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The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 17th January 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 17th January 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

Sunday 17th January 2021:  Epiphany II

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Bishop John Holbrook, and Will Beattie.   
  • Please pray for the souls of Sheila Saunders, Victor Coster  and Sheila Ervin who all died in the last week
  • Today, the Zoom Service will be at 11am. 
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., given that the pandemic still rages around us. Compline is on a Thursday at 6pm. If you would like an invitation, please contact Sally Smith – sally@saltlane.com
  • Next Sunday, 24th January, the Zoom service will be at 11am.

 

ALL OF OUR CHURCHES ARE OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER:

MORCOTT: Sundays from 10am to 3pm

BARROWDEN: Every day from 10am to 3pm

SOUTH LUFFENHAM: Every day from 10am to 4pm

TIXOVER anytime by request at Manor Farm

DUDDINGTON Every day from 10am to 4pm

  

MEDITATION FOR JANUARY 17TH 2021

When I was about six I was the member of a gang. It comprised about seven of us mostly boys who all lived in the same street. We were fortunate to have a park opposite which had been left to grow weeds during the war years and no one had quite got round to sorting it out. It was a paradise for six year olds!

The boys were definitely the leaders and I followed them. One day they had a really good idea to climb the trees, hide and shout very rude words to passers- by knowing we were hidden. Unfortunately we were not very discerning about who we shouted at and my father recognised my voice. I will leave to your imaginations the discussion which followed!

That is an example of following others and not thinking through what was happening. Even as an adult I have not always made good decisions through accepting the advice of others and not following what in my heart I knew was the right way. We always have the choice to decide which path we take and sometimes it makes little difference but sometimes a decision can influence our whole life. 

This is what the disciples found when they decided to give up everything to follow Christ. Many of them gave their lives in his service. We may not be asked to give so much but the rewards of the love of Christ are overwhelming, knowing that his advice will be the right way to go.

God bless you in your decisions

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 3rd January 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 3rd January 2021

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 3rd January 2021:  Christmas II

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Bishop John Holbrook, and Will Beattie.
  • Pray to for the soul of Ann Hensby and for all who mourn her loss. Ann’s funeral is at 2pm on Tuesday 5th in Barrowden Church.
  • Today, Holy Communion will take place at Duddington, 9.30am.The Zoom Service will be at 11am.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 am., given that the pandemic still rages around us.
  • Next Sunday, 10rd January, Holy Communion will be at South Luffenham, 9.30am and the Zoom Service at 11am.
  • The Foodbank collections have gone really well during the past year. There will be so many folk locally who are hugely grateful to you, whether you contribute occasionally or regularly.

 

This Week’s Meditation.

 

There is in each of us the opportunity and the ability to choose good and evil. Even among Jesus’ chosen apostles we can read of their stupidity: Peter, the hot-head starts a fight in the Garden of Gethsemane; two of them argue about being the greatest; Nathaniel was disparaging about Nazareth. This freedom to do good or ill is itself a gift of God.  We can do as we wish. It’s called Free Will. Without it we would be automatons. The challenge to us all is to use this freedom to live sensibly, peaceably – discerning what God’s will might be for each of us in any given moment.

 

But from whence does evil come? Is it self-protection which we might translate as Original Sin?  Is evil more powerful than good? Some might say so, especially when we are in the vortex of danger, fear or temptation. For Christians, the battle between good over evil has been won in the life and specifically the death of Jesus on the cross. It is in the example of Christ’s life and death that we find inspiration to avoid evil. Evil then is finite. It has been overcome.

 

But there still remains temptation.  Even Jesus was tempted; it is part of the human condition. That phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Lead us not into temptation’ seems to suggest that God might even try to snare us!  That cannot be an accurate translation for it has been changed in modern versions to, ‘Do not abandon us to temptation’. God continues to watch over us, willing us to choose the best and staying with us as we wrestle our way through such evil diversions. Even the experience of wrestling is part of the answer to our prayers.

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 20th December 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 20th December 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 20th December 2020:  Advent IV

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Bishop John Holbrook, and Will Beattie.
  • Today, Morning Worship will take place at South Luffenham, 9.30 am and the Zoom Service begins at 11am. Zoom Compline is at 6pm with a short presentation to consider the Advent themes of darkness and light in the art of Holman Hunt.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Monday and Wednesday at 8.30 am. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services are advertised elsewhere.
  • Next Sunday, the Zoom Service is at 11am.
  • The Benefice Carol Service is premiered today at 4pm on YouTube. Go to wellandfosse.org
  • The clergy, ministers and wardens of the benefice wish you all a very joyful and safe Christmas.

