Dear Friends,

As we continue to live in a seemingly continual round of change and uncertainty, it is good that we are known and loved by our Heavenly Father who is constant and unchanging. I am thankful that we have now developed and consolidated our weekly worship, Zooming from the church so that we can include all who wish to come together, whether directly or through the means of technology. What is good is that everyone is welcomed and can participate as much as they feel able. I am keenly aware that there are a number who are anxious about meeting with others and we will continue to use Zoom for as long as any one person wants to continue with it. I am particularly grateful to Martin Dines and Jane Dines, who have created the audio and video network to connect the two worlds!

While we cannot plan with certainty our regular seasonal services and activities, I anticipate we can hold our Harvest Festival on October 4, but as two discreet events: one outside in the morning and then a Zoomed evening service. Sadly, there will be no Harvest Supper. I am also planning to hold our annual Memorial Service to support those bereaved in recent years, on 25 October.

Some of you have expressed concern that I have followed the national church mandate that we will not distribute wine at communion. It has been stated that receiving bread alone is still ‘complete communion’. I am, however, giving my support to a move to ask our Bishops to review the application in the twenty-first century of the Sacrament Act 1547 concerning the distribution of wine in individual cups, rather than the common chalice. This is under discussion at General Synod.

I said at the beginning that God is unchanging (or immutable) and however uncertain we are about the guidance and rules which are imposing restraints on how we are able to interface with one another, please keep hold to your faith that while God’s plans and purpose may be mysterious, he is using the present circumstances to bring us to face the consequences of humanity’s belief in its omnipotence, rather than God’s.

With my prayers that you keep faith in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Paul

Rev’d Paul Boddam-Whetham