Diary of forthcoming events
FORTHCOMING PARISH EVENTS
All currently postponed/cancelled
NEWS AND UPDATES
The days between Ascension and Pentecost have become badged in recent years as a time when we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, with its distinctive logo, seen not least in Fr Max’s excellent Churches Together weekly newsletter. The demands of recent weeks have forced us to attend creatively to our means of communication, SMENN live-streamed services and WhatsApp, plus Zoom and Facetime meetings, oh yes and the telephone! My sense is that what we need to now attend to (in what we hope will be a time of transition to a ‘new normal’) is to the content and meaning of what we do; the demands of the medium must not hinder the message…..a prosaic example….taking my Labrador into school assembly, to demonstrate faithfulness and unconditional love, may possibly founder as the children remember only the dog, and not what I was trying to convey. ‘Thy Kingdom come’ feels and is a corporate endeavour, but its real impact is surely in each of us? Have we been using the lock-down as creatively as we could, albeit faced with the strange difficulty of not being able to concentrate as well as we used to? Our prayer-life has I hope been deepened…. perhaps we have found new ways of engaging with that aspect of our devotional lives? Has our reading hopefully widened in scope? While we have rightly answered the call singly and severally to help with practical things, including our homes and gardens (which nationally must now be in the best condition they have ever been?!), the overarching demand on us as Christians is surely our inner life. Denied the means to be churchgoers, we are learning to be truly Church, and this ultimately reveals in each of us what it is that we believe, and thus demonstrate it in all the aspects of our daily living. We have massively lacked both the aesthetic dimension of being in church, receiving the blessed sacrament, our music, and of fellowship in and after worship. But in our spiritual communion perhaps we have begun (perhaps for the first time since our confirmation) to actually focus on the Real Presence in the eucharist/communion/mass, knowing as with many things in life, that in its absence we become more sharply aware of its meaning, Christ truly present and not just thought. As I unpack my books after my move into Exning Vicarage from June 5th, I would like to offer them, and any guidance I can give, to those who would like to rekindle their discipleship, to become Word on Fire in these days following Pentecost. “Lord, convert all the world, and begin with me” (a prayer from China). Every blessing, Mark REVD CANON MARK HAWORTH
A MESSAGE FROM FATHER MAX A couple of updates from me of a personal nature - which many of you may well be aware of anyway! Firstly, our baby daughter Cynthia arrived early on Monday 11th May. She and my wife Charlotte are both home and doing well. It was also recently announced that I have been appointed as priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Haverhill and St Mary's Withersfield, and so we will be moving there later in the year. Exactly when is still to be decided. We will be very sorry to leave Newmarket when the time comes, but knew that this time would come eventually are pleased that we are not going too far way. It has been an exciting week for us! Very best wishes, MAX
GREETINGS FROM ELY! Thought I'd just report in from 'down the road'! Ely seems a million miles away from you all at the moment...but I wanted to say that I've been thinking about everyone - especially those of you who, like us, are in 'lockdown'. Trusting that everyone is doing ok despite missing the freedoms we take for granted like being with our family & friends. Fellow 'Songs of Praisers' - really missing our monthly get-togethers & praying that we can meet up in the not too distant future. The highlight of our week is interacting with our 3 year old granddaughter (Orla) over a 'WhatsApp' call + watching the regular videos of her that we're sent. Thank goodness for modern technology - I don't always think that when it goes wrong! We're enjoying mutual support & care from our neighbours - who knew we'd look forward to Thursday evenings when we venture out to show our appreciation for the NHS by clapping. This simple act provides an opportunity to have a chat & a bit of banter while I keep in mind friends who have children working on the NHS frontline & a young midwife in my family (herself a mother) trying to look after very nervous mothers-to-be. We also put on afternoon tea in our front gardens on VE Day which provided some much needed fun! Those of you who know Ely, might know Roswell Pits - an Ely Wildspace. It's just a few minutes from our house & has provided us with a special location for our daily (most days!!) exercise. Over the weeks, everything has grown like mad & we have seen lots of different birds arrive including an incredibly noisy colony of gulls! We have to cross a level crossing & it's been very strange having to stop when empty trains go by. The best thing for me about the walk is the view of the Cathedral in the distance - it looks different each time depending on the light. An ageless reminder of our faith. Take great care everyone. ANN McMillan
OFFERINGS TO THE CHURCH VIA STANDING ORDER I have had a few requests for details of how we can keep on giving over this time of isolation & restricted access to our churches. Here are the details if you would like to set up a regular payment through your bank. If you wish to gift aid your payments, please let me know & I will send a gift aid statement to you if you haven’t already done one.
