A MESSAGE FROM THE VICAR
Over the last few days, I have been struck by how nationally and globally humanity has responded to the Coronavirus outbreak. The best and worst of humanity has been on display. Many of us are fearful of what is to come, and on television and as evidenced by the images of empty shelves are taking steps to prepare and protect themselves. Contrast the words put into the mouth of Yoda in the Star Wars films; “Fear leads to anger and anger to hate and hate leads to suffering” with those of St Paul writing to the Romans “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5.3-5). This moment in our national life is I believe not one to be trapped in fear, but rather to remember that Jesus who came and lived and experienced that darkness of the world, in a time where there was no NHS or means of even beginning to develop vaccines and medication as there is today.
One way in which we can show the love of Christ is the way in which the vulnerable are cared for. In the Benefice we are blessed to have people with caring hearts who will be working to do all we can organisationally to support those in need – but please do not let this stop all of us phoning and checking in with those we know and offering practical support when we can.
Reading the pages of Scripture, the people of God have gone through challenging times before and will no doubt do so again. May we together remember through the days of challenge ahead that (as written in Lamentations 3.24-26) “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him”.
SOCIAL EVENTS IN THE BENEFICE
All social events in the benefice have been cancelled until further notice. The worshipping life of the benefice continues; please see the website for up to date information.
NEW EMAIL ADDRESS FOR NOTICES
Please send your submissions and all service details for the notice sheet to email@example.com.
Please note the new deadline for the weekly notice sheet. Could all submissions please be sent by Tuesday at 5.00p.m.
VICAR'S REST DAY
From the beginning of October, John, our Vicar will be swapping his regular rest day to a Friday.
CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
Epping Forest ReUse has good quality furniture, household appliances and other goods for sale. Do come and visit. The charity is 5 mins from Epping Station on the Bower Hill Industrial Estate. See www.eppingreuse.org.uk or ask Janet Whitehouse for information 01992 812503.
In the Theydon Parishes, we welcome children and adults to join the church through Baptism, either in our main services or on occasion in special services. To inquire about booking a baptism, please contact Sarah Bowen using the Benefice office email or phone number in the first instance.
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS AT HOLY COMMUNION
For any who need it, gluten free bread is available for Communion on request.
One of the most powerful things that followers of Jesus Christ can do is to pray for matters or people which concern us, James wrote to the early Church "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5.14). Beginning next week, there will be a section of the sheet entitled "Your prayers are asked for", If you would like to make a prayer request for yourself (or for someone else with their consent) to be included please contact the clergy, who are also able to arrange pastoral visits. There are also prayer boards where requests can be made in each of the parishes.
Regular prayer is an important part of following Christ, and there are lots of opportunities to come together as a Benefice to pray. Morning Prayer is said on a Monday at 9.30am and on Tuesday at 8.45am in St Mary's TB. Both are said services, use contemporary language, and last about 15 minutes. On Tuesday BCP Evening Prayer (traditional language) is said at St Mary's TB at 5pm. Holy Communion is celebrated during the week on Tuesday at 10.00am at All Saints TG and on Wednesday at 10.00am at St Mary's TB.
St Mary’s extend a warm welcome to couples seeking to be married.
To find out more information please view the full details on our Special Events page by clicking here.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY PARISH PASS
The Benefice Office now holds a parish passes for each church in our group. Each pass can be used on 6 occasions, and allows a group of up for 4 people entry for free each time. Passes can be borrowed from Sarah Bowen.
CONTACTS IN THE UNITED BENEFICE
Email contacts for the Vicar and Benefice Administrator have changed, please use firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to contact John or Sarah. Our Vicar is trying to be more disciplined in using email, and will not have access to email on the move, so sometimes it may take a little longer for a reply to be sent.