The Twelfth Week Of The Lockdown
ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH NEWS
The Twelfth Week Of The Lockdown
The church building remains closed in this the twelfth week of the lockdown in Wales. As we await the latest decision of the Sennedd Government on relaxing the conditions aimed to prevent the spread of the pandemic virus we have come to know as COVID-19. During this time the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has been meeting on ZOOM sessions, together with a smaller group to discuss church matters and to attend to essential church business. At a recent meeting of the PCC the question of our response to this year’s Christian Aid Appeal was raised. In recent years the combined fund raising from the “House to House” collections by our three churches has raised £3000 for the charity. CA like all charities has been severely affected by loss of income during this time and their work abroad in Africa and other places has been under even greater strain than normal, as the virus is also among the people there.
Our own income has also dropped, with no Sunday services our weekly collections have dried up, and many of our members have converted their weekly giving to the Direct Giving scheme organised by the diocese. Others have opened Standing Orders with their bank and with the generous donations we have received we are just about keeping our heads above water in meeting the monthly bills. The Church in Wales has recognised the difficulties many parishes are in and has given a rebate of 25% against the Fair Share payment we make in the current quarter. This is very welcome and totally unexpected and gratefully received. From this money the PCC resolved to send £200 to Christian Aid as a gesture that we still wish to commit to help them and that we will organise a fund raising service once things get back to some normality and we can meet as a congregation once again.
The church may be closed but the WORK of the church goes on. Members of the congregation have been kept in touch by the Contact Groups with telephone calls during the week to ensure that all is as well as can be expected in these trying times. Loneliness can be as much a killer as any disease, boredom is another. Telephone contact has been much appreciated and a chat is welcome and the assurance is there should there be a need for help and support.
The church community and others were shocked and saddened by the recent passing of Mrs Margaret Morant so soon after her husband Philip died. Margaret was a strength in the community and was involved in the life of the village, and most especially with the W.I. She supported Philip in all the interests he had in the village during his life, and we offer our condolences to her two daughters, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. May she rest in peace, now united with Philip in glory.
As for the immediate future, we are awaiting the latest decision of the Welsh Government as to when churches may be open for private prayer and meditation. The conditions for this to happen will be under the most strident arrangements. Hand cleansing, social distancing, continual cleaning within the building, clearly defined sitting areas in the pews and other “dos and don’ts”. Whether all these things will be conducive to private prayer is another matter, but it will be a step on the way to full opening of the church for public worship.
Jon will continue his Sunday morning acts of worship on our Facebook page for some time to come and they are followed and appreciated by very many people. Life goes on and as HM the Queen said recently “we will meet again” let us hope it is not too far away, but in the meantime keep WASHING THOSE HANDS. God Bless