Vicar's Emails

Email 11 September 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as we remember the tragic and world changing events of 9/11, now 20 years ago, and the background to the recent evacuation from Afghanistan.

I'm grateful to those who kept morning prayer going while I was away on holiday. We're now reading the apocryphal book of Wisdom. Written in Greek between the Old and New Testaments and included in our pew Bibles, the book was not considered Holy Scripture by the Palestinian Jews of Jesus' time. However, it is probably alluded to in the New Testament, counted as Scripture by the Roman Catholic Church, and considered edifying but not to be used to prove doctrine in the Church of England. It stresses wisdom and especially holds out a hope of life after death and resurrection to those who are persecuted by the wicked. This may thankfully not seem a pressing subject in Eaton, but we have been reminded that such a hope will seem so very relevant to Christians in countries like Afghanistan. Our prayers are with them.

It was lovely to see people at the services in church at 8am and 10am last week. I understand from some of them that it may not have been completely clear that there are services in church with the congregation present and singing at 10am.

We are also trying to broadcast the church services on Zoom for those who are shielding or otherwise have difficulty making it into church. The engineers have turned up the Zoom volume and adjusted some of the views of the new video system in church. I hope this will improve matters. Please let us know if you join the 10am service by Zoom how it goes. As we get more used to using the system we hope to be able to interact more with those online from church and improve the experience. The choir have returned to the chancel area and the engineers have adjusted the microphones there, so I hope and pray you can see and hear using the Zoom details below if you cannot attend church.

Thank you to Matt and the choir for rehearsing this Saturday morning in church, and for those who supported the Norfolk Churches Trust sponsored bike ride, raising money for Christ Church and the Norfolk Churches Trust this Saturday. Please sponsor Ruth Vaughan, either on the form in church or by contacting her on Email

Following last week's climate Sunday, this Monday the PCC will be discussing how we can help preserve the environment, so please think and pray about this.

During the coming week the Norwich diocese clergy have a special lower cost, eco-friendly clergy conference, based at the Cathedral and online rather than travelling to Hertford as normal, so apologies if I continue to be slightly less communicative.

We are preparing for a family wedding next weekend, and, though I have just done a negative lateral flow test, we are conscious that the Covid rates are creeping upwards and people are having close encounters with infected people. Our prayers are with Boris Johnson, the government and the SAGE group as they prepare winter COVID guidance and plans. Alistair Bolt will kindly lead the Harvest Sunday service on September 19th and Vivien and her team will kindly distribute harvest gifts as described in the noticesheet for 5 and 12 September. We will not be decorating the Church as much as in 2019 but if you might like to help decorate, tidy or provide flowers etc. please talk to Sue Harris.

With love and prayers for September,

Patrick

 

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – we will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

You can find the communion service order and hymns on the website services page.

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 2 September 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. I have returned from holiday, which provided a good rest, with a break to be present at Audrey's thanksgiving funeral service on Friday 20th August. I know how grateful Colin was for everyone's prayers and support. After this, among other things, we stayed at Bury St Edmunds, and were mildly amused to find that the Cathedral was taken over by a beer festival. I'm grateful to all who supported the church and led and helped with services and activities while I was away.

On my return I did my first service using the new streaming system. You can see the video on our Facebook page. The sound levels seem low but you can clearly hear the readings, sermon and prayers and the pictures are good. The organ, choir and congregation are particularly quiet, probably because none of them have a dedicated microphone. Darren's team who installed the system are planning to come to increase the volume.

Matt Wright and the choir are hoping to return to the chancel area this Sunday and it will be interesting to see how this relocation affects the sound online too. You can see and hear using the Zoom details below.

Matt is inviting all singers to join the choir rehearsal on Saturday 11th September at 10am to noon in church, singing September's music, even if you don't intend to sing in any services. Let him know on Email if you're not on his choir mailing and would like to be.

I have been a red team leader on the Superheroes holiday club held in St Andrew's church this week. It's been going well, with the children enjoying it and learning about how Jesus can help us to live. This and the email backlog from holiday have delayed my usual emails, but I hope to resume sending emails, though perhaps a little less regularly, assuming more normal services and meetings continue to return as schools go back.

Sunday's 10am service marks Climate Sunday, with special readings about the current crisis that is already intensifying droughts and increasing the suffering of poor countries like Ethiopia. You can see diocesan information about the 4pm national service in Glasgow, where the UK will be hosting the UN Climate talks, here.

Ruth Vaughan kindly plans to take part in the Annual Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride on September 11th, raising money for Christ Church and the Norfolk Churches Trust. Please sponsor her, either on the form in church or by contacting her on Email.

We will have our harvest festival on Sunday 19th September. We will not be decorating the Church as much as in 2019 but if you might like to help decorate, tidy or provide flowers etc. please talk to Sue Harris.

With love and prayers for September,

Patrick

 

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – we will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

You can find the communion service order and hymns on the website services page.

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 9 August 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the UN Climate report warns of impending crisis, vividly illustrated by the fires in Greece and other extreme weather events.

In our readings at Morning Prayer, we have started reading Proverbs and are working through Mark's Gospel. Proverbs encourages wise living and the Gospel calls for repentance. The Climate report likewise is a call to the whole world for wisdom and to change how we live. With both the report and the Gospel there may be various things of which we are unsure, but in both cases we can be confident that failure to change will end in disaster and death. Thankfully, Jesus has the words of eternal life and always offers the chance of a new start.

It was great to celebrate this new start as we celebrated the baptisms of Bella and Mel in church (visible on Facebook thanks to John Ladd's camera work, and thank you to those who joined by Zoom). Please continue to pray for Bella and Mel and for those who might confirm their baptism with Bishop Graham on 27th November.

I enjoyed having two days off last week and will be taking tomorrow, Tuesday, off as well, as Catherine and I celebrate our Silver wedding anniversary.

Please pray for Anna Ross and Robert Gammon as they marry in Christ Church on Saturday afternoon.

I will start my summer holiday after taking the wedding.

We've now had confirmation that Audrey Way's memorial thanksgiving service will be in Christ Church at 2pm on Friday 20th August, after a family committal in the morning. I will be able to attend the service. Please continue to pray for Colin and for all Audrey's family.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – we will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 4 August 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines and the infection and hospitalisation rates look encouraging. It seems scientists are not now expecting the change in restrictions on 19 July to produce a massive spike over the summer. With schools closed and good weather, infections should be reduced. The government are now encouraging 16-17 year olds to have a first jab, which should help in the autumn when things may get more infectious, both with Covid and the flu and other respiratory infections.

In our readings at Morning Prayer, Ezekiel sees the people scattered in exile, but God will act for his glory and regather his people under a Davidic King. It was great to regather and sing in church on Sunday morning (you can see and hear choir and people on Facebook thanks to John Ladd's camera work). We want to allow people to regather both in church and online and I'm pleased that Archdeacon Karen has granted permission to install an online streaming system with cameras in church. I hope and pray installation will happen in the week commencing 16th August, and will help people stay in touch and connected. Most of the cost is being met by extremely generous anonymous donors.

The different zones in church for the 10am seemed to work, with most but not all people preferring to sing without masks and plenty of room for those who are feeling cautious.

As you'll see on the August noticesheet this Sunday we have a 10am baptism service in church baptising Bella, an infant, and Mel, an adult. Please do pray for and support them. We again hope to broadcast on Zoom using the usual link below on Sunday.

There will also be an 8am communion service in church and a 6pm service on Zoom.

The diocese now encourages clergy to take an extra day off each month to create a sort of “weekend” effect and I am hoping to take this Saturday off.

Looking ahead, Bishop Graham is planning a confirmation service in the cathedral on 27th November at 1030am. We hope to have some candidates. Please do let me know if you might be interested in being confirmed.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – we will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 31 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines. A lot of attention is on Tokyo but in Afghanistan Islamist militants are laying siege to major cities. In our readings at Morning Prayer, Ezekiel has had to deal with the death of his wife, the fall of besieged Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Yet he is offered hope that God himself will shepherd his people and restore the line of David, and that people will in the future prosper in the land. Ezekiel did not live to see these promises fulfilled, but we see them fulfilled in Christ. The book of James encourages us to patience, inspired by the example of the prophets and sustained by prayer to our heavenly Father.

I am very sad to report that Audrey Way died peacefully early on Friday morning. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Colin is grateful for the care she received in the Hawthorns and is beginning to make plans for her funeral and a service of thanksgiving in Christ Church. I am sure you will want to join me in prayers for Colin and the family.

I hope you have seen the August noticesheet that Catherine Richmond has put up on our website.

