Church Information - 9th May

9th May 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Dear friends,

Today, May 9th, is a special day in the life of Channel Islanders; Stephen’s father and all his family – brothers, sisters, parents and many others were liberated from almost 5 years of German Occupation; on May 8th, Winston Churchill added in his broadcast “and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today:” liberation followed the next day, and whenever his cousins talk about it, they fill up and shed tears, as they remember the emotion of at last being freed from almost 5 years of oppression, fear, deprivation, starvation. Yesterday we celebrated VE Day, the end of the European theatre of the Second World War, and a relief that after huge suffering, loss, cost, almost unimaginable evil, the war in the west was over.

Today we remember and give thanks to God not only for the sacrifices of millions for the cause of justice, truth, freedom and righteousness, but also that the lessons of yesterday still lead towards constant vigilance, for the human race has still not learned lessons from history – we pray for God’s mercy in shining His light into our hearts to expose the sin that lurks, to bring the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that we choose the ways of justice and peace.

Our services will shortly be uploaded for tomorrow’s worship –please go to the benefice website to connect with our singing, and in Stephen’s service he suggests having ready bread and wine with which we give thanks for the body of Christ broken for us and His blood shed for us.

We shall be taking part again in the worldwide Ten Days of Prayer called “Thy Kingdom Come” from Ascension Day, Thursday 21 May, through to Pentecost, Sunday 31 May, praying for three things:

1. Personal renewal in the Holy Spirit – for a fresh impartation of the Holy Spirit’s presence in every Christian’s life quickening us in prayer, passion and power.

2. Renewal of our church worship that it may come alive in the power of the Holy Spirit in deeper measure.

3. For a spiritual awakening as the realisation of Jesus being alive dawns in those who are not yet believers so that they seek and find Jesus as their Saviour as we do. The present Coronavirus crisis has generated a lot of interest in Christian matters as the reality of life and death, the futility of shallowness of life and possessions has dawned. We will be praying for our neighbours and families who have yet to enter into God’s Kingdom.

Next week we will issue some guidelines for prayer, so you can pray at home and if you want to join in praying online, we will be setting up some “Zoom” prayer times each day – mornings and evenings over the ten days. Details to follow.

We await more information about the gradual restoration of worship – the bishops will issue more information after the government’s “roadmap” to gradual returning to life this weekend.

Our few weeks of isolation and deprivation are nothing compared to those who lived through World War 2 – so let’s be thankful for God being with us, for friendships that sustain us, for kindness of others to support us, for easily available information online and in the media, and for being able to live in relative freedom, something denied to millions still across the world.

Please also watch the “UK Blessing” recorded from more than 70 churches across the country- since last Sunday it has had over 1.7 million views – watch, be blessed!

We both continue to be available on the phone, e-mail and otherwise to help anyone in need – we are trying to keep in touch with as many folk as we can, and are both so delighted to observe the many ways the communities are supporting everyone so well: may God bless each of you as we journey through these difficult times.

May God bless you all at home this weekend,

With our prayers and greetings

David and Stephen