This week the clergy and readers of the Deanery had our first in person meeting since before the Pandemic began. We have seen each other in ones and twos and via zoom but ‘it’s just not the same’. I don’t think we’d realised how much we’d missed being together, worshipping together, sharing ideas and support and having a bit of a laugh! We held our meeting in the context of the Eucharist, Mike the Rural Dean only dismissing us after we had had our catch up and some time for ideas sharing.
It was reassuring to know that all the other ministers and churches in the Deanery have the same things on their minds as we do at All Saints. How do we do our main services as well as we can within current constraints, how might we provide something appropriately pitched for children and families, how can we continue to serve the community, how do we keep on top of ‘keeping in touch’ with our people, what are we doing for All Saints, All Souls, Remembrance and, dare we say it, Christmas! In fact there is more (or less!) about these upcoming seasonal events in this newsletter or in signpost.
Knowing that we are not the only church asking these questions is helpful. In general in life, we human beings don’t want to feel alone. The idea that we are the only person feeling like this, or thinking like this is really difficult. And that is only exacerbated during a time like the one we are living through now, when many people are physically and socially lonely.
Knowing that we’re not alone in all this counts for a lot. We have in place an ‘official’ pastoral telephone network and I know there is a lot of ‘unofficial’ contact going on too! Thank you for all you are doing to support each other and those around you. Can I encourage you to keep picking up the phone, to keep emailing or texting, and to keep (safely) knocking on each others’ doors and visiting. Don’t underestimate the value of that contact, the value of showing someone else they’re not on their own. We are the body of Christ, through us the Holy Spirit makes Jesus present to each other. By support and caring we show each other that God has said:
‘Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31.6)
With my love and prayers for you,
All Saints Vicarage,
Thursday 22nd October 2020
This week at All Saints:
9.30am Family Eucharist also live-streamed via the website and available afterwards via the website and YouTube