Thoughts from the Vicarage – 58

Dear friends,

What a busy weekend we have coming up here in The Lambourn Valley!

Saturday is Eastbury St James Gift Day and Ride+Stride

The gift day is from 9 am through to lunch time and will be held outside the church. There will be a produce stall including cakes, and many other goodies, including Vicarage apple juice for sale. Belinda and myself will be there to greet you and receive your gifts for the church which this year will be more than ever gratefully received. Please do remember to Gift Aid whatever you are able to give and the government will help us out as well!

Really looking forward to seeing you, meeting those I haven’t seen for a while and certainly to greet newcomers!

Riders and Striders

And if we are lucky, we will be meeting the Riders and Striders who will be stopping at St James and then going onto their next church! You will all be in our thoughts and prayers tomorrow morning – so far I know we have some family groups walking, if not striding as well as our intrepid friends Rosemary and Ann.

Please do take photos and share how you get on – even if you only visit one church and are able to make a donation – it will be much appreciated! If you are sponsoring – thank you very much. A percentage of the proceeds come to our churches.

Back to School Blessing

Sunday sees the annual back to school blessing of bags in St Michael’s when we pray especially for those returning to school, college, university or indeed work after the Summer break. And of course, this year for some this will be a return after a seriously long break away. During the 10.30 service a special blessing will be given, prayers said and wooden crosses offered to those who would like one! You will be very welcome.

Vicar will be on Tour

The Vicar will be on Tour on Wednesday 16th to East Garston 2.30 – 3.30 (please note day change due to prior appointment) and to Eastbury on Tuesday 15th 2.30 – 3.30 and looks forward to seeing you – all are welcome. We begin with a short service of Holy Communion – lasting 15 minutes and then enjoy a time of conversation. This is an opportunity to come along simply to chat, ask a query or talk through a request for baptism or discuss about getting married!

Earlier on Tuesday

The funeral of the late Lydia Ashplant will take place in St Michael’s at 11 o’clock. Pre Covid 19 funerals were open to all who wished to attend. In these changed times mourners in the church are limited by government to 30. If you wish to attend Lydia’s funeral pleased do text or telephone Christine on 07801 096345.

Government’s new rules

We are waiting to be clear on exactly what they are but it looks as if worship is not going to be affected since it is not primarily social. Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms / Christenings may at present go ahead with a reduced number present. We plan to carry on as usual at the moment and just keep a careful eye on how things develop. We will of course keep you posted.

It gives me great joy

to be able to write that if you have requested Baptism / Christening, either for yourself or your children we are now in a position to offer this Sacrament. Numbers attending each Baptism will once again have to be reduced and of course we will have measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety – as far as is possible. Face coverings, already mandatory in a church service will have to be worn and social distancing will be essential. I am contacting people individually but please don’t hesitate to telephone me 07749 844 600 if you would like to go ahead.

Sunday services this week

Holy Communion at East Garston 9am and at St Michael’s Lambourn 10.30.

The new restrictions will not directly affect us in Church. But once the service is over – it would be more in the spirit of the law to walk into the church grounds together for chatting or break into small groups of six or less in different parts of the Churchyard rather than all standing outside the Church door for a long time.

We can still be warm and friendly towards to one another but please do observe the spirit of the law and social distancing.

St Michael’s Lambourn Patronal Festival

September is flying by so this is Early Warning – St Michael’s Lambourn Patronal Festival will be on September 27th. It will be a Benefice service – when all are welcome to St Michael’s. We will be holding a Gift Day on Saturday morning September 26th. If you are able to consider contributing to the work and upkeep of St Michael’s it would be greatly appreciated especially in the light of the boiler needing to be replaced … due to a

Prohibition of use sticker

At the annual service of the 40 year old boiler in St Michael’s a prohibition of use sticker was placed upon it on it as it was leaking where the burner fits onto the heat exchanger and at the other end where the flue is attached to the heat exchanger. The current boiler is rated at 240KW and due to its age, spares are no longer available and all contactors approached declined to offer a repair.

Good news!

Back in August you may have been lucky enough to see our bells wending their way through the village courtesy of Jim Bracey. They were off for further polishing and TLC and are due back to their home in the tower in October – how wonderful is that!

Finally please do keep up the good work which is going on in the Valley, please pray for the life we share here and for all that we are called to share.

With prayerful best wishes

Julie

Lambourn Valley Benefice Prayer List September 13th