Thank you, so much, for all your harvest gifts and thank you to those of you who have managed to fill a shoebox for our Link to Hope appeal. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
As I write, we are approaching All Saints’ Day and Remembrance Sunday, for which our services, this year, will be very different from past years but, hopefully, thought provoking and meaningful. Infact, much of what we are doing in church is simplified at the moment and whilst sad that we are unable to accommodate as many people as we would like in services, the simplicity can sometimes draw us back to why we are there in the first place, to the God we worship, and to our dependence upon him. I have recently presided at a few simple weddings with only a handful of people and, in many ways, the minimalistic approach has helped us all to focus upon God and his desire to be an intrinsic part of our lives.
Last month we held our first Forest Church. We were all there in simplicity, in the elements, the wind and a few drops of rain but warmed by a fire and the knowledge that God was with us. The next one will be at Bulphan Churchyard on Saturday November 14th at 4pm. Do come along if you are able and remember to bring something to sit on!
God is with us in whatever we face at the moment. But God also calls us to act on his behalf. At a recent clergy study day led by Bishop John, our Area Bishop, we were reminded that, although we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which we are all hoping and praying will come to an end soon, this doesn’t mean that all crises are over; far from it. We are currently also in the middle of an ecological crisis, an equality crisis, a refugee crisis and a homeless crisis, to name just a few. So even when the coronavirus subsides, as Christians and churches, we have a responsibility to work to end all suffering.
With regard to the climate crisis, the Church of England is aiming to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 and our churches in this Benefice have also signed up to become Eco Churches. One of the ways in which we are working towards this is to use less paper. As a result, you will soon be receiving a letter asking if you would consider receiving our online version of the Hobnob magazine instead of a paper copy. Our online magazine has been developed by David Mortimer and Ron Porter and is looking great. If you haven’t yet found it, you can find it at hobnob.org.uk/magazine We fully understand that some people need to receive a paper copy because they have no access to technology and that some copies are put in local hostelries and surgeries etc, but please, if you do have access to technology, do consider the future of our planet, the beautiful world which God has given to us and our responsibility to preserve this for our children’s children, when you make your decision.
We are also in the process of considering our service pattern for the future in order to engage with as many people as possible and a questionnaire has been devised to be sent out to everyone on our database. The first one sent out had some problems so is going to be reissued very soon, using a different provider. If you receive this questionnaire, please could I ask you to take a couple of minutes to fill it in. In order for it to serve the purpose for which it was intended, it is important that as many people as possible complete it.
Thank you for your continued help and support and, as always, please be assured of my prayers for you at this time and do let me know of any pastoral needs.
Take care and God bless,