Good afternoon dear Friends of The Valley on this sunny, blue sky day,
What a beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with during this past week! I do hope that this finds you and yours well as restrictions have been lifted to allow us a little more freedom.
It has been a delight to hear from those who’ve been able to meet family members once again! Yet, amidst all this our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or those who have yet to get out and about a little more widely!
Talking of which, I am pleased to let you know that I met with Paul, our new churchwarden at All Saints over a cuppa at The Queens Arms in East Garston – another sign that restrictions are enabling us to get out and about once again.
And in other news St James in Eastbury is organising a May Fair on May 23rd in the church grounds. They made enquiries of West Berks council regarding holding an event and were supported in their venture, with appropriate social distancing measures being in place. So do pop the date in your diary and take an outing to support them in what should be a lovely event.
Churches Count on Nature
Following up on the Lenten series finding God in Nature this is early warning of Churches Count on Nature week – it’s from Saturday 5th June – Sunday 13th June. The idea is to explore and record wildlife within our churchyards.
Our yards are ideal paces for social distancing and it would be super to join in exploring and caring for our truly local environment. There are many ideas and links available and if you are interested in helping to co-ordinate, lead or take part please do come forward. Ruth Honey firstname.lastname@example.org, Deborah Philips email@example.com and Christine Allsopp firstname.lastname@example.org are leading this venture and would love to hear from you if you have any ideas.
We’re hoping that this Count on Nature week will appeal to everyone and will be inviting the Brownies, Guides and the school to join in along with anyone who would be interested. There is no need to be an expert – there will be something for everyone!
To whet your appetite there is a beautiful starter guide free to download. If you’d like to start practising your own species identification skills, there is a beautiful starter guide to help and a range of other ID guides are available.
Looking ahead … unless there is a great change in local infection rates there will be services continuing the season of Easter during May following the usual pattern but these Thoughts will keep you up to date. The Wardens and St James, Eastbury
representatives will be meeting in mid-May as we approach Step 2 in the government’s roadmap.
Tomorrow is sometimes known as Good Shepherd Sunday as we hear of Jesus saying ‘I am the good shepherd’ in John 10. And what a privilege it was earlier this Spring to accompany the working shepherds of today, here in the Lambourn Valley. Watching their work of lambing, of tending and caring for their sheep was an inspiration and certainly most refreshing at a time of great challenge. It reminded me of Psalm 23 that speaks to us of God’s presence with us both here on earth and in heaven.
Psalm 23 is attached today – why not read it, take time to listen, to hear what Jesus might be saying to you.
All are welcome, Jesus considers each and every one of his sheep of equal value. Nobody is left out, he speaks to each one of us, he knows you, he knows your name.
And finally …
May Jesus the good shepherd, guard and keep you always
With joyful Easter greetings