‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ Romans 14:11
This week I attended an online course, organised by Bishop Helen-Ann called Hopeful Conversations. It seemed very appropriate this week because the news, in every regard has seemed to lack hope. When we are confronted by facts and figures and news items that appear to be negative it can be easy to become despondent, worried, concerned, anxious and lack any sort of hope for the future. However, I was reminded during this online course that, as Christians, we are grounded in hope – the hope of the resurrection – Jesus died and rose again for us – so that we might have eternal life – that we might have everlasting hope. This is what we have to remind ourselves of and encourage ourselves with. This is why it is so good that we can meet together to worship, even though we can’t sing and we can’t socialise over a cup of coffee – what we can do is worship, pray and hear scripture together. This is the foundation of our calling as Christians to be able to come together to worship the God whose Son died to give us hope. I was encouraged that we can continue to gather for worship following the Government’s announcement last week. I pray that we may continue to feel encouraged and hopeful in our faith as we move forward.
Over the last week both PCC’s have met in church and you will see that we intend to return to offering services in both churches from the beginning of October. To enable this to happen we are changing the service time at St Matthew’s to 10.45am. In line with our risk assessment and to maintain physical distancing and hygiene in handling things I am having to set up and clear away in each church and this change in time will allow me to do this in both churches. I hope you will agree that this indicates a move forward for us as a benefice whilst continuing to follow the guidelines set out by the Government and the Church of England.
I pray that we can all continue to give praise to God as we are told that this is what we are encouraged to do as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.