3 February 2021
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote a letter to the nation last week, in response to the number of deaths from COVID-19, they wrote in ‘consolation, but also in encouragement, and ultimately in the hope of Jesus Christ’.
It can be harder to focus on the gospel hope when even today there is news of the South African variant of the virus beginning to cause alarm. I know that I am not alone in missing fellowship in church, the contacts of daily life, friends and colleagues. I am so very grateful for so much not least the technology that allows some of us to worship together and see each other – but there is something about being able to see people, particularly those not able to join online worship. There is something about being able to catch that look that tells you instinctively you need to check in with a person, that touch of an arm – or a great bear hug from someone we love.
The Archbishops recognise and acknowledge this struggle, they go on to urge us to support each other through these difficult times. The Archbishops echo the words in St Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica, ‘therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing’. Paul goes on to say, ‘pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’
Prayer is something that we can all do, despite lockdown restrictions or lack of internet access, indeed it is something I know does happen every day across our parishes. Prayer IS powerful, it is an expression of love and faith in our God and also in each other. The Archbishops invite us all to set aside some time every evening at 6pm to pray.
To help us join together each day at 6pm from 1 February a prayer will be posted on the Facebook pages of our churches – a reminder to pause and to pray. If you don’t ‘do’ Facebook, there are resources on the Church of England website here:
For those who do not have on-line access a leaflet with prayer ideas is attached to this Newsletter. Of course, you do not have to use any of these, you may prefer just to spend the time in quiet contemplation.
In these times when what we are so restricted, let's join together in something that we can ALL do – let us PRAY.
worship on Zoom
Join us on Zoom on Sunday 7 February at 10am.
Follow this link, or use meeting ID 857 8945 3197. The passcode is 229401.
As you requested, we are attaching again the service sheet to this newsletter, in pdf format. It will also be available on our website.
On Ash Wednesday, 17 February, our churches will still be locked. There will be no imposition of ashes, but we will have two services nevertheless: one at 12:00 and another at 19:30, on Zoom.
Send your name and which service you will attend to Agnes at the Benefice Office. You will then receive a link the week beforehand. If you can’t access Zoom meetings, send an email or leave a phone message about it, and we will send you the text of our service to use at home.
You are invited to get together during Lent, Thursdays from 25 February to 25 March at 19:30 on Zoom. We will watch clips from the film The Greatest Showman (starring Hugh Jackman), think on them a bit, going deeper with the Bible, and pray, based on a Lent course book titled From Now On by Rachel Mann. See the magazine for more information.
You don't have to have seen the film or read the book beforehand.
If you would like to join us, email Agnes at the Benefice Office.
Day of Prayer
Zoom service: Friday 5 March, 19:30
If you’d like to be part of this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your Zoom invitation. Please title your email WDP Vanuatu. You will need to bring a stone/pebble to the service, and you may also find it helpful to have pen and paper handy.
12 hours of prayer: Friday 5 March, 9:00 - 21:00
If you are unable to Zoom, this is your opportunity to be part of World Day of Prayer. Please email email@example.com or phone 01933 680955 and ask for a service booklet to be posted to you.
prayers are asked for:
Those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, among them Sue P, Roger P, Richard H, Joan H, Tim C, Kay G, Pam B, Philip B, Oliver D, Cedric G.
The housebound: Ruth S, Margaret O, Diana B.
The Church: the Anglican Church of Burundi; The Porvoo Churches: Worcester, Hamar.
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 Rev Christine whom to pray for and the reason why.
Those whose anniversaries fall on this week: Trudy White, Gladys Dew, Vi Earth, Mavis Jenkin, Derek Hooton, Ivy Lilian Wooding, Marguerite Harwood, Doris Packwood, George Slate, Malcolm Partridge, Sydney Waples, Sally Bell, Ross Jewell, Dorothy Huddart, Michael Billings, Alan Fitch, Angela Farnell, Harold Albert (Dick) Wrenn.
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