Parish Weekly Update – 10th January 2021

Dear all, yet another week of twists and turns.

We began our new Lockdown and have begun to see many people we know already being vaccinated against COVID, including Malcolm and Jean!

We have watched with horror the storming of Capitol Hill and the shockwaves that has sent around the world.

As I write this, we have  no real idea of what will happen in America now and how they will see fit to negate any further damage to security and safety, but none of us expected that at all. How dreadful for those looking on and our thoughts and prayers are with all in America at this time.

Thank you to all of you still keeping up their outdoor lights.

Look at Mike and Dots!

My e-mail to you all asking you to consider that, was following the initiatives led by the National Trust and English Heritage to keep our outside lights up until Candlemas (always the end of Christmas…our crib will remain in church till then as usual and the angels and smaller tree are staying put!).

It’s just so good to see our dark evenings punctuated by pockets of beautiful lights.

The Nativity Trail proved really good and we are going to build on that this Easter.

Rob and Tracey who own the smallholding further down Ferry Road put out a wonderful Nativity which was made all the more special with the real sheep grazing beside it, sniffing it out.

This Easter they are going to ask children to make flowers out of recyclable materials so perhaps we could use the run up to Lent for that…so, pass it around children and grandchildren.

I have, at the moment, sufficient funding to cover most needs, request and issues.

Please be my ears and eyes and let me know whatever I can do to help. Fuel, food, well-being boxes, and family needs can all be met.

The one sentence I hear all the time is…’don’t worry about me, there is always someone far worse off!’ But it is simply not right to compare and the true facts are often very different, aren’t they?

We are still able to hold our services in church, and of course online. I do hope that will continue despite negative thoughts from some people. In fact, all negative thoughts should be banned !

Nikki and Natalie are putting together an online Zoom Lent course which looks excellent.

More details to follow.

I have funerals coming in all the time now for people who have passed away over Christmas and New Year and a list of weddings postponed from last year to this year as well.

In my spare time (!) I am restructuring the church and beginning with the ‘Tech Stuff’

Ian now needs to delegate having absorbed so much as we have gone through last year,

So, Initially, could you please register an interest with me first. We will then ZOOM (as we can’t meet) and, as soon as we can, Ian will set up training and workshops… this is your time to get involved or let us know people who would love to do so, so over to you!

I keep hearing Boney M’s ‘by the rivers of Babylon’ and the sentence ‘how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’ has taken a very deep root with me and I am processing it and making it relative to our own parish in as many ways as I can as well.

It is taken from Psalm 137;

By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and then we wept when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for song; they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
But, how can we sing the songs of the Lord, the Lord’s song, in a strange  land?

If you have any inspirational words or poems, please let me or Philip have them for this month’s Mag (stmaryseasthammag)

Gordon is very excited (!) having been told to make himself available at short notice for his vaccine.

Whatever you are hearing, this is a time of real hope. More than we have had in months.

Please don’t let the media stifle that hope in you. We have faith and hope that we will come through this.

 Let’s pray for the NHS and all those responsible for rolling out this precious vaccine so we will be able, when the spring comes, to rise up like eagles and to soar over and above what we are so laden with right now.

Much love to all of you.

 I am here ready to do whatever and talk to whoever.

Rich love and blessings to you and all those you love and pray for…