We hope you have had a good week and have coped with the further releasing from confinement.. and the torrential rain - the gardens and the gardeners will be happy! This week more shops have opened, more people have returned to work, the roads have become much busier (has anyone else noticed the high number of speeding cars?!).
The news has informed us of Black Lives Matter events and as people begin to reveal their stories we turn our minds to the past, and to the future, recognising the importance of change. Bishop Alan, the Bishop of St Albans has issued an email about events this week to commemorate the third anniversary of Windrush. He also reminds us about the Pilgrimage in memory of St Alban and invites us to tune in to: https://www.youtube.com/user/stalbanscathedral
Our pre-recorded service this week is filmed at Tingrith Church, with Fran from Toddington church reading the Gospel, Chris, Lay Leader of worship from Harlington church, leading our intercessions, Stephen, Reader giving the sermon and musical accompaniment by Nicholas and recordings from St Martins in the Fields choir.
At 9am we host our live zoom Upper Room service to which you are all welcome to come along - see link opposite for poster with details. The service offers an hour of different short reflections, music, prayer, and a personal testimony. It is a special time with members from the different Quintet churches joining together in worship. There's opportunity to pray or you can do what most do: sit and bathe in the peace and beauty of the Upper Room, where some disciples gather to start the day.
Our zoom gatherings continue this week:
Tuesday Morning Prayer at 9.30am
Harlington Coffee time will be on Tuesday, at 3pm in the afternoon this week.
Westoning Coffee Morning 10.15am on Wednesday
Toddington Coffee Morning 10.30am on Thursday and anyone from Chalgrave who would like to join us.
Chalgrave evening gathering Tuesday eve on 8x8? at 7.30pm?
Please put these dates in your diary and if you would like any more information re. joining in, please let me or Nigel know.
Moving forward with arrangements for Churches to open for Private prayer. We are tentatively looking at the following:
St George's Toddington: to open Cheyne Chapel once or twice a week for an hour (more information to follow)
Westoning Church: to open twice in the week - more information to follow.
Harlington Church: to open once or twice a week - more information to follow
Tingrith church to open in July for an hour on Sunday afternoons - more information to follow
Chalgrave church to open once or twice a week for an hour - more information to follow.
Before we can open, the churches need to be cleaned and prepared for social distancing with appropriate signage and hand sterilisation gels, to make sure that visitors are safe. There is a lot to consider.
At present there can be no led worship, no singing in church and hymn books and contact items have to be removed. Parts of the churches will be cordoned off... but it will be lovely to be able to welcome people to come and pray and to spend some quiet time in church after all these weeks. We will let you know days and dates as soon as they are known.
We send you our love and care, and our prayers. Do please let us know how you are. We are definitely interested. Thank you also for your care and support towards us.
We hope you have a very good week. We continue to pray for your health and wellbeing and for the protection and care of your families and loved ones.
Linda and Nigel