April 2022 message from Revd. Hilary Young

St. Mary’s Letter for April

Dear Friends,
AS I write our Anglican parishes have begun taking part in a Diocese-wide audit and planning process which is to culminate in a five year plan for the CoE in this area.

We are asking:

‘What, of what we ‘used to do’ is good?’ ‘What needs to be left behind, and what needs to be grown on?’

‘How can we best use the resources we have now and into the near future to enable the growing?’

Our parishes are represented by Parish Priest Hilary and Licensed Lay Minister Sandra Macrow, who will have been reporting and consulting regularly with the parishes.

The first step, begun at time of going to press, has been an audit of the church activities current as the churches take stock after Covid 19. The audit is under several headings, including worship, buildings, schools, children and families, eco-friendly initiatives, working with other Christians.

As previously advised, after Easter anyone interested is invited to take part in a course which addresses some of the issues, looking at ‘Baggage and Treasures’, possibly helping to address the questions above.

In preparation for Easter we will have been studying ‘The Greatest Showman’ using Rachel Mann’s study guide ‘From now on’. More on that next time as it will have been completed.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Jenny Shelton and Kevin Shelton have agreed to lead our Diamond Jubilee project in the churchyard, planning has begun in conjunction with the Church Council, which is an essential part of the lead. Plans may well include the garden at the Church Hall, as we work in partnership with the Council and wider Community on making this green space in the village the best it can be for wildlife.

This is not a one-off, but a plan to include maintenance in the future. Part of the initiative will include managing the diseased beech tree we are all so sad to see needing to be felled (it has two forms of fungal infection which render it unsafe).

We will be celebrating the project at the Church Hall and Church as one of the afternoon parties on the Saturday, anyone not involved elsewhere is invited to this lunch time and early afternoon event. This will leave people free to watch the evening concert either at home or on the big screen near the Eco Hub.

As good Anglicans, we will be recognising the Queen as the head of our Denomination in our Sunday worship that day, 6th June, which is Whitsun this year. One suspects it is not an accident that the Sunday of the Jubilee weekend is the Church’s celebration of its birthday. Details are not yet fixed, but may well include a Jubilee lunch after church services – if everyone is not ‘jubileed out’ after everything that is planned for Saturday. Please let us know if you are interested in helping at the church with catering, either on the Saturday or the Sunday.

We have learned since the last Gazette, that the work on St Mary’s church building in Gamlingay will
not be complete for Holy Week and Easter, although it is/was on target to meet the requirements of the grant body. Celebrations, when it does open, will include a THANK YOU to many generous donors, and will have an Easter theme, as the season continues for a number of weeks and Easter Sunday itself. Although not in a position to confirm, the likely date for a celebration service will be 1st May, availability of personnel will govern whether that day is also a ‘Thank You’ party or whether we need to leave that until later in the month.

Love from Hilary.