August 2021 - Rector's Ramblings

Andrew Doye portrait imageThere is a lot to communicate this month, and most of it is necessarily Covid-related. However, firstly, I thank those who have been kind in their comments
and warm wishes upon my returning to duties these last few weeks. It is very good to be back in the midst of your services, with many good events underway and planned for the near future.

We are celebrating a few weddings presently in the parish church, which is delightful and very welcome given that we have to look back to August 2019
for the the previous such ceremony; it is keenly expected that we shall see the first baptisms since February 2020 taking place shortly; and we also look
forward to the Parish Tea Party, on Saturday 28 August [2021], of which more details elsewhere.

The reason for these expanded plans is the government-led easing of lockdown; and its encouraging us into a situation whereby we learn to ‘live with the virus’, returning responsibility to the individual to act thoughtfully and kindly. Downing Street suggests that we have all had enough of being ‘told-what-to-do’.

We will honour this relaxation in our churches, though our more precise plans are still being shaped whilst pronouncements ensue from politicians and advice from the medics and statisticians. Please keep a close eye on coming notices in pew sheets and on the church website. Even the schedule of services in this magazine is more an expression of intention that firm certainty; but you will understand that!

So (… deep breath), we shall in August return to a wider schedule of acts of worship, with at least two services each Sunday. This is the late summer month in which things are always a little quieter, but we hope to be in fuller flow for September.
- Our adult choir, who normally take a break in August, may well be singing,(having been denied that opportunity for so many past months)
- On 29 August [2021] we shall celebrate our Patronal Festival. Midweek morning prayer will continue to be offered online, though on some days there will be a complementary service taking place in the parish church itself
- Wednesday morning communions must await a later reintroduction, from 1 st September
- Worship at Woodmancote resumes, but with an act of Morning Prayer rather than Communion on the 4th Sunday, to which any one across the parish is most welcome.

We hope that the doors of the parish church will be open to visitors again on a daily basis: the dust sheets to be rolled back, and the pews that have been
blocked off to be re-opened. It is business as normal, in so far as Government will itself give the green light to those plans. A big question will surround the
possible return of congregational singing; if and when that comes, it may even then remain ‘masked’ at times. We shall see.

Throughout this long pandemic, your churches in the parish have sought to be careful, and in their decisions to put public and personal safety ahead of any
gung-ho inclination that ‘we can do it; just you watch’. With the urging of personal responsibility now probably being the way ahead, I do want to
underline that word ‘responsibility’.

And watching, kind, eyes; that seek to say, ‘you are welcome; come as you are, come as you can; we want to extend the care and love of God; you belong’.

Take care. Come and go in peace. Abide in love. Grow in prayer.
Andrew Doye
Rector


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