Congregational Bulletin

CONGREGATION BULLETIN 9

  • Why so long since Bulletin 8?

It has been over a month since either a Congregational Bulletin or a Parish News Sheet (for our wider circulation) has been sent out. In the last issues we were laying out arrangements, first for church opening for individual prayer, and finally for a limited return to public worship. Since then, I have been fully occupied with the delivery of both at each church (with welcome support in this by some church officers). Added to my other pastoral duties this has left me with far less time at my desk. I am not complaining about this at all, however. It feels a healthy state of affairs that – perhaps surprisingly – our churches are now open intentionally for prayer and quiet during more of each day than they have been in recent years.

Covid-19 has taken us on quite a journey. The talk was at first of a ‘new normal’, but increasingly it’s become clear that just as we get used to one set of provisions other circumstances come along and our existence constantly evolves to adjust to these. Circumstances for now simply seem to demand more of my time in church, just making prayer and quietness possible in the lives of passers-by, and being ready to talk with people I meet. There are quiet days when I can take the space to get other things done and work in church, but primarily the focus is outward.

I’ve not been sent material for inclusion in our communications for some time, so I will restrict myself in this bulletin to reminding you of our weekly schedule as it now is. But first I want to share with you one exception: a lovely account by Kate Gilbert which she sent me this week, of her experience of being led to train and work as a spiritual director, and of the blessing she is receiving herself from this work.
 

  • Sensing the still, small voice

Four years ago I did not know that there was such a thing as spiritual direction, or certainly not that it was something that was available to the laity. Having completed a year of weekly two-hour group periods in silent contemplative prayer, I felt I wanted more help In deepening my ongoing sense of vocation.
I was referred to a spiritual director who swiftly introduced me to the Centre for Spiritual Direction in Lombard St which offers a three-year ecumenical training in becoming a spiritual director. I completed the course this year and discovered it to be transformative.

The Centre keeps a register of spiritual directors, some of whom are also priests and ministers. To be able to sit with someone and ponder ways in which the sacred is present in your life can feel like a luxury. It’s a paradox that an hour spent in prayerful self-examination in the presence of the Holy Spirit (who is the only director in the room), can open up space and time in a liberating and uplifting way from which not only you but also those touched by you can benefit. There is a donation but no specific fee required by most ‘directors’ who are likely to receive every bit as great a benefit in meeting you as you will receive in meeting them. I thoroughly recommend the experience. Finding a good match for you is important, and you may need to meet a few people before alighting upon that soul with whom you feel ‘at home’ as it were. Finding love and acceptance through being with another human being sharing a sacred journey with you might be just what you’re needing at this extraordinary time ...                                      Kate Gilbert
 

  • Our weekly programme

Sunday Morning Zoom Services continue at 10.30am. There will be an exception to this on Sunday 16th August when I am on my second week of summer leave. As last time, I will record a YouTube Eucharist which can be accessed any time that day. For the Zoom services those on the congregational lists are sent the link to each, with the Service Sheet, on the evening before. As with all the details that follow, these can also be found on the church websites:

www.stpeterbelsizepark.org.uk

www.stsaviourhampstead.org.uk

Each Church holds a Said Eucharist (no singing is allowed in church as yet) each Sunday afternoon, where those attending can receive the sacrament in the form of bread only (no wine), keeping appropriate social distance, wearing face-coverings throughout apart from when receiving communion. These are at 4.30pm at St Saviour, and 6pm at St Peter

Each church holds its regular midweek Holy Communion service (Wednesday 1.15pm St Saviour, Thursday 10.30am St Peter) but with no food or drink provided afterwards. The above restrictions also apply here. The exception will be Wed and Thu 19th and 20th August when Fr. Paul is on leave.   

Junior Church aims to meet face to face again, either in church or the church garden. You will hear news of this after Fr. Petrica returns from his own two weeks of summer leave (he is away Sunday 9th and 16th of August)   

Churches are generally Open for Individual Prayer at these times:

          St Peter, Tue – Sun 3.30pm-4.30pm

           St Saviour, Tue, Wed, & Fri 10.30-11.30am, Thu and Sat 12-1pm

Daily Prayer Offices are generally:

          Tue – Fri 8.30am, Sat 9.30am Morning Prayer at St Saviour

          Tue – Sat 5pm, Evening Prayer at St Peter

Weekly Foodbanks Collections are made at each church on Wednesday during the times of Individual Prayer:

          St Saviour 10.30-11.30am at the Provost Road Entrance

          St Peter 3.30-4.30pm in the Entrance Porch

Contributions can be brought at other times when each church is open

Other activities – a weekly Bible study and some literary groups - will resume from September. Look out for details!
 

  • Making online contributions to our churches

Every Anglican Church is expected to ‘pay its way’ and be largely self-supporting - the Church of England can no longer fund its parishes centrally, and we do not receive government funding. With small congregations, St Peter’s and St Saviour’s normally seek to supplement their incomes and meet their overheads by renting out the churches and church halls, but since the pandemic income from this has fallen dramatically.
Our Parishes’ Administrator, David Barton has helped each church to set up on-line giving.

We hope that all who consider themselves regular members of St Peter’s or St Saviour’s will wish to commit to giving regularly.
Below are links to enable you to do this, or to make one-off donations.

St Peter, Belsize Park

Regular Giving:

St Peter’s Standing Order form

St Peter’s Gift Aid Form

Occasional Donations:

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/3e9f1e60-3074-4deb-b7c9-3f0c4755de0f


St Saviour, Chalk Farm

Regular Giving:

By direct debit using the Parish Giving Scheme - this can now be set up by phone - the details are here: http://www.stsaviourhampstead.org.uk/giving/regular-giving/

You will also need our Parish Giving Scheme code; email us at
stpandsts@gmail.com for this.

Occasional Donations:

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/715c6f21-fa6e-434b-9e82-a0be0b791fe9

 


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