Rector’s Letter 2


Tel: 01536 414052




Days of lockdown and future plans


I want to take this opportunity to write to you again to bring you up to date with future plans and thoughts for church. I apologise for the length of this letter, please do try to read it all.

Where are we now?

These are unprecedented days, never in history has the church closed its doors to any who wish to come. These are also very tough times for those who are isolated, especially the recently bereaved, and for those with family they cannot spend time with. Julie and I have a new granddaughter, now six weeks old, whom we have not yet been able to meet. We share your pain. We must also remember those who have lost, or stand to lose, employment, and for those small business owners whose businesses have failed, with knock on effects for their employees. Alongside this, there are ‘key workers’ bearing the brunt of the difficulties, working doubly hard while most of us are confined at home. Our NHS staff, who have been truly amazing, but also teachers, post-office workers, parcel delivery people, refuse collectors, police, paramedics etc.

Plans are extremely difficult to make, and any we do make may well change. The latest information we have from the bishops is, I’m afraid, not encouraging. Clergy are now allowed into their church buildings alone, and not to hold services. All church buildings are still closed to everyone else. It is possible that wedding and funeral services in church may resume in the near future, but not as we might like them. Guests will be restricted to immediate family only and limited to a small number. No orders of service, other service books or Bibles may be used. Attendees will need to be seated 2 metres apart from each other, and there will be no singing allowed. A return to regular church services is some way off, and it is unlikely we will be back to anything like normal this year. This is all in the hands of the bishops.

We cannot live for the future, we need to live within our present restrictions, making what we can of the opportunities we have to live as God’s people. God has not forgotten us, he has not been taken by surprise, he has brought us here for a purpose.

What are we doing now?

This crisis has caused many of us to dive headlong into modern technology, and we have discovered that, in general, it is not as complicated as we had feared. If you are not au fais with internet technology can I suggest that you give it a go? I have heard many stories of people discovering what a great thing it can be, uniting families and friends and joining in online worship. And there are many different ways to access it, mobile phone, tablet or computer. But perhaps the simplest way is through a smart TV If you have one. All modern smart TVs will almost certainly have direct access to YouTube, possibly via a single button push on the remote control.

We are currently making the following available:

  • Live Morning Prayer streamed at 8am every day on YouTube and Facebook (
  • A ‘daily thought’ from 7pm every day on YouTube (
  • A morning service every Sunday from 9.15am on YouTube (
  • Weekly meetings for our young people (by invitation, speak to Andy if you know someone who might like to join)
  • Regular story times on YouTube for our children (
  • Our regular church website, the focal point of all church information (
  • A church blogsite, a place for written articles, thoughts, CFN etc. (
  • A WhatsApp group for sharing prayer needs (you will need a smartphone for this one)

And, for those who cannot access any of these, we are able to offer a weekly DVD of the Sunday Morning service and other selected items. Please contact the church office if you would like one of these, or if you know someone else who would. We are doing our best to get them delivered on Sunday afternoons.

We would really value your feedback on any of these things. We are learning as we go and really do want to offer the best we can, to the glory of God. Please do also keep us informed of your prayer requests, and of any pastoral needs you believe we may have overlooked. You can contact us by telephone (the normal office number), by email or via WhatsApp. You could even write us a letter.

What about finance?

I do need to write about finance in these difficult days.

One amazing thing about modern internet technology is that many things it offers are either free, or very inexpensive. The above offerings, save for some very minimal costs for software and equipment, are incurring no additional cost to deliver. You must agree that’s pretty good value in anyone’s book!

We are entering very difficult days as we begin the recovery from COVID-19. We are facing the highest unemployment rate for a generation, the deepest economic depression for over a century, and the biggest government debt in history. It is certain that taxes, in some form, will need to rise substantially to pay for this. There is no doubt that most of us will feel worse off (perceived or actual) for some time to come. The temptation is to ‘batten down the hatches’, cutting giving and economising wherever we can. Against this background we must remember that it is the creator of the universe whom we serve. The prophet Isaiah reminds us:

Thus, says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself (Isaiah 44:24)

Our giving to God’s work is not because he needs it, how could he need anything when he made it all. It is because as disciples of Jesus we need give. It is a response of sacrificial generosity to God who has done so much for us. We have the only true message of hope there is, and it’s hope that is eternal. We have the privilege of sharing this message with a world that is in desperate need of hope for the future. Jesus encourages his disciples to use their wealth in the light of eternity.

Please can I encourage you, if you are able, not to cut your giving to God’s work. And, if you are able, to increase your giving as a thank offering to God. As a church that God has blessed over the years, we have regular expenditure that we must meet as well as funding new initiatives (like taking on Helen).

Over the last few years, we have been running at a deficit which we cannot continue to do. This despite cutting expenditure wherever possible. Can I encourage you to reassess your giving to God’s work, and for His glory?

