FREEDOM! This week is a significant one in the calendar that we have been looking towards for months. Did you know:
This week in 1536 Anne Boleyn was executed at the Tower of London, losing her freedom and her head!
This week in 1649 England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Rump Parliament, making England a republic for the next 11 years.
Significant events on these days that affected individuals, families and the nation.
From today we can again go into an art gallery or museum; we can go out for breakfast or lunch without the rain dripping on us watering down our coffee; we can meet indoors with one other household. Who would have thought these things that we took for granted would be such a big thing for many of us? Our freedoms have been restricted in the last year as we have come together to protect each other and to support one another. This week some freedoms are restored. The anticipation has been dampened somewhat in the last few days with the concerns about the variants of Covid but we will be able to do some things that we couldn’t before, while exercising some caution.
As we think about freedom, we are called to remember that we have freedom in Christ:
2 Corinthians 3:17. ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’. Our freedom is in knowing the Lord and being held in good and in dark times by Him. Jesus the constant, our freedom assured as he is unchanging, even during Covid, unlike the regulations and guidelines.
As we meet tonight for our annual meeting we will reflect on the past year. A year with much change, not just covid, but also Greg our much-loved vicar moving to a new parish. We will also look forward to what God has in store for us, as we remember that Christ has set us free, free to worship and witness, albeit in different ways, free to rest in Him. So, as we put our trust in God, enjoy the freedoms you have this week whatever that entails for you.
This evening, at 7.30pm we will be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting. The meeting will be via zoom and the details and link are available from the churchwardens.
The meeting will be chaired by the Area Dean. It is an opportunity to find out how our church has been active in its ministry, through its people, over the past twelve months.
The papers for the meeting, and the agenda, can be found on our website at http://standrews-eg.org.uk/. We will also be giving an update on the progress being made to find a new vicar.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
Nick Tooby – Churchwarden
From 17th May stage three on the road map comes into place. Coventry Council’s public health team have given us the following advice.
We encourage you to socially distance from those outside of your household, continue to wear face masks in venues that these are required in and wash your hands regularly. We also encourage everyone to now be ensuring that they have a lateral flow test twice a week to help control the spread of the virus.
Hugging, embracing and handshaking has been prohibited since the start of the pandemic as it is known to transmit infection. It is advisable that physical contact such as hugging embracing and handshaking is as limited as possible. People have been longing to hug embrace and shake hands, it is advisable that for the time being this is restricted to people in your family/household/support bubble.
Physical contact greetings (hug, embrace handshake) should be the very rare exception not the norm and it is suggested you use other types of greetings such as a wave or the elbow bump. This will help to keep the transmission of Covid as low as possible.
Recruitment of Volunteers at St Andrew’s and St Andy’s
We would like to highlight that all church volunteers must be safely recruited and some volunteers are also required to undergo a DBS check and complete safeguarding modules. This isn’t St Andrew’s being picky, it is a legal requirement stipulated by the diocese for every volunteer role.
As lockdown eases, we must now be vigilant and ensure all the necessary checks are completed.
If you are a church volunteer and have not yet been safely recruited, please contact Julie (Parish Administrator) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Chylinski (Parish Safeguarding Officer) at email@example.com to arrange for this to be completed.
All members of the PCC must ensure that they complete Parish Safeguarding module C0 (Basic safeguarding Awareness) which is available online.
The church is now open for live worship every Sunday and for private prayer on Thursdays.
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.
To reserve a seat please contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07756 918847.
After booking a seat, if you find that you are unable to attend a service, please inform one of the churchwardens so that it can be offered to another person.
Having had empty pews in previous weeks, we are looking to put together a reserve list of those people who are willing to be contacted at short notice to attend a service. If you would like to be included on this list then please let Julie know.
If you would like to attend a service at St Andy’s please contact Julie as she will be taking bookings. Please contact email@example.com or 07756 918847.
Our next Children’s service will take place in church on Sunday 6th June. If you would like to reserve a place, please contact Julie before Wednesday 2nd June on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
After this date there may still be places so, please contact Becky Crowe on 07875 552518 or email@example.com
With the church now open for public worship we are seeing an increase in requests for baptisms and therefore have an urgent need to add some people to our Baptism Verger rota. Baptisms take place after the morning service on Sundays usually at 12 noon and last about an hour to hour and half. If you are interested, please let Julie or the Churchwardens know and training can be arranged. This role is important as you will be the welcoming face of St Andrew’s to people who may not have been to church before. A fixed rate is paid for each baptism.
We are also looking for a Baptism Visitor. This volunteer role involves contacting families to meet with them to obtain details for the baptism and assisting with baptism preparation. If you are interested, please contact Julie for a full job description.
Cleaning the Church
As we are opening the church again from Easter Day, our thoughts are turning back to cleaning the building. Currently, we have a very small team who are on the rota to clean once a week. The team is Phil and Denise Davies, Diane Wilson, Becky Crowe and I who clean on a voluntary basis. Ideally, we would like to add some more volunteers to help us.
It normally takes a couple of hours to clean the church and side room (we are not cleaning upstairs currently) to make sure it is ready for a service on Sunday.
Cleaning of the building is important at the moment, not just to show visitors that the church is cared for, but also as part of the arrangements to allow us to open the church safely. Would you be able to help? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Nick Tooby
Building our Faith
Our zoom Bible study continues this Wednesday at 7.30pm. The theme is The Holy Spirit and all are welcome to join us.
The zoom access codes are available from Sue Masters on 07958 322026.
We are looking to safer recruit volunteers for our Youth work. If you feel you could help with either the Drama Club, Rock Solid or the Youth Wellbeing course then please get in touch with Emma at email@example.com
Please pray for Rita Muir who has had a fall and is badly bruised: and for John Shelton whose health is improving but has a slow recovery ahead.
Please also pray for St Andrew’s as work continues to take place in the process of finding a new vicar.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. These things God has revealed to us through the spirit. Corinthians 1 verses 9 and 10.
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
Churchwardens: Nick Tooby – 07951 925772 & Becky Crowe – 07875 552518
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847