 

BARROWDEN

Today’s Zoom service is at 11 am. and our next service at Barrowden will be Christmas Day at 11 am.  Please book your places with Kay.

A reminder that Advent windows are all round the village are lit every evening.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM

Midnight Mass is in our Church at 11.30 pm on Christmas Eve. There will be carols to listen to. Please email sally@saltlane.com if you have not yet booked your place. 

Our Advent Calendar Windows are still going really well. It’s lovely having an early evening walk to see all the lights. Pictures will be included on our email loop.

We had an amazing 6 tubs of contributions collected by the Foodbank team PLUS  another 7 carrier bags of Christmas treats which we took in.

 

MEDITATION

On Monday night at dusk, Jupiter and Saturn are set to cross close to each other just above the horizon in the southwest sky. This conjunction happens occasionally – the last being 800 years ago – and is thought to be the reason why the Magi from the East hurried towards Bethlehem to see what this strange phenomenon might herald. St. Matthew records the event in Chapter 2 verse 2.

 

What a lovely coincidence this is for us who have had the most difficult year with Covid-19.  Is it coincidental?  Does God console us in such a way?

 

Such thoughts lead us on to consider the factual basis of the New Testament.  Did St. Matthew report what astronomers tell us happened with those two planets in 7BC?  It is highly probable.  Much of the Old Testament brings to us a very poetic account of the history of the Jews and their engagement with God.  The New Testament begin with the birth of a baby in a particular place and time. That birth has changed the course of world history in a very positive way and we are the beneficiaries of that event.

 

When I visited the Holy Land I was surprised at the lack of commercial tackiness, political tension and geographical contradiction to be found around the Holy Sites. This is an area of the Middle East which has been regularly fought over but more often pored over by historians, archaeologists, philosophers and sociologists for 2000 years. Each will have come away with their own convictions.  We pore over the scriptures and the life of the Church – Christ’s Church – in much the same way to establish the veracity of the claims of faith.  But at the end of the day, we have to accept that it is faith – our faith and no one else’s – which causes us to worship at the crib and the cross. We may do it in secret or in company but what an adventure and a blessing it is!

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 13th December 2020T

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 13th December 2020T

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 13th December 2020:  Advent III

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Bishop John Holbrook, and Will Beattie.
  • Pray too for the souls of the recently departed, including June Fitton.
  • Today, Holy Communion will be celebrated at Morcott Church at 9.30am, and the Zoom Service will come from Barrowden at 11am. Zoom Compline is at 6pm with a short presentation to consider the Advent themes of darkness and light in Shakespeare.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30 am., with Compline on Thursdays and Sundays at 6pm.
  • Next Sunday, Morning Worship is at South Luffenham at 9.30am, the Zoom Service at 11am and Zoom Compline at 6pm with a presentation on the symbolism of Advent in the work of Holman Hunt.
  • The Benefice Carol Service will be premiered on Sunday 20th December at 4pm on YouTube. Book the date! The simplest way to access it is to visit the benefice website – to view it, simply go to fosse.org and click on the link.  It will stay up throughout Christmas to be enjoyed by anyone. 

 

BARROWDEN:

Please look out for our Advent Windows to cheer us.  Once open, each window will remain open every day until December 27th. 

 

DUDDINGTON

Saturday 19th 17.00.  Family carols in Manor veg garden (Near village hall).  Mulled wine and mince pies will be served, but please bring your own vessel. 

 

MORCOTT

Christmas plans include outdoor Carol Singing on Thursday 17th at 6pm, led by a small choir from the churchyard. Christmas Eve Communion 10pm 24th led by Canon Sarah Brown: please book seats with Jane on 747157.  

Advent Windows continue to ‘open’ each evening, with the final one at church: see village website or posters for trail info.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM

Our Advent Windows are going from strength to strength – please have a walk around the village to see them.

Services next Sunday (20th Dec) 9.30am Morning Worship in Church led by Christopher and 6pm Compline zoomed from our Church. 

Please note that the Village Hall is open on Fridays from 11-12 (the same time as the mobile Post Office) for the lending library. 

The Foodbank were very grateful for special Christmas donations which we took in this week. The main collection will be this Wednesday morning. 

