Updates From the Rector - August 2020

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  1st August 2020 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


I hope this finds you as well as possible on what has been a glorious sunny day.


I am delighted to announce that this Sun will be the first since the lifting of the government's restrictions on Public Worship that there will be a service in each parish in the Benefice.  That sense of delight is very clearly seriously tempered by the ongoing coronavirus crisis here and across the world; also, of course, we cannot fully rejoice about resuming worship when there are those for whom  (quite understandably and rightly) it is too soon to rejoin us.  Nonetheless it will be so good to celebrate the Eucharist in each parish and in Spirit we will be together in thought and prayer on Sun 2 Aug.


This weekly email will continue for the interim, for all, as a way of keeping us connected with one another.


Our pattern of church opening for private prayer has now had to be modified for reasons of cleaning and limiting possibility of virus transmission which we know all will understand.


St Peter's Lee will now be closed, as pre pandemic

St Luke's Weston, currently remaining closed

SS Peter& Paul's Wem, open every Mon and Fri 09:00 to 15:00

  **  NB closed from 12:45 Mon 3rd and Fri 7th following funerals at 12:00 on both days **


SUNDAY 2 AUG (The 8th Sunday after Trinity)


Wem:

08:00  Holy Eucharist

09:45  Holy Eucharist


Weston:

09:30  Holy Eucharist


Lee:

11:15  Holy Eucharist


At each service we be adhering rigourously to physical distancing - the 2 metre rule applies in all places of worship - sanitiser will be used along with modifications to our worship to optimise our safety, principally Communion will be in one kind, the bread, and there will be no hymns (although we may joyously expect organ and or other music to be used).


You may well be wondering about the wearing of masks if coming to church, the following reiteration is lifted directly from the C of E website:


"This guidance is to help ministers and their congregations to understand the current advice on wearing face coverings, and how this applies in churches. This advice is reflected in the specific Government guidance for conducting various worship services within enclosed spaces such as church buildings.


1. Q. Should I wear a face covering in a church building?


A. ".................. People are also encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, such as a place of worship.


We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular handwashing."


The italicized element is the C of E website, highlighted mine.  As always up to date information can be found on the C of E website


Apropos face masks and visiting church for private prayer the 'guidance' is a tad ambivalent ie 'where there may be other people present':  please do, as you will not know in advance whether you will be on your own or not.  However, if you find you are are on your own I see no reason why masks may not be kept to hand.


As previously announced, the Occasional Offices of Funerals, Marriage and Baptism may now take place subject to guidance about safe protocols and precautions - in all cases please speak to myself about how these may proceed as things do certainly remain fluid and clarifications will be required.  The generic face mask guidance detailed above it seems is applied to all.


**  stop press  **  You will have heard that the Government has announced plans for face masks to be mandatory for Public Worship from 8 August, the C of E website currently reads :- "We will study detailed government regulations and guidance once they are available and will update our guidance accordingly."  Once I know more I will pass on in good order.


ON-LINE AND MEDIA CHURCH SERVICES FOR THIS SUNDAY: The Seventh After Trinity .  


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL


08:00  The Eucharist (traditional language)

10:30  Choral Eucharist for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity


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. 

 

Every week there is a wonderfully devotional and thought creating offering, the 'menu' over the past six weeks has been quite something - did you know that the services from the previous weeks are also available to watch/catch-up if you missed any?


This week promises to be just as rewarding - This week's service comes from the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.


Fr Kevin Smith presides at the Mass, with Bishop Philip North preaching on how Jesus feeds us so that we can go and feed a hungry world. The music is provided by CJM and the prayers are led by the Holborn Group.  Please go to -  
www.churchofengland.org   


 THIS SUNDAY on the BBC


Radio Four:  08:10.  'Encountering God in Abandonment'.  The Rev Dr Isabella Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, charts her                                    walk with God and covid-19 (she was an early sufferer from the disease).



BBC 1:         13:15.  Songs of Praise.  'Faith and Sport.'  Aled Jones reflects on the links between faith and sport, from the London Stadium                                    with input from sports people on their faith, Christians in Sport and hymns associated with great sporting occasions.


Please find attached the Readings and Homily for this week (courtesy of Redemptorist publications).  


Also find attached the Diocesan and our Local Prayer Diaries.


PARISH MAGAZINE


You should by now have received the (bumper) novelty of an August Parish magazine, if not simply Click Here or let me know and you will.  It has been fantastic to have so many contributors from on such a wide cross-section of areas.


Thursday  6th Aug - The Feast of The TRANSFIGURATION of OUR LORD


The story of the Transfiguration is told in Matthew, Mark and Luke and is referred to in 2 Peter.  Each time it is made clear that God’s salvation is for all and Christ is the one who brings that salvation.  The figures of Moses and Elijah represent the testimony of the Law and the Prophets and the event prefigures the resurrection.  It has been described as a ‘hinge’ of the Gospels and one of the five major events in the ministry of Our Lord.


The post-communion prayer for this great day is


Holy God,

we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ:

may we who are partakers at his table

reflect his life in word and deed,

that all the world may know

his power to change and save.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord

 

A powerful thought and hope for the week ahead!


With every good wish, keep safe and carry on taking care,


Nick

N P Heron

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

01939 232550

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Week Commencing 9th August 2020 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dear Friends,


Another glorious day on which to be emailing with some variable weather since my last bulk email.  Likewise a varied email after yet another week, I hope the last week was good for you and all is as well as possible.


