Parish Weekly Update – 30th August 2020

Dear all,

I just do not know where all the months are going to…

I have never known a year without punctuation, full stops, colons and commas.

We just seem to move along with the flow of the times we are in.

We have finished our family and children’s provision this last week.

The numbers have been phenomenal and the work that has been done by my remarkable team has been awesome.

Ian has mastered the Eventbrite system for us which is now set in place for anything else we do.

He has been amazing and so has Nikki who has worked on the data and info that Edsential, who funded us, among others, require.

I received, in all, £5,500 for this work and I am grateful, but for me,  now, the work of collating, justifying and balancing expenditure and doing the over-complicated resumés the funding agencies require, is to be faced head-on in my kitchen.

As we drew to a close this week, parents have been so very grateful, not just for the food, but again, the six weeks being punctuated by families who were having to stay at home and activities being so restricted.

Julie has been in charge of the Wednesday provision in the garden where Sue and I did BBQ’s for 30 children and the helpers (thank you!) and mums who stayed.

And on Mondays and Fridays the team in the CC worked like a well-oiled machine delivering over 1,000 picnics…you wait till you see the stats.

For all those who helped in any way…thank you so much.

Most mums said they were so looking forward to Half Term…now there’s a challenge!

The Magazine (thank you, Philip) now has a different and strong community connection as well.

Eastham Food Hub is now winding down as people are returning to work and the Food Bank re-opens at St David’s. I will keep some of my families on though, for the foreseeable future, till I know all is settled and ok with them.

I will always, though, be able to do Emergency Larder bags and all know that.

We have delivered over 900 Larder Bags since COVID began; I can’t thank you all enough.

You have all kept me going with love and money and food when I, quite honestly, nearly gave up and caved in. Thank you so very much and the community of Eastham salutes you all.

So, for now, now we focus on the family of God here in this parish of Eastham.

We have had two beautiful services at St Mary’s, safely done with good numbers, socially distancing, of course, and with masks.

Malcolm, Gail and Atie have added richness to our worship and it has been so wonderful for us all.

We will re-start Wednesday Communions at 10.15am on Wednesday 16 September following a PCC meeting to rubber stamp that later on this week.

We are looking now at service times and liturgy first.

Then a reworking of what used to be our Ministry teams which have worked so well but now need moving on.

What is essential will stay, what isn’t will be laid aside, with thanks to God for his blessings.

But, inevitably, we can never go back…but as St Paul says; ‘We press on to what God has set before us’.

The new digital services will continue but with an enhanced vision.

I have a thought about who will spear head this, so if you are reading this and getting inspired by the thought of being our digital and creative worship leader..please let me know…!

We continue to open St Mary’s for private prayer, Fridays and Saturdays 11.00 am till 2.00 pm and I thank all of you for being on the rota.

I hope this will now become a permanent feature of our parish life.

I will keep these updates up a while longer, but for this week, enjoy the colours, smells and texture of God’s creation and his love which envelopes us all.

Beth x