The Strangest Of Times
The Strangest Of Times
We have been through the strangest of times in the past month. The virus COVID19 has affected so much of our lives, with Government advice to STAY IN OUR HOMES, in other words we have faced a “Lockdown” only going out for essential shopping, for medical reasons, some exercise and above all to “WASH YOUR HANDS”.
This meant that gradually all our public buildings closed down including St. Mary’s church in Wenvoe. For the first time in living memory we were unable to gather as a congregation to worship during Lent, Palm Sunday and the glorious feast of Easter. Jon , our Parish Priest has worked tirelessly in preparing digital acts of worship on our parish ”face book” page, which has been seen by many hundreds of “likes” recorded. We have set up “contact groups” to keep in touch with members of the congregation facing isolation in their homes, with weekly telephone conversations. The Parish magazine “Connections” has been printed and is available digitally on line, and as the cartoon above states “while we appear to be closed we are in fact open in so many ways, to be there offering a message of HOPE that things will get better and that we will get through this”.
Did you see the Cross of Hope in the churchyard at Easter. The churchyard cross was decorated with flowers in memory of past loved ones and friends as a sign that Easter is time of HOPE. It was our way of celebrating the “Risen Lord” as a visible reminder that the virus cannot stop the work of the church and that life in all its richness remains with us. We have to thank Glenys and Mike for their work in setting up the flowers and also to thank Sandra and Brian for the Easter garden within the church porch.
All church activities stopped as soon as the “stay in your homes” advice was received, this has severely affected our financial position with our “cash flow” being cut off. We are still expected to continue our contribution to the “FAIR SHARE” which supports the work of the Diocese, we have immediately reduced as many of our outgoing costs as we are able to, but we are raiding our reserves to pay for those items that cannot be put off. We want to maintain the church grounds and keep the grass cut, that is a COST, the church clock needs to be maintained, that is a COST, the church building has to be insured, that is a COST. We have recently completed work on the church doors, that is a COST. The members of the congregation are being encouraged to convert their weekly offering on the collection plate to Gift Direct, Standing Orders or Direct Orders. So we appeal to the wider community around us. If you have had your child baptised, a son or daughter married or a funeral for a loved at St. Mary’s now is the time to consider making donation, in gratitude for the church being there when you needed it.
For the present the Church in Wales has decreed that no Baptisms, Marriages or Funerals can take place within its churches, until the restrictions imposed by the Government are relaxed, and we look forward in HOPE to a future time when we can resume our church activities and our pattern of worship with Jon’s care and guidance.
Mr Philip Morant RIP
The congregation and the community were saddened to hear of the passing of Phil in the care home in Barry. Phil was a faithful member of the church and was in his seat Sunday by Sunday. He was a most willing and helpful person, reaching out to anyone who he thought he could help. Whether in the school, the environment group, community council, the village work party and his much loved allotment. We missed him when he moved to Barry, and our thoughts and prayers are with Margaret and his two daughters at this sad time in their lives, “may he rest in peace and rise in glory”
God Bless Us, and keep us safe.. and WASH YOUR HANDS