This week at St Peter's

 

 

ST PETER’S CHURCH

 

PARISH NEWS SHEET 30 August 2020

 

Where did the News Sheets go?

It has been about two months since the last Parish News Sheet was issued. In the last sheets we were - amongst other things - laying out arrangements, initially for churches opening their doors 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 which, added to my other pastoral duties, has left me with far less time at my desk. I don’t consider this a bad thing, though, and 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.

This News Sheet will remind you of the emerging current pattern of activities at each of our churches, and will be punctuated by features and articles by church members. Claire Brown’s last visit to deliver our Food Bank donations led to some fresh information on the goods that are currently needed (which fluctuate periodically). Lectio Divina is a form of reflective Bible Study we have practised between our churches for the last three years, and I for one have missed our Tuesday sessions – coming as they do at the start of my working week (after my rest day). There is no leader, and participants comment and contribute as they are moved after a period of silent reading of the text. Celia Pachmayr, our convenor, writes of the group’s planned return next month.

In a ‘shrewd move’ to lower expectations, I am simply putting the issue date on this News Sheet, with no indication of a next edition!...


Christian Climate Action by Janet Cowen

A vigil by Christian Climate Action is to take place alongside the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Parliament Square in the first few days of September. For further information see:

https://christianclimateaction.org/2020/07/23/vigil-at-the-london-rebellion-sept-2020/

‘We will hold a space of peace and hope amongst the chaos, grounded in our faith, in our trust in each other, and in our love of the Earth. Join us! All are welcome, whether you’ve prayed before or not…

We will begin with a multi-faith ceremony, located at St Johns Church Waterloo at 7pm on Monday the 31st of August. This ceremony will prepare a sacred space for the rebellion.

We’ll continue in silence all day and all night, alongside the pavement outside Parliament or another location, until at least Sunday the 6th of September. All are welcome to join us. Just come along wearing a mask, take a social-distancing ribbon and sit with us. We’ll ring a bell on the hour and half-hour (with five minutes to get up and move around at the end of each session), so feel free to join us for half an hour or for as long as you like.

This vigil is beautiful in its simplicity and powerful in its intent – to come together as people from different faith communities and from all philosophies, and to sit together in our grief and with our deep love for our planet…’ (quoted from the link above)


Restarting Lectio Divina: A prayerful study of Scripture

 by Celia Pachmayr

Our Lectio Divina group started in May 2017, a weekly Bible Study Group shared between St Saviour’s and St Peter’s, alternating month by month between the two churches.

Lectio Divina grew out of early monastic practice. The term encompasses a number of slightly different approaches to meditating on a Biblical text.

The aim is to discover what the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us personally from the text we are studying with a view to changing our behaviour and outlook so that it conforms more with Christ’s teaching and gospel. Our approach has largely been to jointly select a whole book from the Bible and then work through it week by week from beginning to end. This method slows us down. Michael Casey, a contemporary monk, in his book Sacred Reading likens this to starting quite a long journey. In order to respect the integrity of the text we have found that we need to understand what sort of literature this is, who wrote it and when, why, for what purpose? Is this history, poetry, fiction? Short passages don’t really lend themselves so well to this approach. It needs to be more of a journey than a glimpse.

By studying the text slowly and in depth week by week we are more likely to be able to hold onto the insights we gain and remember them so that they can be applied throughout our day to day life This in turn opens us up to each other’s faith and to what God might be wanting and waiting to do with us.

 

Each of us prepares in different ways for the group. Some turn to commentaries and scholarly writings, others prepare by formulating the questions the text raises for them, perhaps noting their reactions of disagreement, disapproval or lack of understanding.

When we meet as a group it is for an hour, with firm time boundaries There are two main tasks, firstly to approach the text prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to help us understand what God may be saying to each of us and what He wants us to do about it. After an opening prayer someone reads the passage we are studying that day. We follow this with a period of silence. After this everyone is free to contribute.

The second task is to listen carefully and respectfully to each other’s contributions and respond accordingly. Often a particular word, phrase or idea has struck someone, or alternatively something seems obscure, hard to understand.

After the initial period of silence discussion is usually lively, sometimes interspersed with further natural silences giving time for us to think about what has been said. We end with another reading of the passage, sometimes in a different translation, and with prayer. After the group, perhaps because of the slow pace, we find ourselves remembering what has struck us from the text and can allow God to help us make changes in what we do or think. Risking ourselves talking about our faith to each other in the group may also help us to become more open and less self conscious about sharing our faith with others.


Foodbank: what’s needed – what’s not from Claire Brown

Delivering to the Foodbank depot at Chalk Farm Baptist Church last week it was made clear that fresh produce – such as vegetables and bread are not taken [because of their brief shelf-life]

Currently, they need:

Anti-bac cleaning products
Jam/ peanut butter
Nappies sizes 5 & 6
Tortilla wraps
Biscuits

They DO NOT need:

Soup
Pasta
Lentils/pulses
Cereal/oats/porridge

Please note our weekly Foodbank collection points below*

Our weekly programmes

Sunday Morning Zoom Services continue at 10.30am. 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.

Junior Church is just starting to meet face to face again, either in church or the church garden on Sunday afternoons during the time of the said Eucharists (4.30pm St Saviour, 6pm St Peter). Father Petrica says:

What to expect is some socially distancing games such as Simon Says and Charades (or a Scavenger Hunt in the garden), dancing to a song (no singing) and a Bible story told in pictures.

And I would strongly encourage the parents to make sure their children bring their own little bag with some colouring pencils, glue, scissors and paper, and to download any of the colouring sheets or activities that go with tomorrow’s story. You will find these on our websites (https://www.stsaviourhampstead.org.uk/ or http://stpeterbelsizepark.org.uk/), and I will also send them to you tomorrow morning with the video lesson as always.

For those who might just visit us for the first time (or those who forget to bring their own craft materials), I will have a few pre-prepared small bags sanitised and sealed with a couple of craft items that can be used by one child only.

If the weather is good, we’ll be outside in the garden, which is ideal, and which could also attract new parents with children who might happen to visit any of our gardens during Junior Church.

If the weather is not very good, we’ll be indoors (with plenty of hand sanitising), in the Octagon at St Saviour’s, and in the Hall at St Peter’s, which are both big enough to allow for social distancing.

 And I will, of course, be wearing a face covering and gloves.
 

Churches are generally open for Individual Prayer at these times:

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

          St Peter, Tue – Sun 3.30pm-4.30pm

Daily Prayer Offices are generally:

          Tue – Fri 8.15am (NB change of time), 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:

Through the Parish Giving Scheme - this can now be done by phone - the details are here: http://www.stsaviourhampstead.org.uk/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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