Edition 34 Lent 3 Week beginning 8th March 2021

Dear Friends

When we need help

I’m sure it has been a struggle, holding onto the memory of what life, including church life, used to be before the pandemic.  Yes, there are concerns about new variants of Covid 19, but the overall message from the Prime minister was one of cautious hope for the future.  Like churches all over the country, we are planning for  Holy Week and Easter for St Benedict’s and St Mary’s, while keeping a careful eye on any changing advice from government. My next newsletter will set out our intended programme, and arrangements,  for this special season in our church year.

In the meantime, I am hoping we can, together, solve something ? St Benedict’s managed to appoint a new PCC secretary in recent months, and we are grateful to Lamia St Hilaire for stepping up to do that. However, St Mary’s have yet to do so. St Mary’s congregation has many more people – so  I’m asking this question to everyone:   surely we can find someone who uses email and can take and type some minutes either from within our worshipping congregation or via someone you know?   The situation is now critical. Our secretary Janet Wright has her last PCC meeting this month, and we have been very grateful for her dedicated help over recent years. The wardens and I have agreed that I will just spell out the basic aspects of this role.

The PCC secretary   a. Plans dates of PCC meetings in conjunction with the Chair  i.e. the vicar and circulates them (dates are already done for the next year, and PCC meetings occur about 6 times a year) b. Prepares the agenda in conjunction with chair and  sends to PCC members at least 7 days before the meeting. c. Calls for, and circulates reports with the agenda.   d. Takes notes to produce  the minutes of the meeting  e. Publishes minutes  when approved by the chair   f.  Coordinates our occasional standing committee meetings in a similar way or by email. g Administers and minutes our Annual meetings (there is a published timetable, and plenty of experienced people to help!)

Please don’t ignore this request. If someone steps forward now, they will have time to be alongside Janet, and thus we can have  a smoother transition. If we do not fill it, it will seriously hamper the smooth running of our church’s decision making process, and I’m sure none of us would want that.

Finally, God is alongside us at every turn, but on darker days we can feel He is absent. I greatly value the sentiments of what is known as the ‘Footprints’ poem. The author had  a dream about events in her life, as she saw herself walking along a beach with God. She observes how, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, of her life, there was only one set of footprints. Questioning the Lord about this, she receives this reply:

“My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

With our love and prayers  ,      Richard  and Katherine.