 

MEDITATION:

There was some research published last week which stated that patience is good for our mental health. We have all had ‘Patience is a virtue’ quoted at us at some point usually by parents. We have all had to learn slightly more patience recently but when most of us were young, we had to wait for things or save up for them. Do money boxes still exist?

 

Nowadays there is the expectation that if we want something, we can have it immediately. Consequently buying presents for children is really difficult as they have what they want during the year. Advertising is aimed at instant gratification too. Only £170 per month for a new car and other offers that are time limited to entice us to buy now.

 

Christmas is often a time for children waiting to see what presents they have received and I can remember not being able to wait and looking in my mum’s wardrobe! The church is in the season of Advent which is a time of waiting, of being prepared, of anticipation.

 

But God does not keep his gift to us a secret; he is only too willing for us to accept it. There is a gentleness in waiting, a time to reflect. In her book “The Meaning is in the Waiting” Paula Gooder writes:

“…we need to relearn how to wait, to rediscover the art of savouring the future, of staying in the present and of finding meaning in the act of waiting.”

 

May we all find meaning in the waiting at this time.

God bless.

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

 

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 6th December 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 6th December 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 6th December 2020:  Advent II

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Belinda Forbes, Bishop John Holbrook, June Fitton and Will Beattie.
  • Pray too for the souls of the recently departed, Noel Witts and Peter Ratcliffe.
  • Today, Holy Communion will be celebrated at Duddington Church at 9.30am, and the Zoom Service will come from South Luffenham at 11am. Compline at 6pm will come from Barrowden Church with a short presentation to consider the Advent themes of darkness and light in the music of Bach.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30 am., with Compline on Thursdays and Sundays at 6pm.
  • Audrey Kilsby (Church Lane, Duddington) is holding a Garage Sale today, 10 am – 3pm in aid of the orphanage in Tanzania.
  • The Benefice Carol Service will be premiered on Sunday 20th December at 4pm. Book the date!  We can’t sing together indoors so we have FILMED worship at our five churches, editing footage to create a service of readings and carols that we can all enjoy and singalong. It will ‘broadcast’ online on 20 December so we can watch it ‘together’.  It will stay up throughout Christmas to be enjoyed by anyone. Weblink to follow nearer the time. 

 

BARROWDEN:

The Barrowden Advent Calendar opened its first window on 1st December at the Exeter Arms on the Village Green.  Once open, each window will remain open every day until December 27th. 

 

MORCOTT:

Our Advent Windows project is brightening these dark days: every evening at 5pm a new window lights up and by Christmas Eve we will have a full set of 24 windows (the last being at St Mary’s).

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

  • Thank you for Foodbank donations. We have several boxes full again. Christmas items need to be with me by next weekend please. 
  • Keep looking out for our Village Advent Calendar – the windows this week were all lovely! ✨
  • Church is open every day so that you can see the Advent Rings and crib. 

 

THIS WEEK’S MEDITATION:

We are a people seeking signs. Around the world, people are waiting for the vaccine. We all get excited by new announcements of imminent arrivals.  And of course, in our communication-mad age, each sign is accompanied by denouncements and fake news. We’re also waiting for a decision on Brexit.  Will it happen with a deal or no-deal? And then of course, we all look for clear direction from the government when they too – in this turbulent time – are as confused as most of us and doing their best to cope. There will be other signs which we personally are looking for but one final sign which we corporately wish to see is a better tomorrow.  What will the new normal look like?

 

So it was in Jerusalem just before the birth of Jesus.  Tensions abounded between the Jews, the Greeks and the Roman insurgents. It was a bleak time for them as it is for us.  The Church has rolled up all these concerns in the season of Advent. For me, it is an edge-of the-seat affair – longing for Christmas like any child. We express our hopes through Advent Wreaths with their countdown of candles or, this year, our wonderful Advent Window displays. 

 

One person who confounded all this expectation was John the Baptist, a biblical figure who sits between the Old and the New Testaments and on whom the churches today focus their attention.  He lived a humble and counter-cultural life, dressing and eating simply. He re-directs the aspirations of his generation by pointing to God as the only hope by which we can set a new course.

 

            “I John, not reed but root;

            Not vested priest nor saviour but a voice

            Crying daylong like a cricket in the heat …..

