Newsletter for the 18th July 2021
I have had quite a sporting week. First, enduring the agony of watching England lose yet another penalty shoot out on Sunday evening. And then secondly, visiting Edgbaston on Tuesday to watch the England cricket team play (and beat) Pakistan in a thrilling game. However, the week has not been as sporting as I would like it to have been. Six years in a row, Fran and I have attended at least a day of the Open Golf Championship which is currently being played. The last time it was played (two years ago) in a beautiful part of Northern Ireland very close to the Giant’s causeway. We have been prevented from attending this year by the restrictions on numbers caused by the pandemic.
Nevertheless, I am reminded of my first visit which was the first time I ever saw Tiger Woods play. I had watched him compete over many years on telly but had never seen him in the flesh. I had loudly cheered every putt he had ever missed, every drive he had ever put in the rough and every time someone else had won the tournament. I hope my dislike of him was nothing to do with his race, but rather the way his personality was reflected in what I saw of him. However, when I saw him in the flesh, it was impossible to maintain this attitude; and I found myself cheering when he holed a putt along with everyone else.
I say this because distancing lies at the heart of racist attitudes. As long as we resist getting close enough to people to recognize their common humanity, we will be able to allow ourselves to abuse them. The key verse in the parable of the Good Samaritan, I’ve always thought, is (unlike the Priest and the Levite) the Samaritan came “where the man was”. If you find yourself instinctively not liking an individual or group, make an effort to get to know them and thereby discover Christ in them.
At the time of writing, the Church of England has not yet updated its guidance on worship in response to the government announcement that pretty much all legal restrictions will be removed next Monday. I will be consulting with church leaders over the next few days so that we have a clear policy in readiness for our first post restrictions services on July 25th. My own view is that we should continue to be cautious. The death rate may not be rising at the same speed as the infection rate, but serious long-term illness is rising quite steeply and should be a matter of continued concern and caution. Please do be careful.
Church Café at Minsterley
The PCC at Minsterley would like to reopen the church café in the autumn. Historically, the café has been much appreciated by locals and has been important in providing an opportunity for isolated people to experience community. We believe we have a reasonable stock of volunteers, but what we don’t have is a coordinator, someone to take responsibility for the overall running of the café. This is a role that might be shared by two people potentially. If you would like to know more, please speak to Greg or one of the churchwardens at Holy Trinity.
We are planning two Deanery Alpha courses on Tuesdays starting in September. At lunch-time at St George’s face to face and online on Tuesday evenings. If you or anyone you know would like to join either of these courses, please contact Mark Hackney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Afternoon Tea will be served at St George’s from 2 p.m. Tickets for this are available from Mary Worrall at a cost of £7.50. There is also an open garden at 5 Hope Valley, an opportunity to enjoy a magical streamside garden with many original and creative follies. Tickets are available on the door at £5 with parking at Hope Church. Proceeds to Severn Hospice.
There will be a Prayer Walk for the youth of Minsterley, meeting at Holy Trinity at 6 p.m. on Monday July 26th.
We were forced to cancel the live broadcast from St George’s last Sunday, but normal service will be resumed this Sunday, with some of the pre-recorded service coming from St Luke’s Snailbeach for the first time.