Forty people gathered for an outside service at Burton on 18th April as Covid restrictions eased and both the news and the weather improved.
In the middle of Covid lockdown no 2, we were permitted to hold an outdoor service for Remembrance Sunday 2020.
We held our first service for many months at Burton in August, outside naturally, socially distanced and with music but no singing (yet).
Our first live physical service in over three months will be held at Coates on Sunday 5th July. Please bring a picnic chair (or email Isobel.email@example.com if you don't have one) for an outdoor holy communion service. Sadly we are not able to have hymns yet, but this is a start. The usual on-line service will also be available on this website for anyone who is unable for any reason to attend in person.
We are delighted to report that next Sunday's service comes from Sutton Church. Our churches are now open for private prayer - please see notices posted at each church for details of how to use the space safely.
As a Diocese we are marking the campaign, Thy Kingdom Come, with a series of events including a daily short prayer at Noon called "Praying for the Diocese with Bishop Martin".
In a video message, published today on the Feast of the Ascension, the Bishop explains why the days between Ascension and Pentecost can deepen our prayer life together especially in these challenging times and invites you to prayer with him for the diocese.
You can watch the Youtube video here
Please do share this invitation video widely in your church communities as we hope to get as many people as possible to take part.
You can join in Praying for the Diocese with Bishop Martin via Youtube, the diocesan website and the diocesan social media channels, Twitter and Facebook.
Wednesday was 25th March – the Feast of the Annunciation, which means it is now less than 9 months to Christmas. What will our world be like in nine months’ time?
Of course it was also in Lent and so ‘Feast’ is a misnomer. The Annunciation is often delayed till the day after Easter Day. Then we can celebrate! We have the prospect of no ‘Feast’ on Easter Day itself, let alone the day after. That is a terrible thought. We must get our technology working.
Why is the Annunciation so important? Firstly it starts the process whereby God comes into our human existence in a tangible way. Mary conceives by the Holy Spirit. From then on God reveals himself to us in a way He has not done before. It continues the divine plan for the salvation of the world. This is one reason for a ‘Feast’. The birth of Jesus (‘God saves’) becomes a possibility.
The second reason for us to rejoice is Mary. It is by the readiness of that simple and young woman, already betrothed to a human man, to say ‘Yes!’ to God in such a decisive way, and of course it involves us in the salvation story. Mary is our representative. She gives us the possibility of saying ‘Yes!’ to God in our daily lives. Our ‘Yes!’ is very much needed at the moment.
One of the frustrations of our current situation is to see how we can be of use. It is through our prayers and our daily spiritual routine that we can help others. We are part of God’s plan and we offer ourselves daily to Him. We can pray, we can read, we can help our neighbours, we can use the technology. Perhaps we can even teach John Green to! Our task at the moment is to place ourselves in God’s hands and to trust.
May God strengthen you all.