Account Number: 44358318
Sort Code: 60-15-47
Account Name: Exning PCC
Please put your name as reference
Services and related on our Bishops Facebook site If you have access to Facebook you might be interested in what there is on the Bishops site - simply search for: bishop martin and bishop mike Cofe suffolk. Bishop Mike is leading morning prayer each morning live at 8.30am (or if that is too early(!) you can watch the recording later). It is done with the camera pointed into the garden so you can watch the trees bursting into blossom; there is a discussion usually posted on Fridays between the Bishops about the upcoming Sunday's gospel reading and they have recently started a seven part series on various aspects of prayer (posted on Tuesdays). These last 5-7 minutes - last week Martin led one on the Daily Office and this week Mike did one on Praise and Adoration. John Pascall
BIBLE STUDY & TOPICAL TEAS Both of these groups will be running on line using Zoom (technology permitting) starting in May - bible study at 10am on Wednesday 6th & 20th; topical teas at 10am on Wednesday 13th and 27th. The bible study group will be looking at the letter of James. If you wish to join us please email John (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the bible study group or Sally (email@example.com) for topical teas so that we can send you zoom invitations. Thank you. JOHN & SALLY PASCALL
MESSAGES As you can see, the Events & News are a little sparse at the moment! I’m sure that we are all missing the fellowship we receive due to the lack of regular church services & other church-related meet-ups. If anyone would like to send in messages of support & encouragement or share stories perhaps of how they have been spending their time during lockdown, etc.. please do & I will put it in the next WEN. Many thanks. CATHY
SONGS OF PRAISE Sadly we will not be able to hold our monthly services for a while and I know this time of worship and fellowship will be greatly missed by those who regularly attend, especially those who live alone with limited mobility and no internet access. During this time of social distancing it would be good if we in the S of P team can keep them in our thoughts and in our prayers. PAM MORTER
ANNUAL PAROCIAL CHURCH MEETING & MEETING TO APPOINT CHURCH WARDENS. These have been postponed. We have received instruction that the revised date of the meetings must be by 31st October. Meanwhile all current post-holders (including deanery synod representatives) will remain in place. I will keep all of the charity voting forms that have already been cast, and will add another two weeks to vote when the churches resume the normal service pattern. JOHN PASCALL
VOICE MEETING In case there is any doubt the next Voice Meeting (scheduled for May 6th) has been cancelled. JOHN PASCALL
ST MARTIN CHURCH CLOCK Works on the clock are now completed. The winding mechanism is now by small electric motors. After nearly 14 years of climbing up to the level of the window under the clock face twice a week I am redundant. That said, from being the clock winder/minder I am now just the minder, which means the only time I have to climb again is for any minor adjustments Like putting on the hour and returning it to GMT. Regards, ALAN BALCOMB
FOODBANK UPDATE The new voucher system is beginning to show dividends with increased use of the foodbank. We are hoping to broaden access across the area through schools and churches. What we need at present: Small jars of instant coffee, Toilet rolls, Cook in sauces, Pot noodles and similar easy to prepare instant meals, Brown sauce, Tinned rice puddings, Long life milk (not flavoured or milk substitutes). We currently do not need: Soups, Sugar (we had a very large donation), Baked beans, Pulses, Pasta, Breakfast cereals. Many thanks for your continuing support - you may like to know that last year the foodbank provided nearly 700 food handouts, and the need is increasing unfortunately. TONY WHITE
A pastoral letter to clergy from the archbishops of Canterbury and York. Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential items and to take daily exercise.
Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own. A notice explaining this should be put on the church door (please find template attached). We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.
We must also do all that we can to provide resources and support for those who are isolated, fearful and vulnerable. But we have to do this from our homes. A number of national online resources (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online)
including weekly streamed services and daily audio, as well as additional worship provision on the BBC are there to help us, and more are on their way. Please do all that you can to point people to this content. It is also imperative that as the Church of Jesus Christ, called to offer hope and light in the darkness of this world’s ills, we maintain a praying presence for our community, though from today onwards this must happen from our hearts and from our homes.
