Stilton Group of Churches News May 2020
It's been just over three weeks since we started the current restrictions and it feels like a lot of water has headed under the bridge. At the time, we had to think quickly to produce a plan and communicate it whilst also practically closing our public worship and church buildings.
The first ten days were spent in a fair amount of head-scratching, planning and organising. The next two weeks have been more about living in this new world and letting things unfold so we can see if we were right with the decisions we made!
As churches, we took the view that we should concentrate on three things;
Stay in touch and encourage everyone to do the same.
Support the foodbank in Yaxley - this is the one we have a long standing relationship with (though of course there are others).
Provide ways for people to worship in their homes irrespective of whether they are online or not.
So what have we learned since then?
I used to have a job (yes a real one) where I spent a lot of the day on the phone. Now, I spend several hours a day on it again, a fair bit of which is catching up with people in our five village group. Three weeks ago, we were genuinely concerned that everyone would have the means to receive the supplies they needed. Would everyone have someone looking out for them?
Of course, I can't speak for everyone, but I have been very thankful to hear that everyone I have spoken to so far is able to get essential provisions. Lots of people are also in good spirits. I hope and pray this is still the case when Scan comes out at the beginning of May. However, those who are self isolating have been remarkably resilient and resourceful. This is in no small part due to the efforts of our local shops. I am hugely indebted to the unfailing efforts of the staff at our local stores at Stilton and Elton. Really, only they know how much of a difference they are making and I hope someone gives them a medal once all this is over!
The foodbank at St Peter's Church in Yaxley continues to operate as at 11th April. I would imagine all foodbanks are doing their best but may not be able to continue depending on how restrictions go. However, in our Group, Pearl Reed can give you the latest advice on how to donate. You can call her on 01733 241114. Currently, and probably on an ongoing basis, the bank needs tinned fruit and veg, UHT milk and sugar, but any non-perishables and toiletries are always appreciated.
The final part of our strategy was worship at home. It's been quite fun watching even Bishops leading services in their homes. I've been doing the same with the team. We (OK, I) have been getting used to all kinds of technology our normal operation would have called 'optional'. I know some of the big tech giants get a bad press sometimes, but youtube and zoom amongst others have been wonderful things to have at our fingertips and at no cost. We can forget sometimes that these things are often free for us to use. Our daily videos have been doing a good trade. You'll find an advert for where to find them elsewhere in this issue. Currently though, the video of my dog undoing a knot is the top viewed item. So much for my theological training.
We also produce a regular thought for the day by email. If you want to receive that just get in touch with me on or with your local church wardens. This is beautifully produced and well worth a few minutes of anyone's time. Facebook also has regular updates as does our website so everything is pretty well interconnected.
Finally, we were just able to get hard copy worship to those who don't use the internet at all including palm crosses and a service to use at home. This also had a list of the many ways Christian worship is available to us on radio and television. The Beeb especially has been quick to increase its output, though it tends to be at the more sedate end of the market.
I should say, though that whilst there are things to celebrate even in difficult times, we should remember those affected by restrictions in different ways. Many of us have gardens to use, many of us are not in need of immediate medical attention, many of us have a support network, many of us are working from home or working normal hours in a safe place, many of us have a relatively quiet existence and are only crabby with each other occasionally. Please remember in your prayers and actions all those who are not so fortunate. There is also a prayer published in this Scan for everyone who is struggling to get the support they need in times of crisis. It's honest enough to face up to our vulnerability and struggles.
Keep safe, and keep up the good work!
Instead of the Daily Bible Readings on our YouTube channel as of Thursday 21st May until Friday 29th May we are having a season of prayer. Each day there will be a new PDF file to download to support this.
Thursday 21st May is 'All Things are Possible with God', please click on the PDF icon to access the file.
Friday 22nd May is 'Let the Children Come', please click on the PDF icon to access the file.
Saturday 23rd May is 'Listen to Him', please click on the PDF icon to access the file.
Monday 25th - Saturday 30th May - please follow the link below:
Prayer Resources for Family
In the absence of our Sunday Worship Rev. Richard has began to upload some videos to our new YouTube channel. You can find the link here. There will be more videos to come over the coming weeks, we hope you find these useful.
Rev. Mark has created an Act of Worship document that you can use at home. Click on the PDF icon to download it.
The Stilton Group of Churches is committed to safeguarding all children and vulnerable adults in our parishes. Please click on the Safeguarding tab for more information, including our Safeguarding Policy and contact details if you have a safeguarding concern.