Harvest For The Hungry Total

Dear St Botolph’s friends

I have today (13/10/21) totalled up your gifts for Harvest for the Hungry, so this year’s project is now closed.  If you still wish to contribute, could I ask you to do so direct to TEN.  If you do this, it would still be good to know about it, so we can belatedly add your gift to the total.  Thank you so very much to all of you who have made such generous gifts.  We even had a gift of £106.05 from St Edmund’s church – thank you St Edmund’s, that was a lovely surprise.

Last year’s total was £5280, as usual surpassing the previous year.  So what was it this year?

Was it £3000?  No it wasn’t.

Was it £4000?  No it wasn’t.

Was it £5000?  No it wasn’t.

Was it £6000?  No it wasn’t.

It was in fact £6471.05.  Was a stupendous total!  Once again, I can only say that you are an amazing group of people.  On behalf of all those who are going to be fed because of your generosity, thank you so much.

Derek

Harvest For The Hungry Update

Dear St Botolphs friends

Harvest for the Hungry is going well (7th Oct).  Thank you once again to all those who have contributed.  I will be sending our gift to TEN (Transform Europe Network) some time next week, so if you have not sent a contribution and wish to do so, please would you do so by this weekend at the latest.  I’ll let you know the final total next week.

Every blessing

Derek

Amazing Generosity

Dear St Botolphs friends

Thank you so much to all those who contributed to this year’s Harvest for the Hungry.  Assuming that all those who donated on-line direct to TEN have let either me or the office know how much, your generosity appears to have led to a total of about £3700, which is magnificent, especially in the current situation.  You are, as always, amazing!

We are still about £1500 short of last year’s total, so if there are others of you who would like to contribute, perhaps you would care to do so as soon as possible.  We will keep the books open for a couple of weeks longer, after which I will try to let you know a more accurate total.

Every blessing

Derek

Harvest for the Hungry 2021

Sunday 26th September 2021

Our annual opportunity to help some of the poorest people in Europe

St Botolph’s will again be sponsoring food parcels, through Transform Europe Network, so that TEN’s overseas partners can purchase locally the food they put in their humanitarian parcels. The first £3,000 of St Botolph’s Harvest for the Hungry gift will be designated to ensure that the monthly humanitarian parcels distributed by our sister church in Sarajevo can continue for another year. Each of their parcels costs about £20. 

Because St Botolph’s is not in a normal pattern of activity yet, this is what we ask you to do if you would like to give:

  1. Prayerfully decide how much you want to give towards Harvest for the Hungry.
  2. Put your gift (cash, or cheque made payable to “Harvest for the Hungry” ie. NOT to St Botolph’s Church) into an ordinary envelope addressed to: Harvest for the Hungry, c/o Derek Wade, 8 Gotch Road, Barton Seagrave NN15 6UQ
  3. Either post or hand-deliver your envelope to the Church Office or 8 Gotch Road. Alternatively you can hand it in with the collection on Harvest Festival Sunday.

If you prefer to give electronically, then you can give online via the TEN website by clicking here (this link will take you straight to the TEN online giving page).

Because the first £3,000 is designated to the humanitarian ministry of our sister church in Sarajevo, it is important that we know how much we have given as a church, either in cash/cheques or online. For this reason if you give direct to TEN online, please let us know the size of your gift, you can let us know anonymously if you wish. Let us know by emailing Derek at by clicking here, or by sending a note to Derek via the church office, or direct to his home.

Shifting Sands

Well, this always was to be a discussion. I know we can’t please everyone, but we’ll certainly do our best to please as many as we can whilst remembering why we are here. St Edmund’s people have said that they find 8.30am too early and I can understand this for some. So I have moved the early service at Warkton to 9am which, I am told, is much more acceptable. This is the first tweek.

So, from Sunday 12th Warkton’s service will be at 9am not 8.30. See you there!

And we’re back

The days are getting shorter, the weather colder and pumpkins and squashes are bursting from our vegetable plots. This can only mean one thing; summer is over and Autumn is on the way! But, more importantly, rejoice because morning prayer is back. Starting Monday 6th September at 8am I will be saying morning prayer each morning, Monday to Thursday. It’s a great way to start the day, please do join me if you can. If you can’t make 8am the service will remain available on our YouTube site afterwards.

Join me here: films.stbots.church or here: youtube.com/stbots 8am on Monday morning.

Apology and Augmentation

I have been made aware, yet again, of my shortcomings, and I apologise. I do hope you will forgive my lack of clarity in my post, ‘Mission to the Masses.’ It is all too easy, when having lived with something for a long time, to be less than clear upon announcement. So, let me take this opportunity for augmentation in an attempt for accuracy in arrangements for the alterations. I will also use this post to add a little amplification.

Our monthly cycle of Sunday services from 12th September (a 2nd Sunday) will be:

Sunday

Time

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

St Botolph’s

8.30am

MP

HC

HC

10am

HC

MP

MP

MP

MP

7pm

EP

HC

EP

EP

EP

St Edmund’s

8.30am

HC (BCP)

HC (CW)

5pm

EP

EP

HC

  • MP – Morning Prayer; HC – Holy Communion; EP – Evening Prayer
  • BCP – Book of Common Prayer (1662); CW – Common Worship
  • Thursday services will not commence until October. We need time and volunteers to organise seniors’ ministry before we can launch effectively. Your prayers would be much appreciated as we do this. If you are keen to assist in seniors’ ministry, please let me know via St Botolph’s Church Office. You will need a current DBS check in order to help.
  • This cycle of services is for an experimental period and may change.

