Thoughts from the Vicarage 26

Good afternoon everyone,

A sunny afternoon … indeed!

And what a full day it’s been so far! Full as ever, with both the joys and challenges of life along with those necessities to keep the household ticking over. This morning saw me back down the valley firstly to East Garston where I met Karen and James whilst delivering a good number of the little prayer booklets and then onto Eastbury where Fiona has taken charge of a number of them as well. And of course no trip to Eastbury can go without a quick hello to our friends at The Hermitage – Betty and Tony today! So we had a good catch up and then it was home for a late lunch.

Help I’m stuck … I don’t know what to do next …



Belinda church mouse has had a query from a new reader about Morning Prayer so I think it is probably worth repeating this advice from Mr Vicarage.

How to get Morning Prayer and other Daily Services …

on a home computer. The Daily Service app is brilliant on a mobile phone, but unfortunately it won’t work on a home PC without using Android Emulators and then life starts getting very complicated, 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.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any problems. (He really is very patient – he has to be!) Keith Mintern, 077 099 222 11 or email

Talking of Prayer …

Please do take one of the prayer booklets from the Vicarage Gate if you’re passing. And please ask either Karen Sperry in East Garston or Fiona if you’d like one. As I said they’re going like hot cakes here but I do have more available – please don’t hesitate to ask!

And please do keep praying … for those who are sick or frightened, for those finding isolation especially difficult, for those who are having to rearrange a wedding or a baptism, for those who are discovering that funerals look very different at the moment with only immediate family able to attend, for those undertakers who have been under much pressure, for those who are at work keeping vital services going and for all those within our NHS, for the risks we are asking them to take on our behalf.

It is evident that the work of the church continues in so many different ways throughout the Valley – and I know that the voice of prayer is never silent. How wonderfully comforting and consoling that is.

Only today I had a distressed villager contact me regarding the fact that her beloved fur baby had been run over and lost his life – could I help her? By the grace of God I was able to find words to comfort her. A few messages later I offered her prayer at this time of bereavement and shared some words with her. The prayerful church here in the Valley is responding to great need at this time and the very fact that she knew that we would pray for her and her husband at this time was of immeasurable comfort.

Where two or three are gathered together – and now we gather in virtual space to pray. I am thrilled that the Virtual Church is thriving in the Lambourn Valley; while the Church buildings are closed, the worshiping community continues and the churches are at the centre of the communities in each of the villages.

The time has come to reflect upon our Virtual Collection Plate …

as the Parishes still need real money to meet their costs.

We are very grateful for those who continue to make offerings through the Parish Giving Scheme or standing order. If you do not give this way and feel able to give towards the work and upkeep of the Church there is an opportunity to make an electronic bank transfer to each of the PCCs.

When making a transfer please confirm who it is from and put “Gift Aid” in the reference if you are able to Gift Aid your donation. We can then sort out the paperwork later if we do not already have a Gift Aid Declaration from you.

The bank details for transfers are:

Eastbury PCC
Sort Code: 60-11-28 Nat West Newbury
Account Number: 20591632

East Garston PCC
Sort Code: 30-95-89 Lloyds Newbury
Account Number: 00696299

Lambourn PCC
Sort Code: 60-11-28 Nat West Newbury
Account Number: 79238394

With grateful thanks from myself, the Churchwardens and Treasurers of Eastbury, East Garston and Lambourn.

Please pray about this and consider if you are able to contribute. All of our churches still have considerable costs at the moment, around parish share, insurance, bills for upkeep, repair and so on, and we are really grateful for the ways in which you are continuing to offer your support in both practical and prayerful ways.

Be kind to yourself …

Please keep being kind to yourself- if you want to change the plan during the day and save cleaning the kitchen floor or weeding the garden for another day then please do that. It’s fine to change the plan, it’s fine to be flexible, it’s fine to see how you feel, it’s fine to be flat and sad for a time.

We have never been asked to do anything like this before and it’s not a surprise if it takes us a while to adjust to whatever changes may be ahead, or if we never quite adjust. If you are in need, have a query, or are feeling a bit worried please just ring either myself or Christine 07801 096345.

To coin a phrase, ‘it is what it is’. If it’s important it will get done. If it’s not important then it might not get done. But then, by definition, it’s not that important… What is important is that … we continue to follow the advice to stay safe and stay at home until restrictions are lifted.

… and finally a prayer as the evening draws near …

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

May God richly bless you and yours – and others through you.

As I pray for you, please pray for one another. I leave you with the Beatitudes to guide your prayers