7 May 2020
| Dear Friends
John said in his editorial in the May magazine that he had thought he would not have enough suitable material for it, but fortunately he was proven wrong. I always start the week with the same uneasiness, worried I will have barely anything to publish for a decent newsletter by Thursday. And then you prove me wrong.
We know by now that Caroline has a knack for witty anecdotes, and Wendy for rhymes. Noah, Mel, Frances and Finley are good at crafting. We can always count on our clergy to give us food for thought, and one of our churchwardens, Michael is checking in today with a piece that will hopefully have the same effect. Isobel – do you remember her? she was our last Child Bishop – debutes today with a poem in the merciless manner of a teenager.
You are such good, crafty people. Your contributions hold us together. Keep them coming, please!
|A message from Rev Paula
This week sees us commemorating 75 years since VE day. We should have been meeting in All Hallows to mark the occasion but sadly, like so many other events so far this year, this will not take place as we had hoped. However, I hope you will join with the millions of people across the country who will be holding a 2 minutes silence at 11am on Friday 8 May. Maybe if it is safe to do so you could step outside as many have been doing on Thursday evenings. It could be that you would prefer to sit quietly with your thoughts and memories while observing the silence. As the British Legion says on its website there is no right or wrong way. I am particularly looking forward to listening to the rebroadcast of then Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s victory speech when he announced the end of war in Europe (BBC1 2.45pm on Friday). I wonder if any of you remember hearing it? It must have been such a joyous moment, but one tinged with grief and sadness for those who had lost their lives.
As we face the greatest challenge this country has seen since World War 2 let us remember the sacrifice made by families and communities across Europe and beyond and let us pray for those who still suffer the effects of violence and hatred across the world.
The first recorded service did appear on Youtube for Sunday – praise the Lord! Thank you to those who have contacted me with messages of encouragement and appreciation. I am currently working on this Sunday’s service (service sheet attached) so please do click this link again on Sunday morning:
Revd Canon Margaret Johnson was licensed as Assistant Priest for our two churches via Zoom on Tuesday this week. I am delighted that she is joining us, I know that her experience and wisdom will be invaluable to us as we begin to think and plan for the future.
I continue to contact people of the parishes via telephone and Zoom, this will take time so if I haven’t yet spoken to you, I will.
God bless you all
There once was a supermarket with no food on the shelves;
Selfish people stockpiling - only thinking of themselves.
Everyone supposed to keep a 2-meter distance,
but maybe someone should tell the shop assistants.
I can't buy toilet paper, what am I going to do?
Better sit here, cross my legs and hope I don't POO!
Go down the next aisle, no cleaning products in sight:
so, when this is all over, please come see me at night!
People's trolleys are fuller than ever –
do you really NEED 100 tins of beans Trevor!
People queuing outside, going in one by one –
there always seems to be a mother AND a son!
Before I can go shopping, I give the trolley a spray –
to help keep things clean, ready for another day.
People are only allowed to go once a day –
I hope I remember my wallet, to have the means to pay!
It's nice to walk the aisles with few people in sight,
I can't remember what we need tonight!
I get given a list that I get told to stick to –
but I see something else and I say, “That'll do!”
|The past is a foreign
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
L. P. Hartley
This is really an article about planned giving, which Paul Adams, the diocesan stewardship officer, has asked us to consider in these testing times. Before coming to that subject, I could not resist a little plunge into the archives, which may provide some perspective.
Thanks to a collection of documents which reached me via Dorothy Knight, I quote the vicar’s opening remarks in the Record, the newsletter of the Parish of Wellingborough, from the December 1919 edition, just over a year after the Armistice.
My Dear People,
Although, strictly speaking, I am not greatly responsible for the finances of the Church, I cannot help again expressing my anxiety that unless more money is forthcoming for the support of religion in the Parish Church we shall get seriously into debt. You MUST, my dear people, give more money to the collections made in Church if this disgrace is to be avoided. Many of you without any doubt whatever should double your contributions…. It is not to your credit that it should be necessary to have to beg and scrape in order to secure what is necessary for the upkeep of the fabric of your beautiful old Church and for the supply of such things as are essential for the rendering of a dignified worship offered to Almighty God. It is not good for your souls that you should get religion “on the cheap” and be content so to get it.’
