Edition 42 Trinity Sunday. Week commencing 24th May 2021

Dear Friends,

We’d love to see you!

Last Sunday, Pentecost, we had four ‘household’ spaces not used at St Mary’s. We have revised our risk assessment at St Mary’s, and can now accommodate 13 households.  Congregations have been very kind, holding back to allow space for people who want to be physically in church, but please now just ‘book in’ if you’d like to come, (whether at St Benedict’s or St Mary’s) and it will be ‘first come first served’. We shall still  keep a space for visitors who want to ‘drop in’- that is always part of our mission of hospitality and welcome, even as we continue under the Covid restrictions.

 The arrangements for the next 4 weeks will be as follows:

Sun 6 June 10am St Mary’s, Richard presiding

Sun 13th June 10am St Benedict’s (Father James presiding- Richard at All Saints, King’s Langley.)

Thursday 17th June. We shall resume Thursday worship at St Mary’s: Holy Communion at 9.30, led by Father James, and Bible study – distanced – in the Refectory – also led by Father James. (I am  on annual retreat that week so please keep me in your prayers).

Sun 20th June 10am Bob Day will lead Morning Worship at St Benedict’s.

10 am Father’s Day Family Communion at St Mary’s led by Richard

Sun 27th June St Peter and St Paul Holy Communion from St Benedict’s led by Richard

Thanks to everyone for prayers and good wishes while I was unwell. My GP has emphasised that I am still affected by long Covid and must build in more rest and adjust my desire to meet every expectation. The retreat leader and writer Brian Draper was reflecting on Radio 4 recently how he and his wife have been unwell with long Covid for over a year. He said he had had to adjust the pace of life, but in doing so, had found God there. He spoke of how he had gained new insights, being alongside others who also had had to step away from living life at the hectic modern pace, yet still experiencing times of fullness of joy in living life where they were.

None of us wants to have to slow down, or indeed to wait. Advertising and commerce have thrived on the (false) promise that we can ‘have it all and have it now’ . In his excellent book ‘Finding happiness’ Abbot Christopher Jamison observes “ it is strange that while contemporary society places so much emphasis on external freedom, interior freedom is often given short shrift.” He goes on to contrast that with the monastic world, where “the interior world is a place of freedom”. When illness, or injury, or external forces like lockdowns or unemployment or caring responsibilities cause us to be restricted in our choices, we have a choice: rage about what we miss or look to see what God is saying. Sometimes, as Brian Draper found, there are sources of peace and joy to be found which we would never have noticed or encountered when we rushed along in the fast lane. Maybe we can all gracefully accept Jesus’ invitation to ‘come aside’ and find rest for our souls, even when external demands feel so hard.

With our love and prayers, Richard and Katherine.