Our Easter Sunday celebrations this year were certainly different! We were joined on the telephone service by an actual live lamb (never had one of those in church before), although I still can’t quite decide which household he/she was part of? There were also a few gremlins on the line and they invited what sounded like some daleks, the flowerpot men and a fax machine. Fortunately it was only really the creed that got glitched out and we were able to resume quite quickly. As well as the menagerie, we have also been joined by a number of people who would perhaps struggle to get to church under normal circumstances, and plenty who don’t have access to a computer. So despite the wrinkles, I think the telephone service is the way forward at 10am for now.
Community feels more precious than ever at the moment and perhaps this is why our telephone service is more popular than our Facebook livestream at 12:00. Community is messy, it’s not as controlled, things can go wrong and the end result is something that is less ‘slick’. But we are built for community – the need for relationship is something that is within each one of us. We are made to be in relationship with God and with each other. When God said “it is not good for men/women to be alone” (Gen 2:18) he wasn’t kidding. With prayers that someone will help you to feel less alone today. Phill
Sunday 19th April 2020
2nd Sunday of Easter
10:00 Morning Worship – telephone conference
Phone: 03300 945 940
Room number: 60527473 #
PIN: 2656 #
12:00 Morning Worship – live on Facebook
Revd Barbara Abrey will repeat the reading, the sermon and lead some short prayers. Go to our Facebook page ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’
4pm Church at 4 will be getting together informally, either by video call on Messenger or via Zoom – more details to follow!
7:30pm Pray and Bless Wroughton and Wichelstowe will return, probably by Zoom – details below on how to join.
Sunday 26th April, 3rd Sunday of Easter
10:00 Morning Worship
Preacher: Cheryl Hawkins
Intercessions: Marion Colton
Reading: Acts 2: 14a, 22-32
Reader: Peter Ferguson
12.00 Morning Worship live on Facebook
Cheryl Hawkins will repeat the reading, the sermon and lead some short prayers. Go to our Facebook page ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’
10am service by telephone
Our Sunday morning service is an audio meeting that people can dial into using just their telephones – no computers involved! 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.
Easter to Pentecost – the book of Acts
During the period of time from Easter to Pentecost we will be reading through the book of Acts together as a church. Our sermons will pick up some of the key themes in Acts and this also ties in with the theme from Spring Harvest. If you would like a book to read alongside this then we suggest the Spring Harvest theme book for this year ‘Unleashed: The Acts Church Today’ by GAVIN CALVER and ANNE CALVER (available in Kindle and paperback). Daily readings from Acts are now appearing on our Facebook page, or a reading plan is available here. Like the disciples, we now find ourselves in a world where everything has changed – what can they teach us about the way ahead and what might the Holy Spirit be inspiring us to do now?
SPRING HARVEST HOME
Lots of people joined in with Spring Harvest Home last week and the Messenger group chat worked really well with people contributing their thoughts and reflections or just… having a chat. If you missed it, or if there are sessions that you would like to catch-up on then they will be available on the Spring Harvest YouTube channel until the end of April (https://www.youtube.com/user/SpringHarvest). It’s a completely free online conference programme with content suitable for everyone in the family, all built around the 2020 theme of “Unleashed – The Acts Church Today“.
Pray & Bless Wroughton – Tuesday 21st April 7.30pm
At this time, one of the things we can all do for our community, and something that is easy to do from our homes, is to pray for it. For those who would like to join in praying by Zoom videolink, please see the details below. For those of you who may not want or be able to join in this way, I have attached some “Pray and Bless” prayers for you to use on Tuesday evening, that you can use alongside your own prayers (or why not phone a friend and pray with them). It says in Matthew 20:19-20 “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them”. Jesus never said over what distance that gathering can take place – we are still gathered, even when spread across Wroughton, Wichelstowe and further afield, and we can all join our prayers together on Tuesday.
“Zoom” prayer meeting – Apr 21, 2020 07:30 PM
To join the meeting – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/72080738912
Meeting ID: 720 8073 8912
Spring Harvest Home meeting – Friday 17th April – 12.30pm
For anyone who has joined in with some of the Spring Harvest Home sessions this week, we’re meeting up again by Zoom videolink on Friday to chat about everything we’ve learnt this week:
To join the meeting – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74135906167
Meeting ID: 741 3590 6167
Ordination – change of plans
Thank you for those that have contacted me about the plans for my Ordination and the prayers – it has meant a lot to know I have been remembered.
As you can imagine, as a lot of things at present, plans for my Ordination have had to change. My Ordination has been postponed from the 5th July to a date to be announced, but not before September. I have therefore, had to change my plans a little around leaving the Civil Service, so will now leave my current employment on the 31st August. Subject to restrictions because of Covid 19, I am still hoping to move to Westbury on Trym at the end of June, so I can settle into my new home and start getting to know the area and congregation.
As like all of us, I look to the time when we can all come together again physically in Church to worship – if this cannot be before the end of June, then I will look forward to coming back to see you all before my Ordination. With prayers and blessings to you all. Cheryl
Swindon Food Bank
Food banks are still open, and the independent food bank for Swindon – Swindon Food Collective – is continuing to help local households. If you can, do consider making a financial contribution at this time. Donations can be made via the website: https://www.swindonfoodcollective.org/
The Let’s Team
Let’s Talk – Live ‘Finding the Silver Linings’ on the 29th April live on Facebook.
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 10.
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 Burchell’s dining room! The telephone number and opening hours remain the same: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 1.30pm 01793 812050 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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: email@example.com. 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.
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.
Funeral this week
Please pray the families and friends of Robert Whitfield as his funeral takes place.
And finally, a prayer for this week:
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ 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
Church Twitter Account
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