Thoughts from the vicarage 65

Good afternoon friends,

Apologies for the late arrival – nothing to do with the atrocious weather! Mercifully today’s particularly windy and wet weather did not further delay the works to the porch roof and gulley of All Saints in East Garston. We are really pleased to let you know that the Patronal Festival at All Saints will go ahead!

Services this weekend

  • St James the Greater Eastbury Holy Communion 9am
  • All Saints East Garston Patronal Festival Eucharist 10.30
  • St Michael & All Angels Lambourn Eucharist 10.30
  • St Michael & All Angels Lambourn All Souls’ service 3pm

There is still further work to complete but at the moment the church is safe, water tight and clear of workmen’s tools, materials etc. And thanks to the team the church has had a lick and a polish ready for Sunday – thank you to those who have cared for and worked so very diligently to get us this far.

Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

This year we will be keeping All Souls’ Day tomorrow Sunday at 3pm in St Michael & All Angels. On All Souls’ Day we remember our own dead, those who shaped us and loved us, those who we belong to and who belonged to us, the people we miss day by day and week by week however long ago they died. Loving does not stop with death- neither does it become less profound or less powerful.

Christians believe that God is equally the God of the living and of the departed. We are all held in his love and united in his light. In the quiet and gentle service tomorrow afternoon we will be remembering those we love who have died and expressing our confidence and faith in the God who made us and loves us always.

The candles we will light are a beautiful background to our worship and a striking thing to experience- they also remind us of the value we have in the eyes of God, that every life is precious not only to God but to our community as well.

Should you not be able to come along tomorrow but would like to remember your loved one why not join in with us?

Sit and view a candle:
call to mind those you love who’ve died:
entrust them to the love and light of God.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. [Psalm 34:18]

In the emptiness, the silence, the long days Lord, be our comfort, our strength and our hope. We trust that those we have loved are safe; give us peace that we may leave them in your care. Amen.

The Empty Chair in St Michael and All Angels Lambourn

When someone we love dies they leave a gap in our lives. We miss them.

Is there someone that you miss? If you’d like, write the name of the person onto one of the labels and attach it to the chair. Say a quiet thank you for the good memories that you have of them. Maybe light a candle to remember them. If you want, share your sad feelings with God – tell Him how you feel; take your time. We will collect the names and pray at Morning Prayer each day that you will find strength and comfort. We will pray that your loved one may rest in peace.

Go into church, just push open the oak door, turn right and walk ahead – you will see the Empty Chair just ahead of you.

Churchyard Remembrance Trail

Do also try the Churchyard Remembrance Trail in St Michael & All Angels churchyard – when it stops raining! There is a piece of rosemary for remembrance for each person as you go out in the fresh air with 4 prayer stations at which to stop, think and reflect .

And if, like Belinda Church mouse you’d sooner be in the dry why not visit the mini flower festival in St Michael’s and stop for a moment of quiet reflection and prayer? It will be on for the next fortnight around Remembrance Sunday.

A huge thank you to all those who helped decorate the church so artistically. We were going to thread the poppies onto the railings yesterday but when we saw the weather forecast we felt it wiser to wait until Wednesday 4th – do come along if you’d like to help out. I need it!

The poppies have been knitted lovingly by villagers and members of the Coffee and Chat group, including the Vicarage Gardener himself. Thank you one and all !

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday (November 8th ) is being marked in all of our villages. There will be a short service at the War Memorial on Sunday November 7th in Lambourn and Eastbury, both at 10.45 with East Garston remembering the fallen at 10.45 at the War Memorial on Saturday 7th.

The Vicar is thinking

The Vicar is thinking of holding some virtual gatherings for learning more about our faith. I’m thinking of having a series lasting four weeks either in the run up to Christmas during Advent or after Christmas in January. They will need to be Zoomed. Let me know please if you would be interested, what you’d prefer and what would suit you best.

I was thinking of being in each church, socially spaced, but with the situation looking like it will change, this is unlikely this side of Christmas.

The Vicar will not be on Tour

This week, due to prior commitments, but please don’t hesitate to contact her should you need so to do.

And finally…

Whatever this week may bring, however your heart is beating, join with me in pausing and finding a moment of peace as we face the week ahead.

Love never fails
Even in the darkest moments, love gives hope.
Love compels us to fight against coronavirus
alongside our sisters and brothers living in poverty
Love compels us to stand together in prayer
with our neighbours near and far.
Love compels us to give and act as one.
Now, it is clear that our futures are bound together more tightly than ever before.
As we pray in our individual homes – around the nation and around the world – we are united as one family.
So, let us pause and find a moment of peace,
as we lift up our hearts together in prayer.
Amen

With best wishes

Julie

Lambourn Valley Benefice Prayer__ List November 1st