The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid – 19 Weekly update Friday 11th September 2020
Another week of new regulations and guidelines has passed and it all sends your brain into a spin trying to keep up with it all. As I write this on Thursday evening, and following Diocesan Synod on ZOOM with over one hundred Synod reps attending, the present guidelines on Church activities as I understand them is as follows.
- Services of worship are not classed as social gatherings. The bubbles of no more than six gathering together does not apply, therefore Sunday and midweek worship can continue within a Covid safe environment, which is most important and must be adhered to in all aspects, especially regarding congregational singing which took place in one service last Sunday.
- Services such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals can continue with a congregation of thirty maximum. The minister taking the service will ensure that this is met and that the families supply the attendance list with contact details for track and tracing purposes.
- Annual Parochial Meetings – The advice I have received on APCMs is that they are classed as business meetings and because the Charity Commission requires the Trustees (PCC Members) to hold an annual meeting by the (presently) end of October, these meetings can go ahead as scheduled providing the Covid safety measures are met. Bishop Nicholas did say at synod that he would clarify the situation on all of these areas once the Diocese receives any updates from the National bodies.
Pastoral update – Elfrida has received the result of her recent brain scan and I am delighted to share that she does not have a brain tumour but no doubt will require further diagnostic tests. I visited Aileen Bishop this week. She celebrates her 90th birthday today and whilst not the tour de force of my early days in the team and despite her failing memory, she still has her wicked sense of humour and cheeky smile. In drawing up the extensive list of those who are still self protecting or housebound I have been surprised to find that a number of members of our congregations have, during lockdown, gone into care. If you are aware of any one in this position please let the clergy know.
A final reminder that Fiona will be ordained Priest by the Bishop of Sherborne at St Aldhelms Church Weymouth on Saturday 26th September. Like all life event services this will be under strict Covid safety guidelines and limited to 30 in attendance including the Bishop and training minister. Please hold Fiona in your prayers at this exciting moment in her ministry.
Please ensure that these updates are sent to as many people as possible as I still get told that people are not seeing them and do not know what is going on. All of the updates and news can also be found on all our other platforms including the Website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Yours in the service of Christ
Hello, it lovely to be back refreshed from my Dorset staycation.
Schools were back this week. We’ve heard really positive feedback from parents, pupils and teachers about coming back and the excitement this has generated. We are continuing to support our primary schools with videod collective worships each week which has been very positively received. We look forward to being back in school physically when appropriate.
The new “rule of 6” announcements made us all hold our breath in the middle of the week, but information from the church tells us we can keep meeting in Covid safe ways. We have begun to think about our preparation for Advent and Christmas. We would like to offer “Advent in a bag” this year, with activities and suggestions for a Christ focused Advent and Christmas.
We intend to produce two different kinds of bags: one for our families and one for those who would like to explore a bit deeper. If you would like to be part of the planning team for this project, then do drop me an email. We can meet remotely or with appropriate social distancing and I would love help with thinking up the ideas and also with packing and distributing the bags. Email me to register your interest and then we can set a meeting date. Our theme for our Christmas outreach this year is “Gifts”, focusing on Jesus being God’s gifts to the world and our gift to share with others. We hope to also do our pebble project again, this year with a painted present.
Another Advent idea is to invite villages to create an Advent calendar around the village, creating displays in different windows that are lit up on each night of Advent. You can have a general Christmas theme or create a more specific theme eg each window depicts a Christmas Carol. Google “Advent Window trails” and you will see how lots of villages have done this kind of event in the past. I think it would be a great idea for some our villages. I am happy to help support village groups who would like to take on an initiative like this. Do get in contact if you would like to express interest.
The Prout Bridge project, which provides youth work for the Beaminster and villages area and also provided a community hub has had to cease its normal working since March because of the closure of the building. However, counselling for young people has carried on during this time, given by a trained counsellor working in a voluntary capacity and detached youth work, with youth workers going out to meet young people, is about to restart. Please keep the project and all our young people in your prayers as they navigate this challenging time.
Please also keep the foodbank in your prayers. The foodbank has provided seven food parcels already this month and is well stocked with food. Currently they would like to receive donations of Fray Bentos tinned meat pies and also toiletries: shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant. If you are considering Harvest donations you can still collect for the foodbank and then arrange a suitable time to take the donation down to Beaminster. However, I imagine it might be sensible to also consider taking a financial donation this year, perhaps to a charity abroad like Send a Cow or Water Aid? We do not need financial donations to the foodbank currently. We have had a large number of generous grant donations over the Covid 19 period which has given us a healthy bank balance and so we feel like funds might be better given elsewhere. If your church wants to give locally you might consider making a donation to the Prout Bridge project to support youth work in the area.
Finally, please pray for Fiona as she makes preparations for her ordination to priestly ministry on Saturday 26th September at St Aldelm’s Weymouth.
Worship is still available every week online at our website: www.beaminsterteamchurches.org. If you would like to send any photos we would be happy to receive them.
You can download our Weekly Share Sheet or read it below.2020-09-11-Weekly-Sheet