Parish Update 3.5.21
Well, this is a most depressing Spring May Bank Holiday! I had planned to spend the day in the garden, pooter round, have lunch outside and avoid the wider parish, otherwise called hiding!
No such luck, so captive in the house again and it is so cold. We did manage a few days off last week in Cumbria and Sue has had my phone over to her but still there were some problems I had to deal with.
My apologies for the absence of an update last week as well.
As many of you may know, the new laws for weddings, having been passed in Parliament, are coming into effect tomorrow, 4th May.
There will be no more signing of the Registers or the couple receiving their wedding certificate on the day. It was with a heavy heart then I brought home from the safe my Registers of Marriage and left-over Certificates. From now, all will be digitalised and I, for one, am grieving that.
However, not to be beaten, I have arranged creatively alternatives.
With my next wedding being on 15th May in a couple of weeks’ time, it is a real push to get everything organised and legal from St Mary’s point of view by then. But we will do it, I’m sure.
I can then, as Rural Dean, pass everything on to the rest of my Chapter if needs be.
You may also have heard that from 17th May funeral attendance will not be limited to just 30, which has been so hard for lot of people. But let’s not forget the ‘6 only at Landican for 15 mins’ rule for four months last year. I did enough of those to make me weep each time….3/4 each week often.
The rule now is that we can have as many as we can socially distance given the size of the building. Which is OK, as it is how I have been working it anyway. Common sense prevails!
We are working on opening up the Church Centre and St Peter’s for bookings and hirings now as Lockdown begins to ease even further.
And as our horizons expand to holidays, travel, meeting and eating together, binned mask etc, my thoughts are turning to my own parish issues. I thought you would like to pray them through with me?
- When will we be able to open Little Gems, our mum/carers and tots’ group. Open play, then toast and prayer and a bible song? We need more helpers for that as Valmai feels it is time to hand over more.
- What about CAMEO and Meet and Eat (or Snack and Chat). Jean would love someone to take over the Meet and Eat as well.
- What about our primary school age (JAM club) and young adults work?
- What about our Evening services, will the Churches Together ever come back on the 4th Sunday.
- Live streaming the morning 10.00 am service at least, quadruples our worship. How do we keep connecting with all these people and encouraging them to join us in church/give towards our upkeep /help in the work we do?
- When shall the Facebook prayers and parish updates, I do stop, if at all?
- What about J4U and our baptism policy which invited families to come to church once either side of their baptisms and also provided a monthly family service? Major rethink there!
- What new initiatives need to start and what need to be laid down!?
- Our Mission statement on our web page says;
We aim to flood the parish with Jesus Kingdom principles of justice, love and peace.
This Covid time this parish has been so flooded with all that we have done…imagine the parish flooded with the water of new life that it is floating in as we have opened the floodgates for God to come in?
How do we gather that water up into ponds, wells, rain butts, paddling pools, rivers and waterfalls.
I don’t have the answers, only God knows, but I am taking strength from two Bible verses.
‘Come, let us reason together’ says the Lord. Your thoughts may not be my thoughts and your plans may not be my plans. Come let us reason together.’
And from Exodus :
‘Moses answered the people,
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance that the Lord will bring you today.
The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still.”
So this week, I will be reasoning, standing firm and being still!
My love to each and every one of you and to those you love and care for, Beth x