My Dear Friends
It’s a gorgeous day as I am writing this --- a real Indian Summer; the temperature is just right but with just that whiff of Autumn in the air. I adore this season and am not surprised so many people have written prose and poetry about its colours and grandeur. Most people I’ve spoken to lately have, like Robin and me, been enjoying a bumper crop of apples and pears. I’ve been making chutney, but still have much surplus fruit and if any of you would like to have some, do please let me know. This year I think we might take particular pleasure because harvest is one of the first special services which we are able to celebrate in our churches after having missed all those important key festivals earlier in the Christian year.
We are having a harvest festival service on Sunday 20th at St Peter and St Paul, Shropham. This will be a simple service of thanksgiving and a small group will be singing some well-known hymns. Although the congregation are unable to join in, it is still a joy to hear singing in our churches again. Last week at St James, the music group sang at the morning service, and it was lovely; a small group, making a sweet sound and a special treat for those who were present. Thank you.
This weekend brings two important things to remember. It is 80 years since the Battle of Britain and although most of those who were directly involved in that momentous event have died, there are still relatives of those on both side of the channel who showed tremendous courage entering into their planes for this difficult air battle. The thoughts of surviving relatives may be particularly sharp at this time.
I am also aware that it is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Saturday 19th. I have been privileged to be part of such a celebration in the past, and have experienced the rituals and gatherings and, oh the so special and delicious food which it brings. Like our churches, synagogues have been closed, and people are only just beginning to find themselves again after a long period of having to be absent. I wish them all well, wherever they are, for their New Year.
On the 24th of September at 2.00pm, Hazel Skitmore’s funeral will be held at RAS church. Numbers attending are to be restricted to 30 people, so unfortunately many of Hazel’s friends will not be able to join the service, as they normally would. I am sure, however, that those who have known her and who mourn her passing will be with her and her family in spirit.
My love to you all
Sunday 20th September
Harvest Readings: Deuteronomy 8 v 7-18 or 28 v 1-14, Psalm 65, 2 Corinthians 9 v 6-end, Luke 12 v 16-30 or 17 v 11-19
10.30am St Peter and St Paul, Shropham - Harvest Festival
Thursday 24th September
2.00pm RAS - Funeral of Hazel Skitmore
Sunday 27th September
Readings: Ezekiel 18 v 1-4, 25-end, Psalm 25 v 1-8, Philippians 2 v 1-13, Matthew 21 v 23-32
10.30am St Peter, Little Ellingham - Morning Service
Broadcasted Christian worship programs (all Sun 20th)
8.00am - Radio Norfolk - Sunday Worship from Norfolk
8.10am - Radio 4 - Sunday Worship, with Father Brian D’Arcy
10.30am - BBC1 - Sunday Morning Live
1.15pm - BBC1 - Songs of Praise, with Revd Kate Bottley and Katie Piper
3.00pm - Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Chapel of Royal Holloway
Another broadcasted service (of which I had been ignorant) was highlighted by the most recent Diocesan News:
The weekly BBC Local Radio Sunday service, that airs for 30 minutes around the UK, is coming from the Diocese of Norwich this week. The Revd Laura Montgomery, Rector of the Easton Benefice and Chaplain to Easton College is leading and preaching a celebration of Harvest, rooted in the life and faith of our local Saint Walstan. The Rectors of Great Yarmouth and St Peter Mancroft are contributing, along with a shepherdess from Diss. The Bishop of Norwich will be sharing closing thoughts and a final blessing. Tune in to your local radio station to listen.
Apparently it is broadcast each Sunday at 8.00am. I have now included it in the list.
We have recently been given the sad news that Michael Brand has died. Michael resided in Rocklands and was a member of the Benefice Choir. Our condolences to his wife Ann and family.
New COVID rule on gatherings
The Church of England website gives this information allowing congregations to continue to meet for worship:
There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather there. The exemption covers church services and as well as some other activities that take place in church buildings.
However, it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.
Hopefully this clarifies what is allowed for a church service congregation; there are different rules for weddings, funerals and baptisms. If you wish to read more here is the link to the C of E website:
Of course the whole situation is very fluid at the moment with local rules being tightened to counter increasing numbers of COVID infections. Also recent news reports indicate that our government is considering tighter national restrictions which will of course affect us all.
Norfolk Churches Sponsored Bike Ride
Congratulations to Victoria Graham for completing her trip around Norfolk Churches last Saturday in aid of Rockland St Peter; visiting 16 churches by cycling nearly 60km. Anyone who has or would like to sponsor Victoria, please contact her to arrange payment. I don’t know of anyone else from the Benefice who participated, but if there were, then my apologies and well done.
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