Category Archive - The Church

COVID-19 Briefing 28/07

It was good to be reminded of the Lord calling the boy Samuel a few days ago as we immerse ourselves in this part of the Old Testament in Morning Prayer.  It is a story that I remember vividly from childhood and has always impacted me greatly.  It also struck me what a tough first gig it was for Samuel to have to speak words of judgement directly to Eli the priest.  Surely God could have warmed this new prophet up slowly, couldn’t he?  But no, Samuel was thrown in at the deep end.  Samuel’s short prayer, ‘Here I am’ is a beautiful yet simple prayer of humble submission to God. As I have reflected again on that reading, I have been reminded of other times when this prayer has been on the lips of other faithful disciples.  Moses, as he is drawn towards the burning bush responds to God’s call with ‘Here I am’.  Likewise, Isaiah, prays that prayer as he reacts to an awesome and probably quite frightening vision of the holiness and majesty of God.  And then there is the simple humble prayer of a young teenager as she responds to the mighty work of God in… Read More

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weekly news sheet 26/07/20

Dear all Attached are this week’s readings with the weekly news sheets and Revd. Liz’s sermon. The churches have been closed this week with the start of building work in both of them. I do hope you haven’t been too badly inconvenienced by this, the results should definitely be worth it! New lighting for Capel and a new boiler for Ockley. Both projects should finish in September. During the week the Diocese issued new guidelines on masks and are now strongly advising that face coverings should be worn in church. ‘….remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer….’ We have altered our advice to reflect this. I look forward to seeing all those who can attend tomorrow (9.30am in Ockley or 10.30am in Capel), our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still self isolating, please do let us know if we can help in any way. This week’s picture was taken on Holmwood Hill – on a rather nicer day than today! With love Debbie von Bergen 07774 784008 weekly-sheet-20.07.26.pdf SundayBlue20200726.pdf sermon-for-28th-June-2020-Trinity-3.pdf Post expires at 6:43am on Monday July 26th, 2021

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COVID-19 Briefing 23/07

Equipment recommendations for online and hybrid services It is tempting to go and buy lots of equipment before you launch an online service, or move from online only to a hybrid service where you stream live from church. It can be cost prohibitive, completely confusing or lead to purchasing overly expensive equipment that ends up being underused. The Diocese of Guildford is full of a variety of churches, all thinking about how they best might serve their community. On 17 July we took a straw poll to get a snapshot of where churches are at in terms of equipment for livestreaming:• 12 are currently using a smart phone to stream their services• 11 are looking to build a team dedicated to this work• 8 are currently using a camera• 8 are currently using an independent mic• 3 are thinking of buying a mic or audio kit• 2 currently have a teamand 1 is thinking of buying a camera We have pulled all this into a document to provide some information on what options and providers are available to help you.. Thank you to those on the Transforming Church Facebook group who shared what equipment they are using and to the… Read More

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COVID-19 Briefing 21/07

Psychologists call it ‘reverse culture shock’, and it’s a well-known phenomenon in missionary circles among others: the confusing and often painful adjustments required by those who return to their original cultures after many months or years abroad. Much thought was no doubt given to the decision to move in the first place, not least in the learning of languages and the study of new cultural practices and norms. (I used to live near to the one-time Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham, where missionaries from various Christian denominations received just this training before being sent out to the mission field). But the trip ‘home’, while often welcome, poses challenges of its own, which are subtler somehow and much less expected. ‘For one thing, I’ve changed’, as one returning missionary said to me, ‘and for another, home’s changed’. It might be thought over-dramatic to portray the gradual return to worship in our church buildings in terms of reverse culture shock – but in some ways it feels like that. Plunged into what for many of us was the largely unexplored territory of online worship (along with online PCCs, Bible Studies, Christian Basics courses and the rest); having to pick up Zoom and its equivalents… Read More

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Weekly news sheet 19/07/2020

Dear friends, Please find attached this weekend’s sheets, script of Liz’s sermon and the readings.  I know many of you will be in church, but this hopefully will keep those that are not returning for the moment well informed and connected. Please note that our two churches are going to be closed for the weekdays starting this Monday 20th July 2020.  There are boiler works taking place at Ockley and lighting works at Capel.  All very exciting and much needed!  We should be a little warmer when worshipping at St Margaret’s this winter and be far better illuminated in St John’s in a little while!  This means there is sadly no access for private prayer apart from the weekends. If you have anything for August’s InSpire  … no matter how small or insignifcant you think it may be, please don’t be shy and let me know on or the email used to mail this to you. Your contributions to your parish magazine would be most welcome! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Best wishes, Suzanne sermon-for-19th-July-2020.pdf SundayBlue20200719.pdf Sunday-19th-July-2020.pdf Post expires at 1:34pm on Monday July 19th, 2021

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COVID-19 Briefing 16/07

Allchurches Trust launches major new grants programme Allchurches Trust has just launched a major new grants programme called ‘Hope Beyond’, aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to meet the changing needs of their communities in response to Covid-19. Grants of up to £50,000 are available and it looks to address three themes: Projects responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed. This could include enabling improved accessibility to buildings/activities and measures to ensure buildings are Covid-19 safe. Projects focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing, including the provision of mental health and wellbeing support groups and 1:1 counselling for people of all ages (including clergy). Projects focused on growing technological capability and resilience, particularly increasing digital capacity and provision, and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support.  Grants can cover capital and equipment costs, project-related salaries and training for staff and/or volunteers. In all cases, applicants will need to demonstrate how their project is seeking to directly respond to increasing/new need as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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COVID-19 Briefing 14/07

Beware of the ides of March’ is a response I regularly receive whenever I’m asked to give my date of birth. The soothsayer who warned Julius Caesar of this day in William Shakespeare’s play might have warned me of 15th March this year. For it was the last time that I attended public worship and received the sacrament of Holy Communion. After 18 weeks, I’m very excited at the prospect of attending a celebration of the Eucharist in St Anne’s Church, Bagshot next Sunday. And yet, through enforced abstinence of the Eucharist, I’ve reflected on it from a totally different perspective – and been challenged in two particular ways. First, by pondering the whole meaning of sacraments as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. I’ve been helped a little in this by revisiting some of the writings of the French Jesuit priest and palaeontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). In the course of a scientific expedition, he found himself unable to celebrate the Eucharist. He wrote “since I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself”. He went on to say… Read More

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