In line with what I've written in previous emails I will continue with this bulk email for the interim knowing that there are those for whom Sun worship is, understandably, still a step too soon.  Also of course in this fluid situation things do change so, as so often, a quick update:


Face Masks:  With effect from Sat 8 Aug the government has extended the mandatory use of these to include places of worship, this means that for all our services worshippers are required by law to wear masks.  There may be circumstances when this may not be demanded by law (for instance a bride and groom) and the Church is waiting out on governmental confirmation of these [when?!], equally it may not be necessary for those taking part in leading a service to always be masked.  From the current C of E website:


"These updates reflect our understanding of guidance currently being prepared by government………We will update our detailed guidance documents once the government has published the revised regulations and guidance.   There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups not to wear a face covering in these settings. In particular, those who are leading services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them (for instance by readingpreaching, or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn .....if physical distancing cannot be maintained. This exemption does not apply to worshippers, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space."

 

Please note again that the Occasional Offices (baptisms, weddings and funerals) continue but with restrictions on numbers attending, a maximum of 30 yet dependent on the size of church, and as always other safeguards will be in place.  Any enquiries about these should always be addressed to myself in the first instance, circumstances and protocols are prone to change.


Our pattern of church opening for private prayer has now had to be modified for reasons of cleaning and limiting possibility of virus transmission which we know all will understand.


St Peter's Lee:  will now be closed, as pre pandemic

St Luke's Weston:  currently remaining closed

SS Peter& Paul's Wem: open every Mon and Fri 09:00 to 15:00


Last Sunday it was an absolute delight to have a Eucharist in every parish in our Benefice for the first time since early Mar.  In each church the church wardens and I have tried our utmost to ensure services are taken as safely as possible - at the same time it seems we have been able to do so without detracting from the devotional focus and dignity which we value so much.  Any feed back on our services to date will be gratefully received - this is very much a learning curve and careful journey for all of us.

  

WORSHIP FOR THIS SUNDAY 9 AUG (The 9th Sunday after Trinity)


Wem:

08:00  Holy Eucharist

09:45  Holy Eucharist


Lee:

11:15  Holy Eucharist


At each service we be adhering rigourously to physical distancing - the 2 metre rule applies in all places of worship - sanitiser will be used along with modifications to our worship to optimise our safety; principally Communion will be in one kind, the bread, and there will be no hymns (although we may joyously expect organ and or other music to be used).


ON-LINE AND MEDIA CHURCH SERVICES FOR THIS SUNDAY: The 9th after Trinity .  


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL


08:00 - The Eucharist (traditional language)

10:30 - Choral Eucharist for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity


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. 

 

As I type this week's service has yet to be announced.


Last week's service came from the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham with a homily from the Bishop of Burnley, The Rt Revd Philip North, it is still available on-line alongside those from other past weeks.  Every week there is a wonderfully devotional and thought creating offering, the 'menu' over the past weeks has been quite something so I am sure this week will be no different.


THIS SUNDAY on BBC


Radio Four:  08:10.  'The Cross and Black Liberation'.  Chine McDonald, a writer on race and faith, leads a service exploring the cross as a                                        symbol of black liberation.  Archdeacon of Croydon Rosemarie Mallet, Anglican ordained Augustine Tanner-Ihm and                                     Baptist speaker and co-founder of Street Pastors, David Shosanya will explore the cross through the lens of black                                     experience.  A symbol of suffering yet also one of hope and liberation - promising emancipation and reconciliation to the                                     oppressed.  Also what promises to be some amazing music!


BBC 1:         13:15.  Songs of Praise.  'The National Trust'. The Revd Kate Bottley visits Croughton Court in Warwickshire to hear how the                                    National Trust was founded by Christian social reformers 125 years ago. She finds out about the site's rich 600-year                                    history as a family home that sheltered persecuted Catholics during the C16th Reformation.  As many historic                                    organisations, including the National Trust and the C of E, examine their past links to slave traders, Gemma Hunt visits                                    Bristol joining its Christian mayor Marvin Rees and Dr Madge Dresser of Bristol University to reflect on the city's                                    relationship with past slave trader Edward Colston.  Also award winning young preacher Augustine Tanner-Ihm describes                                    his own personal journey and experience of rejection.  With brand new musical performances filmed under government                                    guidelines in Jul 20.


Please find attached the readings and a Homily for this Sunday (courtesy of Redemptorist publications) and with thanks again to Mike and Bob for sorting out for me - and us all!   Also find attached the Diocesan and our Local Prayer Diaries.


SATURDAY 15 AUG - FEAST of THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


Luke Chapter 1 46-55

 

Our Lady requires no introduction nor her Feast any explanation.  ‘Our tainted nature’s solitary boast’ [Wordsworth].  This day is now celebrated as the major feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout Christendom.  “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Saint Maximilian Kolbe.


The Collect for the day, perhaps one we can all join in praying at some pointy on this special day  - 


Almighty God,

who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary

and chose her to be the mother of your only Son:

grant that we who are redeemed by his blood

may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.



A thought for the week ahead: 


A long time ago I read Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist.'  the following quotation from this book can resonate with out faith and give us Hope:-


“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us                 becomes better too.”








Have the best week you can, remember the past is history, the future a mystery but the now is a present.  Stay safe, keep taking care,


Nick

N P Heron

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

01939 232550