A warm welcome to this email Newsletter to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green.
As we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension on Thursday, and wait to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost (Whitsun) on Sunday 31st May, we pray….
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia.
One of the many joys for me of coming afresh into the Burchetts Green community is the way in which I am discovering – or being told about – the things that make the community ‘tick’, or which as a community you are interested in or have been involved with. And I’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg so far!
One of these discoveries has been the Pinkneys Green Scouts and their newsletter PG Tips. Although not able to meet together, they are doing great work organising a whole range of ‘at home’ and virtual activities for the Scouts to participate in, maintaining links and continuing to find fun (and useful) activities for our young people. Another is to find out about the link between the Parish and Mark and Rosalie Balfour (Mark used to be Vicar at Furze Platt) doing priceless work amongst street children in Guatemala. The country is beginning to be hit by coronavirus, and Mark writes:
All the measures that have been put in place remain and the resulting lack of
work means that there are a lot of families without food. Households
across Guatemala have taken to flying a white flag outside their home to
signify that they have absolutely nothing to eat and there are some
communities where nearly every house has a flag outside.
There is a link to a donations page if you feel moved to help (just ask) but something we can all do is to pray for their work and for the disadvantaged children and communities which they serve.
I am so looking forward to being able to meet people in person, and to discover more of the people, places and interests that make the Parish of Burchetts Green, and its village communities, so special!
Don’t keep it to yourself…
In our social distancing world we don’t have the same opportunities to meet up casually for a chat (though people make up for this, I notice, by being more likely to ‘say hello’ to strangers they pass on their daily walk!). So next time you see or read something interesting, or something makes you laugh, or perhaps you see a beautiful flower or a scatty dog when you’re out on a walk – don’t keep it to yourself, give someone a call and share the fun things that happen, the jokes we hear, the beautiful thoughts that come to us out of nowhere…. That could be just what the other person needs at that time.
For our prayers….
For the Heads and Teachers of our local schools, as they work to provide on-line learning for their children, care for some children at school, and grapple with the complexities of potentially reopening for some classes. For those working to keep our essential services running, our posties, refuse collectors, food and supermarket staff, and those working in the NHS, social care and our care homes. For Maidenhead Foodshare and all those who depend upon their service. For Mark and Rosalie and for the people of Guatemala. For those of our community who are ill, isolated or have been bereaved. And for all who have died.
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
And keep me in your care.
This Sunday, the Sunday after Ascension Day, there will as usual be an Oxford Diocesan Streamed Eucharist available from 10am on Sunday at (https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream), also available to listen to by telephone (dial 01865 920930 press zero for the short service and 1 for the full service. It takes a moment to retrieve the recording then the service starts.
The days up until Pentecost Sunday (31st May) are days of prayer for renewal and growth in the Church. Please do engage with this, and especially that our three congregations will continue to grow in faith and in numbers as we look forward to meeting together in worship as soon as we are able. The Daily Prayer for Thy Kingdom Come resources area available at www.churchofengland.org.uk – search for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – and are a great way to set up regular, daily patterns of prayer.
The free national phoneline Daily Hope continues to provide traditional morning and evening prayers, reflections, and well-known hymns, all aimed particularly at those who don’t have access to the internet. If you know anyone without Internet access please pass the number on: 0800 804 8044, available 24 hours a day. And in this period of lockdown, the Oasis Prayer Team at Hurley are offering to the Parish a Weekly Prayer Newsletter - ideal for anyone looking to have prayer and quiet time at home. If you’re interested please contact Sandra Brooks, or via myself or download here>>.
As noted last week the Parish Office remains closed to visitors, but phone messages, emails and post are being collected and dealt with so do please continue to contact the Office in those ways. I am available as usual Sunday-Wednesday on 01628 629827 and email@example.com.
Finally, If you know anyone who might like to receive these mailings, and doesn’t at the moment, do suggest they drop me an email with their details and we can include them in future.
Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.
Even though we are unable to use our churches we still have bills to pay and the present lockdown is creating a major financial burden for the church and for us. Income from the hiring of our halls and church buildings; weddings and other special services; social events and fundraisers; and the collection plate at normal church services; are all well down (or zero) this year for obvious reasons.
If you would like to continue to support us financially, even though you cannot use the collection plate there are several ways that you can give:
To give regularly, telephone the Parish Giving scheme at on 0333 002 1271. Tell them how much you want to give, how often and that you want to give to Burchetts Green Parish and they will arrange it for you or go online to them at https://www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk/
For one off donations either simply post a cheque to the Parish Office or put it through the Soltau Centre door.
For those with smart phones you can scan the QR code below:
Or simply text 70085 and enter PRAISEGOD and the amount you want to give.
(e.g. PRAISEGOD 10 for a £10 donation (£20 maximum)).
Sign Up for the Weekly Newsletter from the Revd. John Ainslie here>>
Download the Weekly Prayer Sheet from Hurley Oasis Group here>>