Thoughts from the Vicarage – 12

Good afternoon Friends

My thoughts today begin with a thank you to those who have written, shared photos and had telephone conversations over the last few days. Here are some of our Palm crosses.

Zooming coffee after church …

Palm Sunday worship was much appreciated as our own Bishop Olivia led us in a prayerful and gentle service. After service coffee zoom was such a joyful happy gathering. Each time someone joined us there were waves and smiles! It was an experience for us all who took part as we were joined by friends from Eastbury, East Garston and Lambourn and all places in between! As one of our correspondents wrote ‘I thought that all went very well this morning – Zooms can be quite chaotic!’ Looking forward to our next coffee zoom next Sunday, Easter Day at 11.10.

Zooming Morning Prayer and Compline …

This morning eight friends joined us for Morning prayer. It was great being able to pray together and to share the readings of the day which were so very apposite today. In the email you will see an invitation to Compline or night prayer – you are very welcome to join us.

If you haven’t zoomed yet, fear not. Simply click on the invitation attached to today’s email. You will be asked if you want to use audio and video. Please give it a try if you want! Belinda church mouse is so looking forward to seeing more of you!

We use the Daily service and to help you, the chief Vicarage techie has written a paper to assist you which I have attached. This is the basic information.

A message from the chief Vicarage techie …

The Daily Service app is brilliant on a mobile phone, but unfortunately it won’t work on a home PC so instead go to this site (you should be able to just click on it):

Scroll down to ‘More Options’ and select Morning Prayer (Contemporary), or Night Prayer (Contemporary) for Compline.

This site automatically updates to the correct prayers and readings for each day, the same as the mobile app does. Get in touch if you have any problems.
Keith Mintern, 077 099 222 11 or email

A Poem a day for Holy Week …

There’ll be a poem shared daily during Holy Week … something I love, but an offering for others also.

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Holy Week …

We live in precarious times and we’ve never really been in a situation where Holy Week and Easter can’t happen in Church. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t still pray and share in the different liturgies and ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter.
• There will be a Holy Week service booklet for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and an Easter Vigil. These resources are offered and designed to guide your devotions.
• The booklet will be attached tomorrow so that those without internet may participate in Holy Week. Additionally, some people may prefer to simply pray the liturgy quietly at home rather than join in with streaming.

Christine writes …

A Reflection for the Monday of Holy Week 2020
John 12.1-11
Today’s reading from St John’s Gospel tells how, a few days before his death, Jesus visited his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They gave Jesus dinner to thank him for raising Lazarus from the dead. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly perfume and wiped his feet with her hair. It was, said Jesus, in preparation for his burial.

An intimate scene. A family and their friend having dinner together. Mary getting close to Jesus, touching him. But his death not far away.

As we continue this time of physical distancing, we are unable to meet and eat with family or friends. When we go out for essential shopping or exercise and see friends we must keep our distance. Some of us even have to stop touching our loved ones at home because they are especially vulnerable.

Jesus knew that he would not always be physically present with his friends. Even after he had risen, he said to Mary Magdalene “Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to my Father.” But when he left this world he gave to all his followers a promise: “I am with you always”.

Whatever happens to us, however isolated we may sometimes feel, Jesus is with us – always.

And finally … for today

Let us pray that as we walk through Holy Week together, in spirit, if not in body, that we will know the presence of Jesus alongside each one of us, alongside each member of our family, alongside the most vulnerable, so that when we reach Easter Day we can once again let Alleluia be our song! God bless,