Corona and All Saints
Midweek Email - July 15th 2020
The final deadline for giving me a quilt square is July 31st. This has been extended to allow some time in the school summer holidays for those who requested it. I still have some blank white squares if anyone would like one and you can do something with fabric pens. What I need now are some talented people who are ready and willing to help assemble the squares and turn this into a wall hanging. Please let me know if this is you!
Church Building Opening & Services
PCC met on Monday night and in advance worked their way through various lengthy briefing documents. We have come to the decision that we cannot open the building for public worship yet and so will remain online until the end of August. We are all desperate to be able to gather again, but we need to do it safely and following all the rules. At the moment the numbers would be so limited we would have to have a booking system and repeat services and they would still be without singing, full communion, the Peace, refreshments or talking to one another within the building.
Our hope and prayer is that over the summer restrictions will ease to the extent that services within the building become a more practical option.
We will be continuing with midweek messages and an online offering on a Sunday, but we will also be putting out a series aimed specifically at our Bubbles and Splash aged children - more details to come.
A reminder too, that I will be online for an open table style communion tomorrow morning. The room opens at 9:45am with quiet music, the service proper starts at 10am and we will finish about 10:45am. You will be muted as you come into the room!
Meeting ID: 893 1537 7598
Thank you so much to those who have responded to last week’s letter, your additional donations and support at this time have been much appreciated.
Just to let you know that it seems that we are suffering from a spate of car crime in this area at the moment. Over the weekend two cars on Heatherside Road were relieved of their catalytic convertors and yesterday I heard of another on Poole Road. It seems they target certain cars and more advice can be found here:
Stay safe everyone and keep praying for one another, contacting one another and gathering when safely.
Midweek Email - July 1st 2020
I know many of you really enjoyed using your daily strength books and now we are into a new month are wondering what next. You can of course go through the booklet again, but below are some additional ideas to encourage you to become more familiar with the Bible.
Lectio 365 - this is an app from the 24/7 prayer movement that every day helps you to pray the Bible, it is really good and they keep it current to things going on in our world. More details can be found here:
The Bible in a Year - this is a free app that gives three texts of the Bible every day and an explanation/commentary on them. You can choose to have a daily email instead if you don’t want to use the app. There is also the option to hear the passages being read to you.
Leeds Minster - the leader of Leeds Minster is making a series of excellent videos summarising each book of the Bible, they are short, engaging and give a great introduction to each book. You could watch a film and then try and read the book. They are available on YouTube, the link is here:
The Chosen - this is a crowd funded project bringing Bible stories to life through the eyes of those who met Jesus, the first series has got excellent reviews and there is a second series planned. The link for that is here and I believe it is coming to Netflix:
The Bible Project - this is a series of animated films that either explore a book of the Bible or a theme within the Bible, again they are free and very good and offer a good starting point.
Books - if you want a book to help you read the Bible then I recommend, “How to read the Bible for all its worth” by Gordon Fee, or his book by book version.
Obviously, none of these can replace reading the Bible itself, but all of these will help to give you insight into the Bible and perhaps make it more accessible. If you want help with a particular area or issue then please do let me know and I would be delighted to help.
If you have ordered a cream tea it will be available for collection from the Vicarage between 11am - 12:30pm on Saturday, we are asking for a minimum donation of £3 per tea ordered. Please bring cash and note we will not have change available, just bucket for you to drop your money into. Deliveries will be made within that same window of time.
Have a good week and I look forward to seeing several of you at our collection point on Saturday!
Midweek Email - 24th June 2020
I am sure you have all seen that the government has said churches may open for public worship services from July 4th. Please note this is may and not must! We will not be opening for services on July 5th and I want to share with you reasons for that and be as honest and clear as I can:
- The government has said that we may, but they have not yet published their rules and requirements.
- Until the government do then the CofE will not publish their rules and requirements
- Until the CofE higher powers do then the Diocese of Guildford will not publish theirs.
- Guildford have said that they will not be publishing any guidance for us until Thursday at 4pm.
- All of this is still a may and not a must
Still with me???
I am very tired having worked through since February when I last had a week off and then I was ill! I had planned to be in Israel in May and that was obviously cancelled and then off this week and next with a friend’s wedding this weekend and that was obviously cancelled too. However, I am going to be off from Thursday evening until Tuesday morning and so that is the soonest I could even begin to start thinking through the logistics, completing risk assessments and then virtually meeting with the PCC. I already have several big meetings in my diary for next week as well.
This is not a process to be rushed. It will not be as simple as everyone coming back to church:
- We will still have to set out the church in a socially distanced manner, include aisles, one way systems etc… this means we could maybe fit in 24 people max
- We cannot have any singing
We don’t know:
- If we can do communion in one or both kinds
- How long we would have to have between services - so even if we did multiple services in a morning how many can we do and how long between each?
- What cleaning needs to be done between each
- Do we need to record everyone’s name and address?
- What about refreshments and toilets???
It goes on….
I will read through the documentation and consider all options. But, we are one church and to say we can begin public worship, but that even if we did services in shifts, those who are shielding would not be permitted to join us as they have to stay home until the end of July does not sit easily with me.
I long to gather with you all and I would love for us to be able to return to worship in our building so we can gather together physically, but we have to really think about what worship would look like even if we begin to gather in the building again.
Whatever it is, it will not be church as you might be imagining and so when I say we will not be returning to pubic worship, even though we ‘may’, please know I am not stopping full services from happening. It is not that if I said we will open there would be songs, communion, the peace and refreshments that last for an hour. That day will come, but not yet.
In the waiting, please pray. Please pray for wisdom for me, for the PCC and for all those trying to making hard decisions at this time.
In other news don’t forget to get your quilt squares in to me and your cream teas ordered.
Karen will send out the link for the Sunday service on Sunday morning.
Have a good week.
With Love, Sue
Midweek Email - 10th June 2020
As I am sure you are aware, easing of lockdown is happening now and that is beginning to impact on what we, as a church, may or may not do. From Monday we are now permitted to open for private prayer and hold funerals in church (with limited numbers). There is still no news yet on when any sort of public worship, communion or weddings will be permitted.
Private Prayers - I did a poll in the Facebook group (it was the quickest way to get a response and has 85 church members in it) and 36 people voted and 92% said they would not come into the church building even if we were to open for private prayer. However, that means there are still some who would like to and we do not know what members of the wider community would like. So, the PCC have decided that the church will be open on a Wednesday morning starting next week rorm 9:30am - 11:30am for private prayer. More details about this will be sent out at the start of next week.
Communion - there are several members of the church who would like an online communion service and I again discussed this with the PCC. I am going to offer an online communion service on Sunday 21st June at 7pm. This will be ‘live’ and on Zoom. A liturgy sheet and link will be sent out in advance, but I wanted to give you the date and time for now.
I am so pleased to hear some of you have started to be able to gather in gardens for tea, coffee and G&Ts. Please do remember those who are still unable to go out at all and keep in contact with them as well.
Please keep staying safe and please do let me know if there are things any of you need, we still have a big team of willing volunteers!
Blessings to you all,
New Sermon Series
All the talks for our new series can be found on our talks and services page. Please do feel encouraged to come and join us in one of our online discussion groups to talk about prayer. We have them at all different times of the week, they only last an hour and we would love to have you join us.