Thoughts from the Vicarage 55

Good morning friends of The Lambourn Valley on another very hot day,

belinda

belinda

Belinda church mouse tells me that apparently severe thunder storms are predicted for next week. It reminds me how we are living in strange and unpredictable days. The rhythm of life slowly seems to be returning to normal and then we hear of ‘spikes’ or ‘second waves’ of the Coronavirus and we wonder what is going to happen. We are uncertain about whether we should go to certain places, or meet with certain people. The guidance seems complicated at times and frequently changing. You are not alone if you are feeling this.

And church life has, of course, changed, our churches are open and we now have Sunday worship but it is not the same as before. We have to sit apart, there is no singing, and people wear masks. It’s good that those who attend are finding worship comforting. It is, however, different. Yet, we pray for each other, often by name, we connect by Zoom with Morning Prayer and Compline, social media, telephone, e-mail etc. We care. Inevitably contact will not always be as strong as it could be, whilst some are saying that they actually have got to know some people better in these unusual days.

Important Diocesan Guidance

in place from today reminds us that ‘From 8 August, face coverings are also required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings including places of worship … ‘so from today face coverings should be used in church. This will be the case until further notice.

The guidance continues … ‘there are valid exemptions for some individuals to not wear a face covering … those who are leading services in a place of worship, and those who assist them do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained‘.

The guidance ends with a recommendation reminding our wardens and church officers that they … ‘not required to prevent people entering church if they are not wearing a mask. They may have a valid reason under government guidelines which means they do not have to.‘ Christine and I will not be wearing face covering as we lead worship but will do so when distributing the sacrament.

Worship tomorrow Sunday August 9th …

All are welcome at either service. The readings, collect and prayer list is attached today.

  • East Garston All Saints 9.00 Family Communion
  • Lambourn St Michael’s Eucharist 10.30

Worship on August 16th and 23rd whilst I am on leave will be …

  • Lambourn St Michael’s 8.00 BCP Holy Communion
  • Eastbury St James 9.30 Family Communion
  • Lambourn St Michael’s 11.00 All Together Eucharist

The Vicar won’t be on Tour this week

as she is on leave until August 25th. On her return she will once again be on Tour the week commencing August 31st.

Morning Prayer and Compline will continue daily

except Sunday morning. Many thanks to Paul for taking the helm, for sending out the links along with the Zoom codes for Morning Prayer daily at 8.30 am, Compline daily at 8.30pm and coffee on Sunday. Do remember you can dial into these events and join in via a telephone if you are not a Zoomer.

September 12th is Ride+Stride

Please don’t forget September 12th is Ride+Stride – do join in, come along as a family. It’s a church-crawl where you can visit as many (or as few) churches on the day between 10am and 6pm as you can. You can walk, run, cycle, ride or drive, following your own route and enjoy visiting some of our fabulous churches.

People struggling with mental health

If you know of young people struggling with mental health difficulties an on-Line support network has been launched by the Youth Counselling service that may be useful. Called Kooth it’s free and primarily aimed at dealing with issues around Covid but aims to support young people re-adjust to life post-Covid. Full details are here https://www.kooth.com There is a short introductory video and a safe sign up system for those in need.

Finally …

We are living in strange and unpredictable days yet I’m conscious of how many are noticing things more, and appreciating small things around us. A stranger’s smile encourages us, a friendly phone call is a blessing.

Yet, at times we will, inevitably, be concerned, anxious or fragile. At other times we will feel content or exhilarated. Some are finding it difficult to concentrate and sleep. My message is that you are not alone. Even if we can’t get away – the summer is traditionally a time for relaxation – to take things easy. This is a time to be still, to live enjoying the present moment and what it brings, and to be kind to yourself.

My prayer is that whatever future we face, for the present moment prayer, calm, love, care and having contact with one another are the key elements that will sustain us, both within church and in the wider community.

And most importantly …

Please remember Tilly and Dan who are to be married in St Michael’s this afternoon – we wish them every happiness and joy in their future life together as Mr & Mrs Drummond. They simply wished to be wed in the eyes of God despite these strange and unpredictable times – God bless you both now and always! I’m hoping that Belinda will get a few photos for us to share.

God bless

Julie

Lambourn Valley Benefice Prayer List August 9th