This is without doubt the strangest Holy Week I have ever experienced. I do hope you are all coping with this lock down. If you need any help at all please email office.stnicholas firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 020 8995 4717 / 020 8995 7876. I’m managing to get out with the dogs once a day and discovering all sorts of new walks around the parish, I’m attempting to avoid people so I tend to try and walk inland. I do hope the on-line services are helpful. I’m sorry it is not better quality, or that we can’t do more, but it is a simple camera and microphone, Ian and I are trying our best. I hope the simple Holy Week talks are proving useful. Bishop Nick Baines provides some interesting food for thought, his analysis of the politics and theology of first century Jerusalem are of particular interest. I’m reading it to you rather than designing something myself because 1. why try to reinvent the wheel when a book says something stimulating and 2. his writing is accessible. Service sheets for our Maundy Thursday service and Good Friday service are included below, the service sheets for Holy Saturday and Easter day will be with you later in the week. We have had a request for a hymn on Easter Day so we will oblige!
I have asked Hayley to include below the text of the letter which Fr Elias emailed to us and which I read out at the end of our Palm Sunday service. Please keep our brothers and sisters of St Simon and Jude in your prayers, they like us are suffering, but do not enjoy the medical facilities of our London hospitals and GPs surgeries. Please also keep Rev’d Jackie Cameron in your prayers. Many of you will remember Jackie preaching and presiding at St Nicholas, she is now at home in Chicago with her husband Robert, working in one of their large hospitals as a doctor in A&E.
Please keep Alison Jones in your prayers. Brian’s funeral service has been arranged for 23 April. We will hold a memorial service for Brian in Church at a later date when all this is over and we can properly pay our respects.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
As we journey through Holy Week, in a way that feels so strange and unlike anything we have experienced before, we reflect on the invitation from Jesus to take up our own cross and follow him. This year there are so many people caring for others in new and imaginative ways, giving generously of their time and resources, and in some cases risking their own health for the sake of others. This sonnet was written by the priest poet Malcolm Guite several years ago but seems particularly poignant to reflect on now.
A Sonnet For The Unseen
So much goes unseen and stays unsaid,
So much that carers keep within their hearts;
The children who get parents out of bed,
Already tired before their school day starts,
The neighbours who keep giving up their time,
To add a daily round of extra care,
Veronicas who cleanse the sweat and grime,
And those whose gift is simply being there,
The patient partners lifting up a cross
To bear the burden their belovèd bears,
Who ease each other through the pain and loss
And feel that no one sees, and no one cares.
But there is One to hear, to feel, to see
And He will say ‘ye did it unto me’.
Wishing you every blessing as you journey on through Holy Week and prepare to celebrate the joy of Easter.