Wishing you well on the THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
We hope that you are still in (relatively) good spirits and staying safe as “lock down‟ and “social distancing‟ continue. What very strange words to have crept into our vocabulary and conversations!!
For those of you who are not able to get out to see the bluebells starting to spring up around the church grounds, nor the beautiful Remembrance Garden created by Ken‟s group of volunteers just before lock down, and the gorgeous garden – with its cherry blossom tree – tended by Keith
Jolley at the front of the church, these photos are just for you:
It has been lovely to chat with lots of you, and I know that many others are calling each other regularly to keep in touch, which is wonderful and absolutely vital.
Some of you have told me how comforting and helpful the blue booklet: ‘PRAYERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS’ has been for you. Please note: I have put printed booklets, wrapped in plastic to keep them dry, in a wallet pinned to the church notice board at the entrance to Christ Church Walmsley.
I’m delighted this week to include a letter to you all from my wonderful “Fellow Church Warden,‟ Jane Dent, and a message from Canon Peter Reiss.
And I end – as last week – with a prayer from the Children Changing Places Project, as shared on social media last week:
Thank You for all the rainbows that we see in our towns and cities. Thank You that the rainbow is a sign of Your everlasting promise to us. We pray that You will colour all countries of the world with Your brightness & hope.
This is just a handful of the information that I share in the weekly mailshot. I hope you find this information with the reflections, prayers and suggestions helpful to you whilst worshipping at home. If anyone wishes to add anything that would be of interest to other church friends in future or would like to be added to the mailing list, please get in touch.
Please know that you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and keep well.
Love and blessings,
Church Warden + Authorised Lay Minister for Pastoral Care
Letter from Jane Dent, Church Warden
Many of you made a Lenten promise last month, but I doubt any of them were for total isolation. We may not know what to expect, but as a community of faith we know that God gives us the tools we need, like patience, which lead in turn to hope.
As an asthmatic I have been advised to shield and the prospect of staying at home for the required 12 weeks filled me with dread. It is hard to consider the prospect of staying away from my family and friends, and they to me, for such a long time. However, I am lucky, I can sit in the garden, make phone calls, use Facetime and have learned to use Skype—–Zoom to follow! Along with many others cleaning and tidying cupboards, that are usually ignored, has become an obsession!
It has made me realise how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate and most of it quite unnecessary. People are the most important thing. The daily reading of my 3- year-old granddaughter’s bedtime story on Facetime is the highlight of the day. I know that not everyone has the technology to contact their families face to face but thank goodness for the telephone, a phone call is something we can look forward to.
As a family, we have a wonderful event to look forward to. Graham and I will be grandparents again in the autumn as Sarah and Adam are expecting their second child, due on 28th October, a baby brother or sister for Niamh.
Coronavirus has cancelled so much already, but it has not cancelled love, trust, faith and hope. I hope we can see all this as an opportunity to rediscover affection — for our God, for our families and friends, for those in need and for ourselves.
Stay safe and well and, hopefully, we will see each other soon.
Love and God Bless,
Message from Canon Peter Reiss
Spring comes ever faster and the trees and bushes are going green at a rapid rate. The world seems to be smiling yet we are kept apart and our economy gets ever worse, affecting more and more people. And the effects of the virus are seen more and more in people we know who are
getting sick or who have died.
We try and find ways to manage and to explain to children but we ourselves don’t really know or understand. Some of us have found it easier to find good things – reconnecting with people even if only on the phone or by email or Facebook, enjoying birdsong, having more time at home, clearing out some rubbish or whatever – but others are finding it harder and harder.
Meanwhile, health workers and care-workers are getting more tired, and pressures are building on many people in different ways. And there are those not so far from us who are now struggling with money, wondering if they have enough for food; there are the homeless and those who feel trapped in their home.
As we continue with the restrictions, which are more severe for some than for others, because of their situations, we need to find resilience, patience and inner strength but we will also need to find hope and positivity.
Last Sunday we thought about hope. Hope is best expressed however in actions and in attitude. Hopeful and positive people who get involved transform situations and raise our spirits.
Prayer is best when we can find those things to give thanks for, and when we give time to pray for those in need, at risk, who struggle. We can pray for our own families and friends, and we can include those we don’t know but know of, whether the homeless, or the sick, or the nurses
etc. We don’t have to use fancy words or long sentences, “God bless …” is sufficient. And in praying we may find we discover a deeper peace, and a bit of time just to stop/pause and check-in with God.