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March 2008

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Ickenham Church News - March 2008

URC Daytime Services

Sunday Mornings 11.00am
   (inc Junior Church and Crèche)
   (Holy Communion, 1st Sunday)

Sunday Evening Services

The two churches join together on Sunday evenings as follows:
   2nd Sun – Choral Evensong at St Giles’ (6.30pm)
   3rd Sun – Holy Communion at the URC (6.30pm)
   4th Sun – ‘Live@ Five’ at St Giles’ Church Hall (5pm

St Giles’ Daytime Services

Sunday Mornings –
   8.00am Holy Communion
   9.45am Holy Communion (with Junior Church
                and Creche) – (1st Sunday: Family Service)
   11.30am Matins with Holy Communion (1st Sunday)

Thursdays –
   10.00am Holy Communion


Easter is a time of huge sorrow and great rejoicing.  It is also, in this country, a period surrounded with tradition, much of it based on common sense.  Let’s start with Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent fasting begins.  In earlier times, all the eggs and butter left in the house had to be cleared up, so most of it went in making pancakes.  

Easter is named after the Saxon goddess, Eostre, in whose honour the month of April was once called Eostrurmonath (thank goodness they changed it!).  The date of the Christian Easter was settled in AD 525 to be the Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, or 21st March; if that first full moon happens to fall on a Sunday, Easter Day is held the Sunday after.  Thus it can never be earlier than 22nd March or later than 25th April, so this year it is almost as early as it can be.  It is seen as the start of Spring, signalling the time when every day shows new growth and freshness.

It is the custom in some places for ladies to wear a new garment to the Easter Morning church service.  It used to be considered unlucky to do otherwise and some folk believed that crows would befoul old clothes if any lady was rash enough to wear them on that day.  

The egg is the obvious symbol of resurrection and new life and a natural gift for Eastertide, particularly as it was then permissible to eat eggs after the Lenten fast.  Our tasty chocolate eggs are a development of the practice of hard-boiling and dying Easter eggs a bright colour.  The tradition of egg-rolling is still pursued in some places.  Hares have long been associated with Easter and in France the children are told that the hares go to Rome in Holy Week to fetch home the Easter eggs.  There is a tradition in parts of Germany saying that the hares lay the eggs and the children hunt for hares’ nests. 

Hocktide falls on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter Week. One charming Hock Day tradition was the parade of the Tutti-men, or tything-men, accompanied by the Orange Scrambler who carried a sack of oranges.  They would call at every house and demand coins from the men and from every woman a kiss.  In exchange for the kiss, an orange was given from the Scrambler’s sack.  This was extended to every passing woman, including motorists who would have to stop, give the kiss or pay a penny fine.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to re-introduce this custom in Ickenham!


Please join us for these special services and events over the Easter period



Palm Sunday 16th March

8am      Holy Communion at St Giles’

9.45am  Holy Communion at St Giles’
            (with Junior Church and Crèche)

11am    Palm Sunday worship at the URC
           (with Junior Church)


Mon 17th, Tues 18th, Wed 19th March

9am      Morning Prayer at St Giles’


Maundy Thursday 20th March

10am    Holy Communion at St Giles’
            (Book of Common Prayer)

7.30pm Holy Communion in the URC Parlour
            (a joint service, remembering the Last Supper)

8pm      Courtroom drama “The Vigil”
            in the URC Church




Good Friday 21st March

10.30am   All-age worship at the URC
               (a joint service for Good Friday)

11.15am   Walk of Witness
               (from the URC, through Ickenham streets,
                to St Giles’)

12 noon   Frugal Lunch in St Giles’ Hall
              (proceeds to Christian Aid)

2pm        The Last Hour at St Giles’
              (remembering the hour before
               Jesus’ death)


Easter Eve 22nd March

6pm        Evening Prayer at St Giles’


Easter Day 23rd March

8am         Holy Communion at St Giles’
               (Book of Common Prayer)

9.45am    Holy Communion at St Giles’
               (Common Worship)

9.45am    Family Service with Communion
               in St Giles’ Hall

11am       Easter Sunday celebration
               at the URC




DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED.  Third Monday of each month.  St Giles’ Church Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors.  The next meeting is on Monday 17th March (then Monday 21st April).  Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970) if you would like to talk to someone first.

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