The Parish of Burchetts Green
St John's Catch Up
Well, the sun has really shone these last few days and I hope you are loving the weather. Last Monday we heard the announcements concerning the lifting of the covid restrictions. This also lifted spirits with the prospects of life getting back to some form of normal.
With the government relaxing many of the restrictions, we have started to look at the way we will be able to worship in our church as we go through the next few months. At St John’s and indeed in our parish as a whole, we want to proceed with some caution. I am only too aware that many of you will still have concerns, so this gradual approach to the lifting of restrictions, will I hope, be welcome. So let me outline the way we propose to go forward.
From our next service on the 1st August, we will be able to sing again..Hooray....I hear. To sing hymns again will be wonderful.
Although face coverings will no longer be mandatory, we want those of you who do want to keep using masks to do so. Although, if you want to sing you can remove them,.....again if you feel comfortable.
If you are going up to receive communion or to be blessed, we will ask you to keep wearing a mask.
Although the Church of England has said that wine can be administered again, we in Burchetts Green are not yet ready to do so and will therefore offer the bread only for the time being.
As you know we have isolated every other pew and these will remain closed, again for the foreseeable future. For a typical service, the existing restrictions will not impact on numbers allowed in church. By the time we get to some of our Festival services, we should not have to restrict numbers. .
Our notice will remain in the porch and our Sanitizer points will also remain.
St John’s will remain open for private prayer each day and the back three pews will be available as they are now,. These will continue to be sanitized each night.
Again, for the time being, The Peace will continue to be offered from the pew.
We will keep these arrangements under review and when we judge it to be safe to do so, may amend them. I hope you understand our approach to the lifting of the restrictions and in particular, welcome singing again. I would appreciate having some feedback please as this helps us determine your wishes and concerns.
I have mentioned that we can sing at our next service. However, Nigel will be on holiday so at the moment I am looking for someone to play the Piano...Eleanor who always steps in, is also on holiday. If you are able to help us please do let me know.
SERVICES FOR AUGUST.
1st August 9.15 Family Eucharist.
8th August......open for private prayer. The All Age service is on holiday returning on 12th September. We do have a Baptism in the afternoon..
15th August. 9.15 Family Eucharist. Nigel should be with us so much singing I hope!
22nd August . Open for private prayer.
29th August. 9.15. Family Eucharist.
ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING.
This Sunday 25th July at 12.00pm we will be holding our annual meeting in the Soltau Centre. The new PCC will be elected as will the Church Wardens for the coming year. Sue Harrington Hill and Paul Heelas have produced a wonderful book that contains reports from various groups in the parish. This will be placed on our web page after the meeting and will be a great read if you cannot make the meeting. Just go to https://www.burchettsgreenparish.org
Just a reminder that Helen and Sally intend to start the Sunday Club in September and would welcome hearing from parents who have not as yet indicated their interest. Please email Sally firstname.lastname@example.org
REQUEST FOR HELP
As we come out of lock down we are looking at starting up our rota’s again and would like to encourage a few more volunteers . Viv runs the Coffee rota..we are able to have refreshments again, Sylvia runs the cleaning rota ...now this is close to my heart as Sandra and I have done this for the past 18 months!! John Johnson looks after the sides, intercessions and reader lists.
It must be said that we at St John’s are so lucky to have so much support but as always, we need to add to our rota lists, So if you think you could help us, why don’t you just ring me 822282 or email me and we can have a chat, before you have to make a decision.. You can of course, just contact Viv, Sylvia or John and have chat with them. If you spare Just a few hours a year, it will really help us?
Well, as I finish the sun is still shining and I am tempted to sit under the umbrella with a cool drink!
St John's Catch Up
The illustration above reminds us that church life has always involved singing. Something we have not been able to do for the last 15 months! During our PCC meeting this week, we speculated on the changes to church life, that may occur after the 19th July. If the restrictions are lifted, we could be singing again..oh ..and coming to church without face masks. How good would that be? Not wanting to get ahead of myself, we are all too aware that we will still need to be cautious , we eagerly await further guidance from the Diocese after any announcement from the Government. Do I detect an air of optimism, or was that the football result on Tuesday!!!
