- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 3rd January 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


My very best wishes to you and those dearest to you for the New Year, may it be healthy, content, peaceful and blessed.  I hope this finds you well and having had the best Christmas that the circumstances allowed, as always staying safe and taking care of yourselves and those around you.  


UPDATE


I'm sure you scarcely require me to remind you of our current situation, having just looked at the daily figures for today these are an enormous cause for concern (I don't think dire is too strong a word).  Equally you will know that we are now in Tier 3 (very high alert).  Whilst this does not make any difference to our Sunday worship it could not be plainer that we must rigorously maintain the imperative of adhering to our procedures to ensure we keep our churches as safe as possible for one another.


Bishop Michael wrote just a short while  ago as I type (it does take me ages to put this together which is not a bid for appreciation more a plea for sympathy at my plight apropos typing and IT!).  As always +Michael says all we need to know.  Helpfully he has also included my now customary links to both our Diocesan and the national Church websites for up to date guidance.  (My highlights.)


We are writing as we enter this new year to update you on guidance for our churches in light of the worsening situation of the pandemic. In our own region, this has resulted in the eastern part of the diocese being placed under Tier 4 restrictions, while the western part is now in Tier 3. In both tiers, public worship remains permitted, subject to the maintenance of COVID-safety regulations such as use of face coverings, maintenance of social distancing, registration of worshippers for test-and-trace, and careful cleaning of church buildings, and hand sanitising. We encourage you to check regularly for the latest updates on guidance as they are posted on our diocesan website and on the Church of England website


It is heartening to know that many of our churches are confident that they are able to maintain regular public worship under these challenging conditions, and that many of our people remain confident about attending services. We encourage those of you who feel able to do so to continue welcoming worshippers, while recognising that some may feel unable to come just now.


** Do note that before during and after worship 'you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.' - quotation direct from the Gov't website.**


So whilst we are in a very high alert state as long as we are able to keep to the necessary regulations worship will continue, for this Sunday this means:


TRACK & TRACE QR CODES


Just a reminder that when joining in Sun worship, if you have a mobile phone with the Track and Trace app on it to have this ready for when you walk into church - so much easier all round.  Thanks.


SUNDAY 3rd JAN - EPIPHANY SUNDAY

 

Wem:

08:00 - Holy Eucharist (a quiet reflective service).

09:45 - Holy Eucharist (with sermon and music played).


Weston:

09:30 - Holy Eucharist (with sermon and music played).


Lee:

11:15 - Holy Eucharist (with sermon and music played).


I have two hopes; that as many as feel able are do join to celebrate this great Feast in our Church Year, yet equally that nobody feels under any pressure to attend but rather realises how positive it can be to keep safe for now awaiting a time to confidently return.  The day will come when we recongregate across the Benefice as one, until then let us all know that we are still united in Faith, Hope and Love as we begin our journey through 2021.


SOME SERVICES AVAILABLE VIA DIFFERENT MEDIA


 

LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

 

08:00 - The Eucharist (traditional language).

10:30 - Choral Eucharist for Epiphany Sunday>

 

OR

 

Access the C of E website to find details of this week's service which you can also watch during the week, it is available from 09:00.   Do visit the site, there are some super services saved on here, not least those for Christmas and a service with the Archbishop of York for New Year's Eve


09:00 - Worship at Home for Epiphany with Embrace the Middle East.


THIS SUNDAY on the BBC


Radio Four

08:10 - 'Through Change and Chance' A title based on the glorious hymn, 'All my hope on God is founded.'  At a time of uncertainty Canon Angela Tilby and Canon Stephen Shipley reflect on the changes and chances in their own lives; the personal challenges they have faced and how these have had an impart on their health, well-being, faith and vocation.  through the writings of St Ignatius, John Henry Newman, Thomas Merton and GK Chesterton they explore the place of faith in unpredictable times.  they focus on the central message of The Feast of the Epiphany, a revelation that transforms all knowledge and throws the world into a different perspective.


BBC One:  

10:00 - Sunday Worship for the Second Sunday of Christmas from Down Cathedral, N. Ireland.

13:15 - Songs of Praise.  'St Paul's Cathedral.'  from the glorious setting of St Paul's Cathedral.  

Katherine Jenkins explores St Paul's Cathedral with music including hymns sung by the Cathedral Choir and special guest performances.


