Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Morning Prayer - 29/07/20

The video for this morning's Eucharist failed because the webcam packed up. Apols.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Recommencing Public Worship - 2nd August 2020

Dear all,

‘... My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long.…’ Psalm 71:8

Since the Archbishop of Canterbury called for the closure of church buildings in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have, with other parishes, been offering worship and support in different ways. We are now in a position to trial worship in our church buildings once more.

At the time of writing, we are looking to offer worship in St Peter’s initially, with worship in St Thomas’ and St John’s to follow when practically possible.

Our worship in St Peter’s will be at 11.00am.

 Before arriving for worship. 
We want us all to be safe as we worship together. As a result, we are asking you to book a space to come. This will feel really strange, but I hope you understand. This will normally need to be done using links available on the pewsheet, on the parish Facebook page and on the parish website. Under usual circumstances, you will need to have done this by the Thursday before the Sunday you intend coming and we hope you may be able to book a few services in advance. Booking can also be made over the phone with Elaine in the Parish Office. 

For this week, please book your space by ringing Elaine on 01923 772785. She will be in the office Wednesday-Friday, 9.30 am-12.30 pm Booking will be on a first-come, first-served basis as we have limited capacity.

 What to expect.

As you arrive at church, a sidesperson outside will greet you. You will need to queue, physically distanced, down the side of the building. The Church of England has now issued clear guidance that face coverings should be worn to attend worship (following revised Government advice.) I am looking forward to seeing you all arriving wearing one, bringing some lovely Summer colour to our worship! Your face covering will need to be worn during the service.

As you enter (and leave) the building, please use the alcohol gel provided in the porch. Once inside, please pick up an order of service and a pew sheet (plus an activity sheet for children.) These are yours to keep so please take them home with you and bring back the service booklet next time you come.

A second sidesperson will ask you to make your way to your seat. Please remain in your seat for the whole of the act of worship. At the end of the service, clear in instructions will be given about leaving the building. Sadly we cannot offer refreshments at the moment.

We will be sharing in the Eucharist together. This will be a source of joy for us all as most of us haven’t been able to make our Holy Communion for many months. You will receive the fullness of Christ in the consecrated bread administered to you in our worship.

The clergy and sidespeople will be wearing face-coverings and PPE at various points, so some familiar people will look a bit unfamiliar at the moment.

There will also be some necessary notices given out in the service, but as I’ve said before, it wouldn’t be an authentically Anglican service without some notices in the service.

 Online Worship 

Worship live-streamed on Facebook and ‘live’ on Zoom has been such an important part of our life over these last months. Worship online is a strange phenomenon and yet has been vital and lifegiving for ministers and those ministered to alike.

Our online worship on Sundays and in the week, will continue to hold a familiar pattern going forward.

Sunday 10.00 am Parish Eucharist on Zoom

Monday       8.30am Morning prayer on Zoom
        9.30am Said Eucharist on Facebook Live
Tuesday      8.30am Morning Prayer on Zoom
Wednesday 8.30am Morning Prayer on Zoom
        9.30am Said Eucharist on Facebook Live
Thursday     8.30am Morning Prayer on Zoom
        9.30am Said Eucharist on Facebook Live
Friday         11.00am Service of the Word

Evening Prayer is held daily at 4pm on Zoom.

Obviously, all of this will continue to be a bit trial and error at the moment (especially as we return to using our buildings) and all of it is subject to revision as we learn from our experiences and as Government guidance and advice from the Church of England is updated.

A copy of this letter will be sent out in the post tomorrow.

Our learning curve remains steep.

Please pray for me as I continue to pray for you.

Fr Simon.

Healing Eucharist - Trinity 7 - 26/07/20

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Thought For The Week

This week our video gets to think a bit about what it means to love your neighbour as yourself?

What do you think?

Worship at Home 21/07/20

Virtual Coffee Morning

Tomorrow (Wedensday) morning around 10am we are holding another online coffee morning on Zoom. We have found it a great way to catch up with one another in these strange days. It is open to all.

Drop the Vicar a message if you'd like to join us!

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Thought For the Week

Describing who God is or what God is like is hard, even for people of faith? Watch the video below to hear what some people think.

What would you say?

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Thought for the Week

This week's thought raises an issue often challenging to faith - how do you respond to issues of evil and injustice as a Christian?

Watch the video to hear what others think. What's your experience, practice or thinking?

Morning Prayer - 07/07/20

Monday, 6 July 2020

Two Events This Week

On Sunday 12th at 7.30pm we hold our next The Big Think and we welcome a familiar face - Dean Pusey - our former Diocesan Youth Officer. Dean is an ordinand at St Melitus College and he is going to get us to think deeply about a very current and essential issue.

The event takes place on Zoom. Please contact the Vicar directly if you'd like to be there.

On Wednesday (08/07/20) we are holidng another Zoom coffee morning at 10am. Again message the Vicar if you'd like to join us!

Worship at Home - 06/07/20

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Always Winter, Never Christmas

Image result for the lion the witch and the wardrobe
I love the line from the book 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis where the land of Narnia is described as being perpetually 'winter but never Christmas.' For me, that describes a little of how our own daily reality is too.

We live with the 'winter' reality of COVID-19 as part of our everyday living (we are at level 3 of Lockdown which, according to the government, means that the virus is in general circulation and that the handwashing rules and 2 metre distancing still apply) but are also being encouraged to look and live towards 'Christmas' where the impact of this very dangerous virus has less and less hold on us, to the point where we can live a new normal again. Until that time we live betwixt and between.

This is true for us as church communities. Our buildings are open as places to pray and contemplate again, despite having been closed earlier in the year to all worship and activity. In our parish that means that you are warmly welcome to come to pray in your church on the following occasions:

St Peter's Mill End                                                                                        St Thomas' West Hyde
Sundays - 12noon-4pm                                                                                      Fridays - 1pm-3pm
Thursdays - 10am- 12noon

We are working towards opening St John's too.

Please take note of the clear instructions as you enter the buildings and inside, to ensure the safety of both you and others.

We are of course also looking forward to 'Christmas', where public worship and community activities will resume. The government and the Church of England's Recovery group have allowed church communities to gather for public worship again as of July 4th, please be aware that we are *not* in a position yet to enable that to happen as there will be more preparation that needs to be undertaken.

When we do return to worshipping together it will be *very different* for some time going forward. When I am in a position to give you a sense of what worship together will look like and when it might happen I will be in touch again. As we continue to live with the reality of COVID 19 in our communities, our worship will remain on Facebook, Zoom and the Parish website so we can worship 'together apart.'

I have been thinking much about what the church offers our community when so many other people of faith and none are engaged in fantastic community and pastoral work in these days of pandemic. The thing that the faith community does uniquely is we are called to offer our world, our community, all people, and the church to God in prayer. As the church, if we do nothing else in these days, we should do what we always have done, and that is pray.

With one eye on a future opening up before us, I am in the process of writing a parish prayer for each of us to use every day going forward, so that we as individuals and as a church can voice the hopes of others and bring ourselves and the whole church into the loving presence of God.

As we live in this present 'winter' looking forward to 'Christmas' whenever it comes, in this inbetween time, please join me in living our call as the church - to pray, and especially to pray that that 'Christmas' does indeed come - in our own lives, the lives of our neighbours and friends, communities and world. For it is in praying and as a result of our prayer that we, our communities, church, and world are renewed in the love and fellowship of Aslan as C.S. Lewis calls him, Jesus our friend and brother.

Said Eucharist - 02/07/20