Online booking for church opens

The booking form for attending St Mary’s church this Sunday is now live, please visit this link and complete the form by Thursday if you would like to attend church:

Online Booking Form for Sunday 12th July 

We will be holding our Zoom service as usual at 10am for all those who would prefer to stay online for the time being. If you are not on the list for receiving the Zoom access details please do contact the office.

 

 

Returning to our buildings.. and St Mary’s clock

We have now received the guidelines from the Church of England in preparation for opening our churches for worship and I met with the church wardens and office manager that same day to go through them and devise a plan.

Firstly, some good news. The easing of restrictions has meant that we can start to wind the clock at St Marys church from this weekend! It has been much missed by local residents and it will be lovely to hear it ring again.

Secondly, good news but complicated. We are opening our churches for public worship from 12th July. However, the guidelines from the government and national church are very clear that during this phase of our return to ministry things will be different so that we can minimise as much risk as possible. Restrictions will include:

– Family ‘bubbles’ being seated together but 2m apart from others.

-Short acts of worship that will mirror the content of our Zoom services.

-We will not be able to offer tea/coffee and people will be directed in and out of the church by a steward.

-We will not be able to sing hymns.

-Because there is a limit on the number of people we can hold, and for ‘track and trace’ purposes, you will be required to book a space online or telephone the office if you are unable to get online.

There are lots more things that we will put into place over the next few days and these will be communicated this weekend.

We plan to begin by opening St Marys Walton for worship on Sunday 12th July at 9am for Morning Worship and online/telephone booking for this will begin on Monday. We will then alternate, with St Martin’s Trimley, hosting the service the week after.

I do understand that many people may well decide that they do not want to return to worship in our churches yet or could be shielding. For this reason, we will be keeping our 10am Zoom service going for the foreseeable future and the 5pm ‘Sunday Service’ via Felixstowe Radio with Rev Chris.

I will keep you updated with any further developments as and when it happens. Please be patient with us if you try to contact the office or Rev Paul as you may not get an immediate response. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that our return to the buildings are done safely.

Please continue to pray for our Zoom meetings in July and for all those involved in opening our churches once again. Full details will be released in the Connect this weekend.

Rev Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join in our weekly meet ups throughout July

Dear friends,

It is very exciting this week to be able to announce that Trimley church can be opened for private prayer! If you are a visual person like me, you will have missed praying in the beautiful spaces of our parish churches.  

Although the lockdown is easing, it will be some time before we can hold services of worship again, and communion maybe even further away.  We will continue to follow government and diocesan advise.  

When we do start to return, people talk of the ‘new normal’. It is clear that we are emerging into a different world and for us as churches it will present us with an opportunity to engage with our parishes in different ways. During the lockdown phase, our services both on Zoom and Radio have reached people who would not normally come into our church buildings.  

I am also your new Rector! Having been in post for six months now, most of this time has been under lockdown so I have not been able to get to know you as much as I would have liked and plan how we might work together in the years to come.  

We have some questions answer, such as;

As we return back for worship, how do we continue to connect with those people?
Where is God already working in our benefice, and where is he leading us in the future?

These are big questions, that will dictate how and what we do as we return back to the ‘new normal’. Our PCC’s and Ministry team are committed to seeking out God’s will for our churches, but we are really missing a vital component… you!

As we move forward together, it is important that we all journey this path together.  We need to reflect on scripture, pray together and ponder where God might be leading us next. Each of our churches are unique and offer something different, but for this part of the journey we need to walk together as a benefice.

I am inviting you to join with four sessions in July that we are calling ‘Growing in God Together’. It will be an hour of pondering on ‘The Great Commission’ from Matthews Gospel and include guided prayer on our future.  

To ensure that as many people can join in from our churches as possible, we are offering them in the following ways:

Our sessions will be held once a week via Zoom. Joining instructions will be sent out nearer the time.  If you do not like video conferencing, you can call into the session using a freephone number.  If those options do not work, we can email you a copy of the session that you can do at home and send in responses.  Finally, we can post a copy of the session through the door if you do not have email.  

The Zoom sessions are every Tuesday in July as follows:

7th July

14th July

21st July

28th July

7.30pm -8.30pm, with the option for chat afterwards if you want until 9pm.  

I hope that you feel like you are able to join in. You may be feeling that this does not apply to you... but it does!  Please let Georgina know by emailing her  that you would be part of this discernment, and she will send you joining instructions nearer the time. Office contact details are at the end of the Connect.

Rev Paul

St Martin’s Trimley to open for private prayer

We are very pleased to announce that Trimley church will be open for private prayer on the following days from 23rd June:

Tuesdays.   10.30am-1pm

Saturdays  10.30am-1pm

Visitors will be able to enjoy the space of our beautiful church , pray and light a candle. We have procedures in place that reflect the most recent government and diocesan guidelines. These will be displayed as you enter the building. At St Martin’s somebody will be around to help if needed.

St Mary’s Walton is currently having building works done on the west side of the church. Once this is complete we hope to open for private prayer here as well. Watch this space!

I know that many people, including myself, have missed the quiet and sanctuary of our churches. Please do feel free to visit St Martin’s wherever you live in our benefice and beyond.

Rev Paul

 

Rector’s Update

Dear friends,

It has been a busy week as the government announced formally that churches can open from 15th June for private prayer. Rest assured, our churches will be open on some days for private prayer once we have processed and arranged for the necessary cleaning and preparation that is needed to make entry as safe as possible. St Mary’s is currently having building work completed on the exterior and St Martin’s some remedial work on the tower so this may delay opening until this work has been completed. I know it may be tempting if you are a key holder to go into our churches and some of you have, but can I request during this time you resist and do not enter the building whilst we make preparations to open. Once we are open, please restrict yourself to the public opening times. We have one nominated person at each church who can enter to check the building so if you have an urgent requirement please contact them to discuss and they may be able to help:

Georgina South for Walton & Andrew King for Trimley.

It is clear that it will take some time for us to get back into our churches for worship. But once we do, we will begin a new chapter in our churches history. What will it look like? Where is God leading us, at this moment, together?

God has called us to be with you in this beautiful place for a reason and we will in time embark together on a new area of ministry and mission for our churches. I am excited about this, as I hope you are, and I want to begin in prayer, and continue in prayer as we work together into the future.

At the moment I am planning a series of sessions via Zoom and the telephone which I hope will allows us to study the bible, pray and discern God’s will for our benefice together. I hope that from those sessions we can get a strong sense of his direction and that we can come up with a vision that we can work towards.  This won’t be something we then put on a letter heading or an email and forget about, it will be something that all our mission and ministry will focus on in the years to come.

More details will come on this later, but I hope you will feel able to join in, the sessions will be open to everybody. In the meantime, I call upon us to begin praying now and ask him;

What is God’s plan for us together in this place?
How is he asking us to join with him to make that happen?

Please send any thoughts and words you might have on this to me via email.

I know things are strange and difficult at the moment. In amongst it all, it has also been nice not to have so many meetings and duties that somehow can get in the way of our mission together. Judging by the emails and calls that I get in response to my radio shows, I am convinced that we are about to enter a new era, and It is exciting to think that we can all be a part of this.

Stay safe and may God bless you,
Rev Paul