23.11.20 123.11.2020 2

Rector's Autumn 2020 Pew Letter 

Despite the introduction of the ‘Rule of Six’ we have much to be grateful for.  We have re-opened the 5pm service and so we now have three vibrant services running – 2 on Sundays and one on Wednesday.
The latest restrictions don’t apply to worship services so we are not much affected but our plans to gently reintroduce refreshments after services will have to go on hold.
The 10am service is almost at capacity (what a great problem to have!) and I hope it won’t be necessary to introduce ticketing.
The big issue that is occupying our minds is re-launching the families’ service which we will do on Harvest Sunday – 11th October.
As you know, on that Sunday we’ll be starting a trial period with revised service timings as follows:
9am traditional parish communion
11am families’ service
6pm contemporary evening service. 
Thank you to those who have been in touch expressing concerns for your understanding and grace.  We shall see how it all goes, conduct a period of listening and reflection and then hopefully reach a decision as to what service pattern best serves the mission of the church.  I am not sure how long the trial will last but I expect at least 6 months.
The PCC has decided that for the duration of the trial the 8am BCP service will be rested up until such time as a decision is made.  We do not feel it possible to set-up for a 9am service with a BCP service ending at 8.35am.  We will however try and make sure there is one on Christmas morning.
Kids and Youth.   A big challenge is how best to run our various kids and youth groups but we do have plans and parents will be emailed with them in due course.
Alpha.  We will start a new Alpha course in early October.  The Alpha Course is now all online and via Zoom so incredibly easy to access.  If you’d like to do it or know some who might just let Olly know here.
Discipleship Course.  Olly has been incredibly busy and has written his own beginner’s discipleship course and we’re welcoming newcomers to the Christian faith - or those wanting a ‘re-set’ in their spiritual walk - to join him on it via Zoom.  Full details are here or email Olly here.
“KickStart”.   With real hardship predicted for 2021 we are excited to be launching a new initiative called KickStart which is a distillation of key parts of Christian Against Poverty’s existing offering covering: money management, finding work, good relationships, dealing with ‘bad habits’ plus some new material on mental health and wellbeing.  Brian and Ann Hubbard are leading this but they would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved.
The main need is for ‘Befrienders’, who walk alongside the clients.  They telephone them, take them out for coffee, go to the park with them and generally model Christ-like behaviour by demonstrating love though actions.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could recruit a number of Befrienders who could walk alongside Kick Start participants?  If you might be able to help email Brian here: brianhubbard@caplifeskills.org.  Let us pray for this initiative as we seek to meet the needs of in the town.
Serving.   Thank you to those who have offered to help wipe down the chairs on a daily basis.  We are still looking for more help with the following teams: Production, Youth and Kids.  If you are interested in helping do let the Office know and they’ll pass your details on.
Pop-Up Prayer.   This is taking place at The Centre every Thursday morning and has attracted folk passing by.
APCM.  Don’t forget that the APCM is scheduled for Tuesday 13th October at 7.30pm in Church.
Fabric.   Much is happening with regards the fabric of our church (some good some bad):
  • Some £30,000 is to be spent on replacing weather-damaged stonework.
  • £25,000 is to be spent underpinning the kitchen corner of the church which has subsided.
  • Gino Ballantyne’s huge oil painting depicting Christ’s crucifixion will go up above the vestry door.
  • The clock is to be returned and will chime and ring each hour.
  • The side chapel altar will be removed and the stunning stained glass window currently in the kitchen will be returned to its rightful place at the head of the South aisle.  A beautiful new prayer area will be created. 
  • The first two fabric items above are big set-backs for our finances and we will need to raise funds to cover this unavoidable work.
Dates for your Diaries. 
  • Sunday 27th September: Vision Sunday
  • Sunday 4th October: Stewardship Sunday
  • Monday 5th October: Prayer and Praise at 8pm
  • Sunday 11th October: Service pattern changes and Harvest Sunday
  • Tuesday 13th October: APCM at 7.30pm in Church. 
Finally: we don’t know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future.  We know that Remembrance Sunday’s parade is cancelled and I have no idea what we’ll be able to do over Christmas.  What I do know is that the gates of hell will not prevail against the  Church and that God works for the good in all things for those who are in Christ Jesus.  So we pray, trust in God and just do our best with what God has entrusted us with.  What an adventure these past few months have been – not an adventure any of us volunteered for – but one I hope you’ll agree that the Church has risen to.
with every blessing