#281: The return of the mouse

My dearest friends,

I have returned from my summer of adventuring, by popular demand. I am a little hurt by how few people contacted the Rector to say that they wanted me back doing emails to the parish but I am thrilled that, in the end, the popular vote went in my favour by a majority of 20%. I have now received the money I needed to be able to come home from the nice Parish Treasurer, having learnt a very valuable lesson- if you spend all of your holiday money in a seconds cheese shop in the first week, and pawn your return train ticket, then you have to sit on a seaside bench beating off the bloodcurdling seagulls for a very long time, even when your paws hurt. Let this be a warning to you- Rhyl is lovely but the Rhylish seagulls are not.

Anyway, we won’t mention the historically low turnout in the vote about whether the parish should fund my return or not, we will just focus on rebuilding trust and on the fact that I won by a 20% landslide. I got to sleep in my own bed last night and in Richard’s “Welcome home” note he told me that I could send the email today as a special treat. I have spent most of the night trying to decipher his handwriting and I think that this is what he asked me to pass on. It’s good to be back! Lovely to be snuggled up in my bed again, lovely to have pottered round checking that everything is still there, lovely to be able to talk to all of my friends again…

  1. can’t read that one
  2. Or that one
  3. Or that one…

Adjusting to the reality of a world with Covid: important

There are several conversations happening at the moment around making slight adjustments to the way we do things at St Paul’s in particular. We put things in place as we emerged from lockdown and we need to continue to be sensible and generous while recognising the fact that things are still changing.

In terms of coming to Church…

  1. please join in on the livestream if you have any symptoms of Covid rather than coming in person
  2. please think about doing a Lateral Flow Test on Saturday or on Sunday morning if you are doing those tests, as part of your regular cycle of testing
  3. You don’t need to sign in, and we are not going to be recording names any longer because the Government have stopped requiring that- however, they are still recommending that people use the QR code wherever they go so we are leaving the code out at the back of church. This is optional.
  4. Please always use the handgel on the way in and out
  5. The back few rows will continue to be an area for social distancing where people will sit further apart from each other- please use them if that would make you more comfortable.
  6. Please continue to wear a mask in church, even when singing, if you can as a way of showing care for those around you.
  7. As always, if you think we’re missing something, please email someone to let them know.

In terms of the Livestream…

  1. We are absolutely committed to livestreaming and will continue to do so for as far ahead as we can see or imagine
  2. On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month there will be a slight change to the service which is broadcast- we will use a recording of a previous anthem during communion and of a previous voluntary at the end which will allow the choir and organist to occasionally sing and play music in Church which we are not allowed to broadcast publicly. It really won’t make much difference but I’m mentioning it to be transparent, and also in case the members of the choir or the weather suddenly seem to change on the livestream! “How did it get so sunny? Where did those people come from because they weren’t there a moment ago?”
  3. We are keen to think about how to build up the sense of community and togetherness in those who are part of the church through the livestream- we know some people but not all of them- we will be trying different ways of doing this but if you have any ideas about what you think please do email Richard at rector@spauls.co.uk, or just to say hello.
  4. It would be great to put together an email list to communicate with directly- why not email me immediately, before you forget about it, to say hello and to share any thoughts or ideas you have?
  5. One thought is to get people into groups of three or four for ‘coffee’ after the service on Zoom- which could be fun. Although you would have to make your own coffee- Bertie has lost a few computers recently trying to test coffee delivery over the Wifi. It’s tricky, seemingly.

Sunday

Difficult Gospel for Sunday, it turns out- do read Mark 9.30-37 before you come to find out what I’m wrestling with at the moment, and to think about what God is saying to you and to the Church. There are services at 8, 9.30, 10 and 11 in the Parish and coffee is served after the main services at each Church.

Other things of note

1. A reminder that the Parish Office hours are Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri from 9.30 to 12- if you need Louise specifically then do call first to check that she is in on that day.

2. Pilgrimage to Oxford on Sat the 16th of October, of between 2 and 9 miles, depending which group you join- if you’re interested please speak to Richard soon. It was great fun last time, and everyone who was part of it enjoyed it.

3. Wanted: a volunteer to lead on the introduction of the Parish Giving Scheme at St Paul’s and St Nick’s. This is a separate piece of work which will end in a few months’ time- explain the Scheme (which most churches in the Diocese have already adopted), organise the paperwork, answer questions and then stop to great acclaim. The Scheme overall is to be more efficient in the way we give to Church. Do look up this site for more information and then do speak to Richard or Lyn if you would like more info: Home – Parish Giving Scheme

4. Churchyard honey is now on sale for £5 a pot – available after church on Sunday or via the church office. Supplies are limited (only 20 pots left), so get in quickly if you want some!

5. Here is the latest Deanery Prayer Cycle:

6. Soulscape are one of our three Charities at St Paul’s and St Nick’s: here is a video to hear what they have been up to

and here is an update report:

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