Tomorrow our nation will be holding a Day of Reflection to mark the one year that has passed since the first coronavirus lockdown. At 12 noon there will be a one-minute silence followed by a bell toll and, at 8pm we are encouraged to stand on our doorstep with phones, candles or torches to signify ‘a beacon of remembrance.’ Apparently, many prominent buildings and landmarks across the UK will also be lit up at that time. It will be an opportunity to mark with respect and love all those who have lost their lives, to hold in awe all those who have fought with such determination and courage on the frontline and to thank God for His miracles – not least, the production of an effective vaccine. It will be a time to pray thanksgiving for all those who have kept our infrastructure going and maintained our services and supplies; for those who discovered the vaccines, for all those who produce and administer them and for those volunteers who support them.
Standing on the doorstep brings to mind those weekly Thursday evenings during the first lockdown, when many of us stood on our doorsteps at 8pm and enthusiastically applauded our wonderful NHS staff who were working so hard to save lives and maintain our health service. I have lived in my home for 40 plus years and am blessed with some lovely neighbours, but that weekly applause had a wonderful effect on neighbour relations.
Some of you may recall Ian Dury’s hit record: Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3. Perhaps not the most sophisticated song in the world but it makes a good point. As we reflect on this annus horribilis it might be a good exercise to look at the positives, possibly be surprised at their abundance, and thank God for them.
Lesley Lee – Reader
As we are unable to meet together to worship and to distribute palm crosses, we thought you might like to make your own palm crosses. You can use a palm frond if you have one or something else from the garden that can be fashioned into a cross. You could user paper, or card, or any other craft material you have in your home. Free the creative inner you, as you produce your personal palm cross. If you make it this week you can have it with you when you watch the recorded service for Palm Sunday and then why not display it during Holy week in your window, porch, car or on your lunch box.
There are several websites to show you how to make palm crosses, or go freestyle and make whatever you feel called to. Maybe pray as you make it and use it as invite and aid to prayer during Holy week.
A colouring cross sheet and how to make a palm cross instruction sheet are enclosed.
The date of the church’s annual meeting has been set for Monday 17th May at 7.30pm via zoom. The access codes to join the meeting will be available nearer the time.
The APCM will elect churchwardens and PCC members. If you are an existing PCC member, would you please let Julie know if you are willing to stand next year by 10th May or if you are interested in standing, please let the one of the churchwardens know.
Phil Richardson’s Leaving
As you probably know our Curate, Phil Richardson, will be leaving us at the end of April. If you would like to contribute to a leaving gift for Phil please use the following link.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to make a cash donation please pass this to either of the churchwardens, Nick Tooby and Becky Crowe, or the parish administrator, Julie Crow.
Phil’s last service at St Andy’s is on 25th April and 18th April at St Andrew’s. It would be good to get any donations to us by the week before at the latest (18th April). Any ideas for a gift are welcome!
The PCC have agreed that the church can re-open for live worship on Easter Sunday. There will also be a Children’s Service on Good Friday at 10am.
The church will also open for private prayer on Thursdays from April 8th.
Due to limited seating, places may be reserved by contacting Julie on a first come, first served basis. As before, we urge you if you have an invitation not to forget and if you are suddenly unable to attend to let us know at the earliest possible moment. Face masks continue to be required. If you see anyone not wearing a face mask, it is because they have medical exemption. We are not allowing any other exception. It is imperative the rules are strictly adhered to. This means gelling hands immediately upon arrival, taking your pew straight away as directed by the steward including whether to sit by the wall or the aisle; not moving from your place at any point during the service; and leaving promptly afterwards.
Please note that seats for Easter Sunday are now fully booked, however there are still a few places left for the Good Friday Children’s Service.
400,00 vaccinations have now been given to residents of Coventry and Warwickshire, which equates to around 7,000 being given per day.
Coventry is showing very positive signs and cases are now dropping significantly. However, there was a reminder that we are still in lockdown until 12th April and that even after that date it will still be important to maintain precautionary measures.
Visit to Pontesbury
As we all know we were unable to hold a farewell event for Greg & Fran when we said goodbye in January. Plans were originally set out for and event in the summer for them to return so we could say goodbye properly. Having been in their new parish for a few weeks Greg and Fran feel a return would be too emotionally difficult.
However, Greg & Fran has invited the members of St Andrew’s to a Thanksgiving service on the 21st June at 7pm. The service will be held at St George’s in Pontesbury, to thank God for what we hope will be the permanent end to lockdown.
During the afternoon, Greg is offering to show people around his new parish and hopefully in true St Andrew’s tradition there will be lots of cake! You will need to make your own arrangements to travel to and from Pontesbury.
Of course this is all provisional and is subject to the lockdown being lifted as per the roadmap set out by the government. At this time we are asking if this is something you would like to attend (both/afternoon/evening) please can you send myself or a Julie your intentions so we can send rough numbers to Greg. We will confirm full details nearer the time.
Becky Crowe – Churchwarden
Lent Appeal 2021
A couple of weeks ago Jeremy spoke about the vaccination programme and the positive experience it has been for many of those who have had their first, and for some their second vaccinations. We are fortunate in the UK in the research and development of the vaccine and the speed and manner in which the programme has been implemented.
UNICEF are involved in providing Covid-19 vaccinations in countries across the globe that do not have the same access to the COVID-19 vaccinations. They are inviting people to donate to their vaccination programme and they say on their website: ‘With your support, UNICEF will deliver 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines for health workers and the most high risk people on our planet.
As our Lent appeal this year we are inviting you to consider donating to the UNICEF vaccination appeal by using the following Link to our donation page:
Building our Faith – Wednesday Evening Bible Study in Lent
Wednesday evening Bible study for Lent on theme of Prayers of Jesus. All are welcome to join us and you don’t need to have been to previous sessions to join in.
We meet at 7.30pm on zoom. If you are interested and have questions, or you need more information please contact me.
Sue Masters – 07958 322026
Have you ever thought about joining a book club, been a member of one in the past or thought that’s not for me? Is now the time to think about being part of St. Andrew’s book club?
We set up the book club two years ago and although interrupted briefly by Covid have continued to meet over zoom. Some members have recently left the area and so we are relaunching and looking to encourage more people to join.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 8th June at 7.30pm on zoom (We hope to resume in person meetings at a later date). The book we have chosen is The Shack by William P Young. This is a novel published in 2008 and is a story of how a grief-stricken man’s encounter with God changes his life forever. You may have read it before but we felt it was worth revisiting.
We would love more people to join with us to read and discuss the book. If you have any questions please contact Sue Masters on 07958 322026.
Please pray for John Shelton who is now home from hospital but has a long recovery ahead.
Please also pray for St Andrew’s as meetings take place which begin the process of finding a new vicar.
Do send Julie your favourite bible verses or hymn verses, names for prayer and any birthdays, celebrations or articles for inclusion in the bulletin. Julie can be contacted on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847
Churchwardens: Nick Tooby – 07951 925772 or Becky Crowe – 07875 552518