Weekly Message from the Rector
I am writing this on the first day of the school summer holidays a few days after England stepped tentatively towards the end of the roadmap for recovery, but it still feels like we have a long way to go. Many are grateful for greater freedoms as we begin to move around and (at long last) meet again with relatives and friends across the country but this is tempered with rising infections, the resulting hospital admissions and sadly likely deaths. It feels very much like the ‘now and the not yet’ of God’s kingdom..Jesus conquered death on the cross but the disciples (and us) face a difficult time living in light of this as we wait for the completion of all things.
The Church of England released their guidance in light of the relaxation of Government restrictions on the 19th July and our Leadership team met this morning to discuss and agree a way forward that would enable our whole community to feel as safe as possible and so that many of us can return to church & other events over the summer. We are following our Bishop’s guidance to take things ‘slowly, steadily and safely’ and so to begin with there will only be a few changes in our COVID procedures. Like shops, public buildings and doctors surgeries, who will continue to encourage you to wear masks, we are asking you to do the same in church when worshipping on Sunday’s because when many are gathered the risk of infection rises. But we will be able to sing on Sunday and going forward, and we ask that you remain ‘masked’ to do this. Also to begin with we felt that we should continue to share the Peace where we are and without touching others as many are still fearful of physical contact.
For our Holy Communion services, if space allows, you will be invited to leave your pew as directed by our sides-people and receive communion at the altar rail in our churches but if you prefer to stay where you are that is fine too and the Minister will come to you. We will continue to distribute in one kind (bread only) due to the fear of cross infection from the common cup. There’s no requirement for us to ‘book you in’ to services now and we will no longer be insisting you provide track and trace details but the QR codes will remain in church it you wished to check in on arrival. When you arrive at church our welcomers will ask if you are comfortable sitting with others and will show you to your seat/pew and it is perfectly fine to say ‘no’ and they will make sure that there is sufficient space around you in church. Overall, much like in other settings, you won’t see much change in church as we begin to relax things but over time we will continue to review things and (hopefully) as infections subside more relaxation of things will happen in the late summer/autumn.
All that said I do hope that you will be able to take some time to rest, relax and take time to get in touch with those who’ve you’ve not seen for so long and be grateful for the freedoms we have as well as returning to church when you can. Eleanor and I are taking advantage of this too as we will be on holiday between 25th July and 7th August so this update covers next two weeks (so apologies for it being so long!).
One or two things are also happening over the coming weeks including another Open Gardens at Swafield Hall and it would be good if some of us could offer to bake for the cake stall or offer an hour or two to serve refreshments – just let Tim know what you can offer email@example.com or 01692402624. To see more of what’s on please follow this link https://trunchgroup.org/whats-on/
Also the New Wine christian conference usually takes place at the end of the month and again this year it’ll be on-line because of the COVID concerns, most of it is available for free so why not join in between 29th July and 3rd August by following this link https://breaksout.new-wine.org
This Sunday (25th July) at 10am we are in Knapton church for Morning Prayer and the following Sunday (1st August) at 10am we will be in Gimingham church for Holy Communion including the baptism of Josie Brown.
Also on Sunday (1st August) at 10.30 there will be a pop up Cafe church gathering outside the Crown Pub in Trunch as part of their beer festival weekend – why not come along?
For the weeks ahead our traditional service pattern is:
8th August – 10am Holy Communion in Paston
15th August – 10am Holy Communion in Swafield
22nd August – 10am Holy Communion with Baptism in Trunch
29th August – 10am Restoration Project Celebration Holy Communion in Bradfield
As usual with this message I include the readings for the next three Sundays, a reflection from Peter alongside prayer pointers for the week ahead. We are grateful to Peter for sharing his reflections with us over the last year and as we begin to move towards physical gatherings his ’thoughts for the day’ over the summer will become monthly rather than weekly. We hope you have found them interesting & provocative, and something to ponder over the weeks.