Church Information - 16th May

16th May 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Dear friends,

We are beginning to see some progress towards restoring some of our freedoms a little at a time, and are ready to have all buildings open for private prayer, with everyone following sensible hygiene guidelines with washing hands before you come and using hand sanitiser as well – please bring your own supply though! (Many of us I am sure carry a small bottle with us anyway).

We have yet to have restoration of Sunday services although as Basingstoke Crematorium is now allowing up to 20 to attend funerals, it seems complete common sense that the same will soon be true for our church buildings; weddings on a modest scale may begin to happen in July, but we will have to wait, and Sunday worship will recommence when we are given permission, along the lines we had in March, spatially distancing using alternate pews for households, and no sharing of the peace by shaking hands – yet.

For your prayers, David has injured his Achilles tendon, and may require surgery next week; he is able to respond to emails/phone calls but his mobility is limited, so please bear with us as we manage things between us.

Thy Kingdom Come: This year the Ten Days of Prayer from Ascension Day, Thursday 21 May to Sunday 31 May 2020 will be different because currently we cannot meet together to pray; so we are suggesting the following:

  1. Click here for a prayer leaflet for personal/family use each day for the 12 days, which includes Bible readings and some suggested prayers you may use, and a section for you to write down what God has said to you as you have waited on Him. Please do let us know during these special days what He says to you.
  2. We would also like to invite you to join an online prayer time, and so we want to set up the following Zoom prayer times, If you dont have the joining details (they are in the copy of this letter circulated by email) please contact us by email and we will send them to you - all you have to do is to click on the link we will send you to join us.

THY KINGDOM COME PRAYER TIMES 21 MAY TO 31 MAY 2020 –

  • Thursday 21 May Ascension Day prayers 9.30 a.m. – 10.00 a.m., 7.00-7.30 p.m. Zoom prayers.
  • Friday 22 May lunchtime 12.30-1.00 p.m.
  • Saturday 23 May 9.00-9.30 a.m.
  • Sunday 24 May – part of prayer online, in services
  • Monday 25 May 7.00-7.30 p.m. Zoom prayers
  • Tues 26 May 9.00 -9.30 a.m.
  • Wed 27 May 9.00 – 9.45 a.m. – Ellisfield prayers on Zoom: 7.30 – 8.15 p.m. on Zoom with Fellowship group in Ellisfield
  • Thurs 28 May 9.30-10.00 a.m.
  • Friday 29 May 7.00- 7.30 p.m.
  • Sat 30 May 9.00-9.30 a.m. on Zoom
  • SUNDAY 31 MAY PENTECOST SUNDAY – online services

Online services are being prepared for this week – a big thank you to RICHARD MORGANS for his huge efforts in getting a group of singers including some from our benefice to sing and record singly a hymn and he was woven them together into a single recording – in Farleigh’s service “The Lord’s my shepherd” – Stuart Townend version will be used as a meditation during the prayers… well done Richard! Further recordings will follow and a week or so ago he did the same with “Lead us heavenly Father lead us.”

We are both aware of the level of anxiety quite a number of you have; it takes an effort and a big mind-set change to trust in a Living God who is at work in all the sad things, as well as the many good news stories that are often ignored. In Ellisfield last Friday, every household received cupcakes and other cakes from the TCC– the “Tea, Coffee, Cake” team who run the Wednesday Coffee morning in the village hall- presently suspended of course – for everyone to celebrate VE Day; in each village there are folk supporting one another, and some outstanding examples of truly loving our neighbours; there are others ringing round, delivering medication, and local businesses working their ingenuity to supply what we need. And above all, the Lord is with us in all things.

Paul, writing in 2 Corinthians spoke of some of his experiences of life:   “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. .. we do not want you to be ignorant brothers of our trouble which came to us in Asia; that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life; yes we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in the God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death and does deliver us, in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.”

When we go through times of great distress, Jesus is with us; when we have trials which overwhelm us, He is with us. Being able to trust this living Saviour gives us hope when all else fails; and we will find around us others who will encourage us because they too have been through hard times and have come through them, stronger now because they know God has not let them down, and He won’t let us down either.

We hope you will join us in prayer next week, using the attached prayer sheet and Bible readings, or joining us live on Zoom.

More news in due course when we receive it.

May the Living Lord whose Ascension into heaven we celebrate this coming week meet you, bless you and fill you with His peace.

With our prayers and greetings,

David and Stephen