News from St Marys’ Church September 2020

Animals email

NEWS FROM ST MARYS’ – SEPTEMBER 2020

Let’s make a fuss of our pets!

This summer, we got thinking about how important our pets have been over these past months – keeping us company, keeping us amused … and perhaps keeping us exercised.  That last bit definitely doesn’t apply to me!  My black cat, Sweetpea, moves as little as possible!

And because our pets are so important, we wanted to thank God for them and ask for his blessing on them.  So, one 10am Sunday Worship on Zoom became an Animal Service.  People sent in their photos and we had a lovely slide show, with pets from fish, through cats and dogs, to guinea pigs.  But I think my favourite was Arwen’s imaginary creature called “Rainbow Sprinkles”.  And we had lots of prayers thanking God for all the wonderful creatures in the world (real and imagined).

In June, we were able to open St Marys’ Church building for individual prayer.  It was good to welcome people into this sacred space.  As one person wrote in an email:  “I just wanted to say thank you for keeping the church open for private prayer. I’m not a parishioner … but my darling dad died during and because of COVID19 in mid May, and barring the very tiny crematorium service, I’ve not been able to set foot in a church to say some prayers for him. Today I did so and I feel quite a lot better to be able to experience the familiar peace and comfort of a church setting.  Thank you to you and the parish team for keeping the church open and safe at this really difficult time. It means a great deal to people like me, and I thought I should drop you a line to express my gratitude.”

Of course, permission has also been given to hold public worship in church buildings.  After lots of discussion, it was decided to keep our 10am Sunday Worship on Zoom as our main service each week.  It has a wonderful sense of community – especially now people stay afterwards for the virtual coffee time!  And there’s a deep sense of prayer and reflection – with everyone involved using the “chat” function to share their prayers.  If you would like information about joining this service, please email our lovely Parish Administrator Diana at office@tetburychurch.co.uk.

In addition, we started a weekly Benefice Service of Holy Communion.  It is at 5pm on Saturday evenings, and it a very gentle and reflective service. With physical distancing, we can accommodate 23 individuals or members of the same household, with space allocated in advance.  Again, you can contact Diana for more information about attending.

Finally, we have started to have funerals, and one wedding, in the church.  This have been very personal and intimate, and it is always a privilege to support families in this way.  Especially moving, of course, was Fran Eddoll’s funeral in late July.  He was a remarkable man, and so loved, admired and respected.  I continue to pray for his family, and all those who have loved ones at this time.

This comes with my love and prayers to all.  More next month.  God be with you, Poppy