Please note that sadly, due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, all activities at the church are suspended until further notice. Please see the letter from our minister below.
Hear we are on the third Sunday of “Lockdown”. Thank you for the many positive emails I have received. I am glad that although we are separated physically, yet we are managing to maintain a sense that we belong together in Christ.
We have been bombarded with bad news on a daily basis, and we rightly recognise what a serious situation we face, but I have been reminded this week that good things are still happening. I would like to share those things with you if I may:
First, I saw on the TV how this crisis is bringing us together as communities. We are united in our gratitude to the NHS and all front line workers, those who keep our food supply going from producers right through to check out operators at the supermarket. Also it was lovely to see how neighbours have been brought closer, on one particular street, the neighbours had started coming outside (keeping the correct distance of course) to talk to each other over the fence. One woman said “we used to be neighbours, but now we are friends”. Times like this will always bring out the worst in some, but they bring out the best in most!
Another unexpected joy is to see that our Virtual Worship is reaching about twice as many people than the usual number that would attend church. This is wonderful as it means that people who for many reasons cannot or do not wish to physically come to church are having the opportunity to join us, and hopeful the possibility of finding God to be more real and relevant to them.
On a personal level, We were blessed on Friday to see the first picture of our next grandchild. He or she has been around for 13 weeks and will come into the world sometime in October. Seeing the wonderful image so perfect, made me realise that life will go on, children will be born and one day we will look back on this as a memory of part of the rich tapestry of events that make up our human existence.
As a Christian, I believe we owe that existence to God, and I believe that he is with us to carry us through the days of darkness and he will be with us to celebrate when we come back into the light. Today (Palm Sunday) is especially powerful and poignant in the Christian Calendar as it marks the beginning of the days we call “Holy Week”. In these days we remember the extraordinary lengths that God went to in order to show his love for his wayward people. We remember the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and that helps us to realise that God did not remain remote and immune to suffering, including the suffering we face ourselves just now, but he was willing to share fully in human pain, so that his offer of love and support is not just empty words that cost him nothing, but a genuine promise of one who knows and cares.
I intend today or tomorrow to circulate some quiet meditations for Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday of Holy Week. These will be some thoughts on some of the words Jesus spoke from the Cross. Words from the very heart of his agony to comfort and strengthen us.
I would like to say something about finance. For many people this is a time of great anxiety financially, with jobs lost and livelihoods threatened. Our thoughts and prayers are with you if you are one of those people. But for others, income will remain secure. If you, like me, are in that category, then I would like to ask that you prayerfully remember your church at this time. If you give each week in a gift aid envelope, please keep doing so ready to bring the envelopes to church when we re-open. If you give cash into the collection plate normally, then you may like to put your offering aside somewhere each week. In each video, I will say a prayer of dedication as an acknowledgement and thanks for your gift. Our giving is more than just putting money into a collection, it expresses our love for God and symbolises our desire to dedicate all we have and are to him.
Some of us give by standing order each week and if you would like to join that scheme, please email me and I will pass it on to the relevant ChurchTreasurer to send you details.
I am receiving a wealth of material from all over the place, and it is sometimes hard to know what to send round and what not to. I have included a few links this week to some sites that you may find helpful.
For a time of quiet reflection
For help with prayer
Would you like to go to Spring Harvest this year? Unfortunately you can’t, but the good news is that Spring Harvest can come to you. From the 13th April to 17th April, Spring Harvest sessions will be broadcast at the following link:
Access will be unlimited and TOTALLY FREE!!
An opportunity not to be missed
And Finally – the central links from the Methodist Church for live streaming services etc can be found here:
And finally finally!!!!
For a bit of fun:
(if the link doesn’t work try copy and pasting into your web browser)