Good News Sheet








Sunday after Ascension Day (Easter 6)

Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.



O God the King of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom of heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt

to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you ,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.



Bible readings

Acts 1 :6-14

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”


22 John 17:1-11

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

Reflection by Carol Shepherd         

Last week we heard Jesus preparing the disciples about the time that was coming when he would die and leave them, but not leave them abandoned. He would send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit that would lead them in all truth.


In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus is praying for his disciples. He knew that their lives were not going to be easy. He calls God ‘Holy Father’. He asks God to protect them.

Jesus speaks about eternal life to all whom God had given him. It’s almost as if Jesus is speaking of someone else. He says ‘Father, the hour has come for you to Glorify you Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all you have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’.  It’s the time when Jesus identifies his divinity from his earthliness. He asks God to glorify Him in God’s presence with the same glory He had before the world was created.

He knows that he will be leaving them in the world that is challenging and unknowing about the reasons for His being on earth, but He has told them of the helper he will send after he has returned to His Father.

In the first reading, in Acts, we are told that after Jesus has been crucified, risen from the dead, he spent 40 days and nights in His resurrection body, and the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.

This is what would make all the difference to the disciples. And it makes a whole lot of difference to us who believe. They didn’t know what the Holy Spirit was like or how it would change them from frightened men to men who could travel and speak with Godly authority about Jesus, about repentance, of the saving grace of God and Jesus being The Way, The Truth and The Life. The Holy Spirit would give them boldness, courage, but it would also put them in danger because of Him. Hence the reason he had asked God to protect them in the reading in John’s Gospel.


On the actual day that Jesus returned to be at the right-hand of God, He was lifted up and a cloud that took Him out of their sight.

Can you imagine what was in their minds? One minute He was telling them they would be given power from on high and it would take them all over the world, the next He was being lifted up on a cloud. Here was Jesus, looking the same as they had always known him.


After living with him for 3 years, sharing meals with him, watching and learning as he preached and taught, healed and then finally tortured and killed, and now he was disappearing in a way that they couldn’t comprehend. I should think they were so amazed, worried, even a little disbelieving of what was actually happening. They were so intent on looking up, they didn’t see two men in white robes arrive who asked them why are they still looking up towards heaven. It doesn’t say they were angels or heavenly beings, but they were obviously sent by God to bring the disciples ‘back down to earth’.


So, they returned to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit. Little did they know the life changing effect it would have on them and future generations.

If we have that same Holy Spirit, then we have been commissioned to do the same as they were commissioned. To share the Good News in whatever way we are led to do. By living and loving our neighbour and sharing God’s love with whoever God places in our lives.

Having faith in Christ Jesus is being alive in Him.

Whatever He was before He calls dead.

Before Jesus equals dead, after Jesus equals life.

Before Jesus equals darkness, after equals light.

Before Jesus we were imprisoned by our sins. After Jesus we are freed from them.

Before Jesus we lived by our own agenda. After Jesus we followed His way.

Before Jesus we lived by our own feelings and desires. After Jesus we are guided by the Holy Spirit.

Knowing Jesus gives us a hope of better things. Hope is something that today is being looked for by many people in the wrong places. ‘I hope it will go away. I hope I have a job to go back to. I hope I won’t get the virus. I hope the children’s future won’t be damaged by lack of education’. So many looking in the wrong direction for hope.

We have the hope of eternal life. Not once we die, but now. ‘And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’.

We know God. We Know Jesus. We are called to love God with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength and with all our soul. When we follow Jesus, our soul comes alive and it makes all the difference. It’s the Holy Spirit that sets our hearts, our souls, on fire for Jesus. It’s the third part of the Trinity.


Next Sunday it is the birthday of the Christian Church.

This will be the first year it hasn’t been celebrated in God’s house, due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit. He is with us now, for eternity.

That is the whole reason for Jesus to return to His Father in heaven. So that the Holy Spirit could be released and sent to those who accept Jesus Christ as Saviour of the Word.

That is something really to celebrate. Not with birthday cake and balloons, but with thankfulness and joy and love for God and one another.



Intercessions by Tony West


Lord Hear Us

We are reminded of the Ascension of Your Son, who said ‘I am no longer of the world’. How did the Apostles and Jesus’ family feel at that time? Were they fearful? Apparently not. For many of us today, we are feeling uncertain about this difficult time and future post Covid; should we perhaps feel more confident and have more faith through prayer?

Lord Graciously Hear us

Lord hear us

In our Benefice we are blessed to have, Sandra, Rosemary and Carol, plus all the church officers and helpers who assist us in our worship and lives at these exceptionally difficult times. We ask that you give them strength to guide us and our congregations through present times. We especially pray for our schools and other institutions that have not had contact with our church’s extended ministry. We pray that they will soon continue their activities as before.   

Lord Graciously Hear us

Lord Hear us

As we pray for your blessing on all those co-operating throughout the world to provide, support, research, medical aid and co-operation to assist in limiting the effects of the pandemic. Charitable bodies are in dire need of support and assistance to help the sick and disadvantaged, we pray that they are able to continue their work.

Lord Graciously Hear us


Lord Hear us

As we pray for those key workers, our emergency services, the armed services, and local authorities and volunteers, who are serving and protecting us all and elsewhere in the world.

Lord Graciously Hear us


Lord Hear us

As we pray for those suffering in mind body or spirit, through illness, poor facilities, lack of housing, poverty, or unemployment. We pray for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones.

Lord Graciously Hear us


 At this Ascensiontide, perhaps we should consider the words of Thomas Aquinus when he claimed - “Christ’s Ascension is the cause of our Salvation”   Amen



All who have recently been bereaved, and especially:

the families and friends of Gladys Baldwin, Margaret Stainer, Eric Irving and Peter Sharp, Audrey Newman, Marion Nicol-Parfrement.