John Ladd will kindly aim to broadcast the 10am communion service in church on Zoom using the usual link below on Sunday. There isn't a special service sheet. The hymns from the red hymn books are: 715 Lord for the years; 430 Bread of heaven (t1); 712 Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us; and 813 Through the night of doubt and sorrow (omit vv 7 & 8)

God willing there will also be an 8am communion service in church and a 6pm service on Zoom.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – John will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 28 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as we have sunshine, thunder and hail on the same day. In our readings at Morning Prayer, after the trauma of the death of his wife and the disaster befalling Jerusalem, Ezekiel recovers his speech and is told he must call God's people to repentance, but many will prefer to listen to God's word than to act on it. This might be relevant to us, as we hear warnings of the effects of climate change and already see signs of more frequent extreme weather events. Will we act on the warnings?

The infection rates are looking hopeful and I pray hospitalisations and death rates will fall in due course, as has happened in Scotland. After being told by the NHS Covid App to self-isolate, I have another couple of days to go. I have done some negative lateral flow tests and feel fine, thanks be to God. I'm also grateful to John and Kathy Ladd who gave me an exercise bike while I was prevented from going for my usual rides.

Congratulations to Daniil who walked over 300 miles in memory of Ella, raising money for cancer research, finally reaching Christ Church on Monday morning. Thank you to Catherine Jeffries for welcoming him in person with a cup of tea, while I communicated by video. You can see Daniil's route and donate here.

I am going to take tomorrow, Thursday, off as well as my normal Friday. I hope many will come to the Coffee Morning at St Andrew's Church Hall from 10am to Noon on Saturday, raising money for mission support. As Rural Dean, I have a role in the installation of the new Vicar of the Mitre Benefice at St Thomas' on Saturday afternoon. Please pray about these.

The worship committee met on Monday evening. Aware that some feel more cautious than others, we want people to feel safe and respected as legal restrictions end. We will experiment with recommending people to wear a mask when not singing and all the time in the north side of the church (the left as you look to the Altar) with the extreme north aisle a “safe zone” with no singing and social distancing in place. You can read more details about our services on the new August noticesheet that Catherine Richmond has put up on our website.

Thank you to John Ladd, who will try to broadcast the 10am communion service in church on Zoom using the usual link below on Sunday. God willing there will also be an 8am communion service in church and a 6pm service on Zoom.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service from Church by Zoom at 10am – John will try to start the Zoom service before hand  Zoom details

There is also a short Sunday evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 24 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as parts of the country suffer a torrential end to the heatwave, there are some slight signs that at least the number of new infections may be slowing, and Eaton's weekly rate is below average. The country continues to suffer from the pandemic but thankfully our death rate remains relatively low.

The NHS Covid App has just told me to self-isolate for 7 days. I expect this may be linked to the Science and Faith in Norfolk lecture that I chaired at the cathedral on Tuesday evening. Tomorrow, Sunday I will not be able to preside at the 8am communion in church. There will be a 1030 service on Zoom and a 6pm service on Zoom, details below.

In our readings at Morning Prayer, Ezekiel is told that his wife will die, and that he will be a sign to God's people. One of the most tragic signs of the pandemic has been the need to curtail funerals and mourning in light of the national crisis, thankfully now abating, and Ezekiel is told that he must curtail his mourning in light of the imminent destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. It seems that God, his prophet and his people all face a traumatic loss of their precious beloved, but must exercise self-control in light of the national crisis. Please do pray for all those mourning or facing imminent bereavement.

The PCC has decided to go ahead and seek permission to install equipment to stream church services online interactively, with thanks to anonymous donors willing to finance the whole cost excluding VAT. A key reason to do this is that streaming is increasingly expected for funerals and other life-events like weddings and baptisms and crematoria now stream funerals. We have also been contacted by Swardeston Church, who send their greetings, asking about interactive streamed worship for the housebound, disabled and vulnerable, further showing the potential value of the equipment.

The worship committee plan to finalise our plans for August next week, on Monday evening, by Zoom.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 21 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun continues to shine and the infection rate continues to increase. Both the Prime minister and the leader of the opposition are in isolation. As I came back from the Cathedral last night I had mixed feelings seeing the young going to night clubs, pleased that things were relaxing but concerned that it isn't clear what will happen. I've heard several people say that, when you're young you can feel immortal.

In our readings at Morning Prayer St Paul coyly suggests that he has had heavenly revelations, but suffered a mysterious “thorn in the flesh” which prevented him being too carried away. When he prayed that it might be removed he was told that God's grace is enough and his power made perfect in weakness. Paul suggests that it is our willingness to endure suffering for Christ's sake that proves our faith as genuine.

In addition to the guidance from the Church of England, the Archdeacons have commended some unofficial advice here, noting that while many will look forward to singing, the disabled and vulnerable will welcome ventilation, distancing and masks as well as continuing to offer “Hybrid” worship online. The bishop is encouraging local consultation and a slow, steady safe approach.

This coming Sunday I will preside at the 8am communion in church. There will be a 1030 service on Zoom and a 6pm service on Zoom, details below.

The worship committee plan to finalise our plans for August next week, on Monday evening.

I am grateful to those who've been in touch with their views on returning to normal. People seem generally understanding that we are in uncertain times. There seems little desire to share the communion cup at the moment and only a few have asked for refreshments in church. A few are also interested in receiving a communion host slightly dipped in the wine by the priest.

Thank you again to all who are supporting the church financially in these difficult times. You can see the Rev Matthew Hutton's sermon on Christian giving here.

The PCC preferred the bottom, glowing light version of the new logo. We will begin to use it and want to refresh the welcome signage at the entrance to church, but we need a new strap-line to use the logo fully.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 17 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines, the infection rate increases exponentially and the health secretary tests positive for Covid-19 a couple of days before what some see as “Freedom Day.” It is clearly a difficult balance to achieve between exerting too much authority, and being seen as authoritarian, and too little and being seen as irresponsible. In our readings at Morning Prayer St Paul is also trying to maintain a proper balance, recognising that he is an apostle by the grace and authority of the risen Jesus and recognised as such by the other apostles, but that some of the Corinthians think a previous letter of his was boasting of his authority and that he has overstepped the limits. St Paul seeks unity by underscoring that he wants the true Gospel proclaimed, as we all should do.

There is now some new guidance from the Church of England, noting that congregations will be able to sing in church legally, but encouraging risk assessment, ventilation, distancing and masks. Please let me know if you would feel safer if people around you wore a mask while singing. We may have room to have different zones in the church. The communion cup can be offered but risks and mitigations are noted. The infection rate is rising and I have not yet seen much sign of enthusiasm for receiving the cup or for refreshments in church. Please do let me know what you think and please keep an eye on my emails, the noticesheet and website for confirmation and updates, since we are feeling our way into new situations and everything remains changeable.

I am so grateful to all who are supporting the church financially. We know that the diocese has suffered a significant fall in income with the pandemic and so the PCC have agreed to pay our parish share early to help cash-flow. Tomorrow, Sunday at both the 1025am Zoom service (details below) and at the 330pm Communion in Church, we are remembering “giving for growth” as we have done in previous years. I am delighted that the Rev Matthew Hutton, priest at St Barnabas Church and a deputy of the Lord Lieutenant, has agreed to preach at both services on this vital but sensitive subject.

As you'll see on the news section of the website, Catherine has produced a new edition of the noticesheet. Our prayers and best wishes go with Peggy Steib, who has recently moved to Liverpool to be near family. We hope we can get her new address soon so please let me know if you might like it.

The PCC have asked to take a final vote on the three designs for the new logo, with glowing light, beaming light or both. You can see them all here.

The Eaton parishes’ magazine needs a new editor to replace Sarah Scott on the team. The magazine is produced using a word template so there is no complicated publishing software involved. We have a loyal board of contributors and we usual have plenty of material, although ideas for new topics and articles are always welcome. If you are interesting in finding out more please email the magazine.

With love and prayers for the summer,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 13 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. As usual, the national religion has provoked a huge roller coaster of emotions. The longed-for homecoming nearly happened, but at the end the goal was missed. I spent Friday to Monday “at” General Synod on Zoom. The officers of General Synod applauded the England team and the way their diversity and mutual support offers a model for the country. They expressed disappointment and concern over the way racial abuse marred the team's achievement. In our readings at Morning Prayer we are working through St Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. Differences have arisen between Paul and the Corinthians and a huge range of emotions are on display, but Paul points to eternal fellowship with Christ as the source and goal of hope, offering consolation in adversity.

Our Prime minister has confirmed that nearly all legal restrictions, including those on congregational singing, will be removed on July 19th. It is also confirmed that infections are taking off and even Boris wants people to exercise caution!

After careful consideration the Summer Programme team have decided not to proceed with the plans for a short Summer Programme during the last two weeks in August announced in the July/August magazine.

