Good afternoon friends on this beautiful sunny day. This is a bumper edition of Thoughts today with important ‘thank yous’, news, dates and information from The Vicarage.
Sunday services this week
Sunday services this week are as follows – each will last roughly 40 minutes.
- 8am Book of Common Prayer communion at St Michael’s Lambourn;
- 9.30 Family Communion at St James Eastbury;
- 11.00 All Together Eucharist at St Michael’s Lambourn when Rachel Perkins, the new Head teacher of Lambourn CE Primary school will be blessed, welcomed and commissioned to her service to the school and community.
This service is one when we especially welcome children and it seems most apt to be blessing Rachel at the same time. All are welcome at 11 o’clock in St Michael’s.
The new restrictions do 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 Gift Day
St Michael’s Gift Day Saturday 26th is next Saturday from 9 o’clock through to lunch time outside church in the Market Place. Belinda and myself will be there along with church wardens Amanda and Bruce to greet you and to 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!
There will also be goodies for sale, including Vicarage Apple Juice (it sold out at Eastbury but we have more!) Please do come to say hello, donate, have a chat, ask questions and help raise the £17,500 we need for a new boiler … due, at more than 40 years old having a Prohibition of use sticker given at its last service.
You may have read about the challenges we face in a recent letter delivered in the Village. Just in case you didn’t it’s attached to this email. Belinda church mouse is helping out as well so do come along and say hello and make a contribution!
If you are able to contribute a cake, bread, jams or any other produce please do drop them off – I’ll be in church from 8.30 am in case you’d like to drop them in earlier.
Really looking forward to seeing you, meeting those I haven’t seen for a while and certainly to greet newcomers!
St Michael’s Patronal Festival
St Michael’s Patronal Festival follows on Sunday September 27th This will be a Benefice service when everyone from the three Valley churches is especially welcome to join together, and, once again all are welcome. If you missed the chance to gift on the Saturday you are even more welcome on Sunday!
Eastbury St James Gift Day
Eastbury St James Gift Day was a great success and many thanks to those who contributed, donated, manned the stall and gave so generously. Treasurer Nick Blackwell writes ‘I am sure you would like to know that the amount raised for our Gift Day Appeal now totals £6,675 which includes £340 from the Cake Stall on Gift Day itself. Thanks to the outstanding generosity of Eastbury residents and several outside the village, this achieves the objective of ensuring that our overall revenues in this very difficult year will cover all of our costs. Let’s hope we can get back to our usual fund raising events next year.’
Ride and Stride
Ride+Stride – many, many congratulations to those of our readers who strode and rode through the Valley churches – and beyond! It gave me great joy to see at least two groups of striders en route between all the churches. And special mention must be made of Lambourn’s Ann and Rosemary who also included Great Shefford in their travels!! We have received a healthy amount of sponsorship money form which both our Valley churches and the Berkshire Historic Churches Trust will benefit.
The Vicar on Tour
The Vicar will be on Tour on Monday 21st to East Garston 2.30 – 3.30 and to Eastbury on Tuesday 22nd 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 spiritual question or talk through a request for baptism or discuss about getting married – as delightfully happened last week.
You may also like to know more about the Christian faith and would be interested in Confirmation. There will be a Confirmation service on Saturday 22nd November at 10a.m. If you would like to be confirmed, if you are wondering about confirmation or if you have no idea what confirmation is please, please do ask, get in touch and we can have a chat and I may, hopefully be able to answer any queries you may have. Remember, no query is ever too small … .
Back to school blessing
Last Sunday we held the annual back to school blessing of bags. We prayed especially for those returning to school, college, university or indeed work after the Summer break. During the service a blessing was given, prayers said and wooden crosses offered. A few of the blessed crosses remain – please take one. You will be very welcome.
Rule of 6
Government’s new rules … the rule of 6 We are waiting to be clear on exactly what they are but it looks as if worship is not going to be affected. Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms / Christenings may 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.
Message from Bishop Stephen
A Message from Bishop Stephen – from an address to Diocesan Synod … “We are flesh and blood and physical beings, not disembodied minds or spirits. God made us that way and God became a human person. That physical encounter is an essential part of our humanity. We may not yet be able to do everything we want to do when we gather as the Church on Sundays and on other occasions. We may need to regather in smaller numbers and in more restricted ways. But in those circumstances we should do what we can do safely to restore public and physical prayer and worship at the heart of every parish and community.” The full article is here:
And finally …
These are strange times aren’t they? As I’m out and about many people tell me how blessed we all are to live in these beautiful surroundings but go on to talk about their concerns – serious ones… like, how do we make sense of the new rules people have to live under … what we can or can’t do etc.
We are living in times that are still scary and we still don’t know what things will look like next month let alone Christmas. Everything is so provisional and, I don’t know about you but we’re missing things, like doing stuff we did before Covid without even thinking about it! And then there’s working out what is safe and whether others will think it safe. And I think of those still self-isolating, those in difficult domestic situations or worried about going out.
All 3 Parishes are working at trying to communicate well so everyone knows what is going on, what to expect and to know who to go for to ask for help or support. Please, please do ask for help if you need it – we all need it at some point. Similarly, if you want a chat or a shoulder to lean on you know where we are …
Keep ringing one another, keep in touch … these days are uncertain – all that we took for granted now needs planning and consideration. Keep on looking after one another, journeying together, keep on being kind to yourself and keep on trusting God.
Know that you and yours are in our prayers each morning and as the day draws to a close – you are not alone.
With prayerful best wishes for the week ahead,