Church of England Diocese of Durham Gainford

St Mary's Newsletter for 5th Sunday after Trinity

12 Jul 2020, 12:15 a.m.

Greetings from Eileen

Dear friends,

It is good to be back. I had not anticipated my weeks of absence, and am most grateful to the generous leadership of Geoff (for St Mary’s, Gainford) and Lynne (for St Andrew’s, Winston) in communicating with you during this time. I feel I have shared with some of you the challenging experiences of this pandemic, although grateful not to be among those who had been caught by the virus. Thank you for your prayers.

Both our churches have been re-opened for private prayer 2 days each week. We hope this has been a help to you and members of our communities. Due to Covid measures easing a bit at a time, our opening times and days are subject to change.

† St Andrew’s, Winston is open for private prayer and reflection only on Saturdays (10am to 4pm) and Wednesdays (9am to 12noon).

† The pattern at St Mary’s, Gainford is changing as we prepare to begin in-church services. We are delighted that our first service at 10am on Wednesday 15th July is a special service for Year 6 pupils of Gainford C of E Primary School. Join us in praying for them as they leave and begin secondary education in September.

First Sunday Service of Holy Communion at St Mary’s, Gainford:

Our church will be re-open for Sunday Worship on 19th July at 10.45am! We are thankful to be re-opening while being aware of our responsibility to assure everyone’s well-being. Peter, Sue and Geoff, our churchwardens and Christine, our Sunday children’s church leader, have worked very hard to carry out risk assessments and put in place every safety measure to enable us to gather and worship safely with confidence. Please see the separate sheet with details of what to expect. We truly look forward to welcoming everyone to our Sunday services.

We have a new Archbishop of York, the primate of our province in the North of England. The Rt Reverend Stephen Cottrell took up his crozier at York Minister following an unprecedented Confirmation of Election service by ZOOM on Thursday 9th July 2020. There would normally have been a grand Enthronement Service with great celebration in pomp and style, but the pandemic affects all. Here are links to the videos that collectively represent this historic occasion:

Join us for our Service of Holy Communion this Sunday, 5th after Trinity, 12th July 2020 at 10am:

Our worship comes from both churches beginning at St Mary’s and concluding in St Andrew’s (full order of service with hymns, readings, sermon and prayers attached separately). Our sung Gloria is a ZOOM rendition by members of Gainford’s Community Choir and members of Jane Ford’s choirs A Spoon Full of Sugar and SPS; and a reflection by Josephine Carroll draws us into affirming our faith. There are 2 supplementary reflections (thanks to Jane Ford and Rachel Connelly) that I commend to you: Julian of Norwich – an intimate inspiration of faith; and Paraguay in heavenly places.

I hope our children continue to enjoy our Facebook page: Quaranteen NE. Alex is considering fresh ideas as quarantine conditions relax and we approach summer holidays. We’re looking into a Holiday Club for young Christians and for every young person open to exploring how God loves blessing us!

Volunteer vacancy! Are you a passionate techie? Would you like to lead our live filming and streaming from church on Sundays? Our Youth Leader for older youth and young adults is Tom Deakin who is leading ‘AWAKE’ – our new initiative for project leaders. Do get in touch with me and I shall connect you to Tom.

I know this is still a tough time for some: disorientating, disturbing, and difficult. Prayer invites the whole of heaven to help and bless us. I am certainly praying for you. Do get in touch if there is something specific that I can pray for and with you.

God is with us. Wherever we are, God is also; and wherever we go, God is there too. We are all together the body of Christ and The Church. So continue to encourage one another to trust God and take all our cares whatever they are to the Lord in prayer. Believe in the company of heaven: we each have holy angels that guard and watch over us. Believe in the Breath of God – the Holy Spirit that breathed life to all creation is in and around us as Jesus reminded us. Pray in faith and thanksgiving that God’s cleansing and life-giving love will sweep away this contagion afflicting our land and all around the world. Let us remain faithful and confident in God’s deliverance.

May God bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine on you, and give you peace.

Rev’d Eileen Harrop

The Gospel for 5th Sunday after Trinity: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!’

18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’


God our Father, by whose mercy

the world turns safely into darkness and returns again to light:

we place in your hands our unfinished tasks,

our unsolved problems, and our unfulfilled hopes,

knowing that only what you bless will prosper.

To your love and protection

we commit each other and all those we love,

knowing that you alone are our sure defender,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen