Diary of forthcoming events
FORTHCOMING PARISH EVENTS
All currently postponed/cancelled
NEWS AND UPDATES
EXCEEDING CUSTOMERS EXPECTATIONS
Wests (Newmarket) Ltd badge their garage with this arresting sign, suffixed ‘since 1926’.
So, some questions arise for me….does this rather telling phrase apply to the Church? and if so from when? Who are our customers? Ought we to be trying to match their expectations anyway?
If those questions are incisively pertinent, what are we going to do about it, and is this moment of re-opening our churches an opportunity we must truly grasp as a mission-imperative?
I hope you don’t need me to even hint at the answers, as the people of God (viz this readership) we are I hope seized of the comment made of Jesus (Mark 7:37 NEB) ‘their astonishment knew no bounds: “All that he does he does well” they said….’ As we model his life in our individual and corporate lives here, we should be known for just that too.
Everything we do in His name on behalf of His Church should be of the highest order, even the appearance of our noticeboards as just one example, and while our Martha-like tasks need to carried out with zeal and dedication to the glory of God, so too our Mary-like focus on the ‘better-part’ …our devotional and worshipping life….needs to be of the highest order, so that people might come to regret their non-attendance at Church, and a culture of FOMO (fear of missing out) takes shape in hearts and minds.
Let us then strive to be known for exceeding all our customers’ expectations, whoever they may be, and not least in this year of our Lord 2020, as His story goes on, in us. MARK
Re-commencement of worship in church: an update from Fr John
1. St Martin's, St Mary's – At their staff Zoom meeting this week, the clergy agreed unanimously to re-start regular services at the two mother churches at the usual times (11 am St Martin’s, 9.45 am St Mary’s) from Sunday 5 July. This is subject to our bishop's seal of approval, which we fully expect to be forthcoming this week, following Boris Johnson's positive statement of 23 June about re-openings within the hospitality industry and elsewhere from 4 July onwards. Worship will be undeniably restricted: please await further details, but I can tell you that social distancing will need to be kept, hands will need to be sanitised, Holy Communion will be administered in one kind only, and please do not expect any singing until further notice. In addition, at least during July, a streamed service of Holy Communion will continue to be delivered for the benefit of those worshippers who do not feel able or ready yet to return to church in person. This will be at the regular time of 10 am.
2. St P&E, St Agnes – At the Zoom meeting, we also began to think about the re-commencement of services at St P & E's and St Agnes', but didn't, I think, quite reach a conclusion. Having now had the opportunity of discussing the issue in relation to St Agnes' with Lady Vicki, and speaking as the incumbent, I believe that it's probably good to wait a month or so from starting church worship at St Martin's and St Mary's before opening up either St Agnes' or St P & E's, on the very wise prophetic principle, Make haste slowly (see Isa 28:16: 'He that believeth shall not make haste') - Peter Gill reminded us of that in his Zoom comments today, and it's much in keeping with the tenor of Bishop Martin's remarks in his regular Ad Clerum communications. The clergy will benefit from settling into a rhythm at the mother churches of our respective benefices before moving outwards, and there are issues of spacing and (especially at St P & E's) ventilation which must be carefully considered before any re-opening. So, tentatively, and 'all things being equal', as the saying goes, I am hoping that we may be able to re-start with Holy Communion at St P & E's and St Agnes', each at their normal service time (9.30 am and 11.15 am) on Sunday 2 August. I hope that seems reasonable to all. Sharing the sacrament seems a truly corporate way to begin worshipping again in person.
