3rd March 2022

Dear Friends

I just thought I would bring you up to date with a few events and changes happening in the parish.

Now restrictions have been removed we are once again inviting people back to the altar rail to receive communion, we will also be offering communion in both kinds from the common cup. Receiving in both kinds is entirely voluntary, if you wish to receive communion from the common cup please remain kneeling at the altar rail, if you do not wish to receive please go back to your pew once you have received the host. The pews in the South aisle will remain socially distanced, for those who wish to retain some distance, the remaining pews have had their distancing restrictions removed, please sit where you feel most comfortable. The requirement for wearing masks has also been removed, so again we are asking people to do whatever they feel most comfortable with. The clergy will continue to wear masks upon entry and exit and also when distributing communion. They will also continue to use hand sanitizer before distribution. Hand sanitizer will be retained at the church entrance and people are encouraged to use it upon entry. We will also be reintroducing the Holy Water stoop at the side of the main entrance.

Don’t forget our men’s group meeting tonight at 7.45pm at the Crown and Anchor on the High Road. 

On Fridays during Lent there will be an additional mass at 12 noon followed by a bread and soup lunch in church, please join us.

On Sunday evenings there will be Stations of the Cross at 6.00pm.

Our Lent course begins next Tuesday 8 March at 6.00pm We will be meeting in the parish hall, or if you prefer you can join us on zoom – please ask Hayley in the office for a link. You can find material for this course on the table at the back of the church, where you can also find Lent resources for families and children.

Next week will also see the first of our teaching sessions published on Facebook. Please watch out for a notification.

Please keep Palm Sunday 10th April at 10.30am in your diary. We are welcoming Sarah the Bishop of London to the parish. She will preach and preside for us and also bless the new stone work.

Let us pray that we may all keep a good Lent.

God Bless

Simon

Please click here for Fr Simon’s sermon on Stewardship  


Dear Friends

Many of us arrived at our Parish Mass last Sunday in an unusually sombre mood, with news of the shocking events in Ukraine uppermost in our minds. At St Nicks we had already designated the day as Stewardship Sunday, and indeed that was the main focus of Fr Simon’s sermon, but not before he had reflected on, and prayed for, the situation in Ukraine. Our church remains open every day, of course, and I hope people will find it a quiet and holy space they can visit, say a prayer and light a candle for those involved in any way in these dreadful events. St Nick’s also remained open for prayer nearly every day we were permitted to do so throughout the Covid pandemic and we were touched by the number of visitors who clearly appreciated our offering such a welcoming and prayerful space during these very anxious and difficult times. However, this did not come without a significant impact on our finances and we now have the challenge of restoring our funds to good health with our Planned Giving campaign.

As Fr Simon noted on Stewardship Sunday (you can watch a recording of his sermon in the above link), our parish needs what St Paul called “the grace of giving” from all of us to continue to make a recovery from the changes of the past few years. The following message is from Susan Welsh, our PCC member who has been leading this campaign:

If you have not yet joined Planned Giving, we urge you to consider contributing to the life of St Nicholas in this important way. Even if you already give to St Nicholas, we respectfully ask that you consider joining our new centralised Parish Giving Scheme, which will help us keep our budget running smoothly and relieve us of extra admin work. You can join via the scheme’s website at www.parishgiving.org.uk or download an information leaflet and an application form. To switch, current givers will need to join and then cancel their old standing orders (but not too soon, please—kindly note when your first payment on the new scheme begins). Information packs including Fr Simon’s letter and some further information about our parish finances are also available at the back of church. Please pick one up! Questions? Feel free to contact Susan Welsh at
susanlwelsh@btinternet.com.

With every blessing

Mother Eileen