July Magazine

25 Jun 20

The Church’s Year

Readings 

Sunday 5th   Trinity 4  Zachariah 9.09-12  Matthew 11. 16-19 + 25-end

Sunday 12th Trinity 5  Isaiah 55. 10-13    Matthew  13. 1-9 + 18-23       

Sunday 19th Trinity 6  Isaiah 44. 6-8        Matthew 13. 24-30 + 36-43 

Sunday 26th  Trinity 7 1Kings 3. 5-12        Matthew 13. 31-33 + 44-52

Funerals

The funeral service for the late Mrs Janet Gibbs of Ansley who died on 9th April 2020, aged 78, took place at Nuneaton Crematorium on the 4th May 2020. The interment of ashes will be at St Laurence churchyard at a later date. Those who have been especially close to Janet include: husband Keith; sisters Jean and Avril; daughter Cheryl and husband Garry with Louise, Cory and Grace plus granddaughter Anya and her other granddaughter Taylor; son Richard with Sarah in Canada, along with other family members, friends and neighbours. 

The burial service for the late Mr Walter George Williams of Nuneaton who died on the 1st May 2020, aged 88, took place at St Laurence churchyard on the 26th May 2020.

Those who have been especially close to George include: daughter Christine and husband David with Alannah and Nathaniel; son Steve with wife Quita and Barney and Hamish; along with the nieces and other family members, friends and neighbours. 

As a church family we remember Janet and Walter in our prayers and offer their families our sincere condolences. 

Corona Virus Update 24th June 2020

 If you know someone from our church or community who does not have internet access, please suggest that they phone a churchwarden for the latest information. 

Prime Minister’s further easing of lockdown restrictions, 23rd June 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on further easing of lockdown, made on the date above, the guidance from church authorities on opening churches will be updated during the next few weeks.

Please see below the latest letter from Coventry Diocese’s Archdeacon Pastor. 

UPDATE from Rev Sue Field regarding unlocking (24/6/20) 

Worship in church – the Prime Minister announced yesterday that public worship can resume in churches but please note the Bishop of London’s comment yesterday that this does not mean it will in all church buildings from 4 July. We don’t yet have the detailed guidance on this but we imagine the numbers attending will be at the discretion of the incumbent and PCC and will be based on a risk assessment of the building and arrangements. If you normally hold more than one service on a Sunday, the building will need to be thoroughly cleaned in between those services. You will need to think through how you manage attendance and also whether you intend still to stream services if you have been doing that. I hope, following my letter last week, that you have begun to consider this.

 Please do be aware though that this is permissive rather than prescriptive. The important thing is that you open for worship as safely as possible if you can. For those of you worried about the legal aspect of deciding not to open for worship just yet, the legal office of the Church of England will be providing advice on the suspension of canonical obligations in this current situation.

 Singing – you will be aware that, at the moment, singing is not allowed in our worship in churches. There is an anomaly in that singing does appear to be allowed at Crematoria. I have spoken to Public Health in Warwickshire and written to Public Health England about this but await a response. 

Those aged over 70 – many of our volunteers and worshippers, including Clergy and Readers, are over the age of 70 and the Government advice is that these people, along with those with some medical conditions, are in a clinically vulnerable group of people. This is in recognition of the fact that Covid-19 appears to often be more serious for people in that group.

The Church of England last week published a paper detailing the risks entitled ‘Personal Risk Factors to clergy, churchworkers and volunteers’ in which it still advises those who are clinically vulnerable to stay at home as much as possible apart from getting food or exercise but also says that people in that category can go to work if they can’t work from home. 

 It advises that, if people want to work and cannot work from home, they discuss their situation with their Diocesan Bishop, employer or incumbent with regard to the type of work or voluntary activity they are able to perform. 

 The Bishop has discussed this with me and others and we suggest the following way forward:-

 a) For those over 70 volunteering in churches who are not Clergy or Readers, who would like to resume face to face ministry, a conversation needs to be conducted with their incumbent or, in the absence of an incumbent, with their Area Dean. This conversation needs to include the type of activity they will be involved in and a discussion of the risks listed in the document I mention above.

b) For those over 70 who have the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate either as a member of the clergy or as a Reader and who would like to resume leading worship in church (when their church building is open) or to take funerals – please write to me and I will arrange for a conversation to happen covering the same ground as for volunteers above.  We have been advised that individual conversations about risk must be held as it is our responsibility to do so. 

I also want to emphasise that no one should feel obliged or pressurized to resume this ministry if they feel uncomfortable with doing so. 

Note circulated to Churchwardens and PCC members 25th June by the Reverend John Langlands.

I would recommend that we aim to open our churches, (which, when and how to be planned) on the first Sunday in August.  This gives a month to plan and decide how it will work and what sort of opening/services we can have.  By that time also further easing down may make things more straightforward

St Laurence 56th Flower Festival

Towards the end of May a final decision about the practicality of holding the 56th Flower Festival at St Laurence over the August Bank Holiday weekend in its traditional format had become more urgent.  It did not seem possible to manage the number of visitors under social distancing rules within either the church building or the Annexe. 

Although the people of the church at St Laurence had not been able to meet in person, they had been able to communicate by phone, letter or email.  By the third week of lockdown it became apparent that the prospect of holding the Flower Festival did not look at all likely. 

But God moves in a mysterious way and has inspired church members to organise a virtual festival.  The many people who help in one way or another are being invited to take part.  Most of us lack the latest technological knowhow and our website was not designed for this type of event but we will do our best.  The plan is to post a link to our virtual festival presentation on our website www.ansleychurch.org.uk by Friday 28th August, and to keep it available to visit over the following month. 

Please pray for this project that

·         the plans may progress smoothly

·         we are able to cope with the technology

·         our team will be encouraged by taking part

·         visitors to the website will feel it has been worthwhile and will donate generously to our usual charities, Nuneaton Hospital League of Friends and Acorn Children’s Hospice.  (All the proceeds from this virtual event will be shared equally between these two charities.)

Full details of the Virtual Flower Festival will be in our August magazine. 

Archdeacons’ Visitation

It is usually around June that the Archdeacons hold a service in each deanery at which newly appointed churchwardens join in an oath of commitment to their role for the year ahead.  These services could not be held as churchwardens are voted into office after the APCM, which has been delayed until later in the year.  Instead a “zoom” meeting was set up for clergy and churchwardens in Nuneaton Deanery.  This was quite a challenge especially as a thunderstorm was in progress at the time.  It was a weird experience to take part in one of these gatherings for the first time ever.  It was good to see some familiar faces, hear a talk from Archdeacon Sue Fields and hold a short discussion in smaller groupings.  Some churches had been using the internet to stream services, but this did not seem appropriate for our congregations.  May we soon be able to meet with others in our usual way.

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Prayer Requests

If you would like someone or a particular situation remembered in prayer during  this time of disruption, please make contact by email or phone one of the following.

Rev. J. Langlands    024 7667 5236 email jlanglands@sky.com

Margaret Antill          018 2787 4520

Moreen Freestone   024 7638 1833

Margaret Oliver        014 5582 2822

Diana Kealey            024 7639 5089

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Rev. John's July Jottings

If you are sometimes asked, ‘How has the lockdown been affecting you?’ I imagine most of your answers have been around health, food supplies, maybe feeling lonely, being stuck indoors and missing family and friends. As the lockdown begins to ease, as it has been, we are ...

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Personal Profile
Rev. John Langlands

 It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!