Parish Weekly Update – 8th February 2021

Dear all,

As I am writing this it is so cold! The Vicarage is cold at the best of times, but we have decided, whatever happens, we will put the heating on, have supplementary fires as well, all night if need be, the wood burner in the hall when we need to (there is no heating at all in the core of the house) and then get an interest free credit card to pay off any excess. In Lockdown the best we can do is to keep warm.  I can’t function at all in the cold and my hands are freezing trying now!

Last week +Keith said goodbye to different groups of us (Chapter and Rural Deans) by ZOOM.

It will be interesting to see who we get to work alongside +Mark for both sides of the Diocese as the search is on for two more Assistant Bishops.

My weddings continue to postpone and rebook. But my main worry is for our Covid generation of young people at the moment.

These children and young people need, above all now, to meet with their friends, to study and share and play together, and for our teens who are so anxious about the future, a time soon to meet with their tutors and be consulted and informed and enabled. Please do pray for them all.

Next week is half-term but the Government have said the schools should remain shut for even longer now.

Nikki has been working so hard on the Food and Activity provision for next week and the uptake, without even advertising it, has reached such high levels.

Within less than a day of going on our Facebook page (thank you, Ian and Chris), it was clear we would exceed our idea of 60 families on the Monday and the Thursday.

We then put it up to eighty but that seems too limited even now. We have to stop somewhere though.  I have the funding at least!

Do pray, too, for us as we put the bags together and then make the Church Centre safe for people to come in to collect them.

So, as the numbers continue to drop, both for new cases, admissions, and deaths, I am looking at re-opening the church as soon as is safely possible.

To this end, Ash Wednesday, falling on 17th February this year, will mark the church being opened, socially distanced for a 7.00 pm Ash Wednesday Communion (no anointing though) to mark the beginning of Lent and a time for delving deeper into the mysteries of God for ourselves.

The church will then open for prayer on Fridays and Saturdays but with people popping in to supervise.

The vestry will be locked from both sides and the crosses put away.

All will be safe, I trust, and our Insurance company (EIG) are very keen on this.

We will see how that goes till Easter.

We will then continue to have the 10.00 am services on Sundays, either live streamed or recorded from home. Each week I will tweak this a bit more.

The vaccine continues to be rolled out so very efficiently for which we all rejoice.

I have had mine (my GP practice is ahead of itself) and Gordon is awaiting his second as well.

I would love something spectacular for our graveyard for Mothering Sunday.

Any wonderful ideas..please let me know?

I remember last year, Chris had done the posies just before we were locked out of our church and I spent the day delivering them.

What an awful year this has been, but one shot through with hope and bubbles of joy and laughter at times as well with a deep sense of care and community. .

New life has been born and dreams (whatever we are longing for), put on hold for a little longer.

We need to stay safe and warm a little longer. The daily Facebook prayers have music attached to them now if you want to listen to that as well. It soothes me each day just to listen to them.

Karen has put those together for me.

 I have so much here to meet lots of needs, so please let me know for yourselves or for someone else.

Take care, feel God’s love for you all covering you with a rich blanket of peace.

My love, prayers and blessings, Beth xx