Thoughts from the Vicarage 41

Good afternoon friends of the Valley

Psalm 122:1 I was glad …

When they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord.

Following the government’s permission to open church buildings I am delighted to write that following prayer and careful consideration, along with the required risk assessment all three churches in the Benefice will be opening for private prayer in the near future. The wardens along with Christine and myself have taken the context of each church into consideration. This means that there will be local differences. As you would expect the safety of all who visit is of paramount importance.

Some things will be constant – please use sanitiser provided, please follow signage, please observe social distancing and please do respect those areas which are evidently ‘out of bounds’ (as we used to say at school!)

All Saints church in East Garston will be open for private prayer tomorrow and daily from 10 am to 4pm. All are welcome, those of all faiths or none. We are all at different way-points in terms of going out and about so please do as you would wish. If you are shielding or are vulnerable for some other reason (e.g. underlying health conditions), government guidance is that you should not come to church at this time but I leave this up to you.

I will continue to be available as ‘Vicar on Tour’ and will try to make myself as available as possible for spiritual counsel and a listening ear, as will Christine from her home.

I am also very conscious of the fact that for some, the opening for private prayer will be a great consolation whilst for others it will cause concern because of self-isolation. I know you will be wise in deciding whether to visit for prayer.

If, for any reason, you would prefer not to visit but would like your prayer taken into church, please either send it to me or ring me and I’ll take it for you.

Please be assured, everyone’s welcome. The only proviso it that government guidance may change as may local conditions. We will keep you informed. If you have any questions please do feel free to call or email me or Christine.

Cycling and Wildlife Yoga…

So far there have been no takers for the exercise bike that featured earlier this week – but it’s not too late should you be interested. Another correspondent, following up on our recent wildlife article wondered if wildlife yoga may be on interest! Joking apart the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts are sharing some super materials suitable for all ages and interests. For the more adventurous here are some examples … but as the best exercise gurus say please take great care and do not overstretch yourself!

Just in case you are looking for more activities to enjoy in your own garden or share with younger friends and families – there is also a nature detective film here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYhjqD8LXvk&feature=youtu.be

And for those who are isolating and enjoying their garden there is another super podcast series on Wildlife gardening via:
https://www.bbowt.org.uk/

Talking of which Belinda churchmouse has discovered …

Hedgehogs in The Vicarage garden … she saw one, a very large one, at dusk walking towards the bird feeding station – two nights running. She surmised that the hoggy was hoovering up any left overs.

So the Vicarage Gardener put out some special hoggy food and next morning it was all gone!

Finally

Please do remember that Amanda is organising a socially distanced cleaning team in St Michael’s Lambourn on Saturday 20th . If you would like to help, please contact her directly on 01488 670083 for further details and if you’d like to find out more about what will be involved.

With prayerful best wishes,

God bless,

Julie