  • If you give regularly by standing order, thank you. This is the mainstay of our income. If you wish to change the amount you give regularly could you let us know? It really helps with our budgeting.
  • If you are part of the planned giving (envelopes) scheme, thank you too. If you have envelopes you want to give to us, then please post them through the letterbox at Church House. All mail goes into a strong metal box so is quite safe.
  • If you wish to make additional one-off gifts, then you can still send us cheques or CAF vouchers. You are welcome to give cash gifts too in a clearly marked envelope ideally best deposited though the Rectory letterbox.
  • You may shortly notice a button on the church website via which you may give to St Botolph’s. You may use this for one off gifts, but please be aware that there is an administration charge for every gift given in this way.
  • If you are using St Bots, “My ChurchSuite”, you can, by using the “My Giving” module, make a one-off online donation or (If you aren’t already using standing order) set up a monthly direct debit.





If you want to know how best to give to St Botolph’s please contact the office and we’ll help you.

So now, may God bless you, keep you and preserve you for all eternity.

In Christ,



The Revd Mark W Lucas


St Botolph’s Church Family News

31st May 2020


Services 31st May

Online Service (Available from 9:00am)

Romans 8:16

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

Services week commencing 1st June

Live stream of Morning Prayer at 8:00am – Seven days a week

Collect for the Pentecost

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Man up ? Battling depression as a Christian

In this time of lockdown, mental health comes under a great deal of pressure. Its therefore imperative, now more than ever, that we as churches are able to support those facing mental health struggles. We’re therefore very grateful to have the opportunity to hear from PJ Appleton about depression and his own experience, hosted by Moulton men’s ministry on Zoom.

PJ lives in London with his wife Claudia where he works as a Communications Director for an Australian technology company. He has been a Christian since giving his life to Jesus at 13 and now attends Christ Church Mayfair. At aged 24, he was diagnosed with depression, something he still battles on and off today. Over the past six years, he has given a number of talks (both in secular and Christian environments) about his experiences with depression and what it means to suffer with mental health struggles as a Christian.

Monday June 8th 19.30 – 20.30 on Zoom. Email to register interest and get the details needed to join the meeting.

Week of Prayer & Torch Thanksgiving 2020

We are delighted to invite you to join with us for this year’s Week of Prayer and annual Thanksgiving. Whilst we are unable to gather in person, we will be able to share and interact through various ways, thus making these precious times available to all.

How to join us – Week of Prayer
Each day from Monday 1st June through to Friday 5th

From our website – see and hear different daily short video presentations and prayer points.

Or visit our dedicated YouTube channel Torch Trust 2020 where the videos will also be available at

Or from a telephone – call 0333 123 1255 to hear the same presentations and prayer points

How to join us – Torch Thanksgiving
Saturday June 6th at 11.00 a.m. access by internet or your telephone line

From Zoom
via Internet link

or via Telephone

0131 460 1196 or alternatively 0203 051 2874

Meeting ID: 816 6782 6616

Password: 415968

From You tube – live from its dedicated channel Torch Trust 2020

Leah Sharibu

Leah was one of 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi, Nigeria by ISWAP (an offshoot of Boko Haram) in February 2018. The next month, following negotiations by the government, the surviving girls were put into vehicles to go home.

However, Leah wasn’t among them. She wasn’t released because she refused to convert in exchange for her freedom.

Leah’s 17th birthday is on 14th May.

Please keep persevering in prayer until we see Leah freed, along with all those held by terrorist factions in north-east Nigeria.

In summary, please pray:

  • That Leah and all other hostages would be released.
  • For God to protect them from the terrors of their surroundings.
  • That the Lord will be a refuge and a comfort to Nathan, Rebecca and Donald Sharibu and every family like Leah’s, awaiting the return of their loved ones.
  • For divine protection for villages in central Nigeria, and the release of those abducted for ransom.
  • For CSW’s work, particularly with the UK government, at the UN, EU and in Nigeria itself, to challenge the government to address the ongoing crisis.

Help us to enfold our church family with prayer. Please pray for these people this week:
Don Cash & Family
Family of Steve Frost
Debbie Palmer & family
Family of David Goodlad
Diana Ellis & family
Philippa Simper & family
Ron Eyre & family
Maurice Haynes
Tina McMillan & family
Family of Les Adams

Suggested Books

Evidence for the Bible from 10 of those
The evidence from the spade of archaeology demonstrates that the Bible is an accurate and authentic record of Israel’s history and its surrounding nations.

Jesus Storybook Bible from The Good Book Company
With over 60 pages of colouring fun, little ones will delight in experiencing The Jesus Storybook Bible as never before, unleashing their creativity as they absorb the words that whisper the Lord’s name in this one-of-a-kind colouring book.

Contact details

Revd. Mark Lucas:, Tel: 01536 628501,
Mob 07788 100757
Youth: Revd. Andy, Mob 07590 617738
Families: Helen, Mob 07973 164020
Wardens: Peter, Tel 01536 514284
Adrian, Tel 01536 723008, Tel 01536 414052

A virtual Mechanical Music Concert by Kevin McElhone.

This should have taken place on Saturday 23rd May 2020, I thought I would put this together as a ‘safe’ substitute.  

