Newsletter for the 30th July 2021
Apparently, we are in the midst of a pingdemic (yet another new word that the corona virus has introduced to our vocabulary). I dutifully downloaded the NHS app in the very early days, but all these months further on, am still to be persuaded of its effectiveness or usefulness. I live with the daily dread of the ping that will require me to be confined to quarters for a week or more, regardless of what weddings, funerals or other commitments I might have lined up.
I am much reminded of the parables Jesus told (several of them) that remind us that His return is assured but the date and time of it are unknown by anyone except the Father. The overriding message is one of readiness. This is not so much about staying awake through the night, peeking through the curtains to ascertain whether the Son of Man has chosen tonight to ride on the clouds back to earth. This is about ensuring that our behaviour at any given time is such that we will not be embarrassed to account for it when in the presence of Christ. We do nothing in secret.
Meanwhile, do make sure you have enough bread and milk in the house in case the ping arrives.
Worship and the Corona virus
The churches of our family have unanimously agreed that we will continue to require the wearing of masks at our Sunday services; and request as much social distancing as our buildings will allow. This decision has been taken in the light of the continued rise in infection rates. For the same reason, we will not encourage physical contact during the peace or reinstitute the common cup. However, we will allow congregational singing for the first time in nearly a year and a half and look forward to the great hymns being proclaimed loudly and cheerfully. This decision will be kept under careful review.
Because in person worship is now being taken up by nearly everyone, there is now very limited take up of our online worship. In light of this, we have decided that this Sunday’s offering will be the last posted online for the time being. We are deeply grateful to Alistair Bates for all the work he has put into editing and posting these services over these last few months. I am also mindful of those who have mastered technologies they were convinced were beyond them, in order to record readings and intercessions; and would like to proffer my thanks to them. Meanwhile, it remains our intention to provide something for anyone who misses church on a Sunday for whatever reason. To that end, each week we will record a sermon live from one of our churches (audio not video) and post this along with some notices.
Bishop Richard will be visiting Holy Trinity Minsterley on Sunday Sept 5th for the 10.30 service in order to dedicate the refurbished building. This service has been delayed from the Spring, but will still be very special. Also, on September 19th, we will be hosting joint services with the Methodists and Congregationalists at 10.30 at both Minsterley and Pontesbury. Please do join us if you can in order that we may celebrate that we are one church in the eyes of God.
On Saturday Sept 18th, Greg will be leading a party of walkers around the six churches of the group, taking in Shepherd’s rock along the way, raising funds for local churches as well as the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust. The walk will begin and end in Pontesbury and will follow a clockwise route around the benefices. Fellow walkers are welcome to join us and leave us at any point along the route. In due course, we will publish an approximate timetable. Stephen Winwood has kindly agreed to provide administrative support and sponsor forms are available from him.
Bed and Breakfast
We would like to compile a list of local Bed and Breakfasts. If you know anywhere, would you please send details to Alison Bebb at firstname.lastname@example.org
Minsterley Holiday Club
The Minsterley Holiday Club which is running on Thursday mornings from 10-12.30 at Minsterley Parish Hall has been expanded to include 9-14 year olds. Registration forms are obtainable from Barbara Norsworthy or simply turn up on the day.