Creatures great and small - ok, mostly dogs great and small - came for a blessing at our annual Pet Service.
We learnt about God's love for all his creation and how we can reflect that love for animals in our care.
There was some enthusiastic singing, supplemented by the occasional woof!
Pictured is Ateaka with her new baby guinea pig, Rosa.
Open Air fun
at Warnham Park
Caroline and Jonathan Lucas kindly hosted our Open-Air Service on a beautifully sunny July afternoon.
The band was playing and all enjoyed the garden and surrounds as we worshipped together and celebrated communion as a church family.
We were then treated to tea and cake and a splash in the pool for the youngsters. See here for more photos.
On Rogation Sunday, 21st May, we walked along part of the Parish boundary as is the annual tradition.
We had beautiful weather and lots of dogs accompanying us!
Chichester Choirs Festival
Saturday 29th April 2017
Some members of St Margaret's choir sang in Chichester Cathedral in the RSCM Sussex Area's choir festival. We joined with 250 other voices from around the diocese in singing some of the great works of English Church music. Afterwards, exhausted, we adjourned to a pizza restaurant for much-needed refreshment!
Easter egg raffle
Ten pound challenge
Jess decided to get going early with a fund-raiser for the church and has raised £350!
She raffled lots of Easter Eggs and the draw was held on Easter Day in the sunshine on the church lawn after the service.
St Margaret's is raising money this year by giving you cash (£10) and sending you off to make it multiply. Use your talent and imagination to hatch cunning ways to increase your tenner - perhaps tenfold just as Jess did! More details about this in church on and after 23rd April.
Hosanna to the Son of David!
The weather was sunny and warm as a large crowd gathered at the Village Hall for the Palm Sunday procession.
Palms were waved and voices sang as Dillon and Beamish, our favourite donkeys, led us down the street to church, Dillon bearing our boy Jesus (pictured).
See here for more pictures
Sunday 26th March 2017
There were posies for all mums and heart-shaped biscuits for all at our Mother's Day service.
We enjoyed a presentation from the children entitled "I love you, Mum, because..." and after the service there was much frolicking about on the church lawn, which included a shoe getting stuck on top of the hedge!
Well over 600 people crammed into St Margaret's on Christmas Eve for the much-loved Christingle service, including the Nativity play.
The children presented the story of Jesus' birth with aplomb - twice! - and in between they enjoyed a Christmas party.
The church was hushed and glowing with candlelight as we all sang 'Away in a manger' softly, and Christmas was well and truly here!
An amazing £4427 was raised at St Margaret's Christmas Bazaar this year!
Thanks to all who came and enjoyed the stalls, raffles and refreshments, and to the dedicated team who made it all possible - especially Caroline Lucas.
Every year the Bazaar raises much-needed funds to keep the church going in Warnham - and we have a lot of fun in the process! If you would like to help in any way next year contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01403 265041
Warnham Poppy Cascade
Warnham knitters and crochetters have been busy for months creating a new display of Remembrance Poppies. In this the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Yvonne Almond hatched the plan to create something really special and enthused villagers with her vision of a cascade of poppies.
The eye-catching display falls from the famous Warnham Yew Arch, and has attracted many visitors who have taken photos and admired the 1,300 handmade poppies which are especially striking in the Autumn sunshine.
The Service of Remembrance with Parade will be held on Sunday 13th November at 10.30am in St Margaret's.
Licensing of Revd Jules A Barnes
On the evening of Wednesday 5th October St Margaret's was packed and the singing was hearty.
The Bishop of Chichester licensed a new priest for the parish of Warnham: Revd Jules A Barnes.
A reception was held afterwards in the Village Hall. Click here to see photos of the service and reception.
Farewell to Rosemary
On Sunday 31st we said a sad goodbye to our Curate Rosemary Cattell. She has been in Warnham for four years, training for the ministry under Christopher Loveless, and serving the Parish through thick and thin with love and care.
After a well-earned break Rosemary is to be Associate Priest at the Parish of Itchingfield and Slinfold, and she will be licensed there in November.
