Thoughts from the Vicarage 88

Good afternoon Friends of The Valley, I am writing a little early this week to share important news of services for Holy Week.

Palm Sunday

This Sunday, as the clocks spring forward, is Palm Sunday and once again it’s a pity we won’t be able to process with our Palms sharing our Hosannas this year and nor will we give out Palm Crosses in person. However, there are Palm crosses in each church available from today if you would like to collect one! Should you find that the supply has run out please let me know – and I’ll send Belinda church mouse down with additional supplies.

If you prefer to do it yourself here are four things for you to do over the weekend to help us all think about Palm Crosses … I think the teacher in me may be showing a little!



Please do send me photos of any of these things so that we can encourage each other and share them on the website.

Easter Day

Sunday week, April 4th is Easter Day, a day of great celebration and joy as the Paschal Candle is lit, bought into church for all to see along with the great proclamation that Christ is risen – albeit a little muted but at full volume in spirit! This year we will be holding a single Benefice service at 10.30 in St Michael’s Lambourn, with plenty of air circulation, doors open and the usual stringent safety precautions in place so that we may be as safe as possible as our Alleluias are proclaimed!

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy week when we recall how Christ continues his journey to Jerusalem, with the washing of his disciples feet, the Last Supper and the Cross on Good Friday. There will be services via zoom, and as usual dial in is possible.

Services for Holy Week

This year our services will look and feel different as they will be online. You are welcome to join in at any point. You may like to have a holding cross for the reflections, perhaps a Bible at your side or a candle.

  • Monday March 29th 8pm Reflection on John 12:1-11 followed by Compline zoomed from St James the Greater Eastbury (no in person congregants)
  • Tuesday March 30th 8pm Reflection on John12:20-36 followed by Compline from All Saints East Garston (no in person congregants)
  • Wednesday March 31st 8pm Reflection on John13:21-32 followed by Compline from St Michael & All Angels Lambourn (no in person congregants)
  • Maundy Thursday April 1st 8pm Reflections, music and prayer.
  • Good Friday April 2nd 3pm At the Foot of The Cross
  • Good Friday April 2nd noon Adoration of the cross in person at the Catholic church, Baydon Rd, Lambourn by kind invitation of Fthr David

Easter Saturday April 3rd Lambourn closed, Eastbury & East Garston open Easter Day April 4th 10.30 Benefice Easter Day Eucharist and lighting of the Paschal Candle !

A gathering of representatives of St James, All Saints and the church wardens of St Michael’s was held earlier this week with regards to looking ahead in terms of in person worship. It was agreed that Easter Sunday will see the congregation very well spaced out with flow of air via the bell tower being open as well as the doors (maybe wear an extra layer and mind your Easter bonnet!). There can be no ‘in church mingling’, masks need to be worn and the service will be approximately 45 minutes. It was decided to continue with the strict daily sanitising and cleansing regime in each church to ensure we offer environments as safe as is possible.

It was agreed in principle that with a similar strict service regime we may hold services on April 18th and 25th in each church dependent upon the case numbers both locally and across West Berkshire remaining steady. The Bishop of Oxford has made it known that he hopes to see all churches open for in church worship at Pentecost which this year falls on May 21st. Further details on Saturday.

Wednesday @ 7…

Is this evening, the 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.

Getting Outside…

And finally, on this beautiful sunny afternoon, the final week of Lent will see us taking notice of the birds and the air! As we read in Matthew 6:26 ‘Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them’. Thanking God for the beauty of creation, God bless you all,