Rector: Rev’d Paul N Boddam-Whetham M.A.
Administrator: Miss Sue Fenn
Friday 24 April 2020

Dear Friends,

Each of us will be working out how to use this gift of time and space which we have been given during this period of “lockdown” when for the health of family and friends, as well as our own, we are diligently observing the rules on social distancing and general good hygiene practice by regularly washing hands.

I wonder what hobbies and interests you have been able to re-establish to keep yourselves occupied? One of our sons sent me an Airfix model of a Spitfire which I have enjoyed constructing… it’s probably the first one I’ve ever completed and painted! You may like to share after our service on Sunday some experiences of those things which you have been able to do: refresh an old interest or take up anew. As well as practical things (and for those blessed with a garden there is always something to do!), there are also the books on the “to read next” shelf which you have not got round to reading.

Keeping our minds and bodies active and alert is so important in order that we do not slip into a state of inertia. Of greater importance to the Christian, perhaps, is keeping our spiritual being alert and alive. We can be thankful that we have the Holy Spirit within us and these days of a slightly slower pace for some… may be because of working at home, or travelling to work for our key workers is easier without the rush-hour traffic queues, or because of self-isolation at home for others.

This time may be that opportunity to read more deeply, to study more diligently and to pray more fervently to develop our relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Again, it would be helpful if you are willing to share those practices which you have found helpful so that as we move into whatever turns out to be the “new normal”, we are equipped with the armour of God as we respond to God’s call to “be strong and courageous”. I find it greatly encouraging how the readings and collect prayers for Morning Prayer which we follow at 8 a.m. each weekday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, are so appropriate to the concerns of our day.

In order to keep the governance of the church in place (so much of which was done over coffee after Sunday worship!) the Standing Committee and Ministry Team meet every Thursday using Zoom to focus on three aspects of our ministry:

  • To reflect on our Worship Service last Sunday and to especially pray for those in the fellowship who have not yet been able to join on Zoom
  • To take stock of the current guidance from government or diocese and its impact on us
  • To look ahead at what we can continue to do to be faithful to God’s call on us as we work with the wider community to help those in practical and spiritual need.

I am planning to run a Confirmation Preparation Course, currently for four candidates, so we will be ready to welcome the Bishop whenever it is possible in the autumn. We are also preparing for the Alpha Course hopefully in the traditional format of a group meeting… but we may need to be innovative and design it around Zoom.

Other ideas which we hope to encourage people to support could be a virtual Meeting Point during a weekday evening for people to “share” a glass of wine, beer or soft beverage and conversation about issues of today (other than COVID-19!). Something similar could be arranged as a Coffee Morning. I know some regular groups are continuing to meet over Zoom and that’s great to know there is that support for one another… and others who feel isolated may find it a good way to keep in touch.

I hope to see you on Sunday when Mary Carney will be preaching: it’ll be good to welcome her back following her recovery from a major operation in February.

A reminder that to gain access to the service is by this link –

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4905689876

For those who will dial in, you may use any of these numbers:

0131 460 1196; 0203 051 2874; 0203 481 5237; 0203 481 5240

Meeting ID: 490 568 9876;

To access the password, please contact website@ducklingtonchurch.org.uk

With my prayers that you keep safe and fit in body, mind and spirit.

Paul.