We hope you are well and have had a good week? It has been an interesting week for us.
We attended the Bishop's Clergy Conference in Derbyshire from Monday to Wednesday, on a theme of Hope. It was a good conference with welcome opportunity to catch up with other clergy colleagues and to hear great theological teaching by Paula Gooder. One thing that soon became apparent was the general weariness in many of our colleagues. Many said how tired they are... and yet, as we got chatting, we were able to share encouragement and anticipation. Lockdown over these past months have been challenging for so many people in so many different ways, as you will all be so very aware. How good it is now to begin to plan to get together with opportunity to meet, at start certain social events.
Today has also been a blessing in being able to host a joint (post lockdown) baptism at Harlington and a wedding at Toddington with families re-gathering and celebrating together. How long families have been apart but now we see new journeys beginning with the promise of new life ahead. Part of this new journey is the New Online Alpha course which launches on Monday evening. It is not too late to register. If you would like to explore more about Jesus and the Christian faith in a safe environment, please register to join the course via St Mary Westoning's website or contact Linda, Nigel or Eileen. You will be very welcome. You may wish to dip in to explore one session to see if is for you?
On Wednesday 20th October we are holding a Confirmation Service at Toddington Church at 7.30pm. If you would like to find out more about Confirmation or baptism please speak to, or email Linda. The Alpha course first 3 sessions would give you a good opportunity to explore about Jesus in preparation for Confirmation or Baptism. Linda will also be hosting a discussion group at the Rectory, Toddington, if you would prefer to meet in person. Do please get in touch if you are interested.
Continuing on the theme of journeys.. the Harlington Art exhibition 'Being' continues for one more afternoon at Harlington Church from 2-4pm tomorrow. Do drop in to see Stanley Greening's impressive pieces, which have evolved from his personal journey of loss. (His 3.3 mile walk will remain for another week).
At 4pm there will be a Benefice service at Harlington, attended by Archdeacon Dave, to mark the forming of the new Westoning, Tingrith and Harlington benefice under Nigel's incumbency... another journey! Refreshments available from 3pm.
As churches we are all now looking forward to celebrating our Harvest services over the coming weeks, and Nigel and I are also looking forward to offering a focus on Stewardship as we consider the future journeys of our churches. Every week, we move forward. No week is the same. We are so grateful to you all for your support in so many ways. We were also very pleased to receive news that applications to the Diocese for funding to support Messy Church and youth initiatives were successful for Harlington, Toddington and Westoning churches offering £250 each to help fund these activities. Every little helps, and is gratefully received. If by chance you have any thoughts on other areas where we might be able to seek funding to support our youth and family work and general mission, do please have a chat with Linda and Nigel.
Our services this week:
Chalgrave Church 9.30am Holy Communion Service led by Linda
Tingrith Church 9.30am Morning Service led by Jon Denman.
Harlington Church 9.30am Battle of Britain Service led by Nigel and Chris Brown
Toddington Church 11am Holy Communion Service led by Linda
Westoning Church 11am Holy Communion Service led by Nigel
6pm Upper Room online zoom service with a theme of 'Hope': (Meeting ID: 862 3843 0873. Passcode available from Linda or Nigel)
Monday Morning Prayer Toddington 9.30am
Wednesday Morning Service, Harlington 10am
Thursday Westoning Church, the funeral of Rachel Farmer 11.30am. Please hold Steve, Linda, James and John in your prayers this week.
Friday - the funeral of Dawn. Please hold Jess in your prayers this week.This week's events:
Tuesday - 10-12 noon Westcaf - Westoning
Friday - 1.45pm. Little Stars 0.4yrs and parents/carers at Westoning ChurchFriday - Friday Fellowship 2pm Westoning Village Hall
Next Sunday Churches Together in Harlington host the Prayer weekend from Thursday to Sunday, culminating with a joint church service at the Methodist Church 10am on Sunday 26th September. More information from Tricia, Robert or Nigel.
A new Toddler and Baby group (with mums', dads and carers) starts at Wilkinson Hall on Tuesday 28th September 9-10.30am for the first time. At that first session we will decide which is the best day and time to meet again.
Monthly Families Breakfast Club will launch at Harlington Church 3rd October 9-10.30am. A fun activity family gathering in the Parish Rooms.
Harvest Hurrah and Supper - Harlington Church 1st October, with the Quintet Choir. More information to follow.
Harvest Supper for Toddington and Chalgrave Churches 5pm 2nd October in Wilkinson Hall
Harvest services at Chalgrave, Toddington and Harlington Churches will be on 3rd October. Westoning and Tingrith are on 26th September.
We wish you a special week, with fellowship, joy and the knowledge that the Lord walks alongside you and cares for you.
Linda and Nigel