Edition 30 Week beginning 7th February 2021

Dear Friends,

I do hope you are staying well. Some of you I know have had, or will soon have, a vaccination. Isn’t it remarkable how quickly all these have been tested and produced, when previously the process took years? In this newsletter, I’d like to update you on a few matters for the coming weeks. Lent Course 2021. Copies of the 6-week Lent Study Guide: the ‘Prayers of Jesus’ are going steadily. If we run out, I would point people to Eden Christian Books tel. 0800 612 2186. Details to quote are: The Prayers of Jesus, author Amy Boucher Pye, published by CWR, ISBN 978-1-78951-250-2. It is designed so you could study on your own at home but given the loneliness many people are suffering in Lockdown, I really hope you can join a group meeting. I certainly have some places available for my Sunday evening group slot (starting Sunday 21st February at 7pm). Janet Wright has assigned telephone numbers to enable you to ring into whichever appropriate weekly group you join. Ask for the instructions if you would like to try this. A reminder that groups are planned for Thursdays at 10.15am, Thursdays at 8pm, Saturdays at 10.15am, and Sundays at 7pm. I have ordered a little booklet of daily readings for Lent called ‘A story to live by’ published by Tear Fund so that everybody can have a copy to use in their homes. I hope this will enable us to get a global perspective, and be encouraged, by stories of hope and courage in this pandemic. I will be glad of offers to help get them distributed or posted, within the current restrictions on movement, of course.

Please note there will be an Ash Wednesday evening service, featuring contributions from benefice clergy, to be streamed on Weds 17th February. This will be advertised in the notices and on the website. Please let Janet Wright know (on stmarysapsleyend@gmail.com) if you require a paper copy of the order of service.

Foodbank extension at St Mary’s

All Saints King’s Langley and the Parish Council have been operating an informal foodbank at the church which has been enthusiastically received. Noting that some seeking help were coming from Apsley, the Church Wardens and I have agreed to a request to try a small foodbank resource in St Mary’s church porch. We will start the trial on 11th February and hope this will meet a local need in our parish in these troubled times, when many people are experiencing economic hardship. Donations of non-perishable food can be brought to the church when it is open on Thursdays. The suggestions for donations will be updated according to need, and I hope our churches will want to support this, as they have supported other initiatives such as Nascent House.

Finally, I joined in the first of the 6pm daily Prayer for the Nation last Monday evening. It was led by Archbishop Justin Welby. The sense of joining in national prayer for the country at this time of global pandemic was immensely powerful and moving. The Church of England has published suggested prayers and topics for each day and each week.

A link to these can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/prayer-nation

I hope all of us will support this each day; if 6pm is not possible for you, why not set aside 10 or 15 minutes at another time of the day? Please let Janet Wright know (on stmarysapsleyend@gmail.com) if you require a printed copy for use at home.

With our love and prayers,

Richard and Katherine.