We are not a social gathering. The clear guidelines in the new coronavirus rules is that we are allowed to meet for worship in church and in the church centre because the social gathering rule of 6 does not apply to us when we meet for worship.
That is helpful as we try and make coming back together as safe and as meaningful an experience as possible. It means that we can continue to meet for worship in Church.
We are not a social gathering. We will still have to be masked and there will be no singing so why bother? I believe that something happens when we meet together which goes beyond the social. It is great to be together and wonderful to meet up with our friends but it is so much more than that. When we worship together God’s name is lifted high, the spiritual realms are affected, the blessings of God fall. We are made for worship. The government is right. We are not a social gathering, coming together we are so much more than that.
The rule of 6 does, however, have implications for how we order the rest of our church life. It does make coming together in small groups easier, so please do continue to meet up together for encouragement in small groups. However, other things like PCC will be conducted via Zoom. It also makes things like the pop up market, the Harvest Supper and other events very difficult. We are trying to be creative as to how we manage that. If you have any great ideas then do let myself or Graham know.
At the AGM on Thursday we elected two new members of the PCC, Diana Neal and Richard Powell. We also elected a new Warden, Irene Roscoe, who will be ably assisted by her assistant warden, Sue Campbell. Our new Treasurer, Bill Campbell was confirmed in the role, with Mike Woffenden standing down having done a brilliant job for four and a half years. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to these folks and all the other people who do so much for the Gospel through the church.
A Letter from the Rector
There are a few people who love change, and some who would much prefer everything to stay the same even if that is hard. Most of us are somewhere in between. Change becomes hard when there is too much, or it is too fast. It might be interesting for you to reflect on where you are on that scale.
One of the very stressful things of the last few months has been the fact that just about everything has changed; how we do our shopping, how we go on holiday, who we see, even how we greet one another. It has been particularly difficult for those who have to manage that change for others as well as themselves, for those who have to work out how to implement the change, from teachers to shop owners and hospital staff.
Whilst recognising all the stress that lies behind the enforced changes I want to suggest to you that there might be a silver lining to that cloud. You can change the things that are wrong, that haven’t worked, that you have been stuck in or with for years. Are there things that you are now free of that makes you relieved? Here is the chance to never reinstate them.
Certainly as a church we are finding that we have had to change almost everything from worshipping online to zoom meetings and most stops in between. Though we grieve some of the cherished things that we have lost at present it is a great opportunity to see what can be let go of, what can be improved and what we can do new that will bring life and joy to others.
We look to the changes perhaps not with relish but with a serenity. Why? Because we trust in a God who does not change, is always constant, always faithful, always loving, always good. With that security we can face the future, that will probably be unimaginable, with confidence.
The hymn writer put it far more eloquently than I could:
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.