I hope you’ve had a good week and that you and your family are all well
I had the first vaccination this week at the Halliwell Jones stadium. It was quite an amazing experience. The atmosphere was full of excitement and relief that we have turned a major corner in the management of the pandemic. Although the virus may never go away, at least we now have better ways of treating it, from vaccination to drug therapies to nursing care. It’s hard to believe that its nearly only a year ago since all this started. During that time we’ve learnt a lot of what we value about our Church, community and society at largely, as well as the nature of our own individual responses to the challenges.
I was in a Zoom meeting of the Cathedral Council his week, and the Dean mentioned that we should all learn to practice and live in a culture of thanksgiving, to which I want to add the related values of grace and graciousness. These are virtues sadly lacking in our society and, at times, our Churches. Which is really all rather odd since the central act of worship of all Churches is the Eucharist (Holy Communion or whatever you want to call it) which means ‘thanksgiving.’
So, in this spirit of thanksgiving can I ask you in your private prayer time this week to give particular thanks for all Hospital Chaplains who are working tirelessly in the most difficult of circumstances. Please pray for John Duffield and all the Chaplaincy team at Warrington and Halton hospitals. The team is both non-denominational and multi-faith, no better an example of openness and inclusivity as you could possibly wish for. There have been many occasions when John and his colleagues have responded to my call to visit someone from the parish, when it has just not been possible for us to do so. Hospital visiting has to fit in with the hospital’s routines and what may be happening on the wards at a particular moment, which may not always be convenient. But with the Chaplains on site and always available, I know the spiritual, and emotional needs of a parishioner are being met. Thanks be to God for John and his colleagues; Amen.
We’ve had a tremendous response to requests for the Ash Wednesday packs – over 40 in fact! Thank you! They have been posted out over the last two weeks, so I hope that all of you who did place an order have received yours. If not please let met know. We have a very few left, so if you’ve forgotten, or never got round to it but would like one, please telephone me by Tuesday – 01925 740348 or 07778 859935 – and we’ll see what we can do.
Whether or not you have a pack doesn’t stop you from joining in with the Ash Wednesday service on 17 February at 7.30pm on the Church’s Facebook page by clicking here. I will be sending out the service sheet on Monday, or Tuesday at the latest so do look out for it.
The Church of England has been investing heavily in digital resources over the last few years, and especially so at this present time when so many churches like ourselves are closed. They are very accessible. Please click here and have a look and sign up to what will help you on your Lenten pilgrimage.
I shall be leading this Sunday morning’s service at 10.30am. The service sheet is attached. Gavin will be leading the afternoon service of said Evensong at 4.00pm.
With God’s blessing,