Church Information - 1st April

April 1st 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Dear friends,

As the coronavirus situation moves on day by day, we are praying for God’s mercy in our land and world for His restraining of its spread and the healing of those who have caught it; most of us I am sure are praying for NHS staff and all involved in caring for others – particularly care homes where elderly relatives are confined without being able to see their families and vice versa.

The village communities seem well-organised and many are benefitting from the love and care being expressed in practical help for everyone, and local stores, including Preston Candover Stores, have been supplying needs with much love and care.

Parish magazines: Oxdrove and Hill and Dale: these have both been held over until next month; although the risk of anyone picking anything up when delivering is infinitesimally small – off a garden gate or a letterbox, - those faithful band of deliverers have their minds put at rest. We hope May’s editions will be available as usual, together with normal services being resumed – we wait on God.

We are approaching Palm Sunday when we would be perhaps marching round our churches singing “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest,” Ride on ride on in majesty”, “Make way, make way for Christ the King” as we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem at the start of Holy Week; but this year our praises are muted and gathering to worship temporarily stopped in order to help hinder the spread of the virus.

David and Stephen are working on producing some services for both this Palm Sunday and Holy Week – something for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day, so please do visit the website and find the links. Thank you for the positive feedback and suggestions of how to improve what we are doing – all much appreciated on a steep learning curve for us all. There is something for the children now on the website under “What’s On” tab - the Easter Lego challenge – so families, do have a go!

For those who were attending “The Bible Course” that David was running during Lent  –  you can continue to watch it online! – here’s a link from the Bible Society:- “ In light of the coronavirus situation, we’re aware that it’s difficult to continue running small groups. We have adapted The Bible Course so that you can watch the session videos online for free and share a downloadable PDF of the manual. The videos are designed to be shared in any online small group or family setting.”

Watch the videos

We are trying to keep in touch with as many of you as we can, a few at a time – phone calls, emails and sometimes, whilst keeping our distance, seeing you about in the lanes and highways across the valley.

Psalm 46 says, “be still and know that I am God;” for some of us, stopping and being still has always been a huge effort, because we are busy people, until something like this forces stillness upon us; sometimes waiting in quietness and stillness is a place where God speaks to us in ways we’ve missed before. Knowing His voice, as opposed to all sorts of other whispers that can come at us, is important: recognising the authentic promptings of the Holy Spirit when we are forced to be still, will change us in the future when we discover His voice to correct, direct, guide.

The prayer diary, available on the website, has been revised in the light of the present times, so if you want to use it, please do download it – and if there’s something in the Bible readings you don’t understand, we’re happy to explain- Stephen had a really important question from one of our pray-ers the other day about something in the New Testament readings, which he was able to explain – so we don’t all understand what we read but by asking we find out.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. We are reminded that without Him nothing, with him everything….”ask and you will receive.” Luke 11:9

With our prayers for you all,  David and Stephen