For the 10.00am Parish Eucharist and Confirmation Service for today click here

Rector: Revd Keith Robus RN
Telephone No: 01752 509724

Sunday 21st February     First Sunday of Lent

Thought for the Day
Hope springs eternal – (Shortened from 'hope
springs eternal in the human breast', a quote from
An Essay on Man (1734) by Alexander Pope).
Judging by the number of National Lottery Tickets
sold, in its various forms, there is much hope for
big winnings and ergo, happiness. I confess that I,
from time to time, have a flutter and comes to
nothing (thus far). Nether-the-less it does let one
dream of how things might be in a fantasy way. A
by-product of the National Lottery does provide
for good causes, and in past parishes I managed to
obtain funding which made an enormous
Christian hope ‘in the Word made flesh’ is
different again, for receiving his grace is not a
lottery, but a constant stream of love,
encouragement and protection. It is within our
nature to get onto our knees and ask for such
grace. This week we have three ember days.
Ember days are remarkable for they were carried
over from pre-reformation times by Cranmer, into
the new Church of England. The origins of which
are somewhat obscure in the Early Church. The
pre-Reformation church fixed the spring fast in the
first week of March (then the first month), thus
loosely associated with the first Sunday in Lent;
the summer fast in the second week of June, after
Whit Sunday; the autumnal fast in the third week
of September following the Exaltation of the
Cross, (September 14); and the winter fast in the
complete week next before Christmas Eve,
following St. Lucy's Day (Dec. 13).
This came to be remembered in an old English
Fasting days and Emberings be
Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie
"Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy" is a shorter mnemonic
for when they fall.
The usage for Ember days are four “times” set
apart for special prayer and fasting and for
ordination of the clergy.
The ordination of clergy was set for these times
and in living memory such ordinations took place
in those appointed times. The much-missed Canon
Gordon Ruming was ordained at the St Lucy
Embertide date.
In the Church of England ‘Common worship’
provision for Embertide, within the Collects, there
is this offering:
Almighty God,
you have entrusted to your Church
a share in the ministry of your Son our great high
inspire by your Holy Spirit the hearts of many
to offer themselves for the ministry of your
that, strengthened by his power,
they may work for the increase of your kingdom
and set forward the eternal praise of your name;
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. Amen.
It is indeed a carefully crafted prayer and is
poignant in our time, for the Church constantly
needs men and women to be set aside to share in
the ministry of Jesus Christ.
May we, either on Monday, Wednesday (and join
in with the livestreamed 10am Eucharist) or Friday
use this prayer, in hope, to encourage those in our
congregations to offer themselves for ministry
within the church.
Father Keith

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience
to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;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.

Genesis 9:8-17
A reading from the book of Genesis.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,
‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with
you and your descendants after you, and with
every living creature that is with you, the birds, the
domestic animals, and every animal of the earth
with you, as many as came out of the ark. I
establish my covenant with you, that never again
shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood,
and never again shall there be a flood to destroy
the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the
covenant that I make between me and you and
every living creature that is with you, for all future
generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and
it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and
the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and
the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my
covenant that is between me and you and every
living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall
never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and
remember the everlasting covenant between God
and every living creature of all flesh that is on the
earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the
covenant that I have established between me and
all flesh that is on the earth.’
Psalm 25:1-9
R Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

To you, O L ORD , I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly
treacherous. R

Make me to know your ways, O L ORD ;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O L ORD , and of your
steadfast love,
for they have been from of old. R

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O L ORD !
Good and upright is the L ORD ;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way. R
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the L ORD are steadfast love and
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. R
1 Peter 3:18-end
A reading from the first letter of Peter.
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the
righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you
to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made
alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made
a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in
former times did not obey, when God waited
patiently in the days of Noah, during the building
of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people,
were saved through water. And baptism, which this
prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of
dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for agood conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus
Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right
hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Mark 1:9-15
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to Mark.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just
as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the
heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a
dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You
are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the
wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty
days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild
beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to
Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and
saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of
God has come near; repent, and believe in the good
Lord Jesus, you come to us in the holy Eucharist,
and I long for you.
Since I cannot now welcome you within myself
by physically receiving the sacrament,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O almighty redeemer, friend and brother,
leave no part of me untouched
by the wonder of your presence.