At the beginning of July a zealous team of gardeners set out to tidy up the churchyard. Hedges were trimmed, weeds cleared and a hearty brunch was consumed.
Churchyard tidy-ups are a regular occurrence, so if you care about the upkeep of the churchyard, please come along and help next time - watch this space!
See more pics here.
Last month volunteers from St Margaret's Church posted envelopes and then collected donations for Christian Aid. Nearly all areas in the village were covered, and the total has been counted: £1,519 - an increase on last year's collection.
Thank you to all who donated, collected and especially Angela who organised it - a really good effort!
Mini Bazaar and coffee morning
The Parish Room was bustling on Saturday morning with people buying jams, chutneys, home-made cakes, books, raffle tickets and cups of tea and coffee.
Congratulations and thanks to the stall-holders who made it such a success - you raised a magnificent £668!
Pictured are Benedict and Madeleine who ran the 'Find the Treasure' game. Where WAS the treasure in the end?
'Beating the Bounds' Rogation Walk
A happy band of pilgrims set off on a beautiful sunny spring day to walk part of the Parish boundary.
Rogation Sunday is traditionally the day to give thanks to God for the land, and for the people who farm it, and for the animals that provide our food. We completed a circuit of about 6 miles and arrived back in the village for a welcome cup of tea and some delicious cakes, baked for us by Benedict, Eileen, Mandy, and Lisa.
Special thanks to Mike for doing researching the route we took - completing the equivalent of 3 or even 4 walks in the process! See the Gallery for more pictures
Many thanks to the team of flower arrangers who produce an amazing display of lilies every Easter. Each year the congregation at St Margaret's and villagers can purchase for a small fee a lily in memory of a relative of friend who has died. They are a symbol of the resurrection, embodying the hope that all who die in the faith rise with Jesus on the last Easter Day.
These are then made up into gorgeous displays which adorn the church throughout the Easter weekend, starting with the Vigil on Easter Eve, when the church service begins in darkness. The congregation can smell the wonderful scent of the flowers before they can see them!
Making the Easter Garden
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
A tiny Garden of Gethsemane was planted, around a mini rock tomb, by members of St Margaret's Sunday club, 'Jesus and Me'.
Daffodils, bluebells and delicate greenery were placed to adorn the display and on Easter morning - the stone was rolled back!
He is risen indeed - alleluia!
"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
The weather stayed dry and the donkeys were well-behaved too, as the congregation met in the Village Hall car park to begin the procession on Palm Sunday.
Congratulations to Tobias, our boy Jesus, who quickly transformed into a chorister on arrival at the church. And thanks again to Kathy and Mark Wiffen for bringing Dillon and Beamish to lead the procession as we celebrate the beginning of Holy Week.
Details of services up to Easter are here.
Photo by Jessica Marshall
Our Lent lunches have been even more delicious this year, with home-made soups and crusty bread and cheese. At only £3 it's a snip, and the profits go to the UK Appeal for Flood Victims. It's a chance to catch up with friends and have a chat over a cuppa at the end of lunch. Come any time between 12 and 2pm on all Fridays in Lent, in the Parish Room.
Pictured are some of our younger customers!
The Feast of Epiphany was marked on the evening of Sunday 3rd January, with our traditional Procession of the Three Kings. Each of the kings presented his gift to the Holy Family during the singing of "We three kings", and the tableau remained during the reading of the gospel.
Pictured are three members of our choir, who took the parts of the kings and sang their solo verse as part of the procession (L-R): Adam Browse/Balthazar, Connor Taylor/Caspar, and Matthew Taylor/Melchior.
On Christmas Eve our Christingle services attracted the crowds as usual, with the church packed out both at 3.30pm and 5pm. Rev Peter Irwin-Clarke led the services, with the children of St Margaret's performing the traditional Nativity play.
Then the lights went down and the ring of candles lit up the children's faces as softly they sang 'Away in a manger'.