Our Church buildings are closed but the Church must continue to support and encourage our communities making use of telephones and other forms of technology to keep in touch with people and ensure pastoral care is maintained, and as shepherds of Christ’s flock we are committed to making this happen. In summary, these are the guidelines we must follow:
1. Our church buildings are closed for public worship and for private prayer.
2. Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible.
3. There can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice.
4. Funerals can only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.
5. Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digital-labs/labs-learning-blog/beginners-guide-going-live-your-service-or .
6. Foodbanks should continue where possible under strict guidelines and may have to move to be delivery points not places where people gather. If you can do consider making a financial contribution to your nearest foodbank.
These are unprecedented times. We are all having to get used to being the Church differently. It is not easy. However, our belonging to Christ has never been measured by the number of people in church on a Sunday morning (though we long for the day when this way of knowing Christ can return) but by the service we offer to others. Therefore, and despite these very harrowing restrictions, please do all that you can to minister to your people safely, especially to the sick, the vulnerable and the poor. With our thanks to you all for you are bearing at this extraordinary time. We know that God is with us and we pray with you that in the midst of all this pain and sorrow we can remain focussed on the One who gives us hope. JUSTIN CANTUAR; SENTAMU EBOR
The Revd John Hardy
ECO-CHURCH We get our church office paper from The Green Stationery Company, a small family run business based in Bath. They provide good quality white & coloured paper at a decent price. I received a message from them today & thought I’d share it with you – many businesses will suffer because of the pandemic. Let’s hope this one survives.
“We all know humanity has been putting immense pressure on the environment from unsustainable activity. The result in the last few months, has been floods, fires, locust devastation and now the arrival of a lethal virus. We need to change our business and economic behaviour. The Green Stationery Company has been working for 30 years putting the environment first and profits and growth second. Please support us by continuing to place your online orders. With best wishes for the future and please keep safe.”
A ROCHA is the Christian organisation that we supported last year. This is a message from them.
“We hope and pray that you and your families are keeping safe and well during these challenging times. Around the world, A Rocha teams are being impacted, as are each of you. The importance of biodiversity conservation, and related issues such as access to clean water, is clearer than ever. A Rocha is feeling the effects in various ways: from suspended fieldwork and reduced guest income, to confinements, funding questions and temporary staff dismissals. Uncertainties over the duration and ultimate scale of the crisis make it difficult to plan and many are seeing unforeseen knock-on effects. In Peru, community members are unable to look after the tree saplings planted as part of the reforestation programme. In India, staff are confined to the centre where they are living and working together. And at Karioi in New Zealand, the team is unable to carry out their usual predator control work. We join them in praying that all the work done to date will be enough to keep the returning Grey Faced Petrels or Oi safe as they find their lifelong mate and breed. Through it all, we are thankful for the resilience of the teams and that we are part of a family that cares for and supports each other. Please pray for the immediate and long-term impacts on all the A Rocha projects and for the safety of the staff and volunteers”
SOME READING:- taken from www.arocha.org.uk Andy Atkins, A Rocha UK CEO, comments on the unique opportunity approaching.
“This is a tumultuous time few of us would have predicted six months ago. The world economy is in turmoil not because of international armed conflict, a trade war, an oil-price rise or a financial crash, but a microscopic organism, the coronavirus. As a result, it is also a period of great anxiety for many readers, serious hardship for some and deep mourning for any who have lost family members or friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Yet, in the midst of the current darkness there are some chinks of light. We Christians, who care for creation, must hold both terrible and good before God. Many people are experiencing a sense of neighbourly care and community, that they have not known previously. A generation who have never given a thought to God’s book of ‘works’ in nature, are amazed at the birdsong – now they can hear it above our usual motor traffic. Urban air pollution, which in a normal year kills 40,000 people in the UK alone, has plummeted, making the basic act of breathing much easier for hundreds of thousands of people. While some will say ‘this is no time to talk about the environment’ others are waking up to its importance for them individually like never before. Scientists too are making the connection between environmental and public health at big picture level: they warn that pandemics, caused by pathogens ‘jumping’ from animals to humans (believed to be the origin of Covid-19 itself) will increase in frequency if we continue to destroy wild animal habitat. While Covid-19 has postponed COP26 it has not cancelled the existential threat of catastrophic climate disruption, itself a growing contributor to habitat destruction. Christians and churches are called to usher in more of God’s Kingdom, on Earth, as it is in Heaven. We do this in the way we respond now, to the pain of the current situation, and in the way we discern future opportunities for good, work for and pray them into being. A unique opportunity is approaching. The eye-watering expenditure and radical actions by governments in response to Covid-19 shows what is possible. Further gigantic sums will be borrowed and spent on rebooting the economy post Covid. The fundamental question facing society is not whether we rebuild the economy, but in what form? Will the government waste taxpayers money and more years we just cannot afford, to go back to dirty ‘business as usual’? Or will they invest in moving fast-forwards to a green and fairer – low carbon, low pollution, high nature, high health – economy? Christians and churches, as citizens and institutions, through our actions and our voice, have a critical role to play in making the latter happen. Nothing will replace the loss of those who are grieving loved ones. But converting the evil of Covid-19 into a powerful impetus for establishing an economy which respects God’s creation will at least make life safer for future generations and nature.”
