Friday, 16 October 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
As the year goes on we are seeing a national resurgence in the Covid 19 pandemic. Earlier in the year the whole country was urged to pull together in order that we might beat the virus. Unfortunately, it would appear that the virus was not for being beaten at that stage and, as predicted by many scientific and medical experts, the colder weather has seen it return with renewed vigour. Sadly, this means that many of the fears that were beginning to subside have come back. It also means that, as a Church community, we need to continue caring for ourselves and others and, in our prayer and worship, we need to continue to take the precautions that have been laid down by both the Government and the National Church authorities.
I begin with these thoughts because we are approaching a time of year when our communities normally come together in larger than usual numbers to mark key events in the Church’s calendar. A few weeks ago we were able to celebrate Harvest in two churchyard services. That type of outdoor worship will not be possible again for some time, simply because of the nature of our climate. So, how are we going to mark Remembrance Day, All Souls’ Tide and Christmas within our local Church communities?
There will be services in both Corby Glen and Irnham on Remembrance Sunday. I will publish more details in next week’s Letter to Parishioners. During All Souls’ Tide, it has become our custom to hold a service of Light, Hope & Remembrance, during which people are able to remember loved ones who have died both recently and in years gone by. This year that service will take place via our Benefice Website. I am working on creating a video service that will allow people to participate in that act of personal remembrance from their own homes. If you would like your loved ones named in that service you should get the details to me, in what ever ways you can, as soon as possible.
Then, comes Christmas. This year there can be no services of Nine Lessons and Carols, because we are not allowed to sing either in our churches or in our churchyards. I am working on creating a service that can be conducted in each of our six parish churches that will provide the opportunity for people to gather and hear again the Christmas story as they journey through these restricted and challenging times. Again, I will be publishing details of those services in the very near future. It is my intention that this service will also be available in video format on our website.
As well as the ‘big’ services associated with this time of year, we are in the final few weeks of being able to contribute to the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal. We have had a very good response to this appeal in recent years but … this year, once again, has to be different. Rather than shopping for and then filling shoeboxes, this year Samaritan’s Purse are offering a pre-packed shoebox option. By donating £20 (via their website – https://shoeboxonline.samaritans-purse.org.uk – or via me) the organisation will pack and dispatch a box in your name. This is a great way to still share the love of Christmas with those whose daily lives are always a challenge. You should aim to make your donation by Remembrance Sunday (8th November).
With every blessing to you all,