It is hard to imagine a priest adopting such a tone now, without a crowd of protestors thronging around the vicarage in the full glare of media publicity. We do things in a rather different way than they were done in the time of Revd Smeaton, and so much the better. One thing has not changed, however. I may have turned off the heating (hollow laughter from All Hallows regulars) but bills still need to be paid and obligations met, whether we are in the building or not. With the closure of church and hall we have less money coming in to fulfil them.
We are therefore more than ever grateful for the regular giving of those who have signed up to the Parish Giving Scheme. A determined effort was made in the autumn to get people on board, leaving only a handful still using the Diocesan standing order plan. We are equally glad for what they contribute, but that method of giving will cease at the end of this year so, when the time is right, I will contact them to ask them to switch to PGS. This is all vital monthly income on which we can rely. Our pink envelope givers are a faithful band. I would ask them to set their envelopes aside ready for a triumphal return to church at some future time. We will need a sack, not a collection plate. In the meantime, your treasurer and churchwardens are doing everything possible to control costs and bring in revenue. You will be pleased to know that HMRC staff are not on furlough, as we received our Gift Aid rebate only days after I submitted the claim. Finally, if any of you are moved by Revd Smeaton’s exhortation to double your giving, PGS is contactable and I still take cheques.
churchwarden and planned giving officer of All Hallows
If you wish to give to All Hallows, please ring Michael on 01933 401596, or email him at email@example.com.
To make a donation to All Saints, please get in touch with Chris our treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
on the Fairy Loo
Fairy Loo has come clean! She finally came forward and admitted leaving those toilet rolls at my door. And, what’s more, she comes from a long line of Northamptonshire Fairies.
| Our prayers are
Those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, among them: Christian Smalley.
Bishop John who is ill at home suffering with COVID 19. Please do hold him in your prayers in the coming week. Bishop Donald has asked that we don’t contact Bishop John directly during this time.
The housebound: Ruth S, Doreen A, Margaret O, Diana B, Pat W.
The Anglican Church of Kenya, The Most Revd Jackson Ole Sapit, Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya; The Porvoo Churches – Gloucester, Västerås.
If you would like to add a name to our prayer list, please first obtain the consent of the person you wish us to pray for. Then tell Revd Paula or Agnes at the Benefice Office whom to pray for and the reason why. A name remains on the list for three weeks.
|Faith at Home
The Archbishop of Canterbury has introduced a new Church of England campaign, Faith at Home:
“The aim of these resources is to offer simple ways for families and households to approach complex and difficult topics, such as illness, fear and bereavement. The coronavirus pandemic has forced people of all ages to confront difficult and painful questions that none of us can explore on our own; we need one another to help navigate them. My hope and prayer is that #FaithAtHome will not only equip children and young people to engage with difficult questions, but also inspire them to explore how they can become the answers to their own prayers, and, when this crisis is over, they are freshly inspired to love and serve those around them.”
For details visit the Faith at Home website.
Canned fruit, potato, spagetti hoops, rice pudding, custard. Jars of pasta sauce. Tooth paste.
Welcome but not urgent:
Canned fish, tomato, vegetables. Jars of marmalade, marmite, fish/meat, paste, hot chocolate. Packets of instant dessert, jelly, mug shots, noodles/pot noodles, instant mash, sugar. Cartons or bottles of of fruit juice (not grapefruit), milk, squash. Can openers, fresh fruit and veg.
Overstocked and currently not needed:
Baked beans, pasta, pulses, pet food, sanitary products, razors, shaving gel, tooth brushes.
Drop items off at the Daylight Centre Mon-Fri 10:00-12:30, or in donation bins at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Wilko.
|Useful links and phone
Ian from All Saints is still available to help collect your shopping – call 01933 274222
Northamptonshire Coronavirus Support Line for getting food, prescriptions and other services – call 0300 126 1000 / option 5
Our own online services
Other churches' online services
Free worship phone line – call 0800 804 8044
For good mental health
For worship at home
Further resources from Peterborough Diocese
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