        You may choose to listen to any or all of these pieces of music.

              Do feel free to pass this on to anyone else from the Church Fellowship that you think might find it of interest.

        I hope you enjoy some of them, I already sent this to Derek Wade and Graham Tilney for comments last weekend.

We had planned to start with the Church Handbells and then progress to other instruments after that.

Automatic Bell Playing machine, a Carillon   [The Parish Church in Wellingborough has one]

Handbells – playing You Raise Me Up on 61 bells

 (with a change of key to give everyone a chance to play)

Bohemian Rhapsody on Handbells

A small 30-note modern musical box playing cardboard strips

 [which can easily be punched with new tunes] 

This is not a well-known tune but is rather nice.

Ballszenen (Scène de bal) by Joseph Hellmesberger

A Cylinder Musical Box with 2 combs – The first tune is Faust Waltz by Gounod

[owned by a friend of mine in London]

Cylinder Musical box with drum, bells and Reed Organ – playing Ave Maria by Bach-Gounod

Mira 15 inch Disc Musical Box.    In the Sweet By and By

Mira 15 inch Disc Musical Box.    Shall We Gather at the River

Polyphon old 1d Penny in the Slot Disc Musical Box  50cm disc

Ave Maria.  Schubert

Polyphon old 1d penny in the slot Disc Musical Box.  24½ inch (62.5cm) disc.

The Last Rose of Summer 

Manopan 39-note double-reed table-top organette

Puppen Waltz + Mikado Waltz (Gilbert & Sullivan)

Aeolian 46-note reed organ   Amapola [Pretty Poppy]

Aeolian 58-note Orchestrelle Reed Organ  In the Good Old Summertime

top-10 instruments from the National Mechanical museum Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands.

[including an automatic system for playing Bells]

I would welcome any comments you have


My ChurchSuite

Providing you have given consent for St Botolph’s to use store your personal data, you should have by now received an invitation to join “My ChurchSuite”.
It will have looked like this.

What is it?

ChurchSuite is a cloud hosted (Internet), web-based management system, essentially an extensive information database, designed for churches.

Who is it for?

Churches of all sizes and denominations.

My ChurchSuite is a great member-facing system within ChurchSuite, which provides access to church information.
There are 5 modules within My ChurchSuite:

  • My Communication” – This lists emails and SMS messages you may have received from church. (if sent from ChurchSuite)
  • My details” has 4 sub modules:
    Details, which contains your name, address etc, including date of birth, should you choose to disclose it.
    Login, which stores your email address and where you can change your password.
    Privacy, where you can manage which of your personal data is visible to other users.
    Communication, where you decide whether or not to receive emails and SMS messages.
  • “My events” – Lists upcoming events related to church activity.
  • My Giving” – Here you can make one off donations to St Bots or set up a direct debit. (If you already give regularly by standing order, there would be no need to set up a new direct debit) It also maintains a record of what you have given and permits Gift Aid to be included.
  • “Search for others” – A full searchable fellowship directory, providing contact information where members have consented to their details being made available.
    Only registered members can view this, it is not public facing.

How to use My ChurchSuite

• In the invitation email click on”Go to My ChurchSuite” and follow the steps to log on for the first time. Once done you can then update your details if you wish to, and change your password.

You will then have access to the modules listed above.

Some Screenshots from My ChurchSuite

My Communication

My Details

My Giving

My Events

Search for Others

CMF Prayer Diary for Nurses and Midwives

12 May – For nurses and midwives across our nation and across the world to show in the care of their patients the love and compassion that God showed us in sending Jesus [Phil 2:5-11, 2 Cor 13-5)

 13 May – For nurses and midwives working in understaffed and overstretched teams – for encouragement, rest, support and good leadership as they seek to give the best care in difficult circumstances. [Matt 11:28]

 14 May – For student nurses and midwives to grow in confidence and competence and for a strengthening of their sense of calling to the work. [Col 3:17]

 15 May – For Christian nurses and midwives facing challenges to their freedom of conscience and openness about their faith in secular workplaces; that they can keep their integrity whilst giving the best care to their patients and working within the guidelines of the profession. [1Peter 3:13-17]

 16 May – That the voices and role of nurses and midwives across the world in strengthening the health and wellbeing of their communities would be recognised and supported by governments, churches and other institutions. [Proverbs 3:19]

 17 May – For migrant nurses and midwives, away from their families and culture, having to work in an unfamiliar health system and in a foreign language; may they find welcome, friendship, spiritual and social support as they care for others. [Lev 19:34]

 18 May – a prayer for nurses ‘Heavenly Father, strengthen the hands and hearts of nurses & midwives to show your love and care for those in need, to grow in competence, to serve the common good and to act as examples of compassion and selfless care, in the name of your Son who laid aside his glory to serve and die for us, Amen’

Christian Medical Fellowship 

Magazine for nurses:

Join us at 7 pm daily to pray – #COVID1900prayer – see


Find our COVID-19 resources for members and churches see

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