While we await church guidance and advice, we are still thinking of returning to 8am and 10am services in church in August, but please do keep an eye on my emails, the noticesheet and website for confirmation and updates, since everything remains changeable. Thank you to Colin Way, who took the 330pm communion in church on Sunday, the day after taking his granddaughter's wedding. We had hoped that he could take the 10am communions in August when I am on holiday but this is not now feasible, further emphasising the need to check arrangements as we proceed. I was very sorry to learn that a few turned up for an 8am communion on Sunday, so please do spread the word and check that others are getting my emails. The communion in church this Sunday is again at 330pm.

Hardly any have yet said they are keen to have refreshments after the service or to take the wine at communion. I hope it is worth mentioning that the CofE already allows the priest (not the recipient) to dip the communion wafer in wine before giving it, so please say if this sounds worth pursuing. There is little point in offering things if no one wants it so please do let me know what you feel safe doing in church.

Congratulations to the Friends of Christ Church on running the plant sale and bottle tombola on Saturday. David Scott has told me that over £700 was raised, a great achievement, and Ros Wright has kindly put some pictures on our Facebook page. Congratulations also to Spencer and Jerry who got married in Christ Church on Saturday evening.

Our charity for July is Mission to Seafarers supporting seafarers around the world. For more information and to donate online visit: www.missiontoseafarers.org

With love and prayers as we approach this new phase of the pandemic,

Patrick

 

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 7 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The national religion is currently coming home in ecstasy. England expects... In our readings at Morning Prayer Ezekiel is given a vision of God. God's throne is mysteriously mobile, signifying that his rule is not limited to one place, reaching even those defeated and in exile far from home.

We will hear more on the 12th but it currently looks likely that nearly all legal restrictions, including those on congregational singing, will be removed on July 19th. Though the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths has been severely weakened, we are looking at a spike with potentially millions of infections, with consequent huge increases in isolations, long Covid lasting months, and, sadly, some deaths, so the future is not yet clear and even the fully vaccinated people may not yet be feeling totally safe. Just because things are allowed doesn't mean they are wise and we await guidance from the Church of England, not least about communion. The PCC is thinking about trying to restore something like normal services at 8am and 10am from 1st August. Please let me know if you are keen to share communion wine (individual cups are not allowed) or have coffee and refreshments in church or have other suggestions.

You can follow Daniil's progress on his fundraising walk in memory of Ella here and we've followed it on our Facebook page. Please do support lymphoma research at www.ourpathwithella.com and continue to pray for Ella's family.

Thank you to Catherine Jeffries and the team for restarting Baby&Me on Monday Mornings. Please pray for people to come and help spread the word.

I will be at General Synod (now online) from Friday afternoon, so am taking Thursday as my day off. Please pray for wisdom for the General Synod, discussing the climate crisis and the Church's investments, sexuality and gender, and clergy discipline, amongst other things.

A reminder that the Plant Sale is going ahead this Saturday 10th July, 11am – 3pm at church. Donations welcome. Please Contact Carrie Phoenix (07780 676837) or Sarah Scott (07963 179890) for more information. Plant donations can be left out of sight on the north side of church between 2pm and 6.30pm on Friday 9th July. Please also pray for Spencer and Jerry who are getting married at 5pm on Saturday.

On Sunday we mark the sixth Sunday after Trinity, Sea Sunday. There will be a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will see a video updating us on our mission partners the Seeds in Africa, and Colin Way is kindly leading a 330pm communion service in church.

Our charity for July is Mission to Seafarers supporting seafarers around the world. For more information and to donate online visit: www.missiontoseafarers.org

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 3 July 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The rain has been falling in England, affecting Wimbledon, but thoughts are turning to Rome and England's clash with Ukraine. Perhaps not coincidentally, the BBC is reporting on Ukrainian plans for women to march in high heels! In our readings from his letter to the Church at Rome, St Paul has argued that all nations are blessed in Jesus the Jewish Messiah, and finishes his letter with personal greetings to members and leaders of the Church in Rome, many of them women, reminding us how the Gospel of love encourages us to overcome previous divisions based on race, nationality and sex.

Tomorrow is the fifth Sunday after Trinity. There will be a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will hear of Jesus rejection at Nazareth and sending his disciples out in pairs to preach and heal, and Matt will keep an international perspective with a voluntary on US Independence Day and the Liberty Bell. At 330pm I am leading the communion service in church. Please do join us if you can.

Archbishop Justin, along with other celebrities, continues to encourage everyone to give thanks for key workers, family members, neighbours and volunteers tomorrow, the day before the NHS's birthday, in a Big Thank-you. Clearly the original hope was that the lockdown would have ended more completely, but it is a good and Christian thing to be thankful, especially for love and care.

In July our charity of the month switches to Mission to Seafarers offering support to seafarers around the world. July 11th is Sea Sunday. For more information and to donate online please visit: www.missiontoseafarers.org

A repeated reminder that the Plant Sale is going ahead on Saturday 10th July, 11am – 3pm at church. Donations welcome. Please Contact Carrie Phoenix (07780 676837) or Sarah Scott (07963 179890) for more information. Plant donations can be left out of sight on the north side of church between 2pm and 6.30pm on Friday 9th July. Also, Roger Glenwright is keen to have bottles for his tombola. They can be dropped off at church or 12 Sunningdale up to Wednesday 7th July.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 30 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The national religion is currently in full revival after a historic victory in the providential side of the draw. Let the reader understand...

Ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has died aged 88. He was famous for talking about the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. In our readings at morning prayer from Job, Job has been wanting to argue his case with God but is faced with a series of rhetorical questions about the marvels and mysteries of creation and nature. He is reminded of unknowns which undermine his confidence that he can understand or judge God's providence. England now go on to Rome, and in our readings from Romans St Paul looks forward to finally being able to take the Gospel to Rome, where he will witness to the Gospel as a martyr.

Ella's funeral in Pickering went well and her family and friends said they appreciated the service and my coming. On the return journey my taxi didn't arrive and a train was cancelled, taking up more time, but I was able to get back home safely by Monday night. Please do support lymphoma research at www.ourpathwithella.com and continue to pray for Ella's family.

Thank you to those who have responded about installing a streaming system in church. There have been only a few responses but they are all positive. Responses about the logo designs are roughly even between the beam and the glow designs. You can see them here along with a link to the July August parishes magazine. Please let me know if you have a view on the streaming system or the logo.

A reminder that the Plant Sale is going ahead on Saturday 10th July, 11am – 3pm at church. Donations welcome. Please Contact Carrie Phoenix (07780 676837) or Sarah Scott (07963 179890) for more information. Plant donations can be left out of sight on the north side of church between 2pm and 6.30pm on Friday 9th July. Also, Roger Glenwright is keen to have bottles for his tombola. They can be dropped off at church or 12 Sunningdale up to Wednesday 7th July.

This Sunday we mark the fifth Sunday after Trinity. There will be a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will hear of Jesus returning to Nazareth and a 330pm communion service in church. Please do join us if you can.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 26 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well and that the weekend is going well.

Matt Hancock's violation of social distancing is raising questions of safety, leadership, hypocrisy and standards in public life, as well as observations that civil life is increasingly not bound by private morality. In our readings at Morning Prayer from St Paul's letter to the Romans, St Paul discourages division and judgement over such matters as food and religious festivals. In the background is the Law of Moses with its food laws, Sabbaths and ceremonies. The Church of England has taught e.g. in Article 7 of the 39 Articles of religion in the Book of Common Prayer, that Christians are not bound by the ceremonies, rites and civil law of the Old Testament, but we are not free from Commandments which are called Moral.

I have been getting ready to take Ella's funeral on Monday. Ella's husband, Daniil, will begin a walk for Cancer UK Lymphoma at the start of July, walking over 300 miles from Ella's resting place in the Howardian Hills to Chaucer Barn, near Holt, where Daniil and Ella had their reception after their wedding at Christ Church just over 3 years ago. You can donate and find more at www.ourpathwithella.com

Tomorrow we mark the Fourth Sunday after Trinity. There will be an 8am communion in church and a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will continue to work through Mark's Gospel. Having healed the man possessed by a legion of demons, Jesus returns to the Jewish side of the Sea of Galilee and raises Jairus' daughter and the woman with chronic bleeding.

I will be on the way to Yorkshire for the funeral but I hope there can be a 6pm service on Zoom. Please do join us if you can.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

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Email 24 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well and appreciating the return of brighter weather.

With international travel, international conflict and international football in the news, St Paul's encouragement to the ethnically diverse church in Rome is to leave vengeance to God, to return blessing for cursing and to live at peace wherever possible. It seems that this teaching is aimed more at our private interactions, and St Paul also teaches that civil authority is ordained by God for the keeping of law, order and justice.

The delay in removing all Covid restrictions has affected various plans. The Summer Coffee Morning in aid of Church Mission Society will now be in St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Saturday 31st July, 10am- 12 noon. There are details in the new noticesheet.

