Vicar’s Update  Letter                                             26 September 2020

In the harvest season we are reminded of God’s goodness and His provision for us. But perhaps many this year are grumbling at being thankful in 2020, a year of great upheaval and turmoil across the world. Harvest thanksgiving is not a ‘fixed grin, forcing yourself to be jolly’ sort of occasion. It is a timely reminder that everything we have is ultimately from God- the seasons, sun and rain, crops and food, all of life! Most of us usually live a very comfortable and affluent lifestyle. When one travels to the developing world that fact becomes painfully obvious. This pandemic is painfully uncovering the surprising fragility of life, showing us how we usually take many things for granted. Just today, several supermarket chains announced they were once again rationing certain food and domestic items. It is unsettling for most of us, who have lived with unfettered choice and access to the world’s commodities all of our lives.

Harvest this year brings us back to reality. We live privileged lives that our ancestors could only dream of, lives unobtainable for millions of people around the world. A decorated church building and traditional harvest hymns all point us back, not to a lost, bygone agrarian age, but to a timely reminder that:
All good gifts around us are sent from heav’n above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all his love.

World Church News
Many thanks to David Bainbridge, Chair of our World Mission Group. for the following updates:

Ram Prasad:- we hear that Ram and Keshari have now at last arrived safely back in Kathmandu on Monday Sept 21st, after their 6 month delay.  They will apply for a UK visa from Kathmandu to work among immigrants in the Rochdale area. Please pray for the £300/month shortfall in their budget.

 Dornakal:- We heard the sad news earlier this month that Bishop Prasada Rao died suddenly of a heart attack on 7th Sept. We pray for his dear wife Sunanda and for the diocese in a poor area of South India.

Scripture Union Pakistan:- In Pakistan, the Covid-19 outbreak is believed to have caused an economic slowdown that amounts to a staggering loss of Rs.2.5 trillion (about £11 billion), with about three million jobs likely to be lost at the very beginning; worst affected out of the country’s total population are the daily wage earners and those who inhabit the unforgiving urban slums.

Scripture Union England and Wales:- See their website for the new ‘Revealing Jesus’ mission framework, discovering a new way to reach the 95% of children and youth, who have no contact with the Christian Church – https://content.scriptureunion.org.uk/revealingjesusevent

 Gabriel and Rebeca Parra (Valparaiso, Chile):- They are using new networks to make contacts and preach the Gospel in a coherent and relational way. They say, ‘We continue to meet with the Planting Team (we are 9 people), we are training and planning for the hoped-for outcome of the practical work now in 2021. We are asking for your prayers that God will raise up a person or married couple committed to joining with us, as we need leaders for the future work of planting.’

iServe Africa  This is the first year we are supporting this strategic ministry in East Africa, based in Kenya. They train local church leaders through apprenticeship schemes. Leader, Harrison Mungai, is in the photo, far right.

 Changes to our Pattern of Worship
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is constantly reviewing our services so that we are always being faithful to God, meeting the needs of the local community, and making our public worship welcoming and accessible. As a parish church serving a wide diversity of people, we need to be offering a variety of styles of worship and engaging with contemporary needs. We are now offering both a return to physical services (with all the necessary COVID restrictions in place) and online services for those who cannot physically attend. We are not able to offer a full pattern of Sunday services yet, but are cautiously moving forward. On the 23rd September the PCC passed two resolutions:

The PCC resolves to alter the pattern of worship. ‘At the 10am service the 1st Sunday of each month will be Service of Holy Communion (with choir, using the family communion liturgy), 2nd Sunday an all-age service, 3rd and 4th Sundays informal worship.  If there is a 5th Sunday it will be a Holy Communion (with choir, using the traditional liturgy).
No changes are proposed to the services at 8am or 6pm, which will continue as before.
Once this pattern has been in place for a reasonable period it will be reviewed, no later than the end of 2021.’

COVID update: ‘The 8am service will resume on the first Sunday of October.  The evening service will resume as soon as COVID restrictions allow.’

Please do pray for the PCC, as together with the Vicar, they lead the church forward in faith.

Small Groups
We have a number of small groups that happen throughout the year to help us grow in our discipleship and faith. They cater of all different types of people, from a huge range of different backgrounds. Learning together in fellowship and being accountable to one another is greatly valued- you will be warmly welcome in one of these groups!

Monday evening
Bible studies will resume on 28th September, 7.30 – 9.00pm on alternate weeks.  These will be on Zoom.  We will be using the study guide ‘Sharing Resources’ in the BRF series ‘Holy Habits’ discussing how our faith works out in our daily lives.  All welcome, please contact Mary or David Bainbridge on 01367 250347 or bainbridge1973@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

Men’s Group
This group meets alternate Tuesday evenings and they presently looking at Daniel. See David Corris (01367 253276) or Will Graves (01285 712571) for full details. 

Ladies’ Group
Meets Monday afternoons for teaching, fellowship and prayer. Presently looking at the ‘I am’ sayings in John’s Gospel. Kate Cinnamond (01367 253651) is the contact person for this group.

Thursday evening Group
A time of encouraging one another as part of a Bible study and prayer group. See Richard Akroyd (01367 252747) or Geoff Holmes (01367 253268) for further details- day of week may change…

 ‘Christianity Explored’ course
We all need a refresher course at times in the Christian faith- who is Jesus? Why did he have to die? Can we really believe the Bible? What is the Church all about? ‘Christianity Explored’ is a 7 week, tried and tested, DVD-based course based on Mark’s Gospel. We will meet together by Zoom, watch a really well produced video, and then explore the issues raised in a group discussion. It is completely free and everyone is most welcome. It will happen on Thursday evenings, starting mid-October. For further details and Zoom login, please contact the Vicar (01367 253651).

And finally…
The Apostle Paul always finished his letters with something pithy and memorable. When he finished his second letter to the Corinthians he wrote these words:

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

We may not be able to greet one another with a holy kiss these days (difficult with face masks and the 2m rule), but we can strive for unity and peace, rejoicing in God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Every blessing in Jesus’ name,

Andrew Cinnamond, vicar

 

Click the link below for this letter as a downloadable pdf:
  Virus Update 26 Sep 2020

Click the link below for the 18 September letter as a downloadable pdf:
    virus update 18 September 2020

Click the link below for the 23 August letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Virus update 23 August 2020

Click the link below for the 17 July letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Virus Update 17 July 2020

Click the link below for the 18 June letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Coronavirus update 18th June 2020

Click the link below for the 29 May letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Virus Update 29 May 2020

Click the link below for the 14 May letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Virus update 14 May 2020

Click the link below for the 30 April letter as a downloadable pdf:
      Virus update 30 April 2020

Click the link below for the 18 April letter as a downloadable pdf:
        Virus Update 18 April 2020

Click the link below for the 17 April letter as a downloadable pdf:
        Virus update 17 April 2020

Click the link below for the 09 April letter as a downloadable pdf:
        Virus Update 09 April 2020

Click the link below for the 02 April letter as a downloadable pdf:
          Virus update 02 April 2020

Click the link below for the 27 March letter as a downloadable pdf:
          Virus update 27 Mar 2020

Click the link below for the 24 March letter as a downloadable pdf:
          Virus Update 24 March 2020

And here are some online Christian resources you may find helpful:
          Online Christian Resources

Click the link below for the 19 March update as a downloadable pdf:
          Virus Update 19 March 2020

Click the link below for the 17 March update as a downloadable pdf file:
          Church Coronavirus update 17 Mar 2020

This downloadable letter is from our Vicar and Churchwardens, explaining the position as at 13 March:
          The church and coronavirus advice 13 Mar 2020