Mission to the Masses

As we come out of CoV isolation blinking our way back to normality we can breathe a sigh of relief. The pain is over. We can meet again, touch again, live again. But things will not be as they were, not least because the memory of CoV, lost loved ones, isolation, and pain, will be forever with us. We give thanks to God for His mercy and, at the same time, we trust Him for our future as we shut down CoV and re-boot normality. And as we push the reset button, we have an opportunity to assess our effectiveness as God’s mission people in a needy world. We have been thinking and praying through areas of ministry asking, is there a need to make changes? If so, a reboot is the best time to try.

William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury 1942-44, said, ‘The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.’ If we are to be a mission shaped church, then this must be at the forefront of our thinking. Church attendance in England is now under 1 million each week, that is fewer than 2% of the population. Since 1980 the church attendance has dropped by 50%. This is a crisis. How do we address it? Well, there are many ways, and, as a general rule, churches that preach the Bible clearly and live it out consistently are either growing or at least, not shrinking. But we also need to make church attendance as easy and natural as possible. With these things in mind, we have been addressing our Sunday services. How can we make it easy for people to attend? How can we best take the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel with people? So, over the last year, the team and wardens of St Botolph’s and St Edmund’s have been thinking and praying and would like to suggest an amendment to Sunday service times to meet this challenge. The changes are experimental and will be discussed by the PCCs near the end of October. Some may be disappointed by these changes, others, I know, will be delighted. I would ask you to consider what William Temple said, and what our mission is. I will happily talk with any of you who are struggling to understand. This is a genuine dialogue.

So, from 12th September our cycle of services will be:

St Botolph’s

  • Sunday 8.30am – Morning Service 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday
  • Sunday 10am – Morning Service with Promise Land
  • Sunday 7pm – Evening Service
  • Thursday 11am – Morning Service followed by seniors’ activity

St Edmund’s

  • Sunday 8.30am – Morning Service 2nd and 4th Sunday
  • Sunday 5pm – Evening Prayer 1st and 3rd Sunday

Protection, Peace and Praise

The CoV pandemic has been a ‘shock to the system.’ Strong and, for many, very frightening warnings of serious consequences have been given should we contract the virus. Many of us have witnessed the veracity of these warnings firsthand. And while vaccination promised a fatal blow to the virus the reality has been somewhat different with many of the double vaccinated contracting CoV. We are now told that face coverings, social distancing, and regular hand washing will be with, albeit voluntary, for some time yet.

So here is the difficulty. The work ‘voluntary.’ This makes meeting together in church difficult. There are those who do not wish to wear face coverings, especially when singing, and those who believe they should. There are some who are genuinely still vulnerable, and those who are simply anxious, and there are those who are desperate to be rid of all memory of the pandemic. Everyone is entitled to exercise their own conscience, and it is not my place to take sides. The exception to this is that we should all be sensitive to those expressing an irrational anxiety, whilst trying to help them. I’ll write more on this in due course. In Romans 14v13 Paul writes, ‘Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.’

So, here are our latest guidelines:

  1. In the chancel area we will continue to maintain social distancing and face covering for those who need it. The chairs are no longer socially distanced (we have to put them somewhere!), but social distancing should be maintained in this area. Please be sensitive to those using this area, many or most have good reason to be there. Please do not enter, or approach, this area if you are not wearing a face covering. If you need to enter this area, please use hand gel before you do, and only touch what is necessary. Those using this area are valued members of the church family and we must honour that.
  2. In the rest of the church building, you are free to exercise your own conscience, only with sensitivity and thought for others. You may wear a face covering if you wish, but also be aware that there will be those not wearing face coverings. Social distancing will be hard in this area so, if that’s important to you, please use the chancel ‘safe’ area.
  3. If you experience any symptoms, please do not come to church. The livestream will continue for the time being, so you don’t miss out too much. Recognised CoV Symptoms now include almost anything! Loss of taste is still a leading one, but also cold and flu like symptoms, aches and pains, and diarrhea and abdominal problems. In truth if you are feeling unwell in any way at all please stay at home.

May God bless, preserve, and keep us, for His glory alone.

Mark

Caffeination

Now that we are free (?!) we would like to introduce social mixing after the morning service at St Botolph’s. The traditional way, of course, to encourage this is to serve coffee, that greatest social lubricant of our time. Of course, we need to be careful to be safe, so we will take the following precautions:

  1. No one should be made to feel bad if they choose not to join a coffee making team if invited to. We must respect one another in this.
  2. Entrance and egress to and from Church House garden should be by the gate and not through church house.
  3. Coffee will be served from tables outside on the patio.
  4. No biscuits will be served. Please bring your own if you wish, but do not share them.
  5. Coffee, sugar, milk etc. will be put into cups as required only by the coffee team.
  6. The coffee team will wash their hands regularly with soap and hot water.
  7. All crockery and cutlery, however small amount, will be washed in the dishwasher, not the sink. This is far more hygienic and a basic rule for health and hygiene in the kitchen.
  8. As far as possible people should use Church House Garden for social mixing and not the fellowship room or anywhere inside the house.
  9. Face coverings should be worn inside Church House.
  10. If the weather is inclement we will not offer coffee.

 
 

Coffee will be served in this way from Sunday 1st August.