I wonder how that lifting of restrictions makes you feel? Some will be delighted, some relieved, some anxious, some confused.
However you’re feeling, we know we can hold onto God, and he will guide us through.
One of our readings for this Sunday includes these words from St Paul, written to the Christians of Ephesus (ch3 v16-17):
I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves,
and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. neh
So that’s my prayer for each of you – that Christ will be at home in your heart, and that the Holy Spirit will strengthen you in the coming weeks.
Our latest Hub newsletter is now in our churches, and also being delivered to those who aren’t out and about. And it’s also attached to this email….
Rev Sandra Jones speaking! Tune in to “Church Wigan Live” at 7pm on Sunday 25<sup>th</sup> to hear Rev Sandra speaking on “Release”.
Head to Church Wigan’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchWigan/live_videos/
Holy Communion services – still keeping safe – because we want to, even though we don’t have to!
In general the changes that came in on Monday move us from “you must …” to “we encourage you to …”
And of course as Christians and followers of Jesus our call is to care for others, and so we will continue to do what we can to keep the vulnerable safe and the anxious comfortable.
We hope that you will all want to join us in that.
We continue our fortnightly Communion services through to the end of August – 9am at St David’s and St John’s, and 11am at St Elizabeth’s and St Stephen’s. This Sunday we’re at St David’s and St Stephen’s, and on 1<sup>st</sup> August at St John’s and St Elizabeth’s.
So whether you live “up the hill or down the hill”, and whether you prefer early morning or late morning, there’s a Holy Communion service near you each Sunday.
Why fortnightly? Because nearly all of our service leaders and helpers are taking time away or off, and we’re covering in other Hubs, so our capacity is limited over the summer.
We can now sing!! But we have agreed that we will encourage the use of masks, unless exempt – so we are asking you to sing with your masks on.
The guidance also asks for the duration of risky activity to be minimised, so we will have 2 songs in the service at this stage.
We no longer need to book in, but we will continue to keep attendance lists for track and trace, and will keep distanced seating as much as is practicable – so that those who are vulnerable or anxious can feel able to join us.
We will be making other changes once the new guidelines agreed by Joint Council this week have been discussed by our Standing Committee early next week.
Hub Prayer around our communities The last in our round of Hub Prayer evenings is this Sunday, 7.30pm at St Elizabeth’s, to pray around Aspull. Steve Beck is leading.
Wet weather option is to go inside!! Please bring a face covering. Do join us!!
We’ll restart Hub Prayer in September.
Giving and Finance
Our finances continue to be very fragile indeed. Please do pray and consider increasing your regular giving.
Although we don’t “take up the collection” these days, the collection plate(s) is/are out for each service.
Giving through the Parish Giving Scheme
We are now able to give direct to the Hub bank account, as an alternative to giving to an individual church. The Wigan North East code is 220 220 284.
You can now join online: https://www.parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/
Or email [email protected] or phone 0333 002 1271
These are the 9-digit codes for our Hub and churches: North East Hub 220 220 284, St David’s 220 622 237, St Elizabeth’s 220 622 232, St John’s 220 622 246, St Stephen’s 220 622 261
If you are already part of PGS, you can revise your giving (or switch to give to the Hub) using the email above, or by phoning 0333 002 1260.
All about our Hub Pantry A second meeting to share info and chat through questions about our plans to open a pantry will be held on Sunday 8<sup>th</sup> August at noon at St Stephen’s – do come along, and do let others know.
Calling all musicians Rev Mike Perrin writes: People love to sing...we've had to wait a long time....and we hope that we can enjoy singing & praising at the Hub Worship in September.
It would be wonderful if we can find some musicians from within the company to gently add a lead & dimension to worship. We can have a practice night before...and set up & play before the service.... Can you encourage people to join in if they wish, and pray for some worship leaders through the ministry of music.
Contact us for more information
Surfstage one-day family festival
A week on Saturday, 31<sup>st</sup> July, bring the family and your friends to this free, fun day for all the family. 11am to 6pm, at The Wayfarer Field, 1-3 Alder Lane, Parbold, WN8 7NL
More info here: https://www.surfstage.co.uk/
Parking at Parbold Equestrian Centre, WN8 7NQ (small parking donation, in aid of Stable Lives Charity www.stable-lives.co.uk supporting those who have experienced Mental Health Traumas).
Put Sunday 19<sup>th</sup> September in your diaries for our church picnic. Lunchtime and afternoon. Aspull “Moor”.
Free, all invited, hosted by all the churches of Haigh, Aspull, New Springs and Whelley.
Have a great summer, and hope to see you soon!
Rev. Frances Shoesmith
North East Hub Leader & Team Vicar, Church Wigan, Diocese of Liverpool