Those who are sick, and all who care for them, remembering:

Pamela Campbell, Peggy Johnson, Lucy Dalrymple, Bob Rae, Matt, Ian McBean, Jacqueline Dacey, Heather, Alex, Anna Holmes, Jane Busby, Becky, Linda Howard, Doreen Hewitt, Barbara, Sarah, Molly Bonsor, Louis Venni, Christine Lister, Martin, Diana Metson, Frances Aldridge, David Glaister, Michael Barling, David Bourn , Ashlyn, Ann Godfrey, Geoff Fuller, Madge, Chris Godfrey, Hazel, Jagan Asthana, Jenny, Sally, Helen, Adrian Skeates, Daniel Hobbs, Sarah Noon. 


Let us pray for the coming of the kingdom in the words our Saviour taught us:                       


Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

for ever and ever. Amen.


The God of peace,

who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

through the blood of the eternal covenant,

make us perfect in every good work to do his will,

working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be amongst us and remain with us and those we love, now and always. Amen.




Foodbank contributions are much needed, at present they are asking particularly for Tinned Potatoes, instant mashed potato and sponge puddings. Please drop donations to The Rectory and they will be picked up from there.  


Lifespring Kids LIVE – Sundays @9am Lifespring church is streaming a kids service every Sunday for children of primary school age (+/- a couple of years). This is a live and interactive show full of fun, laughs, quizzes and featuring a pre-recorded video lesson from the Bible. At the moment we are working through a series of messages to help children & families navigate lockdown, exploring topics such as anger, trust, revenge, love, generosity and more! The show is accessible for children to enjoy whether they normally attend a church or not and is a great way for families who wouldn't normally engage with church to do so. We also provide follow-up resources via our website each week to help parents and children talk about and apply the teaching as a family. You can watch past shows on our Facebook & YouTube channels and if families in your church would like to tune in, all are welcome!


Revd. Sandra has copies of the Christian Newspaper ‘Heart’, please let her know if you would like a copy.


The Slinfold Magazine is available on the website


At a time when so many people around the world are turning to prayer for the first time, we can pray for them, our nation, community, churches, families and friends and ourselves to meet with Jesus and find new life and new hope.


Image result for 24-7 prayerHORSHAM CHURCHES TOGETHER 24-7 PRAYERSign up now for an hour of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost:       



Sign up now. Going live on 21st May. Prayer ideas, thoughts and encouragement from others. The ideas and resources can be found on the Horsham Churches Together website for those without access to Facebook:



The Family Prayer Adventure Map can be downloaded and printed at home (A4 size) and works with an augmented reality app whether printed in colour or black and white.

St Mary’s has 70 of the A3 versions of the map available to anyone who would like them – please contact Fiona Prentice, Families & Children’s Worker:


Daily Hope National phone line for hymns and prayers. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus. Daily Hope, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. Call on: 0800 804 8044


FEGANS RESOURCES TO SUPPORT CHILDREN AND PARENTS The Fegans Digital Family Hub has a whole host of online resources to support parents during these tricky times, including a free Parenting in a Pandemic email course Additionally, Fegans Parent Support Workers are ready to answer questions from mums and dads with problems or concerns, all for free on In response to the pandemic, Fegans is also offering online therapy for children (year 7 and above) via video conferencing, and using the same technology to deliver 1-1 parent support too.  More information can be found at   and self-referrals can be made by emailing


Daily videos are being communicated across the diocese each day on their social media channels and web site.  You may find them comforting and encouraging at this time. They can all be found to watch again on the link below. The daily videos will continue through Eastertide and up to and including Ascension Day and Pentecost. All the videos can be watched again here


HEARING YOU - A local response to the Coronavirus crisis

The Diocese of Chichester with Together in Sussex are launching Hearing You, a new pastoral phone line to enable the people of Sussex to feel connected and supported.

It is a phoneline that will provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It will be staffed by volunteers who are trained in pastoral care and listening skills: clergy and licensed lay ministers.

All volunteer listeners will
•    have an active DBS and have completed safeguarding training with the Diocese of Chichester
•    be able to point callers to their parish clergy
•    direct callers to other organisations offering specialist support if appropriate
•    offer to pray for the caller or for their concerns.
NB  This is not a substitute for the emergency services (111 or 999) or a counselling service.  It is a human, Christian response to anyone who turns to the Church in this time of need.

Hospital chaplains within the diocese will also be able to direct people to the service.  The phonelines will be open to anyone living in Sussex whether they currently attend a church or not.  The service will initially run from today to the end of May, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 7.00pm. The Hearing You number is: 01273 425047

For details about volunteering, please contact: Luci Fievet on 01273 421021 or email

ALSO We are launching a simple statement for people to take into hospital with them.  Some people will need it printed by a friend, neighbour or parish priest.

We advise that every household should have one of these statements ready for use.

This statement will explicitly declare a person’s Christian faith, and request access to a Church of England chaplain while in hospital.   

A template for this statement is available on the Diocesan website or Revd. Sandra can supply one for you.


While we are unable to worship in church there are other alternatives for prayer: the following link will direct you to services of Morning Prayer, Prayer During the Day, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer in which you will be joining with people all over the world.


Churches together in England are offering prayers for this ongoing situation, along with Christians all over our nation and our world at this time. A range of prayer resources are being collated within this article:


Carol Shepherd can be contacted on 01403 730001 or email


Revd. Rosemary can be contacted on 01403 264396  or email   Rosemary’s day off is Monday


This document is also available on the websites, if you know anyone who might want a copy, please print one off and drop it through their door, or let us know.