Weekly Update – Friday 6th November 2020
from Revd Emma.
Well, here we are, with another form of Lockdown, something none of us wanted to see, but nevertheless essential for the health and well-being of our nation. This Lockdown isn’t quite as strict as the lockdown in March; however, it does mean that most of our church activities, services and events are now closed till at least 2nd December.
But, as I have said before, though our church building may be closed – we are still the church, God’s family, and we are always open! It remains our calling to share Christ’s light, to be generous, to pray, to worship, to show care, to encourage others, to share truth, to study God’s word, to live faithfully – and all of this we can still do! Let us pray that God will enable us to serve Him and others faithfully during these difficult days ahead.
Church during this November Lockdown
We have now changed our plans for November – I include at the end of this update a poster which details what we can safely provide within the current restrictions.
Two key things to note –
First, we can open for private prayer: so not only will we open each Weds 10am-12noon, we shall now also open Friday and Sunday afternoons, 2-4pm. You are very welcome to come, reflect, pray, and light a candle if you wish.
Secondly, our Archbishops are encouraging us all to pray in this month of November – to pray as often as we can each day, but especially at 6pm, uniting with other Christians across our nation.
And then, at All Saints, we will be leading a short, informal time of prayer every Thursday at 6pm on our Facebook page (we will then also share on our website).
This is a time to pray for our world, nation, and community in the time of Pandemic. We call out to God for His comfort, courage, calm and compassion, that we might know His perseverance, peace, and presence with us.
The church has crafted some prayers for use at this time, you can find these at: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PftN%20Booklet%20spreads.pdf They are short, daily prayers which pray for national themes. I’ve had a read through – and I think they look great!
If you would like to read the Archbishops letter please visit: :
The Big Poppy Display
As many of you will have spotted, the Big Poppy Display is now draped in position across our porchway ready for Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. This project has been a wonderful community effort in tribute to all those who made the greatest sacrifice, giving their lives in service in the two world wars, and in conflicts past and present.
Remembrance Sunday - 8th November.
We can no longer meet as planned in church for our Remembrance Service at 9.00am, so please join in with the online Act of Remembrance at 10.45am.
This will include standing on your doorstep at 11am, bowing your head, and listening as the church bell tolls.
To access this service please go to: www.denmead-remembers.co.uk
We will also include the service on our own website.
Jesus – Light Up Denmead
The end of October saw the close to our current seasonal activities. Our Photography Challenge was well received although only a few entries - we will be continuing this with a more festive theme through Christmas. Messy Church went online on the 31st and was again well received by those who were able to join us and is still online for you to watch again.
We had a few, good last-minute entries to the Pumpkin Carving Competition and we were able to select three winning entries for each age category - the winners are very excited and are awaiting their prizes!
A big thank you to all who were able to take part and share these events within the community - together let's Light Up Denmead with the light and love of Jesus.
We will be continuing the work of 'Jesus, Light Up Denmead' and look forward to bringing you some exciting activities and events to take us through Advent and into Christmas.
Look out for more information - coming very soon. Lewis Jones (Children’s and Youth Community Leader)
Angels and Stars for a Christmas Display!
Having created the Big Poppy Display and seeing how it gave people a focus during the first lockdown, and how well the community have engaged with it now it is in situ. we thought it would be nice to have a similar project for this second lockdown!
So, we are asking all knitters to create some simple 3 - 4inch sized angels or stars. We plan to suspend them across the porchway. Our hope is to catch people’s eyes as they pass – and we will have the reminder that God is with us - Emmanuel. Now we do not need anywhere near the same number as for the poppies, but if we could make 50 to 100 angels or stars it would create a beautiful display and help remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas.
Here is the link for the angel pattern:
Here is a video link for the star pattern: www.youtube.com/watch?v=brF49yBPjnA&ab_channel=EdieEckman
You are welcome to use these, or you may have your own pattern you would like to use. Ideally, we want the angels and stars to be white, golden, cream, and yellow!
When you have completed your angels or stars please bring them to the church hall/office door where you will find a waterproof box to leave them in safely. This box will be emptied regularly.
Please share this idea, the patterns with any friends or neighbours who you think might like to join in.
Office Hours during the November Lockdown
The office will be closed to all face-to-face enquiries; however, we will still access email and phone enquiries during these hours:
Staff Annual Leave
Please note this week I will be taking annual leave 11th-14th November so will not be available. If you have a routine query please contact Claire Holland, our Parish Administrator during office hours. Or for urgent matters please contact either Revd. Jack Williams our curate on 07368 957 423, or Steve Venn (Churchwarden) on 07803 595 915 or Amanda Hillyard (Churchwarden) on 07808 198 827. Also, Lewis Jones, our Children and Youth Community Leader is on annual leave this next week.
Our Website: www.allsaintsdenmead.org.uk
This is just a reminder that you may find it useful to regularly check our website; especially as we cannot meet in person now. We are working hard to keep it up to date with links to our online services, (both Sunday worship and weekday Morning Prayer) our updates and other reflections, plus information about extra events/activities as they arise.
We have now also updated our recommended resources that you might like to use at home to support, sustain and encourage your faith. These are a mixture of resources, many digital, such as Apps and websites etc., but also TV, Radio and Books. We will regularly update and keep the list short!
This week I’m recommending Lectio 365. This is a fantastic, App based, daily devotional that I’ve been using lots recently. It is written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer Movement and produced in partnership with CWR. It promotes an ancient practice of reading God's word, meditating on it and then shaping our prayers. Each day, we are encouraged to P.R.A.Y. That is to Pause and be still. Rejoice with a Psalm and Reflect on Scripture. Ask for God’s help, and Yield to His will in your life. Visit www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional to find out more, and to sign up for the free App, either for Apple or Android.
Well, that is all for this week – as we enter into this Lockdown, and life takes on a different pattern and shape, please do take care, and if at any point you would like a chat just call the Vicarage on 9226 2647. If I am out, please do leave a message and I will return your call. I cannot visit you at home, but I am very happy to meet in a public place for a walk, chat and pray.
As I have time off next week, there won’t be a weekly update – but an update will follow again for the 20th November.
God bless you richly– may you know His comfort, calm, courage, and compassion.
Revd. Emma Racklyeft - Vicar at All Saints Denmead
firstname.lastname@example.org 023 9226 2647