Please find attached the readings, Live the Word and homilies for Sunday 3 Jan.  My thanks again to Mike F for unravelling these from the monthly bulk email! (courtesy of Redemptorist publications) Also find attached our Local Prayer Diary and the Diocesan Prayer Diary.  


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


'We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through  the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.'   Ellen Goodman


Please have the best start to the New Year you possibly can.  Remain vigilant and take care.


Nick

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550



Updates From the Rector - January 2021

POSTPONEMENT OF PUBLIC WORSHIP IN OUR CHURCH

 

Dear Friends,


As you know public worship is still permitted during the present 'lockdown'.  However, we trust you will not be surprised and fully understand that due to the current local rate of infection myself, the PCC and Church Wardens have decided to postpone Sunday Worship in Wem Parish Church, once the local rate is less concerning we will resume worship and inform as many as possible as soon as possible.  We have, too clearly, not made this decision lightly, it is borne simply out of a passion to care for and responsibly keep each other as safe as possible.


The PCC Standing Committee will review this on a very regular basis.


Do please use the options available in our regular bulk email to stay connected with our faith and be assured that when we do so we are still united and as one.


Take care and stay safe,


Nick

 

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 10th January 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


My warmest best wishes at the end of this variously cold and damp week, one in which we have quite predictably entered another phase of 'lockdown'.  Do please take every step you can to stay safe, importantly keeping those around you safe too.  


At the beginning of last week's email I detailed that Public Worship was still permitted, that remains the case nationwide irrespective of 'lockdown', however being able to do something is not the same as having to, which just at the moment we do not have to, or simply carrying on.  It was with immensely heavy hearts, yet very clear eyes, that conversations various with church wardens, myself and PCC members led as you know to temporarily not holding public worship in Lee and Wem this coming Sun and next Sun - this will be reviewed at least weekly and the intent is that we will resume as soon as it is wise to do so.  The backdrop is the local rate of infection which has risen somewhat dramatically since Christmas Day (a coincidence?). Personally I see no reason whatsoever for you to feel anxious as you read this (I don't) and please do not worry, rather stick to the guidelines and all should be well.  However whilst there is such a specific 'spike' we consider it best to reflect this with an extra note of caution, even more protection and some sensitivity to the atmospherics of our parishes.  I know this will not be universally 'popular' and hope I fully understand why not, yet equally hope all appreciate this has only one driver - care.


UPDATE


Full details on the impact on the Church of 'lockdown 3' may be found at:  Church of England website  In brief, as said above, worship in church may continue subject to all the now rightly expected safety measures, and the, legal, specific not to mingle with anyone outside your household or support bubble.  Funerals of no more than 30 attenders are still possible, weddings may only be held in 'exceptional circumstances' and baptisms only in communal worship.  Latest updates on guidance are also on our diocesan website.


On Tuesday Bishop Michael wrote:

"Across the diocese, public worship remains permitted in our churches, subject to the maintenance of COVID-safety regulations such as use of face coverings, maintenance of social distancing, registration of worshippers for test-and-trace, and careful cleaning of church buildings, and hand sanitising. Churches are also able to open for private prayer, provided these measures are put in place. Those that plan to remain open will have to revisit their risk assessment and update it if necessary, taking into account whether they have sufficient ability to clean their building as required and provide adequate stewarding.

Some of our churches will wish to maintain regular public worship under these challenging conditions, and we will be supportive of those of you who continue to welcome worshippers, while recognising that some may feel unable to come now. If you decide to keep churches open:

·     Please update your risk assessment as above.

·     Please remind worshippers to arrive quietly, without unnecessary conversation, and to disperse quickly after services, without                  remaining to mingle with one another.

We fully understand that some of you will now feel that in-person public worship should not be offered in your churches over the coming weeks. To match the expected review date for Government restrictions, we are now extending to at least Sunday 21st February 2021 the period during which  we are giving, without need of further legal process, a dispensation from canonical requirements for worship in any benefice."


He concluded with these encouraging words


"Thank you for all that you are doing to sustain the life and worship of our churches, to work with others in caring for those most in need, to pray for our schools, hospitals and communities, and to point people towards the signs of hope which God’s life and light give us in these difficult times. Please remember your bishops in your prayers, as we do you."


