Rector’s Letter – 14th October 2020

Calm us, Lord, as you calmed the storm;
still us, Lord, keep us from harm.
Let all the tumult within us cease,
enfold us, Lord, in your peace.

Dear friends,

This little prayer inspired by St Patrick, has regularly come unbidden into my mind during the last few weeks as I have prayed for others and for myself. I have heard several of you say that you are finding the new regulations more difficult to cope with than Lockdown and the swift spread of the virus more frightening than the first wave. At a time like this when we are coming to the edge of our own resources, it’s good to know that we can call out to God who will give us the courage, the peace and the hope we need.

Please continue to pray for those who are unwell at this time, those facing tests and those undergoing treatment, and for those recently bereaved.

My thanks go to all who helped make the church look so colourful and the porch so inviting for the Harvest Thanksgiving Service. We are now entering into the Season of Remembrance as we come towards the end of the Church Year. At 8pm on 1st November there will be a special All Souls evening service to remember and give thanks for loved ones who have died. Please send me the names of those you wish to be remembered either by phoning or e-mailing or by posting a slip into the box in the porch from 25th October. There will be candles lit in memory of them around the church and their names will be read out during the service. I am hoping that this service will be live-streamed and the readings and prayers sent to everybody so that you can all join in if you wish.

It was lovely to be involved in St Mary’s School Harvest Celebrations last week. Although I am not allowed in the school building under current restrictions, I have been taking part in their weekly assembly by means of short videos which are shown to each class and also sent out to the families. For the end of term, I was invited to work with the teacher of Primary 3 to 5 to plan a virtual Harvest Service which comprised of a series of short videos prepared by the children and myself of thanksgiving prayers, a drama about a hospitable hedgehog, a reflection on the Feeding of the Five Thousand and a blessing which the children signed rather than sung. I have also been supporting Primary 6-7 whose topic for this term was Slavery. The pupils were interested to find out about our historical links to the slave trade. Some of their work will soon be displayed in the church porch and I hope to reflect on it in the morning service on 25th October.

The Parent Council have had to look for innovative ways of fundraising for the school this year. One of their inspired ideas is to produce and sell a Christmas Cake Kit and encourage everyone to make it on Stir up Sunday, 22nd November. I was delighted to be asked to produce an information sheet to explain the origins of Stir up Sunday and write a special prayer to be said by families as they come together to make their cake. You can order for yourself or for family or friends, a gift box containing all the dry and wet ingredients for a rich fruit cake (except eggs and butter), a recipe and the information sheet , cost £20, by emailing fundraisingstmarys @, by contacting Klara on 07843 060 677 or by leaving your details on a slip in the box in the church porch before 25th October. Every member of the St Mary’s community is invited to join in with the stirring and the baking.

Finally, please pray for Junior and Xander, the great grandchildren of Audrey and the late Canon John Symon, who will be baptised on the afternoon of 25th October. The service at 2pm is open to all. If you wish to attend this or any other service, please contact Sue Lockwood on services @ or by phoning 824004.

Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. Please be assured of my prayers for you. Feel free to phone me for a chat. I am never too busy to spend time with you.

With love,