Lord God,
you have renewed us with the living bread from
by it you nourish our faith,
increase our hope,
and strengthen our love:
teach us always to hunger for him who is the true
and living bread,
and enable us to live by every word that proceeds
from out of your mouth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday 28th February  Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 17:1-7. 15-16
Psalm 22:23-end
Romans 4:13-end
Mark 8:31-end

Please ring for support:-

Revd Keith: 509724
Wendy: 218432
Liz: 509852

Terry and Pat, Janet V, Jean and Peter B, Philip S,
Margaret W, Eric and Jean F, John G, baby Eli,
David O, Kelly C, our CMS worker Ruth, all those
who are ill or affected by the present virus
outbreak, and all those who have asked for our

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms
are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We give thanks for the life of David Hambly.

Almighty and eternal God,
from whose love in Christ we cannot be
parted,either by death or life:
hear our prayers and thanksgivings
for all whom we remember this day;
fulfil in them the purpose of your love;
and bring us all, with them, to your eternal
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


If you would like to have the candle lit for a week
for a particular prayer / thanksgiving /
commemoration, etc., please send a £5 donation to
Debbie Smith, clearly marking your donation as
being for the candle. Details of your intention can
be emailed to:-
so that a mention of the commemoration, etc., can
appear in the Sunday Sheet.

Stoke Damerel Parish Church is a hybrid church
open for public worship and private prayer and all
services will be live streamed.

By attending a live streamed service, you give
implied permission to have your image captured
on CCTV and to be broadcast as participant in the

In order to watch the livestreamed services please
‘click’ on this link to
make your way to YouTube site:

If you have any problems reaching this site, go to
the YouTube site and search ‘Stoke Damerel

Sun 21 February 2021 The First Sunday of Lent
0800 Holy Eucharist
1000 Sung Holy Eucharist
Sung hymns are provided by St Martin’s Singers
1145 ZOOM Coffee Morning in the comfort of
your own home.

Tues 23 February
St Polycarp
1800-1830 Private Prayer
1830-1900 Holy Eucharist

Wed 24 February
an Ember Day
1000-1030 Holy Eucharist

Thurs 25 February
09.00-09.30 Private Prayer
09.30-10.00 Holy Eucharist

Sun 28 February
Second Sunday of Lent
0800 Holy Eucharist
1000 Sung Holy Eucharist

Sung hymns and organ music
The Church of England, working with St Martin-
in-the-Fields and the Royal School of Church
Music, is delighted to be providing a resource of
rights-free music for use on streamed services.

The Village Hub Food Bank
Please remember when out shopping to place into
your basket some items for our local food bank;
The Hub in Stoke Village. All donations are
gratefully received by our ‘small yet perfectly
formed’ resource.

Lent Activity –
The people Jesus encounters on his way to

We have been invited to join a group of churches
for Lent meditations focusing on Jesus’ walk to
Calvary and his crucifixion. There will be
meditations on the people Jesus encounters on the
Way of the Cross and how they show what it is to
have a serving encounter with the Lord (or not).
Update Under the premise that no plan survives
after first engagement with the enemy, (which
means there is a change of plan). I have now seen
the first presentation and I will invite you to a
zoom meeting and together we will watch the item.
We then have time for discussion afterwards.
There will not be a celebration of the Eucharist but
we end with Compline.
The first of these meditations and discussions will
take place on Monday 22 February at 1900 in the
comfort of your own homes. It will be by Zoom
and an invitation will be sent to all on the Sunday
before. The format will be that of a Eucharist
service from the Rectory. The space for the sermon
will be the meditation with discussion and prayers
to follow and culmination with Spiritual
I suggest a Zoom service for this will allow more
to participate and for us to widen our usual circle!
The subjects are:

Monday 22 February:Pilate who condemns Jesus
                                        to death
Monday 1 March:    Mary whom Jesus meets on
                                        the way
Monday 8 March:    Simon of Cyrene who helps
                                        carry his cross
Monday 15 March:   Veronica who wipes the face
                                         of Jesus
Monday 22 March:   The Centurion who oversees
                                         the crucifixion
Monday 29 March:   The Penitent Thief – who                                                                                                                                                                                      dies with Jesus

I hope as many as possible will join us. After the
discussion a link to the meditation will be posted
for those who wish to listen again.

