Letter to parishioners, 23 October 2020

Friday, 23 October 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

In last week’s Letter to Parishioners I raised the issue of how we would be celebrating Remembrance Day, All Souls’ tide and Christmas in our Benefice. I also spent a moment reflecting on the position we find ourselves in in relation to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. This week I hope to be able to give some more details in light of more recent developments in the management of the crisis we are facing throughout the country.

Remembrance Day (Sunday, 8th November) is just two weeks away. On that day there will be two services in the Benefice, both beginning at 10.30am. A simple said service will take place in St Andrew’s Church, Irnham, whilst in Corby Glen there will be an outdoor service around the War Memorial. The service in Corby Glen will be attended by the Bishop of Grantham who will be re-dedicating the War Memorial following its recent renovation and on the centenary of its instillation. As the service in Irnham will be inside the church, it will still be necessary to pre-book a place in order that appropriate preparations might be put in place in respect of seating. As well as the two special services to mark Remembrance Day, there will be a celebration of Holy Communion at St John’s Church, Corby Glen at 9am.

All Souls’ Tide. In recent years we have held a Service of Light, Hope and Remembrance on the Feast of Christ the King. As the Church’s year has drawn to a close we have spent time in prayer remembering loved ones who have died both recently and in times past. This year, there will be an online service using Zoom, during which there will be prayers and reflections and the opportunity to remember loved ones by name. If you would like to take part in this service, please let me know so that I can give you the details of how you can join in with this live act of remembrance from your own homes. There will also be a short service available on our website. The Zoom service will be at 6pm on Sunday, 22nd November.

Christmas 2020 is set to be like no other we have ever experienced. This year there can be no gathering together in large numbers to hear the Christmas story and to sing much-loved carols. The rules of social distancing and no singing cannot be relaxed even for a short time. However, we cannot ignore the great festival of Christ’s Incarnation. There will be at least one Carol Service using Zoom (where you will be able to sing lustily and in good cheer in the comfort of your own homes) as well as other Christmas prayers and reflections available on our website. There will also be services at midnight on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning. Details of all these Christmas celebrations will be available soon.

Finally, a reminder of the Annual Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal. In recent years we have collected many shoeboxes of toys and other gifts to send to children who would otherwise received nothing at Christmas. As shopping is so difficult this year, Samaritan’s Purse is offering a pre-packed box option. By donating £20 you will enable the organisation to pack and dispatch a box in your name. You can share the love of Christmas by making your donation via their website or me. The website address is: Please make your donation by Remembrance Day (8th November).

With every blessing to you all,

Revd Stephen