THE PARISH CHURCH OF STOKE
DAMEREL (ST. ANDREW & ST. LUKE)
For the 10.00am Parish Eucharist and Confirmation Service for today click here
Rector: Revd Keith Robus RN
Telephone No: 01752 509724
Sunday 9 May Sixth Sunday of Easter
Thought for the Day
The month of May brings new growth and Spring
should be moving into top gear with a flourish.
Bright with sunshine, dry with maybe a light frost,
the chilly days have not encouraged me to get out
into the garden. However, May (2 nd to be precise)
also heralds the start of my third year as your
May I begin with a huge thank you for all the
encouragement, support, help, prayers and best
wishes; together with laughs and smiles from you
all. You are a truly special community and it is a
privilege to be your incumbent and pastor of this
particular flock of Jesus Christ.
The actions of Jesus at the first Maundy Thursday
remind us of the serving nature of Christ for his
priests, be it washing of feet, washing of floors,
making preparations, being there is such an
important ministry. Having the opportunity to
listen and hear your thoughts, concerns, sadnesses
and joys is a privilege for me and to be able to
walk with you on your pilgrimage of faith.
It is something that I do not do on my own, for the
Rectors’ boards remind me of how I follow in an
illustrious line of previous Rectors, Curate/Priest-
in-Charge and other supportive clergy who have
held the Cure of Souls here in the Mother Church
of Devonport. It is a charge that is not solely mine,
for the authority given to me comes from the
Bishop of Exeter, our focal point of unity in the
diocese and delegated to his assistant Bishop,
Bishop Nick. Two years and one week ago, the
Bishop said to me from the license from +Robert
‘Receive the cure of souls which is both mine and
Our Right Reverend Father in God, +Robert is the
continuous pastor of his Diocese together with
Bishop Nick. Therefore it is technically wrong to
welcome the Bishop to the parish, for it might be
seen as it being HIS parish anyway. This
collegiality of ministry is important, for as
mentioned in the previous sentence ‘might be seen’
points to something else. That being that with
Jesus as Head of the Church (and not Her Majesty
– she is Supreme Governor) we all share in the
ministry of Christ himself. It would be wrong for
me to say ‘My parish’ or ‘my ministry’ for it is
Jesus’ parish and ministry, and he shares that with
The upshot of this is, whatever are or do within the
parish, we do it for Jesus and not for ourselves, the
church officers or even the incumbent. Our focus
is solely on Jesus as our High Priest, Saviour and
May we therefore continue to reach out to others in
ways of friendship and help; may we continue to
serve one another as if we were serving Jesus
himself, and may with do so with love, compassion
In the words of W. J. Sparrow-Simpson:
All for Jesus! all for Jesus! This our song shall
you our only hope, our Saviour, yours the love that
sets us free!
All for Jesus: you will give us strength to serve
you hour by hour;
none can move us from your presence while we
trust your grace and power.
All for Jesus, at thine altar thou wilt give us sweet
There, dear Lord, we shall receive thee in the
All for Jesus--you have loved us, all for Jesus--you
all for Jesus--you are with us, all for Jesus
All for Jesus, all for Jesus! This the Church's song
till at last her children gather, one in him eternally.
READINGS FOR SUNDAY 9 MAY
God our redeemer,
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant that, as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us
he may raise us to eternal joy;
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.
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
R The Lord has made known his salvation.
O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvellous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gained him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. R
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises. R
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. R
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
1 John 5:1-6
A reading from the first letter of John.
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity. R
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to John.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
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.
God our Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ give the waters of eternal life:
may we thirst for you,
the spring of life and the source of goodness,
through him who is alive and reigns,
now and for ever.
NEXT WEEK’S READINGS
Sunday 16 May Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:15-17. 21-end
1 John 5:9-13
IF YOU ARE ILL OR NEED TO GO INTO HOSPITAL
Please ring for support:-
Revd Keith: 509724
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
PLEASE PRAY FOR:-
Chris, Maureen, Yvonne, Lisa, David, Terry and Pat, Janet,
Jean and Peter, Philip, Margaret, John, baby Eli,
David, Kelly, James, Ruth,
all those who are ill or affected by the present
virus outbreak, and all those who have asked
for our prayers.
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
BLESSED SACRAMENT CANDLE
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:- email@example.com
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:
Sun 9 May 6th Sunday after Easter
0800 Holy Eucharist
1000 Sung Holy Eucharist
Sung hymns are provided by St Martin’s Singers
11.45 ZOOM Coffee Morning
An email invitation will be sent separately.
Meeting ID: 349 997 9311
Tues 11 May Rogation Day
Church closed due to Diocesan Training taking
place - apologies
Wed 12 May
10.00 Holy Eucharist
Thurs 13 May Ascension Day
09.00 Private Prayer
09.30 Holy Eucharist
Sun 16 May 7th Sunday after Easter /
Sunday after the Ascension
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
We have received a THANK YOU card from the
Village Hub for the donations we have made.
Therefore, in response 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.