Meals on tables with wheels...
The Parish Centre Management Team have
invested in a new table trolley to aid with the safe
storage of the Gopak tables. With the new trolley
fourteen table may be wheeled into the church with
ease. The new trolley will also allow the tables to
be stored against the wall thus letting in more light
into the small hall.

Ivan Babichev returns to the concert platform
Ivan will be performing three further short
lunchtime recitals on 28 February and 14 and 28
March all at 1.30pm and livestreamed from Stoke
Damerel Church. Ivan, a pupil of Chetham’s
School of Music in Manchester, lives locally and is
the grandson of Janet Vickers.

Father Keith

Mothering Sunday         Sun 14 th March
Palm Sunday                     Sun 28th March
Maundy Thursday          Thurs 1st April
Good Friday                       Fri 2nd April
Easter Sunday                   Sun 4th April
APCM                                    Sun 18th April
Summer Fair                     Sat 3rd July
Heritage Day                     Sat 11th September
Mayflower 401                  Sun 19th September
Harvest Thanksgiving   Sun 3rd October
St. Luke’s Day                     Sun 17th October
Remembrance Sunday  Sun 14th November
Christmas Fair                  Sat 20th November
St. Andrew’s Night           Sat 27th November
World AIDS Day                Sun 28th November
Carol Service                      Sun 19th December

Alternative Lent Course with the Archdeacon
I, (The Venerable Nick Shutt, your Archdeacon of
Plymouth) will be co-hosting a Lent course with
my Curate, Revd Jonny Devereux, via Zoom on a
Thursday afternoon between 2 and 3pm.
The course starts on 18th February and then every
Thursday until the end of the course on the18th
March (18/2; 25/2; 4/3; 11/3 and 18/3).
Anyone is welcome but specifically this is aimed
at those of you who have not managed to book on
a course in your own parish or mission community
in the archdeaconry.
Please support your local Mission Community if
possible but you are welcome to join with us too if
you wish.
We will be using the Lent Course developed by the
Diocese: “These are our stories” which helps us
reflect on the pandemic and how we
have lived through it.
If you are interested, please contact Debbie in the
office so the Zoom link can be sent out to you.
Debbie Delaney

Walking with Jesus on the way to Calvary.
Jesus set out on a journey from the residence of
Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem to the hill of Calvary
outside the city wall. It was a journey of just under
two miles. On the way he met with several people.
These encounters were significant. It would have
been hot, dusty and crowded.
From early Christian times pilgrims wanted to
literally follow in his footsteps, think about what
had happened and pray. Today it is still possible to
go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and walk the
way of the cross. Yet this is costly, involves a long
journey and requires a level of fitness. Just as the
Christmas crib helps us reflect on Jesus’ birth, so
The Way of the Cross helps us think about his
passion and death. So the idea came about to do
this locally in your own Christian churches.
This is what we plan to do this Lent at Stoke. We
imagine ourselves in the scene, think what it would
be like and what we would say to Jesus or the
other people around. How we would respond?
What difference it would make? Then move on.
This springtime, although we cannot meet in
person, we can be together in a different way on
Zoom and experience, reflect and respond to God
and each other in our journey with faith. May we
be blessed on our journey.
Wendy Pezzey

