Church Information -25th April

25th April 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Dear Friends,

Another week has passed while we remain isolated, in order to diminish the passing on of the coronavirus; it has been heartening to hear of different local stories – of people making items for the NHS staff at the hospitals, from garments to food deliveries, of support for different folk who otherwise would be unable to exist in their homes, as well as stories of gardening, walking, phone calls, WhatsApp groups and encouragements being given, chats over garden fences or on opposite sides of our lanes, as well as courtesy to those coming out from Basingstoke to walk, cycle, exercise in our country lanes (although some have not always reciprocated our cheery greetings!).

We know that although we are separated by a little distancing, we are still One Body in Christ, and although not able to enjoy all the freedom of meeting together that we did, there are ways of enjoying our walk with God that may have previously escaped us but now are much more to the fore – making time to be still and pray, singing along to our weekly services online, and engaging with the presence of God in our own homes that we may not have done for a long time. One prayer Stephen has been using each day for some years now, is one by the late John Stott, a hugely influential vicar and Bible teacher, rector of All Soul’s Langham Place for decades, international speaker at Bible conventions the world over, and author of dozens of books which have helped countless millions of us to know Jesus better by his explaining gospel truths and living them himself. His prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me to live in your presence today and please you more and more:  Lord Jesus I pray that I take up my cross and follow You; Holy Spirit I pray You fill me with Yourself, and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Amen.”

Last Sunday in Stephen’s sermon he mentioned the book ”All About Heaven” by David Oliver: David, who lives in Basingstoke, we gather was rather encouraged and asked that we pass on his website address in case anyone asks where to buy a copy: www.davidoliverbooks.com

Stephen says: -This Sunday we will do something a little different in our service in Farleigh parish, so I suggest you all have ready by your computer or I-pad a slice of bread (if you need to, use gluten free), and a small glass of wine, and towards the end of the service we will eat bread together and drink wine in Remembrance of what Jesus did for us on the cross… and I will read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, the earliest record of the words of Jesus at the Last Supper. Services will be uploaded here on Saturday evening.

David and Stephen  continue to be available to you all by phone, email, or if you want face to face conversation, Zoom or one of the other platforms, to see and hear one another. We are conscious of those whose health may be failing – we are available for everyone – as well as praying we will soon be able to use our church buildings for weddings, funerals, baptisms and worship – whilst being conscious of spatial distancing to avoid exchanging any germs!

We pray for God’s blessing and guiding hand for our brave NHS staff, especially those who live in our villages, or whose family members are on the front line in hospitals, whilst also including the millions of people who keep the food chains going, the phone service, broadband and computer facilities, banking, power, heat, water and other vital services that we so often take for granted.
And a big thank you to all who have responded to the reminder that although we may not be meeting in our church buildings for worship, the cost of maintaining ministry does not stop; if you are not a regular contributor unless you happen to be in church, may we encourage you to give by regular bank transfers/bankers’ standing order or similar, which make it easier for everyone, and help to keep us solvent.

May God bless you all at home this weekend,

With our prayers and greetings,

David and Stephen