THIS SUNDAY (The Baptism of Christ) ON-LINE AND OTHER MEDIA


Bishop Michael is as good as his words above, for this week we have a splendid sermon, a gift from him, on the theme and readings for this Sun.  You can read it here and view it via uTube here.  If you take no other action from this message do please open or read this splendid sermon.  As we are each in our own homes it is so good and appropriate to be linked with our wider Church and to raise our perspectives from what with the best will in the world can become a little limiting otherwise.


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

 

08:00   The Eucharist (traditional language)

10:30   Choral Eucharist for The Feast of The Baptism of Christ

17:30   Evensong

 

OR

 

Access the C of E website to find details of this week's service which you can also watch during the week, it is available from 0900.   Do visit the site, there are some super services saved on here, not least those for Christmas and a service with the Archbishop of York for New Year's Eve.


09:00   Worship at Home for Plough Sunday.


Discover the celebration of Plough Sunday in this online service.  Led by the Rev Lindsay Yates, the service comes from Octagon Parish with a sermon from The Rev Will Adam.


THIS SUNDAY on the BBC

 

Radio Four:  08:10 - 'Our Common Home.'  Martin Palmer explores how faith can partner with conservation movements in protecting what Pope Francis calls "Our Common Home."


BBC One:  12:25 - Songs of Praise.  From Stirling.  Clare Macollum discovers the city's connection with the King James Bible.


Please find attached the readings and Live the Word for Sunday 10 Jan.  Also find attached our Local Prayer Diary and the Diocesan Prayer Diary.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


Some absolutely inspirational words to carry us through this week - taken from our Diocesan Prayer Diary - 


"We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs for as long as it takes wherever you call us." Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference












  


Look after yourselves and one another, take care and stay safe, 


Nick

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550


Home Page Top of Page Back

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 17th January 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


My continued warmest and very best wishes to all, please keep doing all that you are and can do to keep yourselves and one another safe.  In the midst of such a dire emergency (I don't think that is too dramatic a phrase) we can become impacted upon and concerned, this we surely should be as we look around and read and listen to the news.  However, that is not the same as being personally nervous, anxious and fretting so please do follow the now so familiar guidance at every turn knowing this ought to keep you safe, out of harms way and protect those around you too.  Keep taking care.


UPDATE

 

It will come as no surprise to any that the local rate of infection is such that we have voluntarily suspended worship across the Benefice, at least for the next two Sun (17th and 24th Jan).   Each parish will, rightly, judge if or when it wishes to resume and rest assured we will keep matters under constant review.   In the light of the pandemic Bishop Michael has given a dispensation from canonical requirements for worship in any benefice.


Full details on the impact on the Church of 'lockdown 3' may be found at:  Church of England website  Latest updates on guidance are also on our diocesan website.


To reiterate church funerals, subject to the now familiar and necessary restrictions, will quite rightly continue.


THIS SUNDAY (The 2nd Sunday of Epiphany) ON-LINE AND OTHER MEDIA


Sermon from the Bishop of Shrewsbury


Following Bishop Michael's sermon for The Baptism of Christ this Sun we have another episcopal gift, this time a sermon for Epiphany Two from our Area Bishop, Bishop Sarah.  You may have inadvertently opened this last week if you were quick to the draw on opening my last bulk email!  Trusting that I have clicked on the correct link this week it may be found at:https://youtu.be/8DCFJXfKqs8

For those not a part of St Luke's congregation, who the Bishop visited for their patronal festival last Oct, this may be the first opportunity to listen to and see +Sarah - please do take the opportunity to do so.  The text of the sermon is also attached.


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

 

08:00 - The Eucharist (traditional language)

10:30 - Choral Eucharist for The the Second Sunday of Epiphany

17:30 - Evensong


 OR

 

Access the C of E website to find details of this week's service which you can also watch during the week, it is available from 09:00.   Do visit the site, there are many excellent services saved on here which can still merit a 'watch'.


09:00 - 'How God is revealed through Jesus.'  .The Rev Matt Hogg speaks of God revealing himself through Jesus.  This extract shows part of an online service from St Alban's, Fulham.


THIS SUNDAY on the BBC

 

Radio Four:  08:10 -  'I will sing with the Spirit'.  From All Saints church Leighton Buzzard, with BBC Radio 2's Young Chorister of the Year 2020 - you can hear Alexander's magical voice in the context of worship in his home parish church where he worships with his family.  Preacher, The rev Cate Irvine.


