Priest in Charge’s message

Message from Revd Sara-Jane Stevens                                    November/December 2020

All is changing.  The days have shortened, and the winter is here, the natural world has shed her warmth and waiting for the spring.  We were learning to live with Covid-19 and to carry on our lives as normally as possible within the new Tier-system, once we come out of this second Lockdown.  Christmas 2020 will be rather different.  All is changing and everything seems unsure.

Not exactly true, some things are ‘sure’ an unchanging; the love of God for one! Romans 8:39 says “neither in the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Not even a pandemic.

Things have changed in the life of our churches.  We need to do what we can to keep each other safe by reducing the number of people who could attend our face-to-face services.  A congregation in St Mary’s Sullington is now 20 people, and in Thakeham Village Hall the congregation could be about 40.  However, on Zoom, there are no such limits.  We are SO blessed to be able to meet, across the benefice on Zoom and we regularly have between 60-80 people joining us for Sunday Services, from as far afield as the West Country and Dublin!

People are also accessing our monthly Evensong service on YouTube, about 50 regularly do, and others also use Messy Church and Midweek Communion videos, as well as seasonal reflections.  And I wonder who the 100+ people are who looked for information for our two churches this week on  God bless the internet.

Let us not forget those who cannot connect with others on the internet, those who are not able to use YouTube or e-mail.  The office will be sending our Advent Packs to those who are less able to be involved.  These will include printed material with Advent and Christmas prayers and reflections and some little goodies.  If you know someone who could do with a pack, call the office and arrange to collect one for them.

All services and activities for Advent and Christmas will be available on our church websites soon.  I look forward to celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus with you this year, more than ever.