LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA: Day 205

Warden’s blog, stardate 9/10/2020 (Day 205)

Hello to all my friends from St Peter’s and further afield. I hope you are all okay and keeping well. I hope you are coping with the increased restrictions we are experiencing locally, but at present we are grateful that we are still able to meet for worship in person in church, though this is perhaps under threat as the second wave of the virus hits us. Please do look out on the web page and Facebook to see if there are any changes.

Since the last blog quite a lot has happened. We have altered the layout at the back of church to create an area of the Narthex for private prayer on the side where the candle stand is. The church is now open for prayer from around 8.30 in the morning to 4.00pm when Danny locks up after his duties. This allows the use of the rest of the building for our services. We have had around 40-50 in attendance for our 10.30 services on a Sunday and around 20 attending our Wednesday services at 12.35.

We had the church open for the Heritage Open days for a week in late September. A few people came in to have a look but it is a very different experience to previous years. Hopefully we shall be able to return to a more familiar format next year.

We had our first face to face PCC meeting in September (it will be moved back to Zoom for October though) and it was well attended. We were all socially distanced in the back of church but it did mean that it was sometimes hard to hear all that was being said for some. Business in the church is continuing and many are working hard to keep things “ticking over”, such that we are able to provide the services live and on-line in a way that people are finding helpful. Thanks to all who are helping to make this happen.

Last Sunday was our Harvest Festival celebration. It seemed very strange to have harvest gifts offered, but not to sing “We plough the fields and scatter”! Our choir did make its first appearance though; six members are allowed in the choir stalls and their contribution to worship was a sung setting and an anthem, which was a lovely addition to the service. I have taken a boot full of harvest donations to the Welcome Centre today, and I know a number of people have given a financial donation too so thanks to all who contributed.

This week marks the first anniversary of Paula’s passing. Paula was our Parish Administrator for very many years and passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, last October. We remember her and her family in our prayers at this time. The present staff team still say occasionally, “Where would Paula have filed this or that?” and we then hunt for what we need!

The Restoration of the Baldachino is well on its way to completion. All the cleaning has been done and one and a half pillars have been gilded. The conservator is to make another visit for three days at the end of October with a one day tidy up visit to follow. We shall then be able to put the Altar hangings back and the whole structure will look amazing. The conservator has sent me some before and after pictures which show how dirty the whole thing had become, and the pillars can be seen close up to spot the difference between the old and the new.

Some good news now. A generous donation has been made to help with the cost of streaming equipment to be used to live stream our live services to the internet. This will help to reduce the huge amount of preparation work which goes into the preparation of the on-line service. Richard and myself met with a representative of a company recommended to us, who are able to do this work, and they are drawing up a specification and cost for this project. It is hoped that we are able to move forward with this work soon as the current workload is unsustainable in the longer term. Let us hope and pray that this project enables us to continue to move forward as a community. Watch this space for news on this.

Today’s Collect:

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

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