BBC One:  13:15 - Songs of Praise.  'Faith in Action'.  Singer Brenda Edwards presents her first Songs of Praise from East London, with a whole variety of innovative, encouraging and fertile expressions of faith in action.


Please find attached the readingshomily and Live the Word for Sunday 10 Jan.  Also find attached our Local Prayer Diary and the Diocesan Prayer Diary.  


The Eucharist will be celebrated on behalf of the whole Benefice at 10:30 on Sun 17th (in SS P&P's Wem).


PARISH MAGAZINE


After our last two month edition it is once again time to encourage all to think of submitting an article, poem, news, reflection or similar input for our Feb parish magazine (perhaps for the first time, why not?).  During the first Lockdown and through to the autumn our magazine positively flourished with several successive editions exceeding the previous one for both the variety and number of inputs.  These were greatly appreciated by many so wouldn't it be brilliant if we could build on this past momentum and show we can still share with one another even in these difficult times?  Please pass any to myself or Pam Clarke in the near future - ta!


WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY


This week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Please hold especially in your prayers this week our brothers and sisters in the other great traditions of our worldwide faith, their congregations in Wem and around our area and the work of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).  CTBI works not only for a growth in unity between fellow Christians but also tirelessly for peace and reconciliation, for social justice and engages with climate crisis and works practically against poverty and oppression across God's world.

Two prayers which you may care to say throughout the week:


Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath,

come and abide in us.

Renew in us the passion for unity

so that we may live in awareness

of the bond that unites us in you.

May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism

unite and bear witness together

to the hope that sustains them


Heavenly Father, you have called us

in the Body of your Son

to continue his work of reconciliation

and reveal you to all humanity.

forgive us that which tears us apart;

and give us the courage to overcome our fears

and the seek the unity

which is your gift and your will;

though Jesus Christ our Lord.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


"Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the places you can at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can."  John Wesley.


True and wonderful words, though sometimes we may modestly ask ourselves how that can apply to us in our ordinary lives - well that's no reason for not going for it as best we can in what ever way we can, however during the pandemic might we understand every action we take to keep someone else safe and protect each other in this light?











  



Look after yourselves and one another, take care and stay safe, 


Nick

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 24th January 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


I hope this finds you well and keeping safe at the end of quite some week.  A  momentous week on the international stage and one with the saddest of national backdrops with a dreadful, tragic rate of covid fatalities - showing how imperative our taking care of one another and ourselves is.  Against this the weather (though so very English to comment on it!) is somewhat secondary yet what a blast of rain, wind and snow?  I trust you have kept warm and dry and I'm sure we are all holding those flooded and who had to work in this inclement spell in our thoughts and prayers.


Did you notice that on the day of his inauguration the first public act of the soon to be new President was to attend Mass, in The Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle, joined by the top four republican and democratic leaders from Congress?  Surely a sign of hope, especially from our shared Christian perspective?

UPDATE

 

Our voluntary suspension of Public Worship remains across the Benefice, the current local rates of infection being as they are this still seems the wisest option.  Quite appropriately each parish will judge when it wishes to resume and rest assured we will keep matters under constant review.   In the light of the pandemic Bishop Michael has given a dispensation from canonical requirements for worship in any benefice.


Full details on the impact on the Church of 'lockdown 3' may be found on the Church of England website  There is some recent material on what may be possible apropos liturgical practice for Lent Holy Week and Easter.  Latest updates on guidance are also on our diocesan website.


Church funerals, subject to the now familiar and necessary restrictions, will quite rightly continue.  

For reasons of potential viral transmission and attendant cleaning our benefice churches will remain closed, however, I have no doubt access can be arranged for any in each church who may wish to go in on a special occasion or similar for private prayer.


THIS SUNDAY (The Third Sunday of Epiphany) ON-LINE AND OTHER MEDIA


Sermon from Bishop Michael:

Our diocesan bishop has again blessed us with a sermon for this Sunday.  If you hadn't worked it out,  our bishops from across Lichfield have provided on-line sermons for the month, in a sign of true leadership (and therefore service) +Michael is offering 2 in this 5 Sun month.  I know all will gain a great deal from this - it is wonderful and It may be found by clicking here Once the page opens find the Download Link (top Lefthand corner) It should then download and play. I cannot recall a sermon that included the words 'quaffability' or Grimsby!   Best you open or read on to find out why ;-)   the text is also attached.


