The Rector’s Ramblings

The Rev Sarah Manouch and The Venerable Luke Irvine-Capel, Archdeacon of Chichester

Life is full of anniversaries, isn’t it? Whether they be the joyful remembrance of a birthday or a wedding or the sadness of remembering a loved one we see no longer, every day is an anniversary for someone, somewhere. Today (30th September) is an anniversary for me. Two years ago, I spent the whole day in nervous, excited, anticipation as I prepared for the service that would licence me as the House for Duty Rector for the Valley Parish. It wasn’t the celebration we all wanted, with limited numbers, social distancing, and face masks, but it was still an amazingly moving, joyous, and hope filled occasion.

I have been reflecting over the past few days about all that has happened in those two years, and as a friend of mine, an historian and archivist put it, we have been living through history, we have been living through events that will be studied and written about for years to come. Covid, Ukraine, the Platinum Jubilee, and of course the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II amongst so many. But they are national and international events, so what of the events in our small corner of this wonderful country. Here I have been privileged to join in the celebrations of marriages and baptisms, and humbled to be asked to walk with families in times of grief. I have joined the people of the Valley in celebrating the great Festivals of the Church, Christmas and Easter, and with the wider community at Remembrance. And of course, every Sunday, in fellowship and faith, I lead the congregation of the churches of the Valley in the celebration of Holy Communion, as we come together to offer thanks and praise, and to recommit ourselves to the service of God and of His people.

Many of the events in the Valley during my first year were overshadowed by Covid, but even during the days of lockdowns, restrictions, and yes, worry and nervousness, there were moments of amazing joy and celebration. Easter 2021 will always stick in my memory, when as our churches were reopened after the third lockdown there was an amazing coming together in celebration and, unable to sing in church, we gathered outside All Saints East Dean, to greet the Risen Lord with a joyful singing of Thine be the Glory.

This Sunday, again at All Saints, East Dean, we will again come together for another great celebration of the church, and of the land we live in, with our Harvest Festival Service. We will give thanks for all that God has given us, for creation, for the food we have, and for the people who work the land, and make sure that all is safely gathered in.

But we will also be thinking of those who do not have enough, and as well as remembering them in our prayers, we will also be collecting food to support the local food bank. At the bottom of this Ramble there is a list of the supplies the Food Bank desperately needs. If you are unable to be with us to celebrate Harvest, please think about adding a few tins of something to your weekly shop and either leaving it at the collection point most shops have for the food bank, or dropping it off at one of our churches, and we will make sure it gets to where it needs to go.

Rev Sarah

Rev Sarah Manouch

07468 854864

Please note that I am part-time. My principal working days are Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday. I am not available on a Thursday.

The APCM for the Valley Parish took place on Wednesday 11th May, and a copy of the Vicar’s report on the activities of the parish over the past year, together with details of the future challenges can be found in Parish News.