            I dwell among the blistered rocks

            Awaiting the wide dawn, the wonder

            Of His first coming, and the Dove’s descent”.   Sidney Keyes

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 29th November 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 29th November 2020

 

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 29th November 2020:  Advent Sunday

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Belinda Forbes, Bishop John Holbrook and Will Beattie.
  • Pray too for the souls of the recently departed, Noel Witts and Peter Ratcliffe                                                                 Our only morning service today is on Zoom at 11.00 am but at 6pm we have the first of our special Advent Compline services from South Luffenham with a brief presentation looking at the Advent themes of darkness and light in the poetry of Thomas Hardy.
  •  
  • For the reading this Sunday you will find them on the service sheet for the Zoom meeting it is Mark
  • Ch, 13 v. 24 – 27
  • Sunday, 6th December, Holy Communion will be celebrated at Duddington Church at 9.30am, and the Zoom Service will come from Barrowden at 11am. Compline at 6pm will come from Barrowden Church with a short presentation to consider darkness and light in the music of Bach.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30am., with Compline on Thursdays and Sundays at 6pm.

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

  • Look out for our Church Spire which will be lit from Advent Sunday onwards.
  • Service in Church next Sunday, 6th December at 11am led by Ann.
  • Our Village Advent Windows will begin on Tuesday 1st December, starting with Janet, 7 Back Lane.

 

 

THIS WEEK’S MEDITATION:

  •  

We have all heard children say enthusiastically, “I can’t wait”. Perhaps we say it too even though we are grown up! At this time of year children are getting excited about Christmas and all that it brings but during the past few months we have learnt a great deal about waiting. We have waited for the various Covid 19 declarations, we have waited for the end of restrictions and waited for the vaccine.

 

Perhaps one good thing is that probably not many of us will be queuing for Christmas presents and food and will have more space to reflect on what is really important, not just at this time of year but for our general needs. Waiting is an occupation that can bring benefits!  Many of us will remember the advertisement for the first credit card. The advert stated that “Access takes the waiting out of wanting”. We don’t like to wait for anything and much of our culture now is based on the idea that we can have it all and we can have it now!

 

The world often seems to be a very dark place with sadness and confusion reigning. Today we begin the season of Advent which is when the church waits to welcome Christ into the world once more. As we wait for that time which is unknown, we need to be working for God’s kingdom so that when Christ does come we will not be sitting around wasting time.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, may we remember this Advent that we are children of the light. May we wake up each day ready to take up the tasks of the day. And may our sleep be the restoring and health-giving rest that comes from tasks well done. Amen. (John Sentamu).

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices  Sunday 22nd November 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices  Sunday 22nd November 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

 Sunday 22nd November 2020:  Christ the King

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Noel Witts and Will Beattie.
  • Our only service today is on Zoom at 11.00 am.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30am. Compline is on Thursdays at 6pm and Sundays in Advent beginning on 29th November.
  • There are still 3 copies of The Rev’d Dr. Carys Walsh’s Advent book still available. If you would like a copy (£12.99) please let The Priest-in-Charge know on 01572 748634 or armstrong60@yahoo.com.

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

South Luffenham Church is open for private prayer every day from 10-4.

 

THIS WEEK’S MEDITATION:

Above the dome of the Old Bailey stands Lady Justice, her hands outstretched with a sword in one and a balance in the other; a symbol of justice in our land – justice without fear or favour. 

Today is the final Sunday before Advent and the end of the Christian liturgical year. Next week we descend into the darkness of Advent and preparations for a very different Christmas.  The gospel for today is the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in which Jesus castigates those who just don’t see the need in others, be they hungry, thirsty, sick, naked or in prison. It’s a judgement on us all. So often we don’t see the need in others. 

 

Justice is not just a matter of dishing out punishments but restoring balance to God’s world. For most of us, we will be spared those negative decisions of fines and prison-sentences but all around us are opportunities to help re-balance lives: lives of bereavement, neglect, loneliness, sadness, sickness, incompetence, fear, addiction or plain exhaustion.

 

We have received the gift of life.  Do we keep it to ourselves or can we find ways of sharing that gift with others?  To adopt the former will only bring frustration and bitterness, as the Jews found out in the wilderness as they tried to hoard the manna (Exodus 16.20). To share the gift with others brings enrichment as the widow’s cruse shows us (2 Kings 4. 1 – 7).

 

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down,

shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap.”

(Luke 6.38)

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 15th November 2020:

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.  Sunday 15th November 2020:

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices.

 Sunday 15th November 2020:  The 2nd Sunday Before Advent.