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

 

08:00 - The Eucharist (traditional language)

10:30 - Choral Eucharist for The Third Sunday of Epiphany

17:30 - Evensong

 

OR

 

Access the C of E website to find details of this week's service which you can also watch during the week, it is available from 09:00.   Do visit the site, there are many excellent services saved on here which can still merit a 'watch'.


09:00 -    'Living with Difference.'  Rev Dr Paul Goodliff speaks of living with difference in this extract from our weekly service.  The full service marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, featuring contributions from Chemin Neuf and led by Rev Charles Hadley.

THIS SUNDAY on the BBC

  

Radio Four:  08:10 - 'Be the Light in the Darkness'.  A marking of this time of Holocaust Memorial, with the Archbishop of Canterbury's Special Advisor for Reconciliation Programmes, Canon Sarah Snyder and the Rev Julia Hedley, Chaplain to the Rose Castle Foundation.  The global pandemic has reminded this generation of the fragility of human life but down the ages and especially in the last century millions have been indiscriminately killed, not by disease or natural disaster but by the targeted barbarism of their fellow human beings.  Witnesses from a variety of faith and political perspectives associated with and devoted to reconciliation across all kinds of divides.  Sarah sees opportunities to invite strangers in, to welcome potential enemies from both sides of a divide - to live and learn together.


BBC Two:  13:15 - Songs of Praise.  'Celebrating 60 Years'.  Marking Songs of Praise sixtieth year, Aled Jones recalls the programme's special moments, with fellow presenter Pam Rhodes


Please find attached the readings and Live the Word for Sunday 24 Jan.  Also find attached our Local Prayer Diary and the Diocesan Prayer Diary.  


The Eucharist will be celebrated on behalf of the whole Benefice at 10:30 on Sun 24 (in SS P&P's Wem).


PARISH MAGAZINE


It is a last call to encourage all to think of submitting an article, poem, news, reflection or similar input for our Feb parish magazine (perhaps for the first time, why not?).  During the first Lockdown and through to the autumn our magazine positively flourished with several successive editions exceeding the previous one for both the variety and number of inputs.  These were greatly appreciated by many so wouldn't it be brilliant if we could build on this past momentum and show we can still share with one another even in these difficult times?  Please pass any to myself or Pam Clarke asap - ta!


FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF PAUL


This feast has been celebrated in the Church since the 6thC and became universal in the 12thC, covid safety necessitates we cannot celebrate with a Eucharist for all on this day, the 25th January this year, however, we can still share in the special day by joining as one to say at some point the collect for the day:

Almighty God,

who caused the light of the Gospel

to shine throughout the world

the preaching of your servant Saint Paul:

grant that we who celebrate his wonderful conversion

may follow him in bearing witness to your truth;

through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.


The Eucharist will be celebrated for the whole Benefice at 10:00 on the day.


HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY


The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.


Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean we must remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Rapid technological developments, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond our control can leave us feeling helpless and insignificant. The utterly unprecedented times through which we are living currently are showing the very best of which humanity is capable but also - in some of the abuse and conspiracy theories being spread on social media - the much darker side of our world as well.

We can all stand in solidarity. We can choose to be the light in the darkness in a variety of ways and places – at home, in public, and online.


To mark HMD 2020, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Senior Imam Qari Asim have come together and written a special prayer which is intended to be used by people of any faith.


 Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust.

In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart.

Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us.

In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness.

Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil.

Amen

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


"Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid........


For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it."

Amanda Gorman: Poem at President Joe Biden's Inauguration














Please keep taking care, remain vigilant and stay safe,


Nick

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 31st January 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


What can one say at the end of this last week, one where such a ghastly milestone was reached?  Words truly can fail us, and each loss of someone held held so dear, perhaps silence and prayer and  reflection is best for now.


Our Archbishops have written a letter 'To the Nation' - you will find this in full in the Parish Mag which will be with you electronically vv soon so there's no need to go into all the details here, however, if you have not read elsewhere do please read it when you receive the magazine.  Towards the end of their letter is an exhortation to remember in thoughts and prayers those individual tragedies, every one a life precious to others and not as they so truly say an 'abstract figure'.


