Parish News

13th January 2022

Dear Friends

The New Year is always a traditional time for taking stock and reviewing the situation, to quote a famous song. 

On Sunday we continue with our Sunday concert series. Craig White (piano) and Craig McLaren (clarinet) will be playing pieces of Poulenc and Debussy please join us at 3pm. You can see further details of this concert in this e-bulletin.

On Sunday 30 January we will be focusing on our parish finances. Its been a tough couple of years and to be honest we are struggling a bit. As our treasurer Clive pointed out at this weeks PCC meeting it isn’t an expenditure problem, our expenditure has reduced, by far our largest commitment is the payment of £85,500 to the diocese of London, it is an income problem, as a few members have moved away so our regular income has reduced. It would be wonderful if you could make Sunday 30th January a priority to hear our plans for the future.

Talking of future plans we are hoping to begin a men’s group meeting initially for a quiz night at one of our local watering holes. More information and dates to follow.

We are also thinking about a ladies lunch and cinema club, again more information be provided in the next few weeks.

Finally, we have decided to install a defibrillator on the outside wall of St Denys. We have created a Justgiving page, in order  to attract funding from the local authority we need indications of local support. Please read Heather’s piece below.  

God Bless

Simon

6th January 2022

Dear Friends

Happy New Year.

Thank you to everybody who sent me messages during my isolation. It all seems so long ago, but I remember congratulating myself that I had avoided the virus for nearly two years – little did I know. Thankfully I experienced nothing more than what felt to me like a moderate cold. The three vaccines certainly helped. That said, the timing couldn’t have been worse, literally the most important week of the church’s year. I am eternally grateful to my clergy colleagues, Eileen and Alan and our two churchwardens Susan and Chris, who immediately took over and did a wonderful job. I hoped to be able to preside at at least one Christmas service, but despite self-isolation being cut from 10 to 7 days,
I continued to test positive for the virus on day 6 and 7, so it was the full 10 day lockdown for me.

I am now recovered and looking forward to a new year, soon we will be celebrating the completion of our first phase of stone restoration. On Sunday 10 April, Palm Sunday, we will welcome the Bishop of London to St Nicholas, who will preach, preside and bless our restoration efforts. Before this visit we continue with our 3rd Sunday classical concert series, more details of our latest concert on Sunday 16th January in this e-bulletin. We also look to the renewal of our common life and witness. Watch this space.

God is good.

Simon

23rd December 2021

Dear Friends

Who would have imagined two years ago, at Christmas 2019, how our lives would have changed by Christmas 2021! The government now tells us that we should routinely be sticking cotton buds up our noses for testing purposes, wearing face masks in church and limiting the groups we should celebrate with over Christmas. All this as the result of a virus that has been devastating the world, mutating en route, and turning our lives upside down. One of the many consequences of this is that sadly Fr Simon has contracted COVID and, although he is recovering well, he needs to be in isolation over Christmas. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Meanwhile life in our community at St Nicks goes into overdrive as we prepare for our Christmas celebrations. Fr Alan and I are enormously grateful to so many of you who have stepped in to fill gaps created by the virus. You have supported us in so many ways, in particular our churchwardens, administrator, director of music and sacristan. Thank you all so much! 

One thing we have learned throughout this pandemic is that we are all dependent on one another. We discover that ‘no man is an island’ as John Donne wrote. As Jesus grew he did so as an independent person in a society of mutual obligation and support. If, as Christians, we believe that Jesus is God incarnate, then this submission to interdependence becomes powerfully real. It suggests that Christmas is God’s invitation to everyone to get stuck into the world, loving our neighbours, serving our communities, giving up our lives for the sake of others. 

This Christmas will again be different. But the invitation remains the same. To open our mind to a different way of being, illuminated by the light who is born into our world as one of us, offering a different way of being together.

Wishing you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Mother Eileen

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