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Three churchmen brought Wittering churches together again for a Service by the beach - Fr Steve Davies of St Anne's - Pastor John Gunning, of the United Reformed Church and Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith from St Richard's and also St Peter's. Marie O'Grady, of St Peter's notes - "We were also joined by Rev Peter Malinson, chaplain to Sainsbury’s supermarkets, who was on holiday in the area. The service was both lively and prayerful and, led by the choir from St Peters with Linda and Daphne on guitars, everyone joined in the singing. This second annual outdoor summer Service attracted forty parishioners, in good weather."
The opening hymn "All things bright and beautiful" - welcomed everyone - including youngsters who left the attractions of the fine beach behind them!
The bible reading was by David Colman of St Anne's, and there other readings from the Gospels and Psalms
The singers were in good voice after morning Mass or Service.
"Psalm 96 was read by Cheril Marusic, after Annette Tranchant, also from United Reformed Church, had read the poem by Joanna Fuchs - "Summer Pleasures". Some verses reflected the ongoing activities just below the worshippers!"
....Kids in constant summer motion,
Free from teacher’s rule,
Head to toe in suntan lotion,
At the beach or pool.
After Geoffrey Breeze (St Peter's) read the closing prayer, and the final blessing from Fr Alexander, there was a chance to meet a welcome holiday guest - Rev Mother Superior Zema, of the Anglican Community of the Resurrection in South Africa; Father Alexander was at the Catholic University in Kenya.
Marie reminds us that "there has always been a very good relationship between St Peters and the U.R.C. Church, and this had been strengthened when they 'shared' St Peter’s church for their services during the rebuilding of their own church. For many years St Peter's and St Anne’s have enjoyed a shared a carol service during Advent, and in recent years, due to the Wittering Churches Together group, there has been a greater initiative to gather for joint services, which can only prove beneficial in cementing ecumenical relations in this area."