The Friends of Christ Church are proceeding with the fund raising plant sale at Christ Church on 10th July, 11am-3pm, in a Covid-compliant way, outside if weather permits. Please contact Carrie Phoenix (07780 676837) or Sarah Scott (07963 179890) for more information. Donations of all types of plants are welcome. Roger Glenwright is kindly running the Bottle Tombola and seeking donations of anything drinkable, not necessarily alcoholic, from bottles of water and fizzy pop to Champagne, Remy Martin Brandy and fine single malt whisky. These may be left in church, where there is a labelled box on the back pew, or delivered to Roger at 12 Sunningdale.

Please also pray for the wedding of Spencer Harrison and Jeremy Cotton later that day in Christ Church.

I will be attending General Synod online (not in London as planned previously) 9th-12th July and Colin Way is kindly presiding at Holy Communion in Church on 11th July at 330pm, and there will not be an 8am that day. My thanks to Colin and all who help and apologies for any inconvenience.

This Sunday we mark the Fourth Sunday after Trinity. There will be an 8am communion in church and a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will continue to work through Mark's Gospel and the rise of King David, and a 6pm service on Zoom. Please do join us if you can.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

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Email 20 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well and prefer the current cloudy weather to the previous heat.

Vaccination is being encouraged as a matter of urgency before the planned 19 July unlocking. People can be understandably hesitant receiving what might seem “against nature”, but it can save us and others from the virus. In our readings at Morning Prayer St Paul is writing to the Church at Rome about the Gospel, which saves both Jews and Gentiles from sin and death. We Gentiles have been grafted, contrary to nature, into the olive tree of the People of God. Paul is grieved that most of his fellow Jews are refusing the Gospel, but warns Gentiles not to be complacent nor to look down on the Jews, but rather to be careful and grateful for God's unearned love and mercy.

Thank you to those who've responded about online streaming systems. All the comments have been positive so far but please do get in touch with your thoughts.

The PCC would also like your thoughts on which version of our proposed new logo, designed at no charge by the diocese, you prefer. You can see an explanation of the choice and the link to the designs on the news page of the website. Please let me know if you have a preference.

If you want to send condolences to Ella Bundy Titova's family (Andrew Bundy, along with Stephanie his wife, Daniil Titov Ella's husband, and Cathy, Ella's sister) please email me for the address.  

Tomorrow, Sunday we mark the Third Sunday after Trinity with our 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will hear of Jesus calming the storm, and a 330pm communion service in church. Please do join us if you can.

Two notices about the Parishes Office:

Following the Government's announcement, the Parishes Office will continue to be open on Monday and Thursday mornings only, between 10am and 12noon. Please continue to book in advance if you need to come to the office, and always remember your mask.

The Office will be closed from Fri 25 June to Fri 9 July inclusive, as Ruth will be on annual leave. Telephone messages will be monitored during this period, for any urgent matters. Please try to arrange any routine or non-urgent contact outside of these dates.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

 

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

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Email 16 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well and coping with the heat.

Monday's announcement confirmed that the hoped-for removal of legal restrictions would be postponed. We know that the Bishop of London, the lead bishop for the lockdown, is making the case for allowing more singing. Until congregational singing returns, the PCC has agreed to continue with our current pattern of services in church and on Zoom.

Apart from being essential during lockdown, online services have been a great help to those who are distant, housebound or lack mobility and livestreaming is increasingly expected for weddings and funerals. We have had two extremely generous offers to pay for an advanced online system similar to that installed at St Peter Mancroft and Cromer Church. This would allow people not only to see and hear our services from a distance, but also to talk with and be seen by those in church. The PCC is minded to accept these offers and would be interested in your views and comments.

Dominic Cummings has returned to the headlines, continuing to make the case against his former colleagues, who continue to deny wrongdoing. In our readings at Morning Prayer Job's friends continue to make the case that Job must have done wrong to suffer like this and urge him to accept his guilt and seek God's mercy. Their language is pious, poetic and strongly reminiscent of other parts of scripture, but the fact is we know Job is suffering innocently and they are wrong. Some suffering is caused by sin and God is merciful, but we must remember that recognising innocent suffering is central to Christian faith.

I am so very sad to say that Ella Bundy Titova died on Monday from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, aged just 27. Ella sang in the choir and was confirmed at Christ Church and I took her wedding to Daniil Titov in 2018. She died calmly and peacefully, a faithful Christian to the end. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. I am going to travel to her parents' parish in Yorkshire to take her funeral on 28th June. If you want to write please email me for the address.

This Sunday we mark the third Sunday after Trinity There will be a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will hear of Jesus calming the storm, and a 330pm communion service in church. Please do join us if you can.

Two notices about the Parishes Office:

Following the Government's announcement, the Parishes Office will continue to be open on Monday and Thursday mornings only, between 10am and 12noon. Please continue to book in advance if you need to come to the office, and always remember your mask.

The Office will be closed from Fri 25 June to Fri 9 July inclusive, as Ruth will be on annual leave. Telephone messages will be monitored during this period, for any urgent matters. Please try to arrange any routine or non-urgent contact outside of these dates.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

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Email 12 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as the weather continues fair. I took the opportunity to mow the vicarage lawn yesterday but our old mower finally gave up the ghost – I don't suppose anyone has a spare we could buy from them, do they?

With infections by the Delta variant from India taking off, the government are considering a four week delay to ending the lockdown, which would give more time for vaccinations and data gathering. Naturally, this is bad news, especially for many businesses, and the opposition are asking understandable questions about why the government did not try harder to keep the variant out.

In our readings at Morning Prayer from Job, Job's friends continue to urge that bad things happen to bad people. There are plenty of examples of this being true, but also critical examples of it being false. St Paul, writing to the Christians at Rome, beginning to suffer persecution, argues not only that Christ is an innocent sufferer, but appeals to Old Testament scriptures recognising that God's people sometimes suffer unjustly. More than that, the good news is that with repentance and faith, we can be right with God and look forward to an infinite good beyond anything we can imagine, let alone deserve, despite having made many mistakes in the past. I hope and pray that, thus encouraged, we can wait hopefully and patiently.

Thanks to Catherine Richmond, the new noticesheet is online and in Church for those who need hard copies.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday. There will be:-

  1. an 8am communion in church – no booking required
  2. and a 1025 service on Zoom, continuing to work through Mark's Gospel and the rise of King David details below.
  3. At 6pm there is Evening Prayer on Zoom.

Please do join us if you can. With Zoom, it's even possible to enjoy the fresh air and fellowship at once...

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Trinity season as we wait in hope.

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

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Email 9 June 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well and enjoying the summer weather.

The effect of the increasing virus infections on hospitalisations and relaxing restrictions remains unclear and Brexit is once again in the news. Both the UK and EU are trying to deal with various commitments, not least the Good Friday agreement, and the EU says that the trustworthiness of the UK is at stake. In our readings at Morning Prayer St Paul is writing to the Christians at Rome. He cannot ignore the Law of Moses since it is part of God's covenant and commitment to his people. St Paul instead explains that on Good Friday Christ fulfils the law and its condemnation of sin. United to Christ by faith, we are set free from the written law to live in the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us, and so have peace with God. Let us hope and pray that this peace will prevail in the world too.

Thank you to those who asked after my half term holiday. I had a good time in Oxford visiting my Mum and returned to Norwich to get a hair cut and my second vaccination, before returning to work on Sunday.

On Monday I chaired the talk on Zoom by Prof John Wyatt about Palliative Care and the Pandemic. You can watch the video here.

This Sunday we mark the second Sunday after Trinity There will be an 8am communion in church and a 1025 service on Zoom, details below, when we will continue to work through Mark's Gospel and the rise of King David, and a 6pm service on Zoom. Please do join us if you can.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Trinity Season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

 

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Email 30 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as the sun finally shines and invites us outside. Vaccinations are proceeding apace, but, as one jab provides just 33% protection against the Indian variant, arguably we need to get more done if we are to safely unlock on 21st June. Prof Stephen Reicher has accused the Government of inconsistency: they said they would go by “data, not dates”, but in fact they are showing great reluctance to change dates despite data about the spreading Indian variant.

In our readings at Morning Prayer from Job, Job's friends are wrong to blame him for his misfortunes. Job, knowing he has done nothing to deserve this suffering, but accepting their mistaken idea that all suffering is deserved, is struggling with the apparent inconsistency of God. If God is unjust, what hope is there for justice? Some have alleged an inconsistency between Job's innocence and St Paul's message in our New Testament readings from Romans, which emphasise that all, both Jew and Gentile, have sinned and need to be saved through faith. There need be no inconsistency. Job is poetry, and his innocence is taught in the context of the mistaken idea that all suffering is deserved. St Paul is warning us against the inconsistency of self-righteously condemning others when we clearly need mercy ourselves.

