Thoughts from the Vicarage 96

Good afternoon dear Friends of The Valley

The continuing situation in India continues to feature on our news headlines this week. It doesn’t need my words to elaborate more fully. I find myself lamenting, crying out to God as we witness the tragic scenes.

Nandyal Diocese

You may know that Nandyal Diocese in south India, (the green arrow)is linked with the Oxford Diocese. This link was one in which originally schools played a large part. Bishop Lawrence of Nandyal visited a former parish of ours, St Peter’s along with a good number of schools in the Diocese of Oxford. Leading services and visiting schools he inspired many and whetted the appetite for the sub-continent. Following his retirement, the Rt Revd Pushpa Lalitha was appointed, the first woman bishop in the Diocese.

This is the interior of St Peter’s church Kalspadu in Nandyal Diocese (taken pre-pandemic) – a church with which I was acquainted and the school which served for many as a place of refuge for many in the caste system. Apart from the pandemic many parts of the region are suffering from flooding.

Prayer for India

This evening there is a nationwide time of prayer for India. You’re invited to join in via this zoom link at 7.55 pm if you feel so moved. If you are in a place where you can safely light a candle, do have one with you.

Churches Count on Nature

Churches Count on Nature week is getting nearer! Please make a note of the date as there will be activities going on, hopefully in all the church yards at various times.

The main focus at St Michael’s will be an open morning on Saturday June 12th 10-12.30. The hope in each yard is to encourage participation to make a count of plants, trees, grasses, birds, butterflies, ladybirds etc. Identification and recording sheets will be provided. There will be a display in church to inform about caring for God’s creation along with some additional identification help. We’re hoping the school will be involved and that lots of people will join in and explore our church yards throughout the week and beyond!

At St James in Eastbury the idea is that there will be more exciting things going on in the week beginning June 5th. And in All Saints syard I will be happy to join in with anyone who would be interested in exploring the church yard and sharing it with others! If you’d like to find out more please speak to Ruth Honey, Deborah Phillips or Christine Allsopp.

News from the School

This morning at school, year 6 pupils continued learning more about the church year with talk of Ascension Day, next week Thursday May 13th and Pentecost, 50 days after Easter being celebrated on Sunday May 23rd on what is known as Whit Sunday.

We also began to learn about stilling ourselves in preparation for listening which we all felt was really worthwhile – taking a few minutes to still ourselves. We stilled our souls to thank God, to say sorry to God and to say Please God. Also known as the tsp – or teaspoon prayer and a really helpful way to pray when we’re lost for words. As is our custom we then asked the children about their own prayers … Brooke shared hers. I share it here with her blessing.

Brooke wrote this prayer following a visit from Paralympian Arun Phipps who inspired this prayer – please do make it your own.

Looking ahead …

Services during May will be:

  • May 13th St Michael & All Angels Ascension Day 7.30pm Eucharist
  • May 16th St Michael & All Angels 8am BCP Holy Communion
    St James 9.30am Family Communion
    St Michael & All Angels 11 am All Together Eucharist
  • May 23rd All Saints 9am Holy Communion
    St Michael & All Angels 10.30am Eucharist

If you haven’t come back to Church in person yet, and would like someone to talk you through what it feels like and how it works then do let either myself or Christine know. We’d be very pleased to listen to your concerns and chat it through.

With continued joyful Easter greetings