3. Evensong at St Mary's – Again, we (the clergy) briefly discussed this at our Zoom meeting, but without concluding. Having reflected further, and being by nature of a cautious disposition, I would much prefer to wait a couple weeks before re-starting Evensong: I reckon one church service plus one streamed service is sufficient for the first fortnight or so. I know I myself will require a bit of time to get back into my stride, and I daresay I'm speaking for the other clergy also. On that basis, I propose we re-commence Evensong in the choir at St Mary's, on Sunday 19 July, 6.30 pm, after we've had time to draw breath, so to speak, during the previous fortnight. JOHN HARDY
CHURCH OPENING FOR PRIVATE PRAYER St Martins Church will be open for private prayer between 10 am – 1 pm on Sundays and Wednesdays. Wooden chairs will be set out in the Lady Chapel for this purpose. Please use the hand sanitiser on the table as you enter and maintain social distancing. Please do not sit anywhere else in the church or touch books etc. We are also looking at the possibility of opening on additional days of the week. I will update you if this happens. JOHN PASCALL
Access to St Philips and St Etheldreda The gate from the hospital car park through to the church has been locked by the hospital; so there will be no access to the chapel from the hospital car park. JOHN PASCALL
OFFERINGS TO THE CHURCH VIA STANDING ORDER . Here are the details if you would like to set up a regular payment through your bank to the parish. 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
A NOTICE FROM TONY WHITE: NEWMARKET FOODBANK Thankfully we are doing pretty well for donations at present - but there are some shortages: Small jars instant coffee; Small packs of 'normal' tea; Small packs of sugar; Small washing powder; Custard; Tinned rice pudding; Pot noodles and similar; Ketchup and brown sauce. We now have plenty of milk, including whole milk, for the time being. We also have plenty of pasta, baked beans. Thank you for your continued support. TONY WHITE
BIBLE STUDY & TOPICAL TEAS Both of these groups are running on line using Zoom. Dates:- bible study at 10am on Wednesday 1st & 15th; topical teas at 10am on Wednesday 8th and 22nd. The bible study group are looking at the letter of James. If you wish to join us please email John (email@example.com) for the bible study group or Sally (firstname.lastname@example.org) for topical teas so that we can send you zoom invitations. Thank you. JOHN & SALLY PASCALL
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
ST MARTIN’S BELLS Good news our bell repairs are now complete, and all is ready to ring again. But as yet we have no idea when this will be, Things like social spacing and hands on ropes have to be sorted and agreed before we can ring again. Direction for this will be given by the Central Council of Church Bellringers when guidelines are issued by the government. We just have to wait and see. ALAN BALCOMB
LANDWADE EVENSONGS 2020 Dear Colleagues, A 'heads-up' regarding the preachers for summer evensongs, 3pm, at Landwade chapel of ease:
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.
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”
A Rocha UK CEO, Andy Atkins, comments on the critical window of opportunity to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic No sane person would have wished Covid-19 on the world. But among the glimpses of a silver lining that have been observed as a side effect of major industrial countries ‘locking down’, has been the sharp fall in greenhouse gas emissions, more space for nature, and cleaner air for people and nature to breathe as air pollution has fallen. Even these small comforts however are in danger of being lost if governments and people do not move very fast to ‘build back better’. The world is at a moment of acute risk and opportunity. In mid-June the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report in which it suggested that we have only about 6 months to ensure that economic recovery funds are invested in a green recovery – and avoid them being invested in fossil fuel and carbon-intensive industries instead. If the latter happens, says the EIA, there is little possibility of avoiding runaway climate change. We must reduce global carbon emissions steeply this decade to do so; but investment decisions taken in the next few months will lock us into energy production and consumption patterns for decades to come. So, with governments planning to commit an estimated $9 trillion (£7.18tn) to rebooting economies in the months ahead, there is the earth to play for. The British government has made some encouraging announcements, but its actions so far – including negotiating bale-out loans to fossil fuel companies and airlines – have not inspired confidence. Yet the wider benefits of going green are multiple. Take job creation. Analysis by the IEA suggests that investing in green industries, such as retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, or rolling out wind and solar power plants, would create far more jobs than the same investment in old high carbon sectors. Civil society is responding at all levels. On 1 June, 200 business leaders including those from such diverse companies as Aviva insurance, the Church of England Pensions Board, Burger King and Yorkshire Water, sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the government to invest in a low carbon recovery. Then on 14th June, leaders of 56 charities from the Climate Coalition, including A Rocha UK, released an open letter to the government calling for a green and fair recovery. Environment and health campaign groups have joined forces to launch the Build Back Better campaign for individuals. And a coalition of Christian charities and denominations, chaired by A Rocha UK, announced the Climate Sunday initiative for churches. What is now needed is widespread backing by the public at large and leaders of all sectors, including the Church. It is difficult for any individual, organisation, government, or country to focus productively on too many things at once. But amidst the disorientation, grief and national trauma of the current pandemic, we must also grasp the intensely urgent opportunity to rescue our future – for people and nature. Two important opportunities to do so are approaching: 1: On 30 June the Climate Coalition is organising The Time Is Now virtual lobby for climate, nature and people. https://arocha.org.uk/the-time-is-now/ 2: Register your interest in your church participating in the unique Climate Sunday initiative, which is to begin in September. www.climatesunday.org