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14 May 2020

Dear Friends

Let's crunch some numbers, shall we? This is the 8th issue of our weekly newsletter. It goes out to 118 email addresses. Rev Christine has kindly been printing paper copies and delivering or posting them to a further 25 addresses, to people who don't have email access. As of the time of typing this, Rev Paula's first online Prayer and Praise service has had 201 views on YouTube, the second one 138 views. The third one will be avaiable from 10am this Sunday, as is now usual, on our channel:, and the service sheet is attached to this message.

Due to data protection regulations, as a church staff member I am not permitted to just send the newsletter to anyone, we must have their consent first. Therefore if you know someone who might like to receive our weekly news, do show it to them please, instead of asking me to surprise them with a copy. If they are interested, they can
- either drop me an email at and request to be added to my mailing list,
- or ring any of the priests or the churchwardens in the Contacts section at the end of this message,
- or go to our website ( and subscribe via an online form.

A message from Rev PaulaCross

This week saw another update from Bishop Donald following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday.
I would like to share the sections about church opening with you:

The first step
As from Monday 11 May, clergy or licensed lay ministers in this diocese may enter their church buildings for private prayer, or to record or livestream services.
Only members of the minister’s household may accompany him or her into the church building. This is not permission for any sort of public meeting or worship.
A roadmap
Further stages of return to our buildings will follow, depending on government advice and regulations. It is likely that in a few weeks, small-scale services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals, with family only present, will be possible. Social distancing, and strict conditions around access and cleaning, will have to apply.
Further down the line, I hope to be able to authorise Sunday worship on an appropriate scale. This will depend on how many people can conveniently be in the building with appropriate social distancing (which is likely to remain in force for months at least). Please note that it is very unlikely that we will be able to permit singing in the coming months, as the medical advice is that this would require social distancing of five metres, and that no books or service sheets can be used: these are a good way of passing germs from hand to hand.
Once there is a vaccine available to all, we will be able to return to something nearer normal, but all the advice I have seen is that sometime next year is the earliest possible time for that.
There are no timings on this plan. These will depend on government advice, on other advice I receive, and on local conditions. It is possible that relaxations to the lockdown will have to be reversed, and even new restrictions imposed, if there is a new wave of infections nationally or locally. Please be patient, and help your people to be. I want our churches open, but only when that is safe.
These steps towards re-opening will in some ways look like a postcode lottery. I regret that, but it is inevitable. Lifting a lockdown is much more complicated than imposing one. The 40 diocesan bishops of the Church of England are in close touch with each other, but each of us, with our advisers and staff teams, is responsible for making these decisions for our own diocese. We have all agreed the direction of travel, and the different steps necessary, but details and timings will vary from one diocese to another.
Private worship
One area which is particularly complicated is the question of opening churches for private prayer. It might seem that this is a relatively easy win, but I am afraid that it is not. If churches are left open, they will need to be hygienically cleaned after each use. Remember that each person who enters the church might be a carrier of the disease, or might be particularly vulnerable to it. We are responsible for keeping our people as safe as we can, especially in our church buildings. I know that this will not be popular, but for the time being our church buildings cannot be opened for private prayer or other visits. Perhaps counterintuitively, this is likely to be the very last point on any roadmap towards re-opening.

I have taken the decision, after consulting with other members of the clergy, that we will continue to say the Daily Office in our homes. The recording of services will continue at the Vicarage, with contributions from members of the congregation. We are agreed that we would prefer to await for permission for us all to be able to join together for worship before we re-enter the buildings. Our churches will continue to be checked regularly by the nominated churchwardens and I for security purposes.

I hope that you will continue to join with the on line worship each Sunday. These are such difficult times. My prayer for us all is for an end to the virus and, in the meantime, patience and understanding as we navigate these unchartered waters.

May God bless you,
Signed by Rev Paula

I claim the first cuckoo of the year! Heard on May 7th when walking along the Nene near the 14 arches. Can anyone beat that?

Christian Aid Week

This year's Christian Aid Week campaign is happening online, with daily quizzes, live streamed reflections, and electronic donations. To take part in the online events visit either Christian Aid's website or their Facebook page.
Help fight scammers

A few weeks ago you could read here about new scams the coronavirus had brought to life. If you are as annoyed as I am with the online or real-life fraudsters who think they can outsmart you or wear you down with their unceasing attempts, the good news is now we can actively fight back and help track them down.

The National Trading Standards is calling for Scam Marshals: everyday people who recognise scams, send any scam mail they come accross to Trading Standards' Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work, and help their friends, relatives and others in their communities to do likewise by simply spreading the word. The Scams Team is offering resources to aid you in return: a welcome pack, a monthly newsletter to keep you updated, and free post.

You can find out more and sign up on the Friends Against Scams website.
Our prayers are asked for:Prayer

Those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, among them: Christian Smalley.

The housebound: Ruth S, Doreen A, Margaret O, Diana B, Pat W.

The Anglican Church of Korea, The Most Revd Moses Nahjun Yoo, Primate of Korea and Bishop of Daejeon; The Porvoo Churches – Guildford, Viborg.

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.
Useful links and phone numbers

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 8044Church of England logo
For good mental health
For worship at home
For households with children: Faith at Home
Further resources from Peterborough Diocese

Rev Paula
01933 227101
(benefice admin and newsletter editor)
Rev Christine
01933 226730
07927405764 (text messages only)
(prayer chain)
01933 222612 or 07694251570
Canon Margaret
(magazine editor)
01933 382502 or 0774615656
Bob A.
(churchwarden and GDPR officer of All Saints)
01933 383316
(churchwarden, planned giving and GDPR officer of All Hallows)
01933 401596
Bob T.
(churchwarden of All Saints)
01933 227335
Bob A.
(churchwarden of All Hallows)
01933 223850
(help with shopping)
01933 274222
(treasurer of All Saints & All Hallows)
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