You may have seen in the local media updates about Vera Croghan's death such as this one. Please pray for Vera's family at this sad and difficult time.

The new noticesheet is here and should be in Church for those who need hard copies.

Tomorrow we celebrate Trinity Sunday. There will be: -

  1. an 8am communion in church – no booking required
  2. and a 1025 service on Zoom, joint with St Andrew's, with Phil Rodd preaching, details below.
  3. At 6pm there is Evening Prayer on Zoom.

Please do join us if you can.

As I am on holiday, returning to work on Sunday, there will not be an email from me next week. Colin Way is kindly leading the 3.30pm Communion service in Church on the 6th June.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Trinity Sunday and half term week,

Patrick

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

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Email 26 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as warmer weather should be back and the ceasefire holds in Israel and Gaza. The situation with the virus is slightly less clear, with infections and hospital cases possibly starting to rise again. India continues to suffer and Dominic Cummings levels many accusations against the government he advised. In today's readings at Morning Prayer, we had the Book of Job. In this book Satan levels accusations against Job, suggesting that his righteousness is mere self-interest. God allows Satan to afflict Job to the extent that Job regrets his birth and wishes he were dead. We know that this will not be Job's final view, but the book reminds us to sympathise with those who are suffering rather than blame them.

The desire to die is a real issue in palliative care. I am chairing a Zoom talk by Prof John Wyatt on palliative care and the pandemic on 7th June at 730pm, advertised here. Prof. John Wyatt was interviewed on Radio Norfolk starting from 2:49:00 at this link.

Thank you to all who attended the APCM on Monday, either in Church or on Zoom, and to Alistair Bolt for his tech-support. Thank you to our re-elected Wardens, Vivien Humber and Catherine Jeffries. Vivien will retire next year, so please pray for another warden for then. Thank you to Mike Brookes who has been elected to the PCC and to Sue Mitchell who was re-elected. We bought presents for Sarah Scott (retiring as Electoral Roll Officer and Magazine Editor) and David Archer (who retired as treasurer). The diocese has kindly produced new logo proposals at no charge in response to last year's APCM in September. This year we agreed to consult the whole congregation about which exact version you prefer. We will get the options adjusted slightly and then publicise them. We noted the Church of England’s Covenant for clergy well-being, committing the whole church, clergy, senior staff and congregations, to care for clergy and their households, and the diocesan Synod's request that we report on progress with this at next year's APCM. We are looking forward to visiting my Mum in Oxford next week as part of my half term holiday.

This Sunday we mark Trinity Sunday. There will be an 8am communion in church and a 1025 service on Zoom, joint with St Andrew's, with Phil Rodd preaching. Please do join us if you can.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Trinity Sunday and half term week,

Patrick

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

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Email 23 May 2021

I hope this Pentecost Sunday is going well. You can see videos from our services today and hear the choir singing on our Facebook page here.

You'll know our Annual Meetings are tomorrow Monday 24th May at 730pm in church. You can come in person or join by Zoom.

Please Email if you'd like the Zoom details.

The 2020 annual reports and accounts, agenda and minutes are on the website here. Please do read them if you haven't already. We will also seek your preferences on possible options for our new logo.

The national General Synod and our Diocesan Synod are asking that the Church, nationally and locally, should commit to the well-being of the Clergy and their households in a Covenant for Clergy Care. You can see Church Warden Catherine Jeffries discuss this idea with me in a video here. The Diocesan Synod has asked for parishes to report on progress on this commitment at their 2022 Annual Parish Meetings and so we will start discussing it on Monday.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Pentecost, Patrick

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Email 22 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sky is grey, the BBC reflects on its governance and thankfully, a truce holds in Gaza. Though Covid cases are on the rise, so are vaccinations. The death rate isn't climbing, but it usually lags behind infections by over a week, so we shouldn't read much into it yet, and certainly not stop praying, since the rest of the world is mostly behind us in vaccinations.

Today is the day before Pentecost, the last day of Thy Kingdom Come and its special prayer for five people known to us to accept Christ's Kingdom. It was also a Day of Prayer for the new diocesan Vision, entitled “Transformed by Christ: Prayerful, Pastoral and Prophetic.” I'm grateful to those from Norwich South deanery who joined me at the Cathedral or in prayer as all the deaneries of the diocese prayed that our diocese should become more Christ-like, caring and committed to speaking and acting on behalf of the poor and the planet.

You'll know our Annual Meetings are this Monday 24th May at 730pm. (The 2020 annual reports and accounts, agenda and minutes are on the website here). Please do read them if you haven't already. We will also seek your preferences on possible options for our new logo.

The national General Synod and our Diocesan Synod are asking that the Church, nationally and locally, should commit to the well-being of the Clergy and their households in a Covenant for Clergy Care. You can see Church Warden Catherine Jeffries discuss this idea with me in a video here. The Diocesan Synod has asked for parishes to report on progress on this commitment at their 2022 Annual Parish Meetings and so we will start discussing it on Monday.

Our Morning service at 1025am on Zoom tomorrow morning celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We have videos of our choir singing the hymns in church last Saturday. Service details below.

We will also have a 330pm communion with a choir in church this Sunday.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Pentecost,

Patrick

 

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

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Email 19 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines and storms didn't materialise. Yet metaphorically it may still seem stormy. The death rate in India is distressing (and you can give to VaccinAid here), there are emerging hotspots of the Indian variant in the UK and the Gaza conflict remains lethal.

In our reading at Evening Prayer from Luke's Gospel, Jesus stills the storm on the Sea of Galilee, before bringing peace to the demoniac possessed with a legion of demons. The Old Testament background is Psalm 65:7 where God is addressed: “You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations.” In the storms and conflicts of life we are encouraged to put our faith in Christ as God.

You'll know we now plan to have our Annual Meetings, electing the Church Wardens, receiving the annual reports and accounts and thanking people, this Monday 24th May at 730pm. The 2020 annual accounts with the annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here and there are hard copies in church too. The Church of England and the diocese have committed to promote the well-being of clergy and their households and I will say a little about this at the APCM. At the recent meeting of the PCC we noted that some are unsure what the clergy do apart from take services on a Sunday. I hope reading the annual report gives some idea of what the church and I have been attending to over the last year. Please do read the reports and thank you to all those who already have. I will send out the Zoom link for those who want to attend virtually on Saturday.

Please think of five people you can pray for to come to know Christ as Lord and King, as part of The Archbishops' Thy Kingdom Come global prayer movement, praying between Ascension Day and this Pentecost Sunday.

The Bishop is holding a Day of Prayer at the Cathedral this Saturday 22nd May. The day will start with opening worship at 9.30am. Bishop Graham will end the Day of Prayer at 3.30pm. Both these will be livestreamed. Throughout the day small groups from deaneries across the diocese will lead prayers for the new Diocesan Vision. I and others from our deanery of Norwich South will be leading prayers at the Cathedral font at 10am. For more information about the day and about the new Diocesan Vision please visit https://www.dioceseofnorwich.org/news/bishops-day-of-prayer/

We will have a 330pm communion with a choir in church this Sunday 23rd May as we celebrate Pentecost. The rules for amateur choirs like ours have just been tightened, so that a maximum of six can sing indoors.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers as we approach Pentecost,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday: Zoom details

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

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Email 15 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as we now hear calls for caution from the British Medical Association because the Indian variant is spreading in England and the next stage of unlocking is due on Monday. There have also been accusations that the Government was slow to increase travel restrictions on India, but ministers note that UK citizens would have a right to return and it only takes one carrier here for the infection to spread.

In our readings at Morning Prayer from Deuteronomy, Moses says that God will regather his exiled people from far off lands, but that it is not hard to know God's law. God gives the law so that Israel stays holy and pure. We are under the New Covenant for all nations, a covenant of love, and it may be that the loving thing to do is to continue to exercise patience and caution and judge with the measure we would wish to be judged by.

The new notice sheet and the Accounts for the rescheduled 730pm APCM on 24th May should be in Church for those who need hard copies.

Our thanks to Sarah Scott who is retiring as one of our magazine editors. Please think and pray about whether you or someone you know might replace Sarah on the rota.

This week is Christian Aid week, raising money to help the poorest communities cope with the climate crisis. Unfortunately we are unable to do our normal door-to-door collections. If you'd like to find out more or donate please go here. There are envelopes in church with Cathy Head's address on, which can be put through her letterbox, the vicarage letterbox or in the bucket at church at services.

Please also think of five people you can pray for to come to know Christ as Lord and King as part of The Archbishops' Thy Kingdom Come global prayer movement.

Tomorrow, the Sunday after the Ascension, there will be an 8am communion in church. Booking is not necessary for church services at the moment since there is plenty of room.

