And so we brace ourselves for another lockdown …
Government restrictions mean that all churches must be closed from 5th November, initially for a period of four weeks (there is an exception for funeral services, which can still take place in church).
I suppose we must be realistic and assume that this may not be the last lockdown we experience before this horrid Covid thing is over. For many of us this will feel like a backwards step, but I know that there are plenty of you who have continued to shield, or who have been being very cautious, since March. We must take care of
one-another and those around us in the community; perhaps this time we might need to pay as much attention to people’s mental health as to their physical needs.
St Paul tells those who follow Christ that their “love must be genuine, that they hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.” He asks them to “serve the lord”, exhorting them to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”
(Romans 12.9-12.) None of this is easy, especially at the moment; but it is our Christian calling.
With prayers, Revd Phill.
10:00 Morning Worship –
Phone: 03300 945 940
Room number: 60527473 # PIN: 2656 #
12:00 Morning Worship – live on Facebook
Revd Phill Harrison 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 via Zoom join the Church at 4
group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite
Sunday 15th November
2nd Sunday before Advent
10:00 Morning Worship
Preacher: Revd Barbara Abrey
Intercessions: Sheila Tubey
Reading: 1 Thess. 5. 1-11
Reader: Keith Bassett
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
via Zoom – join the Church at 4 group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite and password.
Church Service -10am Our 10am Sunday service has been running in tandem in the church building and on the telephone since August. With the renewed closure of the church building we have returned to the ‘telephone only’ way of meeting that we practiced during the last lockdown. The telephone service allows you to join anonymously and just listen or to announce yourself and be greeted by name. It also enables us to hear one another as we say the responses and pray together, so there is a sense of being together as a community, despite our physical separation.
- 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.
Calls to ‘03’ numbers are charged at the standard national rate and are included in your ‘free minutes’ if you have a call-plan.
Update from the Archbishops – a month of prayer
The Archbishops have written to clergy following the Prime Minister’s announcement of new Covid restrictions during November. They acknowledge that this second lockdown will be different from the first one: “The days are getting shorter and colder. We are anxious for ourselves and for those we love, especially those who are vulnerable and elderly, and for our families. We know that this pandemic is having a devastating effect on our economy and on people’s mental health.” But this second lockdown will also be different in other ways. They note that: “there is much that we have learned from the first lockdown and there is much to celebrate and be proud of. Churches up and down the land have been serving their local communities and working with others to make sure that the hungry are fed and the vulnerable cared for. We have managed to maintain and, in many cases, extend our outreach by streaming worship online and by developing other ways of building community online.”
They call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer: “More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever. During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown the Archbishops invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.”
Opening the church building for private prayer
During the last lockdown we opened the church building for private prayer on Sunday afternoons until the building work moved inside. This was initially well attended but quickly tailed off. If there is demand, then we would like to open it for private prayer again now that services have been suspended. Unfortunately security concerns mean that we cannot currently leave the building open unsupervised, so it would be good to gauge the level of interest before we organise a rota for ‘church sitting’ and Covid related cleaning. The Archbishops have called for Thursdays to be a particular day of prayer for our nation, so we wonder if people might prefer to visit the church on Thursday afternoon, rather than Sunday? Please let Revd Phill or Janet in the office have any feedback on this topic.
Parish Safeguarding Officer
Please be aware that Mark Tubey is our new Parish Safeguarding Officer. In the past, the Church of England has failed in its duty to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse. People have been hurt and damaged in ways that affect them for their entire lives. This abuse was able to continue because processes and procedures that should have kept people safe either did not exist or were not followed. The Parish Safeguarding Officer has a key role in making sure that we all understand our responsibilities and that any safeguarding concerns are dealt with appropriately. Many thanks to Janet Henderson who previously carried out this role, during a time when legislation and government and diocesan regulations were developing rapidly in this area. Mark now has the safeguarding ‘hat’, but please remember that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. Thanks, Revd Phill.
Wiltshire Christian Workplace Zoom Call
The local group of Transform Work UK is seeking to bring together Christians in Wiltshire who want to live out their faith at work, to shine the light of Jesus into their workplaces, including where we are working remotely from home.
