4th June 2020

Dear Friends

Like you, I’m sure, I rejoiced at the prospect of being allowed to gather together once again, so it was a delight to spend Monday evening in the company of friends having a drink and a BBQ. Let’s hope it is not long before we can all meet together. It’s ironic, now we are allowed to meet outside, the weather has turned colder.

I’ve met a number of you over the last few weeks whilst out on my daily dog walk. The question you ask me is always the same: “When will the church building be open?” I long for the day, but I am afraid I cannot provide you with an answer, because I do not know myself. I hope the church will be open for private prayer in late June early July, but this is just a hope. We are all waiting for direction from the diocese. Rest assured, those responsible for your safety and the safety of the building are talking together and working out how we can open the church as soon as we are given permission.

A huge thank you to Andy who has been working hard to create a new parish website. We will be including a memorial book section in the website for you memories of loved ones, family and friends who have perished over the last few months. I hope this facility will be available very soon. 

A suggestion which I think worth pursuing is to create an archive of Covid19 memories, which we can save for posterity. If you have kept a diary, or you have thoughts and memories and would like these preserved, please contact me, or the archive team. We hope to create a hard copy archive of memories and an electronic copy. These last few months have been of such importance for the nation, our church and ourselves we felt it was important to somehow preserve our memories and observations for the future.

Stay safe, take care.

God Bless

Simon


Dear Friends

I wonder how many of you are still opening the pages of your diary and remembering the events you were looking forward to this week, only to find yourself crossing out yet more of them. 

Not long before we went into lock-down there was a paper given out in church headed ‘Calendar of Fund Raising and Social Events 2020’. This coming Sunday, June 7th, at mid-day we were due to be Beating the Parish Bounds, an event comprising a Community Walk, Family Picnic and Treasure Hunt. Well we can still individually, or within our family groups and socially distanced from one another, take a walk round the boundary of our parish but it would be rather missing the point of doing it together, as the community of St Nick’s. 

In a previous parish we used to beat the bounds every year on Rogation Sunday, walking round the parish to remind ourselves of where the boundaries lay, pausing to pray for God’s blessing at various points, and finishing with a shared lunch. Traditionally Rogation Sunday (from the Latin word rogare, meaning to ask) is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, a day when the Church offered prayers for God’s  blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labours of those who produce our food. Fewer of us today derive our livelihood from the production of food, but it’s good to be reminded of our dependence on those who do so, and our responsibility for the environment. This year it is particularly important to give thanks for all those who have ensured that we continue to receive the food that we need. 

I offer here a prayer for our parish at this time:

Heavenly Father, source of life and abundance, all good things come from you. We pray for this parish that we serve and for all that makes up our community life. We give you thanks for the diversity of cultures and the uniqueness of each person. Strengthen ties between people and build respect. Bless all who live and work here, that their lives may be fruitful; that they may know peace in their homes and workplaces. Support and strengthen them in all their relationships. Bless this community of your church in this place, that following your commandments faithfully, we may love our neighbour as ourselves and serve Christ in one another as we share our common life together. AMEN

With every blessing

Mother Eileen