There will also be 1030am and 6pm services on Zoom, details below.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Ascensiontide,

Patrick

 

Our Sunday Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

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Email 12 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as fears of war and violence increase in Israel, and India struggles to contain the pandemic. In today's readings at Morning Prayer, St Peter encourages the Church to stay faithful despite suffering, knowing that fellow believers throughout the world are enduring the same trials, and the God who calls us to glory in Christ crucified will help us.

Tomorrow, Thursday is Ascension Day, reminding us that Christ is Lord over all the earth. I will be leading the Deanery Ascension Day service on Zoom. The Rev Mark Elvin from Bowthorpe is preaching and clergy and people from around the deanery are taking part. All are welcome. Please Email if you'd like the Zoom link

Thy Kingdom Come starts tomorrow. During the eleven days from Ascension to Pentecost we are called to join a global “wave of prayer” that others will know and follow Christ and so further his kingdom and rule.

Specifically, we’re encouraged to pray for five friends or family members to come to faith. This year, owing to the pandemic and lockdowns, we may be praying for people to come back to church as well, and you may know people who could connect or reconnect to the fellowship of the church after these distanced and isolated days. Please pray for them and let us know if we might help.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Ascension-tide,

Patrick 

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Email 8 May 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the rain and the election results have come in. The four nations of the United Kingdom show significant tensions, but the Pandemic puts things in some perspective. In our readings at Morning Prayer the first letter of Peter encourages Christians under persecution in the Pagan Roman Empire to witness to their faith, both by their good deeds and also by being always ready to defend our faith to anyone who asks; yet to do it with gentleness and reverence. If that was true in the Empire, how much more so when we have much more freedom of religion and speech?

As we witness we should pray, and this Thursday is Ascension Day, reminding us that Christ is Lord over all the earth. Thy Kingdom Come is an initiative started by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2016 that has spread to other churches and around the world. During the eleven days from Ascension to Pentecost we are called to join a global “wave of prayer” that others will know and follow Christ and so further his kingdom and rule.

Specifically, we’re encouraged to pray for five friends or family members to come to faith. This year, owing to the pandemic and lockdowns, we may be praying for people to come back to church as well, and you may know people who could connect or reconnect to the fellowship of the church after these distanced and isolated days. Please pray for them and let us know if we might help.

As last year, I will be leading a Deanery Ascension Day service on Zoom at 730pm. All are welcome, Zoom details.

You'll know we now plan to have our Annual Meetings, electing the Church Wardens, receiving the annual reports and accounts and thanking people, on Monday 24th May at 730pm. You can now find the 2020 annual accounts with the annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here. Please do read them and thank you to all those who already have.

Our Morning service at 1025am on Zoom tomorrow morning continues to look at John's Gospel, with Jesus giving the new commandment to love one another, as he has loved us. Details below.

We will also have a 330pm communion with a choir in church this Sunday 9th May. 

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Easter season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Mission Focus Meeting, Wednesday 12 May, 2.30pm Zoom details

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Email 24 April 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well, as the weather and the past workings of our government may grow less clear. Israel, leading the world in vaccination, is offering hope with no Covid deaths despite unlocking, and our own statistics are encouraging, but India is in crisis and cutting exports of vaccines, reminding us that our future is shared and we cannot be concerned only with our own country. Our readings from Deuteronomy at Morning Prayer have Moses explaining the wilderness years in terms of learning humility and dependence on God, and warning the Israelites that they will perish if they grow complacent and self-satisfied. We Christians see the stories of the Promised land as containing valuable lessons for us, so let us pray for humility and faith in God as we journey to our new, shared future.

I've just finished the General Synod meeting on Zoom. We've conveyed our prayers to our bereaved Queen, heard repeatedly of the need for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the church and its culture, commended international freedom of religion and belief, received updates on how the church can keep people safe from abuse, as well as looking at how bishops are appointed and clergy discipline administered.

We will have a 330pm communion with a choir this Sunday, 25th April. I will not be leading evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm after presiding and preaching at the 330pm service, but please let me know if you might like to lead at a 6pm in future and we could look to offer something when ready.

You may have seen that we are postponing our annual meetings until Monday evening 24th May at 730pm, God willing. You can find the 2020 annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here. Please do read them and thank you to all those who already have. There are also 30 copies in church for those who lack internet access.

Enfys Chalmers' funeral on Monday morning is for family only, but please let me know if you might like an electronic copy of the order of service and tribute.

Mike Trendell's funeral is at 2pm in Church and on Zoom. You might be interested in this obituary for Mike in the EDP

You might also be interested in this article about the growth of online services

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Easter season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

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Email 20 April 2021

 hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines and the national religion rather than the pandemic makes headlines. Sadly, they are all about Football: the Church of England had an unfortunate headline about racism from BBC's Panorama programme. Our readings from Deuteronomy at Morning Prayer have Moses repeating the Ten Commandments and reminding the people they must keep God's commandments. Though we might have heard things before, we need to be reminded of them; it is not hearing commandments, but keeping them, that counts. We also started reading the letter to the Church at Ephesus, a multicultural church encouraged to break down racial barriers and grow in unity. Pray that that is our goal.

The Standing Committee have just decided to postpone the Annual Meetings we had long planned to hold in church this Sunday. We hadn't realised current government guidance still forbids meetings in person unless unavoidable for charitable activity and we consulted the archdeacon. Since the fully-signed accounts aren’t out yet and we don’t want to stress people, nor to exclude people without internet, we plan to postpone the meetings until Monday evening 24th May at 730pm, avoiding pressure on Sunday services. You can find the 2020 annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here. Please do read them and thank you to all those who already have. There are also 30 copies in church for those who lack internet access.

We don't expect congregational singing inside church before June 21st but we will have a 330pm communion with a choir next Sunday, 25th April. Sunday's 8am and 1030 sermons are on Facebook.

There is a Mission Focus Meeting, tomorrow, Wednesday 21st April at 230pm on Zoom, all welcome. Please Email for the link.

Since there is General Synod by Zoom on Friday and Saturday I am taking tomorrow, Wednesday, off, instead of Friday.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Easter season,

Patrick

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Email 18 April  2021

It seems some people didn't get this when I sent it on Friday evening, so I'm resending in case it helps:

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the sun shines and infection levels coming out of lockdown look encouraging, but further challenges lie ahead. Today's reading from Deuteronomy at Morning Prayer warns God's people against complacency in the promised land. St Peter was complacent before denying Christ three times and doesn't understand why in our reading Jesus asks him three times to declare his love for him. Thankfully, the Gospel has Jesus restoring Peter to his pastoral role and preparing him for the further challenges ahead by which he will serve God and encourage us all that there is hope, even after failures.

Thank you so much to those who joined us in person or on Zoom as we remembered HRH Prince Philip, the Queen, the Royal family, the nation and the Commonwealth and all people in these troubled times. Particular thanks to Alistair Bolt for filming and Matt for playing. Please do keep praying.

You can watch Iris Colin's funeral service, which Alistair broadcast , and our service for Prince Philip on Facebook, and the Cathedral's service for Prince Philip here.

The new noticesheet is on the website and in church (in limited numbers while the office is closed, so please only take one if you can't get it from the internet).

I am taking communion at 8am on Sunday, along with the 1030 and 6pm services on Zoom, details below as normal. A 330pm communion with a choir is planned for the 25th April. We don't expect congregational singing inside before June 21st.

There is a Mission Focus Meeting, this Wednesday 21st April 230pm on Zoom, all welcome. Please Email for the link.

On 25th April, the Sunday after next, we are holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting in church and on Zoom at 1130am. You can find the 2020 annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here. Please do read them. There are also 30 copies in church for those who lack internet access. The Accounts will be available soon.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for this Easter season,

Patrick

Morning Prayer 9am Monday to Friday next week: Zoom details

Our Morning service by Zoom gathers at 1025am for 1030 start Zoom details

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm Zoom details

Service orders will be here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

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Email 15 April  2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well as the Covid statistics are encouraging, but we must be cautious of virus variants and are not out of the woods yet. The readings at Morning Prayer have included Moses encouraging the Israelites to be faithful to their calling to bring light to the nations in the Promised Land, and Jesus re-enacting the call of Peter through another miraculous catch of fish. Peter and the disciples are tempted just to return to their old way of life, but Jesus calls them and us to follow him into a new and transformed future.

As encouraged by the Church of England, we are holding a short service of live organ and recorded music and prayer for Prince Philip, the Queen and her family and the nation on Friday at 6pm in church. I would be delighted if you can join us in person to support her Majesty but if not Alistair will kindly try to broadcast it on Zoom using the usual 6pm link. Please do invite those lacking internet access as soon as you can.

Norwich Cathedral will also hold a service at 6pm and the recording will be available live and afterwards here.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we cannot open a physical Book of Condolence in the Church but the Church of England's online Book of Condolence is available here. Letters of condolence may be sent to the Lieutenancy Office, Norfolk County Council, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH.

