The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid – 19 Weekly Update Friday 19th June 2020
Hello as another week passes.
Firstly thank you for all your help and support in getting churches cleaned and opened. I am not aware of any queues at the doors but I have met some people who are very grateful that our buildings are available should they wish to go in. I am starting to get enquiries from our local funeral directors about holding funeral services, so those churches who feel unable to clean and open will need to consider hiring a company to clean on their behalf.
I would like to thank our PCC treasurers for their help and support at this difficult time and thank you to those of you who met the short deadline in putting in applications to the Dorset Community Grant Fund for loss of earnings from cancelled events. I have been encouraged by the way in which those not giving by standing orders or direct debits have found ways of continuing to make their giving by putting it through Treasurers’ and Wardens’ doors – thank you very much. The Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance has also asked that we pass on his profound gratitude for the way in which parishes have continued to pay their parish share at this incredibly difficult time and I echo that to you all across our team.
Congratulations to Toller Porcorum for their inventiveness in holding a socially distanced Cream Tea event last Sunday, their second event since lockdown, which raised almost £400. I understand that this will feature in this week’s Diocesan Grapevine news.
Finally, two pieces of Diocesan information. There are still no further guideline updates for the unlocking of churches for congregational worship. Yesterday at the Rural Dean’s and Bishop’s Staff meeting via Zoom, Bishop Nicholas said that he hoped we would be given these new instructions in advance of any expectations for opening so that we can plan properly. I have already started looking at the shape of service rotas for July with limited staff available due to continued self isolating or shielding of our Partner Priests, LLMs and LWLs in line with the Bishops advice.
Bishop Nicholas also reported back to RDs that the present situation in the Sudans is extremely worrying as they are in the grip of the Coronavirus Pandemic with little other than prayer to help fight it. Bishop Nicholas will be inviting parishes and individuals to contribute towards a relief fund for the Sudans in July. I know that this is a difficult time for us all financially but I give you advance notice so that we can plan and think about how we can respond through Christian love and generosity to our Sudan Christian families relief in their suffering.
Yours in the service of Christ.
Weekly update from Jo
Not a huge amount to report this week. The regular rhythm of worship and online resources continue: Collective Worship, Rev Chat and Worship at home can all be found on this website.
Our prayer rhythms also continue: Morning and Evening prayer at 9am and 4pm, the Church of England website has the liturgy https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer or download the Daily Prayer App.
Thursday 7pm via Zoom join us to pray for our communities: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83790192133?pwd=bWVsM0J2MnFWRnhsNnhTRXVPOGkzUT09
And for social contact join us for Zoom Coffee on a Sunday morning at 10am. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86981691918?pwd=TjN0S2Y3emtDVGU1UVdmaE5hM1ZvZz09
Our local schools are gradually increasing the number of children attending with up to 75% of children returning in permitted year groups. We continue to pray for all our team schools: Broadwindsor, Salway Ash, Parrett and Axe, Beaminster St Mary’s, Beaminster School and Mountjoy. We also hope to continue our tradition of donating bibles to Year 6 leavers. If you would like to make a donation to this, please contact Anne in the office. You can donate through BACS.
We have decided to keep Messy Church running online during July and August: 11th July and 8th August. We stream on Facebook Live at 4pm and it is good to keep our connections going with this large congregation.
If there is anything that you would like us to offer to support your own discipleship journey then please do let us know. We have always said we aim to offer a mixed economy in the Beaminster team: with traditional church activities alongside new projects. Our online content continues in this tradition, but it is always good to hear from people about what they like, value and what would be useful. We have the capacity now to do more things if there is a demand.
Finally – I wonder if some of us are finding the path out of lockdown much harder than when all we had to do was stay at home and keep safe. The constant internal risk assessing is hard but worthwhile as we negotiate how to keep others safe whilst returning to a new normal. I feel we need to go cautiously and gently to see where God is leading us next – and remember, he is with us every step of the way.
Every blessing, Jo