I reported last time that the 25th was to be the interview date for candidates. We had a very interesting day but Sadly we were not able to find a suitable candidate to lead us forward. This is not unusual and we will now prepare to advertise again after the Summer. Pray with us that we will soon be able to attract a new Vicar who will lead our Parish.
In the mean time, we are very grateful to Fr John, who has contributed so much to our church and Parish over this last year and has been an enormous help in making sure we could offer services during the Pandemic.
I would also like to mention that during this lengthy interregnum, we are still able to offer Baptisms, Weddings and of course Funerals. Our web page www.burchettsgreenparish.org has the details for anyone wanting to enquire about any aspect of our church life.
4th July. 9.15. Family Eucharist. Led by Fr John and with Nigel on the organ.
11th July 4.00pm All Age service. We are opening the cabin again from 3.15, with refreshments .Although Sally and Helen are not able to be with us, you will have the chance to inspect the cabin and chat about the Sunday Club. If the weather is kind, we may also be able to hold another outdoor service! The Sunday Club will start in September so, if you would like to indicate your interest please email Sally on email@example.com This will really help Sally and Helen as they plan for this start. I Hope we will see many of you on the 11th.
18th July 9.15. Family Eucharist with Fr John and Nigel playing.
25th July. No service and our church will be open for Private Prayer during the day 11 am to 4 pm.
ANNUAL PAROCIAL COUNCIL MEETING
Our APCM will be held on Sunday 25th July at the Soltau Centre, Stubbings, starting at 12.00. At the meeting we will elect the Church wardens and PCC members for the following year. If you would be interested in being elected for either of these positions, I have left nomination forms at the back of church. Please ring me if you want any further information on the role of either a church warden or a PCC member.
Just to remind you that we are still collecting for the Maidenhead food bank and any donations can be left in the church porch.
Sandra has the new catalogues now and if you would like a copy please ring Sandra on 01628 822282 and we will make sure you get a copy. Although we have not had a stall for some 15 months, Sandra has maintained a mail and telephone service, so sales have continued..... very important for the traders in the Third World!
I am pleased to report that I have placed an order, subject to receiving a Faculty, to cover for the stonework repairs highlighted as urgent in the Quinquennial Report. The cost of this work is £7,800. The work includes replacing 3 Coping stones and 2 Springing stones, all in Bath stone, to the South Gable, plus some re pointing. It is planned to have these repairs carried out between the Autumn and Spring.
That’s it for now,
St John's Catchup
May I first start by reporting on the All Age service last Sunday. As I said in my last Catch Up, Helen and Sally opened the cabin for families to look around and chat about the Sunday Club......a name change from Sunday School, suggested by Seb and Tamar. They provided refreshments and gave the children and some of the adults as well, planted Sunflower seeds to grow .
The temperature was in the ‘80’s and as it got close to 4pm Fr John suggested we should hold the short service outside the Cabin. We moved a few chairs outside and Fr John did an inspirational off the cuff service. What a great success. Thanks to Helen and Sally for organising the cabin opening. Looking forward, the next 4pm All Age is on the 11th July and will be the last before September. We hope to open the cabin again for those of you who could not make this month. Whether we can again have another outside service is going to be down to the weather! If you go to https://www.burchettsgreenparish.org we have posted a couple of photographs Tina took .They are in the St John the Evangelist section.
Sally and Helen are now planning for the first Sunday Club in September. If you are interested could we ask you to email Sally with the names and ages of your children. I know there is already much interest and it would help them in their planning firstname.lastname@example.org
Before I list them, can I thank Eleanor who played the Piano for us a few weeks ago. I just hope it will not be too long before we can all sing again.
20th June ( this Sunday coming) 9.15. we welcome back Rev. Kevin Colyer to lead our service with Teresa Kennard preaching and Nigel retuning to play for us.
27th June: Open for private prayer 11am to 4pm.
4th July 9.15. Family Eucharist.
11th July 4pm. All Age short service.
18th July 9.15 Family Eucharist.
25th July. Open for private prayer 11am to 4 pm.
SUMMER LUNCH. 4th July...Postponed.
I referred to the summer lunch, being organised by Jenny and in aid of Parish funds, on 4th July, in the last Catch Up. Unfortunately, due to a further extension of the Covid restrictions, Jenny and I have had to decide to postpone this event until after the restrictions have been lifted. We hope to run this lunch later in the Summer.