CALL TO PRAYER


Archbishops Justin and Stephen write:


"Whether you’re someone of faith, or not, we invite you to call on God in prayer. Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love. 

A number of resources will be made available at www.ChurchofEngland.org/PrayerForTheNation."


Perhaps this is something we can all do across the Benefice?


UPDATE


Just as the A'bishops' letter a full update including Bishop Michael's most recent directions is in the Parish Mag and will therefore be in your in-box within the day, so again no need for further elucidation other than to say that, for now, things remain exactly as for the last two weeks.  As always up to date information may be found at Church of England website  and latest updates on guidance are also on our diocesan website.


THIS SUNDAY: CANDLEMAS (The Presentation of Christ in The Temple) ON-LINE AND OTHER MEDIA


This week we have another gift of an on-line sermon, this time from The Rt Revd Matthew Parker, former Archdeacon of Stoke, Matthew was set to be consecrated as bishop on 28 January but this has been postponed due to the Covid pandemic. Instead, Bishop Michael has licensed Matthew as Episcopal Vicar for the Stafford Area which will make it possible for Matthew to undertake the pastoral and administrative duties of the Bishop of Stafford until such time as he can be consecrated.  Text of the sermon is attached and may be followed by clicking here.


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

 

08:00 - The Eucharist (traditional language)

10;30 - Choral Eucharist for The Presentation of Christ in The Temple/Candlemas

17:30 - Evensong

 

OR

 

Access the C of E website to find details of this week's service which you can also watch during the week, it is available from 09:00.  Do visit the site, there are many excellent services saved on here which can still merit a 'watch'.


09:00 - 'The Presentation of Christ in The Temple.'  Rev Tiffer Robinson leads this week's online service for Candlemas.  This marks the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, when Jesus was offered to his Father and revealed as the future Saviour of all people.


THIS SUNDAY on BBC

 

Radio Four:  08:10 - 'Belfast, a city shaped by the sea'.  A service from Belfast Cathedral led by the Dean, The Very Rev Stephen Forde

BBC One:  13:15 - Songs of Praise.  'Gospel Singer of the Year.'.  First semi-final from Gorton Monastery in Manchester.


Please find attached the readings and a homily (based on the alternative readings for thIs Sun which is also the 4th After Epiphany) sadly there is no Live the Word for this Sun.  Also find attached our Local Prayer Diary and the Diocesan Prayer Diary.  


The Eucharist will be celebrated on behalf of the whole Benefice at 10:30 on Sunday 31st (in SS P&P's Wem).


LENT DISCUSSION GROUP


Lent has always been a time for us to reflect more deeply about our faith in and life with Christ, and often to meet with others to encourage one another and share what we are learning together.  How to do this in present circumstances?  As usual, there is material to help.  The Live Lent – God’s Story - Our Story booklet offers brief reflections for each day of Lent.  How does our faith story relate to the stories of God in the Bible?  Based on the Archbishops’ Lent book for 2021 – Living His Story by Hannah Steele. You can find out more from the Church of England website.  The booklet can be followed individually but also offers opportunities to discuss and learn together, so a weekly online meeting via Zoom will be hosted by Katharine Murray for the 6 weeks of Lent.  If you would like to join in, please get in touch and let me know know which evening in the week you would prefer and also if you would like a copy of the booklet to follow at home.  All welcome.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


From Matthew Parker's sermon:


"So into such a world - in all its glory and all its fragility - comes Jesus, the Lord's Christ, the glory of his people Israel and the light that will lighten the Gentiles. And how does he come? Does he come as the divine fixer who will bypass all that complicated and messy human emotion and experience? What is revealed is that, rather than sidestepping the muddle of human life, in Jesus, God chooses to dive straight down into it. So here is a great mystery: the God who made the world now enters into that world and submits to all its glory and fragility." 














May this email find you in the best health possible and doing all you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.  Take care and have the best week you can,


Nick 

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Parish Magazine - February 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


Please find attached the Parish Magazine for February, with many thanks to all the contributors


With every good wish, take care,


Nick

N P Heron

Rector of Wem, Lee Brockhurst and Weston-under-Redcastle

01939 232550