Dear Church Friends,
The Easter Day service was so meaningful and uplifting and I should like to thank Rev Jim for leading our worship and communion. The church was full to its current capacity and it was good to welcome back some people who hadn’t felt ready to attend since last March. I should like to thank those who helped clean, decorate and prepare the church for that very special service. The daffodils in the church, the Easter egg trees and flowers at the main doors, plus the decorated cross in the other porch all helped to create a welcoming, joyous atmosphere. The chocolate eggs and palm crosses were a bonus.
Following the success of this service, the elders have decided that we should reopen the church for Sunday Worship from 18th April when Rev Jim Williams will lead our morning service at 10.45am. The same rules and limits on numbers that were in place in 2020 will apply and you will need to book your place by contacting me. Before deciding whether to come to church, Synod has requested that those who intend to book a place for a Sunday service should “ ……. review their personal risk assessment to ensure they are making an informed decision before going forward”. I have included the personal risk assessment and an updated checklist with further information for those wishing to attend.
Please remember to keep your distance from others, both inside and outside the church and leave the grounds as soon as possible following the service. This is most important as Synod suggests that churches wait until Pentecost before reopening and has asked those which do open earlier to ensure that mingling outside of households and support bubbles does not take place. Please help us to conform with this.
Stage 2 of the easing of lockdown restrictions will go ahead next Monday when we will have the opportunity to partake in activities which have been banned for many months, so little by little we are getting there.
The weather has reverted to winter this week and the cold winds and lack of sun have made it less inviting to spend time outside, so we have made shorter walks than usual. I hope it warms up soon as I am keen to get on with some gardening when I have time. Hopefully springtime with warmer weather is nearly here. We visited a garden centre this week and bought some tomato plants for the greenhouse and various seed packets to grow crops, some for outside and some for the greenhouse. I have discovered that a collared dove has made its nest in the gutter above one corner of our upstairs bay window. Just a few twigs using the top of the downpipe as a base and now she is sitting patiently at what seems to be an awkward angle next to the roof.
A cacophony of gulls caused John to look through the bedroom window on Friday morning. They were mobbing and dive bombing a heron which was sitting on the roof of a nearby garage. I don’t know why they do it but we have seen this behaviour on many previous occasions. I feel sorry for the heron as they are such patient birds when watching and waiting to catch fish. No doubt if you have a garden pond with fish in it you won’t welcome a heron’s visit, but what kind of threat do they pose to gulls? More and more blossom is appearing and plants are shooting up all over the place. Just looking at the new growth gives me hope and anticipation of things to come.
On setting out for a walk on Friday afternoon I felt incredibly and unexpectedly sad having just heard the news of Prince Philip’s death that morning, two months short of his 100th birthday. Walking along the bridle paths in the sunshine, watching two birds of prey gliding on the thermals in the sky, observing two herons against a background of blue sky, seeing the first swallows of spring, listening to the singing of the birds and the bleating of the lambs, I soon found that the peace and tranquillity out there restored my mood somewhat, once again showing me the uplifting healing power of nature. Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers go to her Majesty the Queen and all her family at this sad time. We give thanks for the long life of the Prince in which he dedicated himself in love and support to the Queen and service to this country.
Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who greave,
Too short for those who rejoice.
But, for those who love,
Time is eternity. Anon
Thank you from the Leprosy Mission
This is a reflection for 10th April from the 2016 Friendship Book.
There’s an old story of six young men applying for one job at the telegraph office. They all knew Morse code so they filled out the applications the secretary gave them with confidence. Then they all sat and waited to be called into the office for an interview.
A few minutes later one young man got up and walked into the office. The others were amazed at his nerve, but the secretary explained, “ While you have all been sitting there, the telegraph was repeatedly tapping out a message. It said, ‘ If you can understand this, come in. You’ve got the job’.” The message was there for all of them. Each one of them could have deciphered it, but only one was listening.
It’s intriguing to think that the world, and everything in it, might be a message sent to each one of us, inviting us to play a part in God’s Grand Plan. Are you listening? Do you want the job?
Link for Sunday Morning Zoom Worship at 10:30am
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
We pray for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll and all the Royal family as they come to terms with the loss of Prince Philip. He lived a long life alongside the Queen, supporting her throughout and was her confidant, rock and friend as well as her husband. Please be with them in this time of need. Comfort them and give them strength to cope with the grief they will be feeling. Be with them always and pour out your eternal love on them. In Your name, Amen
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all Ruth