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby and those whose operations have been postponed again.
  • Zoom services continue today at 11.00 am.
  • Next week there will be only one Zoom Service at 11 am as a result of Lockdown 2.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and now Fridays at 8.30am.  Compline will be restarted on Thursdays at 6pm from 12 November as well as Sundays in Advent beginning on 29th
  • The Rev’d Dr. Carys Walsh’s Advent book is still available, based on the poetry of R.S.Thomas. If you would like a copy (£12.99) please let The Priest-in-Charge know on 01572 748634 or armstrong60@yahoo.com.

 

MORCOTT:

During lockdown St Mary’s continues to be open for private prayer on Sundays only 10am-4pm.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

Our Church remains open for private prayer every day from 10-4.

Sally hopes to post a video on the Benefice website – Mark Waik carrying out the Act of Remembrance, on our behalf, at 11am on 11th November. 

Thank you from Rutland Foodbank – We have the most donations ever to be collected this week! Please search for Rutland Foodbank on the Internet as they will soon be posting a ‘Christmas list’.

MEDITATION:

Much of this week has been spent in remembering and commemorating with Remembrance Sunday and then the solemn Remembrance at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Alongside that was the commemoration of 100 years since the unveiling of the Cenotaph and the burial of the Unknown Soldier. All events which we need to be aware of and encourage our young people to understand.

 

We build up memories throughout our lives. Some we treasure and keep to ourselves for those private moments when perhaps we just need a time of reassurance. Others we are only too willing to share! The sentence often dreaded by children, “I remember when I was your age…!” springs to our lips. There are some memories which are places where we do not want to go because they are dark spaces. Whatever the memory it is important because it is part of who we have become.

Memories can become distorted as we grow older and for some memory seems to be kept locked up inside. We have seen the disturbing photos this week of those who are losing the memories and cannot be visited by those who can help them to understand the strange world in which they find themselves.

 

The thief on the cross next to Jesus asked him to remember him when he was in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus replied, “I promise”. God sees, as we hear in the hymn, “the meanest sparrow fall unnoticed in the street”. He knows each one of us and knows what has made the memories within us, the shared ones and the private ones. Above all he cares for each one of us and asks only that we remember his great love.

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices Sunday 25th 1st November 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices Sunday 25th 1st November 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices

 

 Sunday 1st November 2020:  All Saints’ Day.

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Belinda Forbes and Derek Barker.
  • Zoom services continue today, 11am., with the sculptor Michael Moralee.
  • Next week, Remembrance Sunday, the services will be at Barrowden (HC) at 8 am, South Luffenham at 9.30am, Duddington at 10am with Morcott and Barrowden at 10.55 am, including the Zoom Service.
  • Monday 2nd November is All Souls’ Day. There will be a short service in Barrowden Church at 2pm when we shall remember those who have gone before us in the faith.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8.30am. Compline will be suspended until Advent when it will be held on Sundays at 6pm starting 29th
  • The Rev’d Dr. Carys Walsh is coming to Barrowden Church at 2pm on 12 November to talk about the poet R.S.Thomas – the subject of her new book which is also a literary guide through Advent. Copies of the book will be on sale on the day, priced £12.99. Please let Kay Bagshaw (01572 748797) know if you wish to come. Please wear a face mask.

 

MORCOTT:

Our next service is Remembrance Sunday 8 November in church starting at 10.55hrs, led by the Churchwardens. Please ring Jane on 747157 to ‘book’ your place so we can ensure social distancing, though we hope to accommodate all who want to come. There will be music, but no singing.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

South Luffenham Church is open daily 10-4.

 

If you would like to decorate your window for our village Advent Calendar please email sally@saltane.com

Remembrance Sunday service in Church next Sunday at 9.30am – all available places have now been reserved.

The South Luffenham village collection box can be found outside the gate of 27, The Street.

I thank you on behalf of the Foodbank for your continued support.

 

       shopping list:

·         Coffee

·         Dried potato (smash type)

·         Jam

·         Small bags of sugar ( Due to the weight of items people have to carry)

·         Tinned potatoes

·         Small sponge puddings

·         UHT Juice

·         Tins of Custard

·         Shaving gel

·         washing up liquid

·         Non- Bio washing capsules (For families with young children)

·         Toilet rolls

MEDITATION

 

Who are the saints that we celebrate today?  In the famous Ghent Altarpiece painted by Van Eyck in 1432 we can see a wide range of worshippers gathered round the Lamb of God.  There are the usual suspects: hermits, virgins, angels, ordinary faithful men and women – even a few bishops.   But if we look carefully, there are also some surprises: crusaders, philosophers and Muslims. How wide can this category of saint be stretched?

