Church of England Diocese of York Barmston with Fraisthorpe

Richard's Article for February's Village Voice

21 Feb 2021, 2 p.m.

From the vicar, Richard Hare

By the end of February spring will be on its way, but at its beginning winter still has us in its grip. In the middle there’s St Valentine’s Day – an occasion which generates a range of emotions depending on whether one is single, engaged, married, widowed, or working in the greeting card industry. The origins of the celebration are uncertain. One legend says that St Valentine was a Christian priest in pagan Rome, locked up for continuing to preside at weddings when they had been banned by the Emperor, who believed that single men made better soldiers than married ones. Another says that he healed the jailer’s daughter of blindness and then, before being led off to die, wrote her a note signed ‘Your Valentine’.

You don’t need me to tell you that loving feelings and words count for nothing if they’re not backed up by deeds. In the local churches many of us have been wanting to express our love and admiration for hospital staff, who are working under such pressure at the moment. Someone came up with the idea of supplying Ringtons hampers of tea, coffee and posh biscuits to every ward and department, and adding to them messages of support. The project has taken off, and within a week of the announcement 46 hampers have been promised, one of which is from Barmston church. Children in one of the schools have made drawings and paintings to show their appreciation too. By the time you read this all the staff in both Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals, from cleaners to consultants, should have one of these hampers in their work area. Our hope is that they will feel encouraged and appreciated in their daily struggle against the virus.

It occurs to me that there are a lot of other people under huge pressure at the moment, not least school staff. I wonder what we can do to support them?

National regulations have allowed churches to stay open during the current lockdown, and in Barmston Church we have taken advantage of this. Services continue in church, and we take all the sensible precautions regarding hand hygiene and social distancing. You are welcome to come for worship as follows:

Sun 7<sup>th</sup> Feb at 9.30 am – Holy Communion

Sun 21<sup>st</sup> Feb at 9.30 am – Holy Communion

Sun 28<sup>th</sup> Feb at 4.00 pm – Family Service

And we continue with online worship from our sister church at Emmanuel Bridlington every Sunday, live on Facebook at 11.00 am, or later in the day on our YouTube channel, and on the phone (01262 412525) at any time.