Latest News

Covid-19  Update

 

Thursday January 14th   2021

 

All our Churches to close for now

Drinks with the Rectory each Thursday 6.00pm- 7.00pm

Hope on the horizon

 

Dear Friends,

The grim statistics each day reveal that we are now at the most testing time in the Pandemic. Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the front line in our public services - the NHS and those working in social care, our schools and many others on whom we depend; and for parents and carers of children at this anxious and stressful time.

 

In the light of these unprecedented pressures, all of our churches in Stow, Condicote and The Swells have decided to close for the time being. We will continue to offer comfort and spiritual support through our service deliveries to your home, our on-line worship and our prayers. I shall now be at home in the Rectory most of the time and am always delighted when you keep in touch. Please ring me whenever it is helpful to do so.

 

Bishop Rachel and Bishop Robert have been in touch. Here are the most salient bits of what they have written to say:

 

We are aware of the worsening situation in our hospitals. England’s Chief Medical Officer said clearly that ‘the next few weeks are going to be the worst for the National Health Service’ and again urged us all to ‘minimise unnecessary social contacts’. We are reminded by St Paul that ‘All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial’ (1 Cor 12: 23) and as such we are to use our freedom with a deep care for the other.

 

Please remember the guidance requires that people stay local and therefore we should not be encouraging anyone to travel to worship.

 

We know that these are difficult times and the decision not to meet in the church building is a great sacrifice to make. To do so willingly, we believe, is a sign of our solidarity with those we are called to serve. All this is rooted in our continued confidence in the Gospel and the hope we have in Christ who came that we might have life and have it to the full. Our starting place is prayer.

 

Please pray again with us:

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

Given this decision to go entirely on-line we have decided to extend and enrich what we offer each week.

 

Our on-line Sunday provision is being extended.

Whilst we cannot be in church, I will celebrate a short service of Holy Communion from the Rectory at 12.00noon. This will incorporate elements of our regular Holy Communion Service and the Spiritual Communion prayers which you can find under the Covid-19 tab on the website and use any time.

 

We will use the same format every week so you only need to download it once and keep it to use whenever you join us.

Click here for the On-line Holy Communion Order of Service used at 12.00noon each Sunday

 

You can also find a link to download this service under the Services to Download tab on the website.

 

We are adding a social element to our on-line offerings.

Following the success of ‘Drinks with the Rectory’ over Christmas and New Year this will now be a weekly invitation in the weeks ahead. Starting tonight please join Trish and I anytime you like between 6.00pm and 7.00pm on any Thursday evening with a glass or mug of what you fancy in hand. This will simply be a chance to talk about anything and everything with whoever else is on-line from across the Benefice. It is great opportunity to meet safely and informally, put names to faces, and get to know a few more people a little better.

 

To join in please click the link below:

Click here to join in Thursday evening ‘Drinks with the Rectory’

 

The good news is that the vaccination programme is being rolled out and that many in our congregations have already received a first injection. Hopefully we may see the tide decisively begin to turn during Lent and be able to see a brighter future by Easter.

 

The Benefice Diary has been suspended. A new Benefice Diary will be available when services resume.

 

The next planned Update will be in the week leading up to Saturday February 14th, but who knows ?

 

With my best wishes and prayers. Stay safe for now.

 

Martin 

 

 

 

Covid -19 FAQs

 

Please click on this link to see the latest FAQ guidance on church related aspects of Covid-19

 

Covid 19 Guidance

 

 

 

Zoom

 

Everyone is welcome to join our Sunday Services and other Zoom gatherings with one click on a link. These are listed below.

 

On-line Sunday Services at 11.00am and 12.00noon  - same link every week!

 

To share in our Morning Service at home, to join us from 10.45 on Sunday for an 11.00am start, please click on the link below:

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87828817780

 

To join our short service of Holy Communion from the Rectory at 12.00noon, please click on the same link from 11.55am

 

You can download either of these Sunday services in advance from:

 

https://www.scats.org.uk/this-weeks-service-to-download/

 

 

Other Zoom meetings

 

Every Wednesday at 7.30pm

 

Luminaries

Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian way by Rowan Williams

To join this meeting please click on this link

 

The Luminaries are a diverse bunch; some of their contributions are easy to grasp, some less so, but we will be guided to discover together to see how their insights lit the way in their own day and now.  Each week we will look at a different one of these people who in Dr Williams view all shed light on how we can live out our faith today.

We will look at the remaining Luminaries between now and Easter.

Because each evening is looks at just one person, it is complete in itself. You can join in whenever you are able to, or if you have a particular interest in that week’s person.

 

     January

 

·    20th   Charles Dickens – The truth of exaggeration

·     27th   Florence Nightingale – The light of life

 

February

·      3rd     Sergei Bulgakov – Politics, art and prayer

·      10th   Edith Stein – Thinking in solidarity

·      17th   ASH WEDNESDAY

       24th   Michael Ramsey – True Humanism

 

March

·       3rd    Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Freedom, necessity, glory

·       10th  Simone Weil – Waiting on God

·       17th  Etty Hillesum – A compulsion to kneel

·       24th  St Oscar Romero – God has injected himself into history

 

We will be on a varied and interesting weekly journey!

I can supply copies of Dr Williams’ book in hardback at the discounted price of £10.00. If you would like one, please email martin@stowrectory.org.uk

 

 

Every Thursday  - Listening to God  

9.25am - 10.00 am

 

Each week we read a passage of Scripture together and each of us shares one thought from it that has inspired us. To receive the passage by email each week, please get in touch with Martin.

 

To join this Zoom Meeting please click on

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84773599950

 

Every Thursday  - Drinks with the Rectory 

6.00pm - 7.00pm

 

Feel free to join Trish and I anytime you like between 6.00pm and 7.00pm on any Thursday evening for a little time or the full hour. Do have with a glass or a mug of what you fancy in hand. This is simply be a chance to talk about anything and everything with whoever else is on-line from across the Benefice. It is great opportunity to meet safely and informally, put names to faces, and get to know a few more people in our congregations a little better.

 

To join this Zoom Meeting please click below

Click here to join in Thursday evening ‘Drinks with the Rectory’

 

 

Please visit this page regularly.

It will be updated as things change.