Iris Colin's funeral service is earlier that day and we will try to make a video recording of it available in due course.

On 25th April, the Sunday after next, we are holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting in church and on Zoom. You can find the 2020 annual report, agenda and minutes on our website here. Please do read them. There are also 30 copies in church for those who lack internet access. The Accounts will be available soon.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers in this season of resurrection,

Patrick

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Email 9 April  2021

I hope and pray you remain safe and well as tributes pour in from around the world to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with our Queen, the Royal family and our nation in these sad times.

Christ Church is open from 10.30am-4pm daily for private prayer and reflection. Catherine Jeffries has kindly put the church flag at half mast. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we cannot open a physical Book of Condolence in the Church but the Church of England's online Book of Condolence is available here. Letters of condolence may be sent to the Lieutenancy Office, Norfolk County Council, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH.

The readings this Easter Week have included the Exodus, and the Song of Songs. Prince Philip's family were forced to make their exodus from Greece with him in a cot made from a fruit box. Elizabeth fell in love with Philip at a young age and he became the longest serving consort in British history. The Song of Songs is poetry between young lovers, but has traditionally been read as pointing to our longing for God and God's love for us: “Love is strong as death.”

I remain on holiday, but Alistair will lead Morning Prayer on Zoom  at 1030 on Sunday 11th April, and Colin Way will preside at communion in church at 330pm.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers in this season of resurrection,

Patrick

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Email 31 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The sun has been shining and there is hope of the UK lock-downs continuing to ease, though Europe is seeing surges.

Justice is in the news, with reports on institutional racism and policing of the Sarah Everard demonstration being argued about and the trial of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd underway.

In our readings at Morning Prayer for Holy Week Christ undergoes injustice. The Sanhedrin find him guilty of blasphemy, though as divine Messiah he speaks the truth, and Pilate, although unconvinced that Jesus is guilty, hands him over to be scourged and crucified nonetheless. Both Sanhedrin and Pilate seek to preserve the status quo and to please people, but to follow Christ we must seek justice, mercy and to walk humbly with our God.

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, when we remember Jesus having the Last Supper, the institution of Holy communion, the foot washing and the new commandment. You can find details of our 9am and 730pm Zoom services below. The 730pm service uses recordings of the lockdown choir and Matt playing the organ.

Please do book for the 1030am service on Good Friday and the 8am communion on Easter Day in church, ringing N. 250844 or by Email. Matt will be playing the organ live in church.

You can join these services on Zoom, please Email if you would like the details.

The new noticesheet will soon be in church (in limited numbers while the office is closed) and on the website.

With Enfys' passing we have an electrically operated reclining chair in good condition to offer free to a good home. Please let Jacky know on Email if you might be interested.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Palm Sunday and Holy Week,

Patrick

Zoom services this next week - please Email if you would like the details: 
Morning Prayer: Thursday and Tuesday to Friday next week
730pm, Maundy Thursday
Our Morning service by Zoom on Good Friday and Easter Day gathers at 1025am for 1030 start
8am service on Easter Day 

 

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Email 27 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. There are signs of the spring weather that was an encouragement in the first lockdown a year ago. There are also signs of elections looming and increased political news, as well as concerns about allowing imports but not viral variants to enter the country easily.

In our readings at Morning and evening prayer, we have several warnings against stubborn arrogance. Jeremiah has been prophesying for 23 years, but having been ignored, invasion by Babylon is imminent. In Exodus, Pharaoh brings plague and disaster on his land by refusing God's call to set his people free. In John, the religious leaders want to kill Jesus for his words and miracles, fulfilling Isaiah's words, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Let us humbly hear God's words, pray for our leaders and trust in God's power to bring good even out of evil.

In further sad news, Mike Trendell died peacefully yesterday. I had taken him and his family communion earlier in the week. May Mike rest in peace and rise in glory. Please pray for his family.

The new noticesheet is now in church and on the website along with the new, April Magazine.

Please remember the Clocks go forward tonight.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. You can find details of our Zoom services below. There are Palms in church you can pick up and the Zoom service has the dramatised Passion Story according to Mark.

Our upcoming services for Holy Week and Easter are here.

You are warmly invited to join us on Zoom from Monday to Thursday of Holy Week at 9am for Morning Prayer and at 730pm on Maundy Thursday.

Please do book for the 1030am service on Good Friday and the 8am communion on Easter Day in church, ringing N. 250844 or by Email.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Palm Sunday and Holy Week,

Patrick

Our Morning service by Zoom, gathers at 1025am for 1030 start, with small group discussion at the beginning, and at the end if you want to stay. Please Email if you would like the regular Sunday morning Zoom details. Service orders are here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm.  Please Email if you would like the Zoom details. 

Please Email if you would like the Zoom details for Morning Prayer during the week

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Email 24 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. I have just had my first AstraZeneca jab and am grateful that it was not delayed by the continuing international tensions over supply. At morning prayer, the readings from John's Gospel tell how Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead causes the religious leaders to want to kill both Lazarus and Jesus, and Mary's anointing of Jesus causes tension within the disciples. However, I finally realised that Mary's pouring the expensive perfume over Jesus makes emotional sense; Jesus has just restored her brother to life! Let us not be dismayed by tensions within and without, but remember that Jesus has given us the priceless gift of eternal life.

In sad news, Enfys Chalmers, a member of our congregation, died this morning, but I was able to take her communion yesterday. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Please pray for her family and friends.

Please pray for the children's Easter Packs to have a good effect. 149 children have asked for a pack, the highest number so far. Please also pray for all those receiving the pastoral care packs. Our thanks go to all who've helped with the packs.

Catherine Jeffries has kindly laid out Palm Crosses in church for you to take. For safety reasons please don't handle crosses unnecessarily.

The Church of England is backing VaccinAid to Give the World a shot at defeating Covid 19 by supporting the biggest vaccination drive in history. See here for details.

Details of our services are here. Please do book for the 1030am service on Good Friday and the 8am communion on Easter Day in church, ringing N. 250844 or by Email.

Sarah Scott is revising the electoral roll for Christ Church for the annual meeting on 25th April. If you would like to join the roll, or if you are already a member but your contact details have changed, please complete an electoral roll form from the back of the church and on the website here. Details of who is eligible to join the roll can be found on the form. Please either email the completed form to Sarah or leave a printed copy at the back of church (preferably in an envelope addressed to Sarah Scott). Forms should be returned by 10th April. If you have any queries, please get in touch with Sarah (01603 505720, email).

Catherine Richmond is completing the next noticesheet which will shortly be on the website.

I expect to write again on Saturday, with details of Palm Sunday's Zoom services, as we begin Holy Week.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers as we approach Passion Sunday,

Patrick

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Email 20 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. After yesterday's hopeful sunshine the sky is grey. UK vaccinations have gone outstandingly well (I just got a text inviting me to have a first jab on my birthday), but, as we may have grown to expect, the way ahead is not plain sailing, with international issues and variants making international holidays unlikely.

In our readings from Morning Prayer, Jeremiah's words from God cause him persecution and he regrets the day of his birth, while Mary and Martha mourn the death of Lazarus and Jesus' delay in coming to them. At Evening Prayer, readings from Exodus relate how Moses prayers to Pharaoh make things worse before they get better and the letter to the Hebrews notes that heroes of faith like Abraham travelled in hope without seeing faith's final fulfilment. Prayer is rarely instantly gratified. Though we have signs of Christ's love and goodness, if we are to keep faith it will require patient perseverance.

The new noticesheet is now in church and on the website. The Diocesan Enews is out with several interesting stories, including Bishop Graham's reflections on the past year and Mark Jeffries being appointed Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance. Mark was present this morning for the Diocesan Synod, which I was co-chairing. Synod agreed to commit to a diocesan environmental policy (please might you like to help Alistair Bolt lead us to becoming an eco-church?), to clergy care and well-being, and to the Bishop's new vision statement “transformed by Christ, prayerfully, pastorally and prophetically”.

On Tuesday, the anniversary of the first lockdown, there is a National Day of Reflection. We will try to ring the church bell for the silence at Noon and there is a cathedral service with Bishop Graham live-streamed at 5.30pm to remember those who have died in the diocese from COVID-19 and all are encouraged to light a candle at 8pm.

Does anyone know anything about the cutting down of bamboo at the corner between the church car parking opposite the porch and 2b Church Avenue? Please let me know if so.

This Sunday is the fifth in Lent, Passion Sunday, starting a season of heightened attention to Christ's sufferings for us before Easter. You can find details of our Sunday Zoom services below.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for Passiontide,

Patrick

Our Morning service by Zoom, gathers at 1025am for 1030 start, with small group discussion at the beginning, and at the end if you want to stay. Please Email if you would like the regular Sunday morning Zoom details. Service orders are here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm.  Please Email if you would like the Zoom details. 

