Dear Friends, As I write, the weather has become very autumnal and the gardens are looking very winterish, leaves are falling from the trees, flowers have finished blooming and overall looking a little bleak. The continuing saga of the Coronavirus pandemic is still with us and the parameters are changing daily, so many still isolating, unable to meet with family, friends and neighbours, due to the lockdown restrictions still in place. This affects so many aspects of our normal life, so l urge you to care not only for your own safety, but for others, the young, the elderly and lonely, offer help and assistance when able, a contact is so important especially to those on their own.
Our churches are also experiencing change, safeguards are in place, weekly worship continues and thanks to Rev. Su Tarran for her care in leading our services and our churchwardens who are streaming on- line services etc. Sarah for our midweek services, we have been able to maintain the life of the church in our benefice. A welcome always awaits you if you can join us at any service. Please support all working to God’s glory by your prayers, and if able, regular giving, which enables the continuation of Gods church in these parishes of ours. The four weeks of November are often called in the churches calendar, ‘The Kingdom Season’.
This time represents the end of our annual pilgrimage. We have journeyed through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Trinity and Ordinary Time, now we seek out God’s kingdom on earth as well as in heaven. We also remember the faithful departed (All Souls) But through this time Christ is our primary focus. The final Sunday of November celebrates Christ the King who has completed God’s work through his life, death and resurrection. Today we wait for the New Kingdom to be revealed in all its fullness. For this month red is the churches colour, which reminds us of the work of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus-on the cross. Red is also the same colour of the poppies as a symbol of remembrance of those who died in conflict. We commence this season with ‘All Saints’ giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of His Saints famous or obscure, individuals who have personally led one to faith in Jesus such as a grandparent or friend. ‘All Souls’ follows, which is a celebration to remember those who have died. The known and unknown. We have a service for ‘All Souls’ on Sunday 1st November at 4.30pm in St James Church, this is an occasion when we remember our departed loved ones, the service is gentle, reflective and peaceful. Flowers and candles can be placed at the front of the church (all provided) whilst the names of the deceased are being read out. We have Coronavirus restrictions in place, this means that masks must be worn, and distancing observed, names and contact details will be taken at the entrance. This also applies to the services of Remembrance at St James Church and St Mary’s on the 8th November. This year according to Diocesan directions these services will be held completely indoors. Wreaths will be placed on the altars and then moved to the memorials after the indoor services. (for times please see ‘Services for November’). November is a month of remembrance, for loved ones, of family, past friends and neighbours, previous work mates and those who have been known only to ourselves, we think of them and give thanks for their lives and the influence they had on ours. We of course also remember those who gave their lives in past wars and those who have died in recent times, so we can continue to live in peace. Not so elsewhere, but we cherish their memories and give thanks to God for them. The Kingdom season is a time for forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. When we pray ‘Your Kingdom come’ in the Lord’s prayer, we are praying for the need of peace and justice that come to exist when God reigns. Every Blessing and keep safe. Roger (reader)
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY - 8TH NOVEMBER
9.30AM HOLY COMMUNION FOLLOWED AT 10.50AM BY A SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE, ST JAMES, HIGH WYCH
10.50AM SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE FOLLOWED BY HOLY COMMUNION, ST MARY'S, GILSTON.
For the period of lockdown churches will be closed, except for advertised times, for private prayer
Sunday 8th November – Remembrance Sunday 10.50am Service of Remembrance followed by Holy Communion, St Mary’s Gilston – this service will be streamed.
And is the Benefice Service Remembrance at St James. This will take place with a short service for invited community representatives (wreath bearers) only. This will be under strict COVID-19. provisions.