A Letter from your Associate Priest

I suppose we should always be ready to expect the unexpected, especially when we get enough warning.  However, I certainly didn’t expect to be writing this as the effects of the coronavirus take a serious hold and we consider the implications for us all, both nationally and globally.
As humans we prosper when we are connected to each other, to touch and love is vitally important.  We must now find different ways of remaining connected, when words like isolation and restriction are becoming the norm.  Self-help community groups are springing up, proving that we want to stay connected, to care for the vulnerable and to love our neighbour as we would want to be cared for.
The unexpected is part of life, sometimes it can be lovely things, a lovely gift, a helping hand, a telephone call or letter. 
At this time of year my thoughts turn to the first Easter and how for those at the time something happened that they weren’t expecting at all.  This always seemed to happen around Jesus, you’d think they would be used to it, but although Jesus knew what he was doing, no one else really did, he had to keep on saying that he was going to die.  For his disciples and followers, the unexpected happened, Jesus, the Messiah, was handed over to the authorities by none other than one of his closest friends.  Beaten and abused he was then led away to Calvary, where he was nailed to a cross and left to die with two criminals.  Just think how they must have felt, all their dreams would have been shattered.  Then on the morning of the third day after Jesus had died, some women went to the tomb and found it empty – how unexpected would that have been! 
It’s so much easier with hindsight because then things that happen aren’t unexpected.  Amid the worry of the coronavirus I’m sure we will expect to have our hot cross buns on Good Friday, and our Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and hopefully they’ll help us to remember Jesus dying on a cross and then rising to new life.  It’s a chance for us to say corporately in church or privately, thank you.  Thank you to Jesus Christ, who was prepared to endure the very worst that could happen, meaning that whatever terrible things may happen in our lives, we can always turn to Jesus to be with us and sustain us.   Through the sacrifice that Jesus made we know that love always has the last word.  I do hope you manage to stay connected in some way to loved ones and to friends and neighbours and wish you all a very safe and happy Easter when it comes. 
With blessings


Maintaining your Parish Church
There are some things in place that help to maintain a healthy Parish Church, working not only to keep the building in good working order, but also to work and walk alongside everyone in the parish whether they choose to come regularly to church or not.
These vital things are not the Priest/Vicar/person in the ‘dog-collar’ or whatever you may want to call whoever lives in the Vicarage at the time.
They are all things that only the important people can do – that’s you!
Be on The Electoral Roll.
As you may know, each Parish maintains an Electoral Roll of Church of England members resident in the village, if he or she has been baptized, is aged 16 years or more, and has signed an application for enrolment.
Inclusion in the Roll, for which there is no charge, entitles a member to attend the annual parochial Church meeting and to take part in its proceedings.
Please do ask if you would like to be on the electoral roll.
Being on the Electoral Roll means you can be involved in the Annual Church Meeting.
What is it?
Two meetings on the same evening.
First – Annual Meeting of Parishioners, open to anyone who lives in the parish or worships in the church.  The only business is to elect the churchwardens.
Second – the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) follows on straight away, open to those who are on the church electoral roll.
The business – to keep an overview of how the church is being run by receiving reports on changes to the electoral roll, financial statements of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) for year ending Dec 31st 2019, the state of the church building (fabric), goods and ornaments, the activities of the parish and proceedings of the PCC.  To elect representatives to the PCC, appoint sidespeople and the auditor, and to question and discuss issues relating to the parish and its life, ministry and mission.
These meetings usually happen by the end of April – look out for dates next time
We are always looking for more willing volunteers to join one of the Parochial Church Council’s (PCC) in the benefice and If you would like to offer some time please do get in touch with either me or one of the Church wardens.  It really is a case of many hands make light work.
Rev Sandra