Church of England Diocese of Exeter Parracombe

Progress on arranging a congregational service.

8 Aug 2020, 7 p.m.
Church_news From_the_Vicar
Dear Friends, As I write, I am being a bit distracted by a flock of sparrows who seem to be enjoying the new perches provided by the scaffolding planks extending into my garden from the front of the Arts and Crafts centre next door. Jesus says “consider the birds of the air” and as I do so I am wondering at their ability to adapt to change in ways that I would describe as “curious and playful”. How much harder we so often find it! It also makes me realise how grateful I am to be living through these times in a place where there is so much opportunity to be distracted and inspired by God’s creation. As promised, I have some news of plans to begin to return to church for worship. A small group of us met by Zoom to plan (a first for a formal meeting in the Mission Community!) and we are going to aim for a first Sunday service on Sunday 23rd August at 11am at St Mary’s Lynton. We will meet again this week to put in place the practical requirements to keep us all as safe as we can and I will send out further updates in the week and next Sunday so that you can decide whether you feel comfortable coming to a service yet and will be able to have a sense of the way in which services will take place. St Paul has a clear principle about the corporate life of a church community: the needs of the most vulnerable should be at the centre of all the church does and that will be my guiding principle in all that we ask of those coming to services. Current guidelines maybe governed by health and safety risk assessments, but we can reflect on them and apply them with a Christian intention and so make them an act of worship in themselves. I know that the use of face masks may be a first question for many so I will deal with that today. The most recent interpretation of the government’s instructions (in effect from today) by the Church of England will require all those who can safely do so to wear a face covering during worship (with possible exemptions for those leading a service). I would like to suggest that we see such a practice as similar to the sign of peace – a way of showing that as we come together to express our love for God with all that we are, we can express outwardly that we love our neighbour as ourselves. With more to come in the week….God bless, Samantha