Our second visit by Braywick Nurseries occurred this week and the churchyard looks great. Unfortunately whilst I was there, we noticed that the Box hedge around the Remembrance garden, was in a poor state. A closer inspection revealed that we have had an attack of the Box Tree Caterpillar and they have munched their way through almost all of the green foliage. I have sprayed the hedge yesterday and will do a second treatment in a few weeks. Hopefully it will recover, if we have caught it early enough.
I am pleased to report that there was interest following our recent advertising and a short list has been prepared by the Diocese. Next Friday the 25th will be the interview day. God willing, we should soon have a new Vicar.
Each year the Parish sends a donation to Traidcraft Exchange from the profit generated by the sale of traidcraft goods. A donation was not sent last year due to Corona virus ,and I am pleased to say that £200 was sent on the 7th June, which will be matched by the Government, making a total donation of £400 to the charity. Also, Sandra is continuing to send items to be recycled and money earned also goes to Traidcraft Exchange. So far this has raised £115 for very little effort .If you have stamps, jewellery, gold chains, mobiles, consort games , cameras and watches, they can all be left in our porch or Sandra will collect from you. You can ring Sandra on 01628 822282 or email Sandra on email@example.com
Sandra is still offering a mail order service for all goods and gifts and she can let you have a catalogue on request.
St John's Catch Up and Sunday School Special!!
I have titled this catch up as The Sunday School Special! After nearly 3 years of planning, construction and of course, The Pandemic, we are at last making preparations for the opening of the Sunday School in September.
Below is a letter from Helen and Sally about their plans and I hope you will be as excited as I am, at the prospect.
We are excited about the prospect of starting up a St John’s Sunday School in our lovely brand new Cabin next to the church during the morning service on one Sunday per month.
We would welcome any ideas you may have and are keen to ensure that the children have a fun time and look forward to coming along. The plan will be for us to take children from church during the first hymn to the cabin and return them back just as the service draws to an end.
We welcome children of all ages and are aiming our activities at children from the age of 3 to 10 years old. If there are older children who would like to be involved in planning our sessions or helping, then do let us know.
Please join us at the cabin around 3.15pm, just before the 4pm All Age service on June 13th and chat about ideas and have a look around the facilities and enjoy some refreshments.
The plan will be to start up the Sunday School in September, assuming all covid restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to do so. We would like to reassure you that we have both been screened by the Church of England and have enhanced CRB checks- the safety of the children in our Parish is of course paramount/
We look forward to seeing you on the 13th.June.
Sally Gray and Helen Habershon.
Thanks Sally and Helen and I hope many of you will come and meet them at the cabin before the 4PM service on the 13th. Please put the date in your diary.
SERVICES FOR JUNE.
6TH JUNE 9.15. Family Eucharist. Father John is taking the service and we will have Eleanor playing the piano for us.
13th June 4pm All Age Service.....a short service for young and old. Isla, our resident reader! will read for us. Meet Sally and Helen at the Sunday School Cabin before the service.
20th June 9.15 Family Eucharist. With Fr John away, we will welcome Rev Kevin Colyer back again to lead the service. Nigel will be back with us as well.
27th June THE CHURCH WILL BE OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER.
SUMMER LUNCH. 4th July.
Lynn Penfold has again offered to host a summer lunch in her garden on 4th July. This is subject of course, to covid restrictions having been relaxed. Tickets can be reserved from Jenny Robinson 822886.
Keith reminds me that offers of help to do chairs and tables would be gratefully accepted.
I am pleased to report that the gates are now back in place. Martin Westrop has done a marvellous job and we are grateful to Paul and Jane who covered the cost of repairs.
That’s it for now,
St John's Catch-up. and.....TRINITY SUNDAY
Our next service at St John’s is on Sunday the 30th May and we will be celebrating Trinity Sunday. The first Sunday after Pentecost celebrates the Holy Trinity – The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. Our Trinity service will be at 9.15 and will be a family Eucharist service, led by Fr John. With Nigel away we will welcome back Jenny Hopper who will play the organ for us.
Jenny Robinson has arranged for us to have a small choir to sing the hymns during the service. After so long, it will be a joy to hear singing again in our church. I hope it will not be too long before we can all sing our hearts out again. The small group will sit in the choir stalls.
