Church Information - 6th June

6th June 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Dear friends,

It seems almost another age since we were worshipping together in our church buildings: but there are some signs that it might be possible to re-start in the weeks ahead. Some guidance notes were published on the Church of England’s website on Friday about what to do when we restart weddings, funerals, baptisms and private prayer, as we work towards the possibility of reopening for worship.

The “spatial distancing” from one another will need to continue for a while, so we will be looking into how we can use the pews – perhaps alternate ones, in household groups, and maybe filling up from the front, and leaving starting from the back; this will go some way to stop the possibility of cross-infection, although in our villages we have all been carefully isolating and not mixing, to ensure we neither pick up nor pass on the virus.

It is possible we may be advised – although not instructed- to refrain from singing inside our church buildings, but until more is given to us, we can only continue with what we have been doing – although it may appear to some that we are “marking time”, I wonder whether any of you would feed back some of the good things of this time – for example, slowing down, becoming more aware of the natural world,  building relationships deeper at home; learning new skills, finding new inspiration-  as well as the ache for family further away and only available on Facetime or Zoom, or for the sense of loss of identity in not doing what we have been used to doing. Some may be facing the bigger sense of loss in employment or business –and what can we learn from God’s promises in times of trouble?

Some of us may feel “Zoomed out” and mentally more tired by the sheer concentration required; but also finding new joy in gardening – I’m told the gardens of our villages will probably be the best in Britain!

For those who would be interested, we do have a time of prayer each Wednesday from 9.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. currently on Zoom, hosted by Peter and Sylvia Raine: if you would like to join in that prayer group, please let Peter know by e-mail [peter.c.w.raine@btinternet.com]  and he’ll send you the Zoom link; we also have a home group meeting each Wednesday evening, from 7.45 to 9.15 p.m., and we currently meet on Zoom too, and Peter Raine kindly organises that link also – so if you want to join in, ask him.

Some of you will remember Roger Morgan, who gave some talks for us a couple of years ago; he sent to the clergy groups, with which he is involved, an exercise on disasters, reflecting on the current coronavirus pandemic, and gave us some Bible passages to reflect on. Stephen has done some study in those passages and hopes to record a couple of talks based on them and will upload them next week to the Website as soon as he’s have completed them - a mixture of crises in which God worked, giving opportunities for His grace and mercy to be seen, and also looking at disasters which could have been avoided had God’s people heeded God’s warnings. So look out for those next week – they will be separate from our Sunday services because they deserve more than a ten minute talk.  The script will be available direct from Stephen.  Some books to recommend: John Lennox “where is God in a coronavirus world?” John Piper “Coronavirus and Christ” and Tom Wright “God and the Pandemic”.

David’s injury is improving fairly well, so thank you for your prayers for him.

Prayer and Bible reading diary for next 6 weeks is on the website – please do make use of it if you’ve not engaged in regular spiritual exercise – try it – you may be surprised!

Our Trinity Sunday services will be uploaded by Saturday evening – please do join in worship – a number of you I know have a set time on Sunday morning to log on and share in worship each week, maintaining the regularity and Christian discipleship of meeting to pray, sing, and be encouraged. David and Stephen do spend serious time to enable worship to continue, for your feeding and spiritual growth.

More next week…

As always we are available on phone, email, or face to face over a garden gate or wall, for all matters.

May God bless each of you this week, and keep you safe but also give you courage to step out and re-engage with God’s world.

Every blessing,

With our prayers and greetings,  

David and Stephen