Edition 39. Week commencing 12th April 2021

Dear Friends

Firstly, may I celebrate all that was done in Holy Week and Easter, in terms of services, decorating our churches and making the grounds look so appealing. My thanks, too, for the fund-raising efforts of Gemma and Helen; I enjoyed the Egg Hunt and was glad to be able to ask one or two smaller children where to find a clue that had eluded me!

While we were away post-Easter, the news came of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A few of us from both churches gathered in St Benedict’s on Sunday evening and used one of the resources published by the Church of England. Please keep the Queen in your prayers; those who have lost a spouse will know how hard that bereavement is, and how challenging it continues to be after the first milestone of the funeral.  Please continue to pray. Messages of support can be given online https://www.churchofengland.org/remembering-his-royal-highness-prince-philip.

As I write, two APCMs are coming up: St Benedict’s on 18th and St Mary’s on 25th April. I do hope we can fill all posts on the PCCs and associated positions, including that of Secretary  which can only be good news for the mission and work of our churches !

We are glad to see Revd Carole Camp continues to make progress after her surgery, and I know people shall be proactive in offering help and company for short walks .  Carole has said how much she has been helped by the knowledge of so much prayer and support.

Services. I hope, as part of daily prayers, we are all praying that the Prime Minister’s ‘roadmap’ continues to roll out as planned. For the time being we shall generally   hold a Sunday morning service in St Benedict’s one week, and St Mary’s the next, with the host church broadcasting on Zoom. Dr Bob Day will however do an additional Morning Prayer service at St B on 25th April. Likewise, Thursday morning services and Bible study groups continue on Zoom. It is hoped to start to hold  some baptisms, following morning services, after ‘Step Three’ comes into effect from May 17th, when the numbers permitted at such events rises to 30. Of course,  these plans are subject to the data on the rate of infections, and  we must continue to adhere closely to the hands-face-space- measures that are so vital as part of keeping one another safe.

St Benedict’s will open an informal  community foodbank with effect from 25th April. Thanks are due to a number of organisations, including Herts County Council, Dunelm Mill, local shops in Bennett’s Gate,  Santander and Hemel Mosque. I need a couple of ‘champions’, for example,  to ensure displays of donated items are  replenished, use-by dates are clearly marked in black marker pen. Will you help? The foodbank  initiatives will form part of our revised ‘MAP’: the Mission Action Plan- for both churches. They are one of the ways we ‘speak’ of our faith to our community. As Jesus reminded us : “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?….the King will say ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matt 25 vv 27, 40)      

With our love and prayers        Richard  and Katherine.