The focus will be on sharing experiences and praying into opportunities, on the themes of connecting in a time of disconnection, and breaking new ground. Here are the key details:
When: Thursday 26th Nov 2020, 7:30 – 9.00 pm
Meeting ID: 950 1344 0378
Message from Bishop Viv – Transforming church
We have been asked to share with you the attached letter from Bishop Viv (see: “Ad Omnes”) about important developments in the life of the Diocese of Bristol. It’s well worth viewing the video which accompanies the letter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i1QK6Wmnvo
Tearfund Big Quiz
“Following the success of previous years the Tearfund Big Night Quiz will be held on Saturday 14th November at 7pm (NB not 7.30 as previously advertised.) The event this year will be held online via Zoom or WhatsApp and Quizmaster Peter assures us the quiz is both easier and shorter than last year! Teams will be of up to six members and this year’s format enables participants from other households to join together as team members. The event will be to fundraise for Tearfund and a Just Giving page has been set up to facilitate this. For further details and to register a team please contact the Church Office or Peter Ferguson on firstname.lastname@example.org leaving a contact email address.”
Here’s the link to the just giving page:
I hope many of you have been knitting angels for our Christmas yarn bombing project. I will be leaving a crate in Church for finished angels or you can deliver them to 17 Edgar Row Close. Please continue to knit them, there is plenty of time before Christmas. Barbara
Knitting for Mission to Seafarers.
I am still collecting hats, scarves and gloves ready to send to the Mission to Seafarers when they resume collections. If you have any completed items please either bring them to church or give me a ring and I will arrange to collect them. Also if you are not a knitter but would like to support this project you could buy balls of Double Knitting yarn (the Prospect shop sells it) and bring them up to church. The boxes for completed items and wool are near the choir vestry. Some of our house bound knitters would welcome some new supplies. Many thanks Janet Henderson 525856
Please continue to send your photo’s to me email@example.com so that I can include on the notices and service sheets. Janet
Floodlighting this week
The Church will be floodlit on Monday 9th November by Anna Godwin in memory of her husband,
David Alan Godwin; on Thursday 12th November by Pat Cohen and family to celebrate the life of Maisie Wick; on Friday 13th November by Jean Lawton in memory of Edward Lawton.
Please remember the friends and family of the late Maisie Wick, Miriam Toomer, Susan Douglas and
Parish Administrator – Janet
Just to let you know that I am having a couple of days holiday from Friday 6th November and return Wednesday 11th November.
Bishop Viv’s appeal to help clergy in Uganda.
Why is this so important?
During a recent Zoom meeting Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba explained how clergy families easily slip between the cracks when it comes to aid, and can often find financial support from other sources hard to obtain.
Archdeacon Godfrey Kasana in Luweero explains some of the social background to the current Covid 19 crisis:
Average income is too low to allow people to save for the future and with no social security system the family is the main support in a crisis. A sudden loss of income affects every generation. Clergy have been particularly badly hit by the Covid 19 crisis as they rely on offerings from their congregation to support them but churches have been closed since March. This has led to great hardship. Some clergy families can eat only one basic meal a day. We are thankful that churches have recently started to reopen for limited numbers of worshippers, but clergy families are likely to continue to lack the most basic needs as their congregations too are struggling to make ends meet.
Clergy living in rural areas can grow food in their gardens. Because urban clergy do not possess land, this resource is closed to them. Those working in the poorest areas and those serving in the slums are especially vulnerable.
The people who so often bear the burden of care in their own communities are themselves now in desperate need of encouragement and support.
What difference can we make?
Even a small gift of £10 can provide maize meal and beans for a family to survive on for a week; £20 would mean that basic essentials such as salt, sugar, soap and cooking oil could be provided along with the food. £50 would allow a family to meet a simple medical emergency. £200 could provide food for ten families.
There is further information here: www.bristol.anglican.org/uganda-appeal.
How can we give?
You can give through your church (using gift aid if you can) and your treasurer will pass your gift on. Or you can give directly here: https://bit.ly/2Twl8jL
This appeal will run until Sunday 29th November.
Today I am asking you to stand with our Ugandan sisters and brothers in this time of crisis and support this appeal as generously as you can.
Rt Revd Vivienne Faull
Bishop of Bristol