Love in the Time of Coronavirus- Day 300

Warden’s blog, stardate 12/1/2020 (Day 300)

Hello to all the friends of Huddersfield Parish Church, both local and further afield. Who would have thought that I’d be still writing a blog for HPC news and thoughts at Day 300 rather than us all meeting in person? It is even more important with the vaccine being rolled out to stay safe and “slog it” out. I do hope you’re all doing okay; I know that some of our community have received the vaccine and others will be in the “queue”. I think many Christians have had their faith tested, but we shall rejoice when this is over. Keep well in the meantime.

At the beginning of 2020 I had no idea what “Zoom” was. Now I am rather familiar with it. I even organised a quiz social event for the church community which took place using Zoom. I’m sure the verb “to Zoom” will make it into new editions of dictionaries, perhaps with other words that have come out of this pandemic. There are other things which have been positive in 2020. The support we have given each other, the carers and support workers that have kept us going, the appreciation of the natural world around us as we have been walking to keep ourselves fit.

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas celebrations, despite the restrictions, and were able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas rather than the secular, commercial Christmas that has become the norm. St Peter’s had a live (and streamed) Midnight Mass, with the service made available for Christmas morning too. After the midnight service, the choir and congregation processed (socially distanced) outside to sing “O Come All Ye Faithful”. It was a fitting end to the service, but no-one was about to hear our dulcet tones blasting out the chorus lines!

The streaming system has had some teething problems and we apologise for these. The company who fitted the system have been watching our stream and have been working on ironing out the issues, but it is taking time and we ask for your patience and feedback. Please bear with us whilst we get this system as we want it. As we are more limited in this third lockdown, we need to remember that the people who edited the videos before are not able to offer this service now as they are working. Each service needed in excess of 10 hours of work to get it to the finished article and this was not sustainable.

In this new lockdown the PCC, with the Bishop’s agreement, decided we should close the building again. The only time it is open is for the key people to come in on a Sunday morning to stream the service. This is something that is dependent on Government regulations and may change again at short notice. Remember that Morning and Evening Prayer is still available on social media for those who wish to join in.

Alan and I have made a start on grant applications in the last couple of weeks. Our aim is to make a substantial start on the works around the new entrance to fulfil the planning permission obligations. This work will improve our accessibility to both the body of the church and the crypt below. Also, we will need to create kitchen facilities in the crypt as our old kitchen is to be removed as part of the creation of the new entrance. Some grant bodies can be approached to help with kitchens and toilets, whilst others are able to help with accessibility provisions. We are trying to match our applications to the respective potential grant bodies to optimise our chances. We still need to approach the Lottery Fund as the cost of the project is significant.

Our work with the council is progressing and a steering group has been established and HPC will be well represented along with other parties. It seems very gratifying that, even in these difficult times, we are continuing to develop the work of the church within the town centre community and our own worshipping community.

Finally, as this is the first blog of 2021, can I wish all those connected in any way to the Church a “Peaceful and Blessed New Year”.

Prayers for growth:

Almighty God,
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

O God, who alone brings growth to your Church,

Send your Holy Spirit to give Vision to our planning, Wisdom to our actions, And power to our witness.

Help our church to grow in numbers, Commitment to you, and in service to our local community,

Through Jesus Christ our lord.

Amen.

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