Our annual Christmas Bazaar on December 5th proved as popular as ever, this year raising £4,800 towards church funds. The Village Hall was bustling from 10am till 3pm with people buying raffle tickets, perusing the gifts, stocking up on cakes and preserves, and browsing the books and CDs on offer. Delicious lunches were enjoyed with a glass of wine, or a cup of tea and a mince pie.
Congratulations to Caroline Lucas and her team for yet another successful and enjoyable start to the festive season!
See here for more pictures.
Two new choir members were welcomed to the choir today, Sunday 22nd November. Having completed a probationary period James and Tobias (front row, L and R) received their surplices from Head Chorister Millie Valentine, after being officially admitted to the choir by churchwarden, Gytha Hodgson.
Our annual Remembrance Service was held on Sunday 8th November 2015, with two minutes' silence at 11am.
Headed by chairman, Peter Bergin, also the Standard Bearer, the Warnham branch of the Royal British Legion was represented by members who paraded down Church Street wearing their own or relatives' medals, joined by a member of the Combined Cadet Force who lives in the village.
After the service Rev. Rosemary Cattell, Curate, led prayers by the War Memorial, and wreaths were laid, including one made by the Sunday school.
On Sunday 11th October we held our annual Pet Service, a much-loved community event for all ages and all animals.
We joined with our pets in thanking God for all living things and celebrating his love for us through the companionship of our furry and feathered friends.
Our Harvest Lunch in aid of the Bishop's Harvest Appeal was enjoyed by 65 in the Village Hall. A delicious, relaxed meal where old mixed with young, and as well as chatting over our plates we were treated to a quiz and the "Sit down if...." game.
See the gallery for more photos of this and of the beautiful flowers in church.
"Desert Detectives" was our theme this year and the children attending the club, held in the Village Hall from 24th-28th August, were fully occupied solving the mystery of the 'Mighty Godsword'.
Fun and games, singing and prayers, craft, drama and jokes were enjoyed by 36 youngsters aged between 5 and 12.
Pictured is an 'ancient' map - one of the craft items children got to make and then take home with them at the end of a tiring but happy week.
Five lucky choristers went to the Royal School of Church Music's prestigious annual residential course this August. They sang services every day to a very high standard, and the week's hard work was rewarded at the end with services sung in beautiful Bath Abbey.
Many thanks to members of our congregation who made donations towards the fees, as we continue to reap the benefits of our young singers' enthusiasm and musical skills. They are
pictured here relaxing after the last Evensong in Bath Abbey.
A group of eleven young people from St Margaret's travelled to Norfolk to attend the Youth Pilgrimage at the National Shrine. Five days camping in the rain is not for the faint-hearted! But lots of fun was had with sports, activities and just 'chilling', as well as daily worship in the Big Top, a huge tent which held 600 young people from all over the UK.
Our pilgrims made a special trip to the Holy House in order to light a seven-day candle in memory of Christopher Loveless. See gallery for more pictures.
A Funeral Eucharist in memory and thanksgiving for the life of Christopher was held on 3rd August 2015 at St Mary's, Horsham taken by the Bishop of Chichester, attended by many hundreds of family and friends. This was followed later in the day by a Committal and Burial Service at St Margaret's, Warnham, when the church overflowed with family and parishioners to hear moving tributes to Christopher from the family and his long-standing friends.
We said a fond farewell to our organist Hugh Crook, who is taking up the post of Organ Scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Hugh has been with us for over two years and we have enjoyed his musicianship and skill at playing, as well as his diffident, friendly manner and devotion to worship.
He is pictured here cutting the cake after his last service with us on 26th July 2015.
Good luck Hugh in your next endeavours, and God bless you!
STOP PRESS Hugh was awarded 4 A* at 'A'-level
Saturday 23rd May 2015
A huge bonfire was lit in the field by Warnham School for a gathering celebrating the Holy Spirit. Churches from the Horsham area joined St Margaret's congregation for hot dogs, drinks, songs and prayers as we lit the fire - one of a string of beacons that night across Sussex by other churches in the Diocese. The Bishop came to tell us about the launch of the new Diocesan Strategy.