Book Marks from the pews –
Three bookmarks remain in church, please may we
complete this project, and I am pleased to say we
have collected £135.50. Thank you Eric for
initiating this fundraising project. You are indeed a
The Heale Pipe Organ
Work continues with the organ – the woodwork
restorer has been in and has replaced rotten
woodwork about the casing and aperture into the
chancel. Michael Farley and his team have brought
back newly leathered pieces and taken other parts
back for re-working. The electrician will visit soon
to ensure all electrical string is safe and the look of
everything is improved. No completion date as yet
– but it will not be long.
Bring them home
At the Parish Meeting I proposed the
return of the Mayoral Pew with its frontal (the
modesty panel with the Devonport Arms) and the
corresponding Church of England Men’s Society
frontal to the church. It is hoped to return the pews
in the next few weeks. Having had a closer look at
them with Eric Anning, a little work needs to be
made for them to sit comfortably on the floor and
be held safe against the wall. Your donations to the
‘Bring them home fund’ will be put to good use.
Brigadier Peter Bowser CBE
Peter’s funeral service will take place in
Barrowden in Rutland on Thursday 20 May at
1200hrs. The service will be live-streamed at
https://youtu.be/DhKcE4J9a2I. An order of
service will be emailed out beforehand. Jean would
like to thank everyone for their kind letters, emails
and calls which so many have made.
See obituary below:-
Brigadier Peter Bowser CBE
The recent news that Peter Bowser has passed
away after a long illness will have saddened many
who knew him. Peter was a regular and loyal
member of the Stoke Damerel church family for
many years. He served on the church council and
acted as church warden in 2005/2006 during which
time, in addition to meticulously carrying out the
normal duties, he ensured that the church was open
to the public for one day a week. This was to
comply with a condition of receiving finance from
Devon Historic Churches Trust. Having always
involved himself in the annual Heritage Open
Days, that year he liaised with Devonport High
School for Boys and pupils acted as stewards, as
well as setting up a mock military hospital ward in
a school classroom.
Peter was also responsible for organising and
siting the Attwood memorial plaque on the south
wall of the church and he rescued a 1914-1918 war
memorial from St Mark's, Ford when he feared it
was likely to be destroyed.
He was involved in long ongoing talks with
Plymouth City Council regarding the creation of a
church car park and was willing to use his
'brigadier' manner when dealing with them, in
order to get the job done. He also regularly
reminded Councillors and employees of the Local
Authority of their responsibilities regarding the
maintenance of the church grounds.
Peter was an active member of both the Stoke
Conservation Society and Penlee Valley Residents
He frequently ‘rolled his sleeves up’ to carry out
works in the church and surrounding grounds,
including church cleaning, providing and ‘digging
in’ attractive planting adjacent to the entrance of
the Parish centre, as well working hard at church
Prior to retirement, Peter had a long and
distinguished military career. He served his
country from 1948 until 1993. He initially served
in the Surrey Regiment, transferring to the Royal
Corps of Transport in 1951, followed by 6 years in
the Parachute Brigade. Peter saw service in Korea,
Malaya, Suez and Cyprus and was the
commanding officer of a squadron supporting 7
Armour Brigade in Germany. It was whilst in
Germany that he was awarded his CBE. He was
also in Hong Kong with the Gurkha Transport
Regiment and with the Royal Marines as a
logistician in Plymouth.
Although Peter did not travel to the Falkland
Islands for that conflict, in his role as chairman of
the Joint Services Movements Co-ordinating
Committee in 1982, he fulfilled a critical logistical
function in providing provisions, fuel and suitable
shipping to transport the troops to the South
Atlantic. When interviewed for an article in a local
Plymouth newspaper, he once recounted that the
problem of finding a suitable troop carrier was
somewhat taxing. The only possible British ship
was the QE2 luxury liner. Government ministers
were fearful of the reaction should that ship be lost
in the fighting. He had to produce a paper to
support the need for this ship. He and John Nott
met with Margaret Thatcher to obtain the Prime
Minister’s approval for the requisition of the ship.
Peter was relieved that approval was forthcoming
because what he had not told the Prime Minister
was that “an additional flight deck for helicopters
had already been fitted”. The ship safely
transported 3,000 troops to the Falklands, staffed
by a volunteer crew of 650. Even after the conflict
was over, he still needed to keep the Falklands
supplied and shortly after the end of hostilities he
did travel to the island “to tie up loose ends”.
Even after retirement Peter worked hard for the
Army Benevolent Fund trying to make everyone
aware of the many who had been injured or who
lost their lives in the various conflicts that our
forces have been involved in around the world.
Peter also served for a number of years as Deputy
to the Lord Lieutenant of Devon.
Stoke parishioners are glad to have known Peter
and his wife, Jean, some for nearly 30 years. He
was a joy to work with, attacking everything with
military precision, coupled always with good
Peter will be missed by those who knew him and
remembered with affection and respect.
All of our thoughts and prayers go out to Jean and
her family at this difficult time.
Pam Anson & Tony Barnard
Blessed Sacrament Candle
In Stoke Damerel Church there burns a candle
week in week out to mark the presence of Our
Lord under the form of the Blessed Sacrament.
