Thoughts from the Vicarage 87

Good afternoon Friends of The Valley

This coming Sunday, the 5th Sunday of Lent is known as Passion Sunday and begins the last two weeks of Lent. The following Sunday is Palm Sunday followed by Holy week when we journey through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and prepare for the great celebration of Easter! On Easter day churches regale themselves with flowers in a joyful celebration of new life as we see in the resurrection of Jesus. During Lent churches are left barren to remind us of Christ in the wilderness, we don’t sing or say the Gloria and we don’t proclaim Alleluia! It makes it all extra special when we do eventually arrive on Easter Day!

As I wrote previously, this year there will be a Benefice Easter celebration at St Michael’s & All Angels with the lighting of the Easter Candle and the bringing of the light of the risen Christ into the church! The buried Alleluias will be opened and we will be able to proclaim Alleluia once again and, hopefully, enjoy a few treats as we leave church.

Out of Hibernation!

More good news Belinda is Out of Hibernation! Simply hoping that she has not had a party with any of her mice friends. She tells me she has been off to Wokingham where she visited her town mouse cousin Bertie. Simply hoping he hasn’t shared any bad habits with her and that the shhhh … chocolate Easter eggs are still safe and sound, buried with the Alleluias! More of that and maybe a sneak preview next week!

Thinking of next week reminds me do please join in with this Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd March. Since the first lockdown began in 2020, hundreds of thousands of people have died. Too many lives have been cut short and millions have been bereaved. Behind the statistics and whatever the cause, every death has been devastating for the people left behind. Marie Curie is offering bereavement support and organising this day by connecting, supporting and reflect. There will be a minute silence at midday with a shine a light in your window at 8pm to remember this who have lost a loved one.

If you would like a chance to share your loss or simply have someone to talk to I’ll be at each church during the day to sit, listen and pray. Join me if you’d like a stroll around the grounds and a chat.

  • All Saints @ 10.30,
  • St Michael’s @ 11.15,
  • St James @ 12.15.

Getting Outside…

Week 5 in the series of getting outside is all about animals and insects.

We read about them in Genesis 1:25 ‘So God made every kind of animal. He made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling things. And God saw that this was good.’

Why not go out this weekend and explore a new path, a walk you haven’t done before and look out for insects and animals.

Talking of which you may like to join in the Lambourn Litter Pick that is happening tomorrow, Saturday morning – meet at 10 outside St Michael’s Church (the door that is always open), bring a litter picker if you have one, a bag or bucket to put the litter in and of course gloves to keep you safe.

Wednesday @ 7…

This is the 5th and last in the current series. The following week we will meet for reflection as it will be Holy Week. Wednesday @ 7 will continue after Easter with an exciting new resource – more of that next week! All are welcome – simply join in on Wednesday@7 via the usual Zoom link on the Sunday sheet.

A Virtual Collection Plate …

Our churches are thriving in the Lambourn Valley; while we haven’t been holding services on Sunday as per usual the worshiping community continues and the churches are at the centre of the communities in each of the villages.

However, the Parishes still need real money to meet their costs. We are very grateful for those who continue to make offerings through the Parish Giving Scheme or standing order. If you do not give this way and feel able to give towards the work of the Church there is an opportunity to make an electronic bank transfer to each of the PCC’s.

When making a transfer please confirm who it is from and put “Gift Aid” in the reference if you are able to Gift Aid your donation. We can then sort out the paperwork later if we do not already have a Gift Aid Declaration from you. If you are able to so do – it would be greatly appreciated.

The bank details for transfers are:

  • Eastbury PCC Sort Code: 60-11-28 Nat West Newbury Account Number: 20591632
  • East Garston PCC Sort Code: 30-95-89 Lloyds Newbury Account Number: 00696299
  • Lambourn PCC Sort Code: 60-11-28 Nat West Newbury Account Number: 79238394

With grateful thanks from myself and the Treasurers of Eastbury, East Garston and Lambourn.

And finally…

A prayer as we enter Passiontide

Creator of my Life, renew me: bring me to new life in you.
Touch me and make me feel whole again.
Help me to see your love in the passion, death and resurrection of your Son.
Help me to observe Passiontide in a way that allows me to celebrate that love.
Prepare me for Passiontide as I feel both deep sorrow for my sins and your undying love for me.

May God, bless, guide and protect you,