Dear St George’s friends
This past week saw the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, which is usually the time of year when new deacons and priests are ordained in the Church of England. This year dioceses across the country have been forced to postpone those services. My ordination anniversary always tends to draw me back to think about why I ‘signed up’ in the first place as I sensed God’s and the Church’s call, and what sort of a ministry the bishop commissions us to as deacons and priests.
As I look back on 22 years since I was ordained a deacon in Winchester Cathedral, I continue to be so grateful. I love the opportunity I have to walk alongside people in their journey of faith, witnessing them come alive to God in a new way or for the first time. Praying with you and for you as your priest is a privilege at the very heart of all this. Thank you for being part of Christ’s pilgrim people at this time in our community, caring for, supporting, blessing and encouraging others through this pandemic.
As Kiwis say, ‘Kia kaha!’ – Stand Tall!
Sunday Morning Worship
This week Estelle Boulton preaches on the story of Laban, Isaac and Rebekah. Our recording of the service can be viewed here.
The service can be found by clicking on the front page of this website or by clicking here.
If you need help in accessing our online material, please don’t hold back, but call me or Dan Godwin on 07854 525150 and we will talk you through getting online.
Tomorrow – Saturday July 4th: Why not join our fortnightly St George’s coffee and chat, 10.30am-11.30am via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 846 6079 1560
or via your phone: 0203 051 2874 or 0203 481 5237 and enter the meeting ID.
Did you see Marian’s beautiful collage she created as she thought about missing worshipping together at the ‘church in the woods’ – it’s on our Facebook page and website. Marian unveiled it at our last Zoom. So come along and join us online – who knows what creativity and encouragement, and laughter will be unleashed this time!
Will St George’s re-open?
The wardens and I are continuing to pore over the guidelines being sent out and regularly updated, helping us consider potentially safe and practical measures that would enable us to go back into church. You may see reports in the media this weekend of some cathedrals and churches opening up for ‘said’ services with physical distancing, no singing, no books or sheets, no sharing of the Peace, no collection plate and a swift exit with no morning tea afterwards! Please trust that we are working carefully at this and there’s plenty going on behind the scenes.
Simple rhythms of daily prayer:
Those of us still not able to go out or continuing to work and study from home may well appreciate a very good online resource put together by the community of Worth Abbey. It’s called ‘Alone Together – https://www.alonetogether.org.uk/ and offers practical pithy suggestions on ‘shaping the day’ and helpful reflections and prayer practices, all introduced by short videos.
The Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) is providing a new service in response to the distress and suffering of many people as a result of the pandemic.
ACC’s COVID-19 Crisis Counselling Support Service is for anyone in the UK, whatever their faith, who has been bereaved during the time of the epidemic and anyone working within an NHS setting in a front line role. The service offers anyone who is eligible up to ten sessions of counselling on a no-fee basis from a professionally trained counsellor. For more information go to https://www.acc-uk.org/news/hidden-holding-pages/covid-19-crisis-counselling-support-service.html
God of the new and the old, we praise you for Peter and Paul, for the Church their leadership has established, and for all we have received from them; grant that we, like them, may recognise our moment when it comes and choose for you. Hear this prayer for your love’s sake. Amen.
Grace and peace to us all