The reservation of the Blessed Sacrament is for
distribution to those at home and in emergency.
For a bargain price of £5 per week, your dedication
will be prayed for on the Sunday Sheet and by the
congregation. Lesley Morris has resumed her
duties as ‘The Lady of the Lamp’ and please do
In a bid to make savings we will be just giving the
Bible references for weekly readings in the
eSunday Sheet. This is particularly helpful when
making copies for those who have not access to the
internet or a printer, but may be given a standard
Sunday Sheet. Your comments are welcomed as to
Professional Photo opportunity for your
grandchildren, children/and or family pet!
We have recently had an enquiry from a
professional photographer based in Kent, who is
looking to hire the parish centre for one day or two
and is offering a 45 minute photography session
for £60 which results in a variety of lovely photos
in various sizes. Lizzie Gregg hopes to join us on
12 and/ or 13 th June (to be confirmed next week).
You can view her work on her website:
photosbylizzie.co.uk She will be staying with
her friend, Jo Hunt, who we know through various
connections. We have seen her with her twins and
grandmamma in church from time to time, and
sampled her delicious cakes at our summer fair.
CITY COLLEGE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
AND THE CHURCH GARDEN
Rhona and I have met one of the tutors from the
skills development department at City College.
She is very keen to open an opportunity for some
of her students to experience the pleasure of
community work in the form of gardening. We
look forward to moving forward with this project
and will be keeping everyone informed and
sharing this possibility with our established
volunteer garden artist, Kelly, and not to forget
James from Kings House whose speciality is ivy
and weed hunting particularly on the vast quantity
of gravestones which are totally obscured.
TENDER CARE OF OUR PRECIOUS
As you may be aware, Christopher Chanter, of
Wiveliscombe, has been working in the area
surrounding our organ. He is a highly experienced
furniture restorer, inventor of the superb STONE’s
furniture cream, and deadly deterrent to all flying
insects resulting or producing woodworm. Now
Rhona and I have had a training session with him
on cleaning a small area of our Pinwill choir pews
which has resulted in an enhanced appearance .....
not Rhona and me (unfortunately) but the wood!
We have a secret recipe with three ingredients for
this activity and are willing to share this with
volunteers who might care to “have a go” at a
bigger area of wood. We have a rather extensive
amount of wood panelling around the high altar
which could look a little cleaner. A date will be
suggested in due course!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN MAY
Margaret Bibby, Peter Harrison, Ruth Sayers.
SHADES OF GREEN
Alleluia - Christ is Risen -
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!!!
As can be seen below, from the rooms on the first
floor, we can look out, to the South, over the
canopy of trees in the wooded valley beyond the
garden. Most trees are now showing leafage to
some extent. Last month we registered that
Sycamores and Horse Chestnuts came into leaf
before any of the others. Thankfully, the Oak was
next, long before the adjacent Ash tree - so we
might not have any monsoon-like weather this
What strikes us most at this time of the year, when
all of the leaves are new, is the vast range of green
colours, from the bright yellow of the Magnolia
leaves, below, through the green/yellow of the
Oak, to the bright greens of the Sycamores and
Chestnuts. Added to that, the evergreen Mahonia,
also just discernible below, is also pushing up new
deep red leaves, just as the berries, which the
Blackbirds devour with gusto, start to ripen.
What I thought was a line of very tall Poplars
[about 70’-0” high] to the west has also now come
into leaf, all of the shimmering leaves being very
rich autumnal orange in colour. Although they
glow wonderfully in bright sunlight, they are not
the right colour for Poplar trees. Research on the
web indicates that these are probably other
members of the Poplar family - Korean Aspen
trees which, although not common, can be
generally found near to rivers. These trees are
close to a pond and a small stream. The leaves will
With so much dry and sunny weather recently, all
of the trees, bushes and flowering plants, have
started to look far more spring-like but, perhaps,
have not progressed quite as quickly as could be
the case. With the nights still being cold enough
for light frosts to settle by morning and a distinct
lack of rain, growth did seem to be curtailed by the
cool drought like conditions. Even the marshy area
on the other side of the fence, which is normally
kept wet and boggy by the number of springs
coming from the higher ground, appeared to be
drying out. This is very unusual.
However, since May Bank Holiday, we have all
experienced a reasonable amount of precipitation.
The downside of that is, no doubt, previously
dormant slugs and snails will be ravenous by now
and heading straight for any accessible young and
tasty seedlings. This then brings about the
quandary of how to deal with them. With so many
birds visiting the garden, we always hope that they
will make some effort to reduce the numbers of
slimy residents. Even though the local Blackbirds,
Robins, and the one visiting Thrush, do often
rummage around in search of delicacies, they don’t
normally have enough effect to prevent decimation
of the new and tender plants. Most types of pellet
are now frowned on because of the knock-on
effects to other wildlife and beer traps, eggshells
etc. only have limited results. Still, this season I
have something new – a spray deterrent which
claims not to harm any creatures, including the
gastropods, but is also supposed to stimulate plant
growth. We shall see!
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2021
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 Mon 29th November
World AIDS Day Sun 28th November
Carol Service Sun 19th December
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.