Sunday 29th March 2020
A number of people I’ve spoken to this week have told me that they’ve been hard at work cleaning the darker corners of kitchen and bedroom cupboards. Somebody commented that they’ve now realised that the real reason that they don’t normally get around to this task isn’t lack of time! The nation’s dusters have never been so well used. I hope that you’re all managing to speak to someone who isn’t part of your household at least once a day, we need to look after each other’s mental health, so pick up the phone…
For me, the strangeness of not having my usual meetings has been partly offset by the beautiful weather we’ve continued to have this week. Spring has sprung and I thank God for his merciful timing. It strikes me that the discipline of thankfulness is something that becomes more important the harder it is to do. St Paul reminds us to: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Take care and God bless,
Diary – Week Commencing Sunday 29th March
Sunday 29th March
10:00 Morning Worship – telephone conference
Phone: 03300 945 940
Room number: 60527473 #
PIN: 2656 #
12:00 Morning Worship – live on Facebook
Barbara Abrey will repeat the reading, the sermon and lead some short prayers.
Go to our Facebook page ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’
Wednesday 1st April
10:00 Let’s Pray – live on Facebook
Please join the Facebook group ‘Let’s’ and look out for further instructions about how this will work.
10:00 Morning Worship (Palm Sunday)
Preacher: Phill Harrison
Intercessions: Margaret Penfound
Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
10am service by telephone – an experiment
We’re going to try using telephone conferencing on Sunday morning – getting people to join an audio meeting just using their telephones – no computers involved! Whilst many of us are familiar with video conferencing using things like Facebook and Zoom (or becoming a lot more familiar with them!), there are plenty of people who aren’t, and a significant number who do not have access to a computer. Phone conferencing may be a solution that better suits some people. Follow these instructions to join:
- To join the Sunday service first dial this number: 03300 945 940.
- When prompted, enter the room number, followed by # on your telephone keypad: 60527473 #
- Finally, enter the guest PIN: 2656 #
- You may have to listen to some announcements, but you will then be automatically joined to the conference call. Join in with the responses in the liturgy as you would normally.
Please try and dial-in at 9:55, as it may take a little while for everyone to be connected to the conference. Calls to ‘03’ numbers are charged at the standard national rate and are included in your ‘free minutes’ if you have a call-plan. Revd Phill has delivered service sheets and dial-in instructions to a number of people that we know don’t use email, or for whom we have no email address. If you know someone who doesn’t have email and would like to be included please let us know so that he can drop something through their letterbox.
Church building closure
The Bishops have instructed that church buildings should now be closed for all private prayer – including by priests. This is a sad step and one that we did not expect. However, the motivation behind it is so that the church of England can be seen to be taking a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus. Whilst it is closed, the church will be floodlit as a visible reminder to the village (and the M4!) that hope shines in darkness – and that hope is Jesus.
Weddings and Funerals
It is no longer possible to hold any services in church buildings. Wedding can therefore no longer take place and all funerals will be at the graveside or in the crematorium chapel. The number of people able to attend is limited to just the following – Spouse/Partner, Parents/Carers, Brothers/Sisters, Children (and partners). The maximum number will be just 20.
Sad news – Jean Leo
It is with great sadness that we report that Jean Leo died on 22nd March in GWH. One of her sons was able to be with her at the time. Jean will be missed, and I know that many people would like to pay their respects, however current restrictions mean that her funeral will be a private affair attended by close family members only.
Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting was due to take place on Sunday 26th April. Due to current circumstances this has been postponed; a new date will be set in due course. This means that PCC members and officers (Churchwardens/PCC Secretary etc.) will have their terms of office extended until the date of the new APCM. A number of PCC places will become vacant at the APCM. Please prayerfully consider whether you might be able to support us by becoming a member of our church’s wider leadership team.
Our Parish Office has temporarily relocated to Janet’s Burchell’s dining room! The telephone number and opening hours remain the same: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 1.30pm 01793 812050 (email: email@example.com)
Parish Giving Scheme and envelopes
The parish giving scheme is still functioning, with all members of staff working remotely. If you need to contact them to amend your giving or for Gift Aid changes, please either ring them on 0333 002 1260 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note they are not able to receive post at the moment. Any post is being securely stored by Royal Mail.
Giving envelopes with cheques in can be sent to the Parish Office (by post or put through the letterbox); they will be collected once a week.
Mission to Seafarers Knitting
Got time on your hands? Why not join the army of knitters and make hats for the Mission to Seafarers . These are given to seafarers who may have been recruited in warmer climes and then travel to colder areas. For more information please contact Janet Henderson 525856.
Parish Giving Scheme
The parish giving scheme is still functioning, with all members of staff working remotely. If you need to contact them to amend your giving or gift aid changes, please either ring them on 0333 002 1260 or email: email@example.com. Please note they are not able to receive post at the moment. Any post is being securely stored by Royal Mail.
Filling Station Suspend Service
With regret, The Filling Station is suspending its support for the Homeless in Swindon to ensure the safety of both their clients and volunteers during the current crisis.
The Filling Station, which has operated every Thursday night in Swindon for over 20 years, supports around 50 homeless or “near” homeless people each week
Trustee Angus Macpherson said “The Trustees have had to make this decision based on national advice. We have had not received any specific advice from Swindon Borough Council Public Health. We know that many of the clients have underlying health problems, and bringing them together in not a responsible approach. The Charity has a long established working relationship with Threshold Housing Link which continues.”
We very much hope that we will see a strong response from Swindon Borough Council, with a strategic plan to support this section of our community. As an independent charity we will support such an initiative.
And finally, a prayer for this week:
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Parish Office, Priors Hill, Wroughton, SN4 0RT
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 1.30pm
01793 812050. firstname.lastname@example.org
Revd Phill Harrison – 01793 812301 email@example.com
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