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Email 17 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The evidence of the positive effects of the vaccines are encouraging but there are warnings of a reduction in supply (just as I was expecting to hear soon about my vaccination...), tensions with the continent over vaccine exports, and highly disputed fears about rare blood clots. At morning prayer, the readings from John's Gospel reveal the tensions and disputes that Jesus caused. Many seem unable to follow the evidence of his claims and miracles because of their prejudices or because of fear of persecution and try to stop people accepting him. We are called to follow the evidence and accept the offer of salvation, for the risks are small in comparison to the offer of eternal life.

Catherine has done the new noticesheet, which is on the website. There is still no update from the Church of England or the government on when restrictions on singing and communion might relax so we are again offering communion alternately at 8am and 330pm from Easter Day, while also continuing to offer a chance to meet, chat and sing together on Zoom until restrictions have eased considerably, probably by July. Please do book for the 1030 service on Good Friday and the 8am communion on Easter Day. Details of our services are here.

Please note the National Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd March and the minute's silence at noon remembering the loss and grief of the last year.

As mentioned on Saturday, Sarah Scott is revising the electoral roll for Christ Church for the annual meeting on 25th April. If you would like to join the roll, or if you are already a member but your contact details have changed, please complete an electoral roll form. Forms are available at the back of the church and on the website here. Details of who is eligible to join the roll can be found on the form. Please either email the completed form to Sarah or leave a printed copy at the back of church (preferably in an envelope addressed to Sarah Scott). Forms should be returned by 10th April. If you have any queries, please get in touch with Sarah (01603 505720, email).

Iris Colin's funeral will be in church and on Zoom at 1345 on Friday 16th April. The electrically operated single bed in very good condition is still free to a good home, so please let John Colin know by Email if you are interested.

I expect to write again on Saturday, with details of Sunday's Zoom services, which will mark the beginning of Passiontide.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers as we approach Passion Sunday,

Patrick

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Email 13 March 2021

I hope you are safe and well as the tragic death death of Sarah Everard makes the nation reflect on the safety of women. The Old Testament has several horrifying stories of violence against women, and violence and power is the context for many prophetic calls for justice. Christ encourages us that God honours women and the Church is called to model justice and care for every person as we are all created in God's image. Mindful of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, we are called to doorstep vigils in memory of Sarah Everard and the wider issues at 930pm tonight.

After two days off, I was on a training conference on Zoom this morning that noted how our society can be divided by other questions of social justice, with race and the royal interview also in view. Holy Trinity are hosting Why does the church need to talk about race? on their YouTube channel on Monday 15th March at 7.30pm. More information 

The new noticesheet is in church and on the website.

The worship committee is proposing resuming services in church from Good Friday, with communions alternating at 8am and 330pm from Easter Day, as well as continuing with Zoom services while normal singing in church is not allowed.

Our thanks go to Sarah Scott, who is revising our Electoral Roll for the last time before retiring after many years of faithful service. David Archer has kindly volunteered to take over. If you want to join or change your details forms are available at the back of church and we will put a version on the website. Electronic submission of the form is possible and the deadline is 10th April. More details will follow.

This Sunday is the fourth in Lent, Mothering Sunday.

Our Morning service by Zoom, gathers at 1025am for 1030 start, with small group discussion at the beginning, and at the end if you want to stay. Please Email if you would like the regular Sunday morning Zoom details. Service orders are here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm.  Please Email if you would like the Zoom details. 

You can find resources for keeping a holy Lent on our website here.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for the holy season of Lent,

Patrick

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Email 10 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The rain drops and reactions to Harry and Megan's interview have come thick and fast. Encouraging statistics and warnings about the dangers of complacency and new virus variants are prominent in the news too. After the Budget, the economics of our national debt and the NHS continue to generate discussion and debate.

At evening prayer the readings continue to tell the story of Joseph. Joseph's foresight and wisdom allow him to sell food when the whole region is in famine, and this leads to both foreigners and Egyptians becoming indebted to and dependent upon Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. No doubt at the time people were grateful, but we know that in the longer run slavery and oppression results. We should be realistic about the risks of over-dependence and debt and to be grateful that in Christ God pays our debts and sets us free from slavery to sin and death.

There is still no central word from the Church of England or the government on when restrictions on singing and communion might relax. Several cathedrals, including our own, have resumed some services, whereas in Scotland places of public worship will not reopen until 26 March, with a maximum of 50 in attendance after that. Our PCC has agreed it seems appropriate to restart worship in church after the “stay at home” instruction ends on 29th March and the worship committee is meeting on Zoom tonight, so please pray about this and I will update you on plans soon.

In sad news, Iris Colin died at the beginning of this week, but I was honoured to take her the last rites. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Her son John is kindly offering two electrically operated reclining lounge chairs and an electrically operated single bed in very good condition free to a good home, so please let him know on Email if you are interested.

Catherine is completing the new noticesheet, which will be on the website soon.

I expect to write again on Saturday, with details of Sunday's Zoom services, which will mark Mothering Sunday.

The Bishop now advises clergy to take at least two consecutive days off a month, and I am taking tomorrow and Friday off.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers in this season of Lent,

Patrick

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Email 6 March 2021

I hope you are safe and well as the cloud and cold persist. Our prayers are with the Duke of Edinburgh and the nation, where increasing attention is paid to nurses' pay, along with the return to school, beer gardens and holiday destinations. The Pope is visiting Iraq for the first time, holding talks north of the ancient city of Ur, associated with Abraham, and slightly south of Babylon, which is threatening Jerusalem in our readings from Jeremiah at Morning Prayer. As the Babylonian siege approaches, Jeremiah exclaims “I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control”. We may sometimes feel in control, but the pandemic has reminded us that we are limited. Clearly natural forces shape our destiny from without, but we are ourselves part of nature. If blind, pitiless nature is ultimately all that there is we might well despair and be demoralised, but we can draw hope that all nature is itself the creation of God and unable to separate us from his love in Christ.

There is more information about the Churches' response to the housing crisis I mentioned last week here.

This Sunday is the third in Lent. Our Morning service by Zoom, gathers at 1025am for 1030 start, with small group discussion at the beginning, and at the end if you want to stay. Please Email if you would like the regular Sunday morning Zoom details. 

Service orders are here. If someone wants printed copies, we will gladly reimburse expenses if you can get it to them.

There is also a short evening prayer on Zoom at 6pm.  Please Email if you would like the Zoom details. 

You can find resources for keeping a holy Lent on our website here.

I will put the new noticesheet in church this evening and it is on the website along with the new March Parishes Magazine.

Former congregation member Vandra Ahlstrom's funeral is at 1230 on Monday 8th March and can be viewed online. Please Email if you would like the link.

Everyone is welcome to Mission Focus Meeting on Zoom, Wednesday, on 10th March - 2.30 – 4.00pm and monthly after that. Again please Email if you would like the Zoom details.   

I have been planning speakers for the rescheduled Visit of Dippy to the Cathedral - now 13 July 2021 until Saturday 30 October 2021.

If you need practical help or you would like to talk to someone, please let Vivien Humber, who is wonderfully coordinating our pastoral team, know by Email or 01603 507855.

With love and prayers for the holy season of Lent,

Patrick

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Email 3 March 2021

I hope and pray you are safe and well. The weather has been cold but the budget is preparing for the economy to warm up. The statistics for infections, hospitalisations and vaccinations remain positive and vaccine effectiveness is very encouraging, so there is much to be thankful for. The government is encouraging us to get vaccinated when we can and not to be complacent as attempts to track down new variants continue.

The Archdeacons have confirmed in a letter that the Bishop hopes we will be having services in church by Easter and I am waiting for more guidance from the Church of England website about what might be advisable and singable in church and when.

The Bishop has thanked for all the continued giving to the church during the pandemic. Christ Church managed to pay its full share but many, especially rural, parishes have seen a fall in income. The total share income for the year was only about three quarters of what was asked for and diocesan income is lower this year too. I am so very thankful for all your support in financial, practical and spiritual ways.

At evening prayer the readings continue to tell the story of Joseph. He recognises his brothers and they, in their guilt for selling their brother into slavery, interpret the trouble he causes them as divine punishment, but eventually the children of Israel are reunited in Egypt and are spared the full effects of the famine. It is right that we recognise our guilt, but we can be hopeful that God is always working to bring good even out of evil.

Former congregation member Vandra Ahlstrom's funeral is at 1230 on Monday 8th March and can be viewed online. Please Email if you would like the link.

Catherine is completing the new noticesheet, which will be on the website soon.

I expect to write again on Saturday, with details of Sunday's Zoom services, which look at God's commandments and the Temple.

With love and prayers in this season of Lent,

Patrick

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