Hello again, dear friends- Bertie here, having just about recovered from the excitement of the Harvest Auctions. It was just like being at Sotherby’s, only with more icing and fewer people calling bids in over the phone. It feels a really busy week in the life of the parish. Here are some things which have been happening this week which you might not know about:
we have been asked not to go in to take Communion at West Oak and Alexandra Grange this week because of Covid cases- do please pray for the staff and residents
both the online 5,6,7,8 group on Monday and tonight’s in person one went really well- we have been thinking about the influence we have on others and playing Animal, mineral, vegetable online, and thinking about Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness and playing cards in the in-person group. It is so great to have seen 8 different people in those school years this week, and to know that another 3 or 4 couldn’t come. Please pray for both groups and for the leaders- Jan Norbury, Esther Lamey, Jane Creasy among them.
Woosehill Cubs came to visit the Church last night- and we had a great time showing them the bell chamber, letting them have a go on the bells, asking what they noticed about the Church and then filling in a fiendish quiz set by the leaders. They were a joy to spend time with and clearly loved the building too.
Cara is slowly and carefully returning to work after a recurrence of some of her Post-Covid symptoms- she is definitely on the mend and has really benefited from having time off and from people’s prayers.
Also, please do sing up on a Sunday morning. There is nothing more inspiring than a congregation singing with confidence. The Thorne Mass Setting will soon be back at the front of your memory and there are loads of brilliant hymns coming up. Sing up! Praise the Lord! Relax! Enjoy it!
This Sunday… 9.30, 10, 11 and then the next in our excellent series of Evensong Sermons– Jonathan Dean on Psalm 96, which is one of the most moving and beautiful of all of the Psalms. Do please come along at 6.15pm, and do invite your friends too. Followed by refreshments and the chance to chat to Jonathan and the chance to quiz him on what Becca and I were like at University.
Please don’t forget that the Bible Study on the Creeds which has had to be delayed because of illness will finish in the Parish Rooms on the following Thursday nights at 8pm- October the 20th, November the 3rd and 10th.
All Souls’ Day will be kept on the proper day this year- November the 2nd at 8pm. It is always a highlight of the year, with muffles bells, candles filling the Church and a beautiful Mass to remember those who have died. Do please come along (or join the livestream) and do please invite your friends, especially those who have been bereaved.
Important Information about Finance
We are facing a deficit of around £5,000 for the year 2022 and we know that our costs as a Church will rise in 2023. Lyn Austen continues to do an excellent job as PCC Treasurer. At PCC last week, Lyn explained how he is keeping costs doing and trying to maximise our income. The main thing he is encouraging is all to do is to join the Parish Giving Scheme which is a hugely efficient way of supporting the Church. Already over a third of our regular givers have signed up to a scheme which is, Lyn says, a “win-win for everyone.” Do please speak to him or Stuart Fairhead if you would like to know more about the scheme, or to Stefanie at St Nick’s- and do please think about anything you can do to help the Church end the year with its books balanced.
Cara recommends this website: cathedraltheology.org, which is a library of excellent online course from Lichfield and Chichester Cathedrals. They describe it like this:
The Cathedral Theology Network is an initiative between the chancellors of Lichfield and Chichester Cathedrals, offering a range of Zoom-based online courses, study-days and conferences, helping people to explore the Bible, theology, spiritual traditions and history of the Church over two millennia. Courses are unexamined and participants can make as much or as little of the additional resources as they like; the aim is to give people confidence to think theologically and with historical awareness.
Would you be interested in agreeing which courses to look at and then discuss them with others from the parish afterwards? If you find anything especially good, do let Richard or Cara know.
Gill Wilkins has sent this on behalf of the Mothers’ Union, for Prisons Weeks:
Next week is Prisons Week and Mothers’ Union members have been sent hard copies of the attached. The second side of the poster has lovely readings and prayers for each day. https://www.prisons-week.org/wp-content/uploads/PW2022_LEAFLET_WEB.pdf
The latest news from Bishop Hall in Madagascar:
A focus from the World Day of Prayer, which is well worth reading and reflecting on:
One of Bertie’s favourite correspondents, Mary Cassidy, writes:
A few of us from the Walking Group went to Guildford Cathedral this morning to see this exhibition: Threads through Creation
“a spectacular display of twelve beautiful HUGE silk panels retelling the story of Creation from Genesis. It took Christian artist Jacqui Parkinson three years, miles of thread – and eight million stitches!
Hard to describe in a few words, but it was amazing! Sadly the last day at Guildford is Sunday, but it is moving on around the country – Ripon later in the month, Bath for a couple of months early 2023… (https://www.jacqui-textile.com/creation/ There were even a few mice!