Thoughts from the Vicarage 44

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.

St James the Greater was prayed open earlier today for private prayer. Many thanks to all those who have volunteered to be on the rota for opening, closing and cleaning. The church will be open each day for private prayer and all are welcome. Signage will inform you about where to sit and the direction of travel. Please note that the toilet facility is closed.

It was a joy to receive this beautiful rhododendron in memory of Mary Gilliver who died last month. Thank you – what a kind thought. My prayer is that it will bring comfort and peaceful recollection of a lady who was so much part of St James the Greater over the years.

In each of our Valley churches all are welcome, those of all faiths or none. Thanks to all those supporting the re-opening of our village churches – it is much appreciated.

Finally …

Following the installation of new LED lights in the nave and the lowering of the bells St Michael & All Angels is nearly ready for re-opening on Monday morning at 9 o’clock when once again we will pray a blessing upon those who will be entering into their church at the heart of the village.

The Vicar will still be on tour …

I realise that for some people the opening of our churches will have a slightly bitter sweet feeling as a number of friends are still self-isolating due to medical conditions. Please be assured that you are in our prayers and we continue to think of you.

  • Monday June 22nd All Saints East Garston 2.30 – 3.30
  • Tuesday June 23rd St James The Greater Eastbury 2.30 – 3.30
  • Wednesday June 24th St Michael & All Angels 2.30 – 3.30

Sunday morning worship …
Church at Home is with our own Bishop Olivia presiding with a sermon from Revd Dr Will Lamb, Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford. The order of service is available to download now. The readings along with the collect may be found on the weekly prayer list attachment.

Review of our Benefice Prayer List …

Looking ahead into July I will be revising the prayer list as was our usual custom prior to Covid-19. This means starting a new prayer list so please let me know if you would like to add a name for prayer or if you would like prayers continued for a person at present on the list. Many thanks.

Looking ahead …

The journey of recovery out of lockdown will be slower than our journey into lockdown. As we all know life is not going to be a quick return to the old normal, but rather a new living with the virus, certainly for the rest of this year and most likely through into next year. For some those changes will be welcomed whilst for others vulnerability and anxiety levels may be temporarily heightened as the future looks uncertain. Holding a faith doesn’t make us immune to anxiety – living in isolation, being alone, struggling with God are all normal.

And how are you today? …

Have you ever found yourself not knowing what to say when someone cheerily said “How are you?” How truly do we reply? Perhaps you felt awful, but didn’t like to say so. Unlike God, human beings cannot see what is in someone’s heart – unless they share them. However, if we ask, we need to be ready for honest answers, and honest answers make vulnerable people more vulnerable. If we join in with God, in searching out one another’s vulnerabilities, we need to get more like Him in loving and accepting what we find.

Try this “Have a Go Habit”.

  • Read Psalm 139:1 “O Lord, you have searched me and known me”. God loves you and really knows you. Read the Psalm, slowly more than once every day for a week.
  • Choose one of the things God says about you and stick it next to your bed on a post-it note.
  • Whenever you feel misunderstood repeat the truth on a post it.

And finally …

A tremendous thank you for all the help and support you have offered within our communities, to one another and to those in need.

God bless,


Lambourn Valley Benefice Prayer List June 21st