Who was Pontius Pilate?
He was a Roman official and the fifth governor of
the province of Judea serving under the Emperor
Tiberius. He held this post from AD 26 to 36. His
duties would be mainly military, but he was also
head of the judicial system. The administration
allowed limited power to the Jewish Sanhedrin.
His main residence would have been in Caesarea.
He was responsible for the building of a new
aqueduct to provide water to Jerusalem.
He is best remembered for being the official who
presided over the trial of Jesus and who reluctantly
ordered his crucifixion. He is mentioned in both
the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Ancient
writers Josephus and Philo of Alexandria describe
the tensions and violence between the Jewish
people and the Roman administrators at that time.
Later Pilate was removed from office and recalled
to Rome to give an account to Tiberius. By the
time he arrived Tiberius had died and we hear no
In 1961 archaeologists discovered the so-called
Pilate Stone with written inscriptions containing
his name in Caesarea. Coins minted during his
governorship have also been found.
Today he is remembered in the Bible and when we
recite the creed in worship. He is pictured in the
first Station of the Cross. Every ten years he
appears in the Oberammergau Passion Play with
dramatic effect.
Wendy Pezzey

The Diocesan website has a selection of creative
activites for children to undertake during Lent at
the following link:-

The Devonport Park based children’s theatre has a
new production which may be of interest to anyone
with children or grandchildren. The Stiltskin
Theatre Company are presenting the classic fairy
tale Hansel and Gretel. Here is the link with
instructions on how to access the film:-

Fairtrade Fortnight from Monday 22 nd

Let’s make a difference and support the purchase
of Fairtrade products: chocolate, coffee, tea,
bananas and certain clothing items. By buying
these products, we are supporting the farmers,
factory machinists and many other associated low
paid workers. We are helping to improve
working conditions for those in the developing world, along
with fairer prices and more sustainable businesses.
Have a look at
Marilyn Goldsbrough

Saturday February 20th Birthday Greetings
Wishing Father Keith a very happy birthday.
We appreciate all your hard work: have a rest
Marilyn Goldsbrough

Tony Barnard, Father Keith, Christina Richardson,
Yvonne Porter.

Last week, when the weather was very cold, and
temperatures were below the norm, I commented
on the amount of food the local birds were getting
through each day, primarily in order to help them
survive each coming night. The extreme cold is,
for now, just a memory and we haven’t noticed
any reduction in bird numbers, so they presumably
managed to eat enough seed to survive.
Now, the temperature has gone the other way and
days and nights are warmer than usual for
February, and the birds do seem to be eating less.
This is especially noticeable when checking the
peanut container which now only needs refilling
every other day instead of twice daily. However,
when I refill the container, after finding it empty,
many of the small birds descend instantly, most of
them probably waiting in the adjacent Magnolia
like the handsome Blue-tit pictured below.

The visiting Wood Pigeons seem to do their best to
trample the newly emerging plants. Watching them
move around the garden, they just seem to bumble
through everything in their path whilst searching
for food.
Added to this, the number of raiding squirrels has
increased from the occasional single visitor to five
or six at a time. They all tussle with each other,
tumbling through the plants without concern.
By comparison, the trio of magpies that descend as
soon as any food appears are quite well behaved,
even though they always look to be out to cause
trouble, like a gang from ‘Peaky Blinders’ (Not
that I’d ever heard of them before the television
series was aired, and I am Small Heath born and
With Spring now seeming to be well on the way,
the plumage of all of the birds is at its best. The
Robins and male Bullfinches are as red as can be
and the yellow beaks of the male Blackbirds are
really glowing. Currently there are four Blackbirds
visiting the garden, two male and two female.
They rush around the lawn, prodding frantically
for worms. Then they vigorously toss all of the
leaves, we left as mulch on the garden area, in
every direction, searching for more juicy food.
Annoyingly, they also head for the many potted
plants and excavate the earth within, which we
then find scattered all over the paths.
With the differing activities of the visiting wildlife,
I sometime wonder how any of the plants survive.
However, they do. Daffodils and crocus are now
blooming in ever greater numbers. It seems like
only last week that the first daffodil bloomed,
leaning against an adjacent tree trunk for support.

This week, we seem to be in for a period of wet
and windy weather, so the recent sight of a blue
sky through the oak tree was extremely

Tony Barnard

A prayer for the world
God of love and hope,
you made the world and care for all creation,
but the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Some people are worried that they might get ill.
Others are anxious for their family and friends.
Be with them and help them to find peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists,
and all who are working to discover the right
medicines to help those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these anxious times,
you are with us.
Help us to put our trust in you and keep us safe.

Insight Support, 17/08/2020