giving All the ministries of Malmesbury Abbey, and our Mission Giving, are sustained by the regular generous giving of our congregations. If you would like to enquire confidentially about setting up a standing order/giftaid please e-mail chrisjager@malmesburyabbey.com or phone 01666 823778. Thank you.

March 9 March 16 March 23 March 30 April 6 April 13 April 20 April 27

John the Baptist Nicodemus the Woman at the Well Mary, Mother of Jesus Lazarus the Crowd Mary Thomas

John 1:19-34 John 3:1-17 John 4:1-26 John 19:25-27 John 11:17-45 John 12:12-16 John 20:1-18 John 20:19-31

Real Lives


Contact ABBEY OFFICE Mon &Tues (9.30am-12noon) Weds, Thurs ,Fri, (9.30am-2.30pm) 01666 826666 www.malmesburyabbey.com sandie@malmesburyabbey.com Staff members can be contacted by name@malmesburyabbey.com NORMAL CAFÉ HOURS Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9am-3pm Wednesday: 12-3pm Sunday: Closed all day clare@malmesburyabbey.com

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 office@malmesburyabbey.com.

Refresh! The first Refresh! event of 2014 will be held at the URC, St Mary’s Street on Wednesday 19th March at 7.30pm. Ann Holt, OBE (Bible Society) will be giving us an introduction to the Psalms during the evening. There will also be time for quiet reflection and prayer. Invitations are available at the back of the Abbey should you wish to invite a neighbour or friend. Please contact Sandie at the office to book a place or for more information.

12th CENTURY BEAUTY 21st CENTURY CHURCH


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