Roger Barnes

Dear Fellow Members of St Bartholomew’s


Well, here we are again – another lockdown, but at least it’s not quite as draconian as the first lockdown. The church is open daily from 11 to 3 for private prayer (read meditation, contemplation, or just being awed by a holy place that has stood in its present form for 900 years – on a site probably much older), and with a skeleton staff we can Zoom services live from the church, and ring one bell for 5 minutes before the “service” starts (yippee).

There was quite a discussion at the Core Team weekly meeting as to whether we should continue broadcasting from church during a lockdown, or whether we should go back to Paul running the service from home as we did during the first lockdown. I voted for the church as to me it is the spiritual heart of the village. I know “the church” is not a building, e.g. Greenbelt, and I also know that God is everywhere and not just in St Bartholomew’s on a Sunday morning – but our church is a special place and one that we need to promote to the village population – it’s their church after all.

Talking of which, it was good to see so many “passers-by” at the war memorial on Remembrance Sunday. All the comments I have had about the ceremony, from either live viewers or Zoom, have been very positive. The new telephone line into the church, that carries the broadband connection, was used for the first time on 8th November, and again last Sunday. What a difference it makes – no more loss of church! It’s a great shame that Jane and Martin have had to self-isolate at home for the last 2 weeks and missed managing from church the first use of the broadband connection.

Thinking of church finances as I often do, I recall a sermon preached recently by Paul concerning the taxation of the Jewish people by the Romans; “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” as Jesus referred to the fact that Caesar’s head was on the coin. Rather impishly I thought that as the Queen is the head of the Church of England and all coins and notes contain her head, could we create a parallel by saying “Render unto the Queen (in our case St Bartholomew’s, Ducklington) the things that are the Queen’s”. Seriously though it would be good to get in some extra cash especially as there are no collections during this second lock-down. I must thank those of you who have made additional contributions – these are helping to keep us afloat and are so much appreciated.

Please pray for a successful vaccine, and for those who have been directly or indirectly affected by this dreadful virus.

God bless