 

I remember a very embarrassing moment during an earnest discussion among senior clergy in the northwest of England.  It was about providing support for the very poor, of which there are many in that area.  The priest presenting his ideas implied that even the Muslims were God’s people and thus deserving of support.  He then left the room.  The presiding bishop was shocked by his final throwaway remark and said so forcibly. 

 

The bishop was wrong.  He was a godly man, devoted to the scriptures but Jesus – in those very scriptures – told a parable about our wider vision.  In Matthew chapter 21, two brothers are told to go and work in the vineyard by their father.  One said he would and then didn’t. The other said he wouldn’t, then changed his mind and went. Which one did the will of the father, asks Jesus.

 

I prefer to interpret God’s call to follow him in the widest of ways.  The Beatitudes (Matthew Ch. 5. 1 – 12) suggests that those who are blessed are those who carry out God’s will and not those that merely pay lip-service to it. So philosophers, military and people of all creeds and none are to be found doing God’s will, knowingly or unknowingly.  That is what the Ghent Altarpiece suggests to us. And those who kneel in front of it – or any altar today – will, with God’s grace, see that we are not alone in paying homage to The Lamb of God in all spheres of life. Those are the saints; those who do the will of God; those who see the work of the Lord in the hands of others. May they all be encouraged, blessed, valued in their work.

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens

 

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The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 18th October 2020

The Welland-Fosse Benefice: Prayers and Notices. Sunday 18th October 2020

 

 Sunday 18th October 2020:  Saint Luke’s Day

 

  • Please remember in your prayers those who are sick: Janette Saunders, Ann Hensby, Belinda Forbes and Derek Barker.
  • Zoom services continue throughout the week, including today, 11am.
  • Next week, the service will be Holy Communion at Barrowden Church with Zoom at 11am.
  • Zoom Morning Prayer continues on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8.30am. Compline will be suspended until Advent when it will be held on Sundays at 6pm starting 29th
  • Next Sunday, 25th October, the clocks go back at 2am.
  • Stop Press! The Rev’d Dr. Carys Walsh is coming to Barrowden Church at 2pm on 12 November to talk about the poet R.S.Thomas – the subject of her new book which is also a literary guide through Advent. Copies of the book will be on sale on the day, priced £12.99. Please let Kay Bagshaw (01572 748797) know if you wish to come. Please wear a face mask.

 

SOUTH LUFFENHAM:

Our Church is open 10-4 daily. The flower arrangements are still looking fantastic!

 

The Foodbank tubs will be collected on Wednesday morning this week and there is still space for a few more offerings. Thank you.         

 

MEDITATION

Wherever we look at the moment there seems to be chaos. “Chaos” means “a state of total confusion with no order” according to the Cambridge dictionary. There is dissension amongst politicians, businesses are in jeopardy and people are fearful of the future. To add to all that the nights will soon be longer and there is the winter looming. It appears to be a very bleak outlook. And it can be if we let it!

 

We can be overwhelmed by the situation in which we find ourselves and it is perhaps the uncertainty which is the most frightening aspect of our present circumstances. We are not keen on change and we certainly don’t like being unable to plan and make decisions which we know will be honoured at the right time. One of the areas which I am studiously ignoring is Christmas. What will it be like? We don’t know and will have to wait, another thing which we are often not very good at!

 

So what is there that can ease the overwhelming problems? There are all the clichés which are trotted out but which are not of any great help. But there are sights around us which defeat the chaos. I have watched in awe the tree outside my window come into bud, flower, berries redden and now the leaves falling. And the seasons will be around next year in due time.

 

Even if everything changes there is one sure constant. The hymn states, “Thou, whose almighty word, chaos and darkness heard and took their flight.” God knows the chaos and darkness which exists and weeps with us in the hours of loneliness and uncertainty and is there for each one of us if we take him at his word. The prayer I gave in September but which is still so relevant.

 

Prayer: Walk with us, Lord, as we journey through the darkness of uncertainty. May we find light and joy and love to guide us in your path. Amen.  

 

See wellandfosse.org for much more information, including contact details for The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong and the churchwardens