The October church opening schedule has fallen victim to the latest Government rules on social movement.
No communal services will now take place in church other than funeral services (max. 30 attendees) and, in exceptional cases only, weddings.
Remembrance Sunday 8 November, church will be open for private prayer from 10.15-11.15 am (pre-booked only, call 07754217399 between 5-6 pm the preceding Friday)
The adapted Remembrance Service has been filmed in the church and will be premiered on our Facebook page at 2.30 pm.
Saturday 14, 21 and 28 November, 10.30-11.30 am
Church is open for private prayer
Saturday 14 November, 1-4.30 pm
Drop-in for bereaved families to collect the memorial crosses and light a candle. The Drop-in is only for those families who have received an invitation letter with a time slot.
On-line Sunday services at 10.30 from the Rectory will continue and can be followed on our Facebook page and on the Services tab of this website.
Midweek Reflection is on line with a Youtube video being posted every Wednesday late afternoon on the News page.
During the pandemic our first aim is to avoid getting ill and infecting others. The latest guidance is therefore that we don’t socialise with friends and other households at home. This may sound easy but for some of us this is really hard. We feel cut off from friends and life seems dull. While some are inundated with work, others get bored.
Even if you manage to fill your day with chores, shopping, a bit of reading and catching up with others, you may still feel that there is something missing, namely the social contact with friends. Simply being with friends and family, having a good chat or a meal and pint together, gives pleasure and purpose. So even if we keep busy, we have to look after ourselves and each other and ensure that we stay mentally healthy.
I like to share a way that helps me to physically and mentally keep fit: I walk, if possible, at dawn, not in the High Street or near Wivenhoe’s busy railway station but on paths where I can find peace. I prepare sermons in my head while walking and creative ideas pop into.
When on an early walk a few weeks ago – the grass was still wet after the night’s rain, and the first sunrays appeared – I suddenly saw a rainbow. The sight of the rainbow opened a chest of memories. I remembered that a rainbow occurred in front of me when my brother phoned to tell that my mother had died. And there were many other special memories when a rainbow had been painted.
Let me explain how you won’t get easily bored and how your life can be exciting even in isolation. When you see a rainbow first concentrate on the natural phenomenon. Remember your lessons in physics and how a rainbow comes into existence. Once you have recalled the scientific explanation, go deeper and unravel the many other levels of this reality. Your memories may make you smile when you think of a joyful moment, and there may be tears when you remember sad times. But in both joy and sadness always remain thankful.
Then, let the beauty of the colours in the bow touch your heart, allow happiness to reign in this dark time. That’s a good moment to think of the passage in the Bible where a rainbow is seen as the sign of the covenant between heaven and earth, between God and his people. And finally, thank God for the rainbow, the wind, the rain, the sun, your bodily ability of which the brisk walk makes you more aware, listen to your breath and feel your heartbeat. You may sense an urge to pray to God the Creator whose earth is under your feet, and to the Spirit who is in the breeze and to the Son who walks with you in joy and sadness.
Trust that despite Covid there will always be rainbows. But don’t forget that a rainbow needs rain first before the sun can break the light into colours of hope.
OTHER CURRENT ST MARY’S ACTIVITIES
Sunday morning on-line Communion service at 10.30 – live on our Facebook page
Midweek Reflection, every Wednesday – on Youtube & this website’s News page.St Mary’s Singers singalong – by email to choir membersBible study – by email
Men’s Group – via Zoom
Phone buddies – by telephone, contact the Rector
St Mary’s Bellringers – via WhatsApp and Zoom
e-Newsletter – by email subscription
Tidings Magazine – Royal Mail distribution to subscribers