ALL AGE SERVICE.
Since last writing, we held the 4pm All Age service and what a success it was. The 22 including 9 young ones, made it all worthwhile, and from the conversations afterwards I think everyone enjoyed it. .Isla read two passages from the bible and with such confidence. Alan told me that Isla did not even want to practise..well done Isla and thanks. A couple of the young ones also helped me to ring the bell!
Looking forward, our next 4PM All Age will be on June 13th, so please put this in your diary. I am looking for anyone who would like to read a small piece . Please just let me know and I will make sure you get the reading in plenty of time.
JUNE SERVICES will be as follows:
6th June. 9.15 Family Eucharist. With Nigel away still, we will have Eleanor playing the Piano, Jenny may also have her singers in again?
13th June 4pm. All Age service Fr John will have his screen up again and it should be fun for all.
20th June 9.15 Family Eucharist. This service will be led by Rev. Kevin Colyer, and we welcome him back to St John’s. Teresa Kennard will be Preaching and Nigel is back on the organ.
I will make sure the cabin is open for any one that needs to find a quiet place..
OUR CHURCH IS OPEN EACH DAY FOR PRIVATE PRAYER BETWEEN 11AM AND 4PM.You will find lights on and music playing. Many of you, I know, have welcomed the peace and quiet St John’s offers.
The first visit by Braywick Nurseries took place a few weeks ago and what a difference it made. They will now be visiting each month until the autumn.
I have reported before, that our 5 yearly inspection took place in March. In the weeks ahead I will be arranging for some of the works to be carried out. Firstly, there are minor items of re- pointing and tile replacement as well as gutter clearance, that will be undertaken as soon as the weather improves. We will also be oiling the main doors and repainting the ironwork on the doors. I have also received three quotations for the items of stone work repairs needed and will seek permission to progress this work, from the PCC at our June meeting. Hopefully I can have these repairs carried out before the winter.
Planning for the opening of our Sunday School is now underway and Helen and Sally will be updating us all shortly. It is hoped that we can open the Sunday School from September....so watch this space!
That’s it for now .
St John's Catch Up. and start of All Age service.
I thought this picture sums up the return of the 4pm All Age service, on Sunday. We even have a little dog. Sorry could not find a white one Bonnie! This has always been a very well attended service for young families but, alas, due to Covid it has been missing for most of the last year.
This Sunday sees its return and I hope many of you, and in particular the younger ones, will come along and enjoy once again, the short and informal service. We will have the screen up again and although, for now, we are not allowed to sing, I hear that Fr John will have some music. It is our intention to hold this service every second Sunday. We are really happy to listen to you all and adapt the service, as we go forward.
It will be great if some of the children can contribute to these services and this week Isla will be reading to us. We may also have a friend of Isla’s doing a second reading...we will have to wait and see. Perhaps I can find a helper to ring the bell?
I will also open the cabin so that anyone who needs to find a quiet space can use it. We are also investigating when we can start to provide coffee, squashes and biscuits afterwards...perhaps in the cabin... when restrictions are lifted.
For our Church to grow it needs the new seeds to be planted and the return of the All Age service coupled to the start of a Sunday School in September, is our way of nurturing that growth. I hope you will help us to be successful?
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK 10TH – 16TH MAY.
As you may know, we would normally be posting Christian Aid envelopes through doors and in church but due, again to Covid, this is not happening this year. If you would like to make a donation then please do so on line https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals or you can donate on the phone 0207523269.
Braywick Nurseries will make their first visit next Tuesday. I am so grateful to all of you who have donated towards this maintenance and am pleased to confirm that we have now covered the cost for the first year..well done.
It is hoped that very soon we will be able to sing again in the congregation. In the mean time, Jenny is putting together a list of people who would like to sing in the choir stalls 4/6 each service, and socially distanced, to sing the hymns. If you are interested please contact Jenny on 01628 822886.
9th May 4pm All Age.
13th May 7pm Parish Ascension Day Eucharist. St James the Less, Stubbings.
16th May 9.15 Family Eucharist.
30th May 9.15 Family Eucharist.
I do hope you will be able to join us this Sunday for the 4pm All Age. As is says on the tin...All welcome!