From the Rector
9 April 2020

Dear Friends,
It is with sadness that I must tell you of the death of Bob Fidler a long-time member of the church, and faithful member of the choir until restricted by his immobility. Also of Gordon Etheridge, a more recent member who has been sharing with us on Second Wednesdays over the last six months. We pray for their family and friends, especially as they will be unable to hold a funeral service in church. Both will have services at the Crematorium with immediate family only, followed by interment of ashes in the churchyard. We have been following the Way of the Cross this week in a manner which has had a special resonance for us as we have come to share in a very particular way in the isolation and loneliness which Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. As we continue individually or in our families managing in our own way how to cope with self-isolation in the home or social distancing outside, we are drawing on deep emotional and spiritual reserves within us.
As we discover these inner resources we need to replenish them in this gift of time we have, through creative ways of reaching beyond the restraints imposed on many of us in our own homes. For some this may be through more extended time of contemplative and reflective prayer and focussed reading of the Bible or biographies of Christians who may stimulate and encourage us. We can all prepare and look ahead to that time in the coming months when we can return to some normal interaction in our lives. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection this weekend, I hope we can say, with the couple who walked alongside him on the Emmaus Road, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

However lonely or confined we may feel, we are not alone, and we can know Jesus is walking alongside us today as his did with those disciples then. What will our response be as Christians to our family and friends who may have found this a really difficult time? Can we share with them our faith that Jesus did not remain lying in an ancient tomb, but has been raised from death and is alive?

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I look forward to you being able to ZOOM to share in worship and prayer on this Easter Day at 10:30 a.m. I shall lead a service of the word followed by sharing bread together in the form of our “Home Communion” service. If you wish, you may like to have a small piece of bread alongside you as you participate in fellowship, taking breaking and eating the bread in communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Access to the service is by this link – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4905689876?pwd=eWtJeUlmcS9SdU42Zi9tZGpUdGhUdz09 For those who will dial in, you may use any if these numbers:
0131 460 1196; 0203 051 2874; 0203 481 5237; 0203 481 5240
Meeting ID: 490 568 9876;
I hope you have received a phone call from one of the Core Team to see that all is well with you. If you have not yet, please let Gill Long know and she will arrange this for you. I apologise if one or two have slipped through our pastoral net. If you would like to talk about any particular concerns at this time, please do contact me by phone and email.
With my prayers for your good health and safe-keeping,
Paul. —
Rev’d Paul N Boddam-Whetham
Rector,
St. Bartholomew’s
Ducklington
01993 776625