THOUGHTS ON CORNONAVIRUS:
Mother nature has sent us to our rooms for “time out”. It is time to examine our self-centred life-styles and the behaviour that is putting so much pressure on the planet’s resources. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day]; Acts 3:19 “This amazing planet continues to be in deep peril from climate change and the loss of habitats and species. And yet this moment of eclipse-where real darkness is passing in front of our normally ordered lives, is a once in a life-time opportunity to stop; and to say that real, lasting change is absolutely possible. We have stopped for a virus. Let’s use this time to stop and think hard about what we want the world to look like when we come out the other side. Rather than returning to business as usual; surely this is a chance to learn from the mistakes we have made. To use this pause to reflect on the possibilities of better lives that live in harmony with nature rather than against it. Get outside today and remind yourself of what really matters; enjoy family, home cooked meals, write letters, create things, paint, draw, sing. Read books you haven’t had time for, get inspired, share time with people you love and care for. Live this time as a unique chance to dwell in the moment”. Let us understand afresh our interdependence on nature for our thriving. It is entirely possible that corona virus started its transmission as a result of the uncontrolled trade in bat-meat in Asia - a symbol of our broken relationships with our planet. Now the planet has used this as a bit of a fight back, a reminder to us of our own interdependence and our critical reliance on nature for our thriving.” Andy Lester, A Rocha director of conservation
“This is the time to be slow, Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart All sense of yourself And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous, Time will come good; And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise, Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.” John O’Donohue
For all of us, our home, work and church lives are almost certainly different from anything that we've experienced previously. Many will be living with anxiety, financial hardship, fear for loved ones and, grief. Yet amidst the real suffering that have come with these changes, there have also come new opportunities: to slow down, reflect and reconnect with others and the wondrous natural world that God created. I'm already encouraged by people talking about and practising community in ways that previous generations may have done; and of reports of cleaner air, purer waterways and more audible birdsong. All are signposts that there is another way. Plans may have gone out the window for the next few months but it might be that now is a good time to reconnect with Eco Church, to take stock of where you are as a church and to think about the road ahead. We know that the climate and wider environmental crises haven't gone away. A recent report in The Guardian cites scientific evidence that polar ice loss is tracking the worst case climate scenario as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change. We need a concerted effort of a size and scale beyond what we're seeing on Covid-19 - and more of us taking action locally and globally - to avoid the worst case. But change is possible. We're now at 2,800+ registered Eco Churches and have made over 800 awards. You're part of a growing community of churches across the country committed to making a difference to the future health of this planet. 2020 was billed as a big year for the environment and it still needs to be. So whether or not COP26 goes ahead later this year, there is still much that we can do. Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager, On behalf of the Eco Church team
LANDWADE EVENSONGS 2020 Dear Colleagues, A 'heads-up' regarding the preachers for summer evensongs, 3pm, at Landwade chapel of ease:
June 28: Revd David Everett, retired parish priest, formerly an incumbent in the east riding of Yorkshire, now living in Mildenhall
July 26: Revd Canon Mark Oakley, dean of chapel, St John's College, Cambridge
August 30: Mr Phillip Allison, licensed reader, Exning with Landwade
September 27 (Harvest Sunday): Mr David Ball, licensed reader from the Lark and Lee benefice.