Parish Weekly Update – 8th March 2021

Dear all, well, today, the children have all started to go back to school. It marks the beginning of a loosening of the Lockdown restrictions that so many of us are all finding so wearisome or overwhelming.

Small things are now taking on enormous proportions.

My brown wheelie bin has not been collected for months even though the Biffa vans have been spotted in the Village. This last time was the last straw, and you may smile to think of me accosting a random Biffa van in Plymyard Ave after I had taken a service in the cemetery in full funeral regalia (was finally collected at 7.02 Sat am) and I am finally collapsing under the pressure!

What next then for us?

Our next big milestone, if all goes to plan, is the so-called Rule of Six on 29th March, where we can all begin to meet outside. Not randomly but with just two households with no more than 6 people.

April 12th starts the alfresco meeting and dining and hopefully the beginning of self-catering holidays…we will see!

Forgive me for numbering these but otherwise they will all leak into each other.

1.  Mothering Sunday.

There will be no large gathering in church this Sunday, but we will be having a thanksgiving for ‘all those who care weekend’ as well as our Mothering Sunday flowers and cards.

Please do come into the graveyard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend, pick up your flowers and cards and tie a ribbon on the railings around the old Yew Tree to say a massive thank you for all who are caring for us and will continue to do so..mums, dads, grannies/grandpas and the NHS in all its many forms..for teachers and those who care for our children, let’s put up as many ribbons as we can?

There will be the normal 10.00am service in church which will be lived streamed.

2.  Spring Garden

The lambs are expected to be born within a month now and Rob and Tracy are putting together a Spring Garden where the Nativity was opposite St David’s Rd in Ferry Rd.

This is Eastham’s own display, so please can you make your flowers out of re-cyclable material and leave them in the crates provided just over the wall. Please don’t go in!

They will then make a display and we will then be able to see the new lambs too.

Pass it around.

Share it on all your Facebook pages if you have one.

3.  Our Easter children provision at St Mary’s.

Nikki is working hard on this and we are awaiting the result of a funding application I have put in to Edsential to be able to provide for this. I will put a call out for help when I know!

I am also waiting to see if we have had funding from ASDA for a bumper crop of meats and fish. Thanks to Sue for spearheading that round of funding.

4.  As we begin to see our world opening up a little, St Peters is looking for a weekly cleaner for the Chapel.  If you are interested, please let Mike or Dot Taylor know on 334 3431.

5.  The Repair Shop Lent Thoughts are now spilling over into Easter. Karen has asked that, if you would like to bring something that means a lot to you to be repaired…so a teddy from a childhood memory or issue, to a mechanical object whose mechanism that has broken in some way Or a painting that needs cleaning and mending. To represent something  about yourselves.

These can either be brought to the church or left at the Vicarage and Karen will make them into a different shape in church to reflect God as our ‘Master Craftsman.’ Sounds wonderful Karen…I know what I shall bring…

6.  Easter itself is looming and St David’s and St Mary’s are working together on a Walk of Hope from St David’s, to our graveyard, to the Spring Garden through Holy Week and then, on Good Friday…on into the woods…with something for our canine friends and well.

More details nearer the time.

Easter will have such a different shape this year, but I do hope the sheer diversity of what we are offering will add a richness and texture to this time of celebration of new life and renewed faith,

A few other things…

Staying isolated in the pandemic.

Please do stay resolved for the next few weeks, we are nearly there.

It is so hard for me not to visit with bereaved families before a funeral.

To not know who it is I have been speaking to when they arrive.

To not being able to visit unless someone is dying.

To know that people are not able to receive communion for such a long time at home.

There are statements from both the Government and NHS, the Church of England, Chester Diocese and from me as Vicar and Rural Dean implementing this.

As we come out of Lockdown, I know that we will all be asked to confirm that this has NOT happened in our parishes and I feel that there will be consequences if not perhaps disciplinary issues for those Licensed.

10am service times at the Parish Church

I don’t know what the response is yet but thank you for thinking of the bigger picture and the wider implications before commenting!

So, this week, hold fast to that which is good, be reclothed with hope this spring with God and nest deeply with him this Lent.

I can meet any community needs if I know about them.                                             

You just need to tell me?

Stay warm, safe and loved by God.

Bethxx

Ps and massive congratulations to Helena (former quirky and feisty Youth and Community Officer here) and Philip from your extended family here at St Mary’s……

a beautiful little one due this July

and to Philip and Helen too! xxxx