In response to the number of Covid infections in Swindon and the pressure on our local hospital, the P.C.C, Covid response working group had a very positive and honest meeting on Wednesday 27th January and as a result, the decision was taken to continue to close for public worship at Christ Church and St Mary’s.
The church however will remain open daily for personal prayer and Sunday services will continue to be recorded and made available each week on our CC website.
We will remain closed for public worship during February including Ash Wednesday 17th February. However, a recorded service will be made available as we enter into Lent and look forward to Easter.
Transforming Church is the name of the process to discern the next vision and priorities for the Diocese, from 2020 and beyond. On 4 November 2020, the Right Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, announced a new focus of work for the upcoming months, to shape the future the Diocese of Bristol.
The Wellbeing Journey is a new series to help churches and communities address the challenges of our times. Following the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, local churches are in a unique place to lead communities on this holistic journey to physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
HOPE Together and KingsGate Church, Peterborough, have developed a video journey drawing on Kingsgate’s Wellbeing sermon series and the book ‘God’s Plan for Your Wellbeing’ by their lead pastor Dr Dave Smith. The videos are presented by Simon Thomas (Prime Video Sport/ Sky Sports/ Blue Peter) and Joanna Adeyinka-Burford (BBC, Channel 5, Nickelodeon), with contributions from leading experts in different fields.
We are delighted to let you know that the community centre team have been successfully awarded three grants. The first two grants are to be spent on our afternoon teas programme which provides a vital means of socialisation for older people and particularly those suffering with dementia. They have come from the Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership and Green Square.
The final grant has come from emergency covid funding issued by the National Lottery Community Fund on behalf of the Government. This money is specifically to be spent on the running costs of the community centre. This helps to safeguard the work of our community centre and team in the year ahead.
Thank you for sticking with us and more importantly, families like Merima’s, throughout this challenging time. You are well and truly part of our global family, we couldn’t do it without you.
Supporter Relations – Send a Cow
Today is Blue Monday, supposedly the gloomiest day of the year. A day where we face a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and awaiting the first payday of the new year. And as the World continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise we are all feeling a little blue. Send a Cow is one of Christ Church’s nominated charities. We were delighted to recieve this update from them with some positive news.
Meet Merima, pictured left. Merima lives in Kutaber District, Ethiopia with her husband and children. Along with 600 other women, Merima is part of the Developing Business Women Project, which supports family farmers like her to establish successful and sustainable agri-businesses.
"Send a Cow has supported me with awareness and skills. I have received training on kitchen gardening, savings and credit and reproductive health. Of all the skills I have learned, I am really amazed by the bag garden. I have learned that we can produce food even if we don't have any land." - Merima
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.
Thank you for your prayers for us today. The PCC Covid response working group had a very positive and honest meeting this morning full of the Holy Spirit.
As a result, the decision was taken that Christ Church would remain open for personal prayer each day. With great reluctance the decision was also taken to close public worship at Christ Church and St Mary’s. This is with immediate effect from today onwards for the rest of January. This decision will be reviewed at our next working party meeting on Wednesday 27th January.
We will advertise these decisions as widely as possible from now onwards. I will be present with Jim in Christ Church from 9.30am on Sunday to explain what is happening and apologise to any people who turn up expecting a service.
We are delighted that, as in previous lockdowns, our Sunday service will be recorded and will be available on our CC website from Sunday morning. We are especially aware of the importance of supporting the National Health service and our GWH in all they are doing on our behalf.
We are also very aware of those from our Christian community who will be saddened by this decision that we have taken because they will miss not receiving Holy Communion and will miss the comfort of being together in public worship especially if they are suffering from anxiety or mental health challenges. We hope people will know that they are welcome to come and pray through the day. We will continue to do all we can with your help to keep people safe through our church cleaning and risk procedures.
Please be aware of our friendship support and prayers. Do be in touch directly at any time, so our Keeping in touch pastoral scheme can do all they can to support you practically and spiritually. Also this coming Wednesday we begin the online 8 session Wellbeing Journey course which has been highly recommended. Do contact me for further details.
If you have any questions or concerns about this communication, please contact me directly by phone or email. Please join me in praying for God’s blessing and guidance for all who those who live and work in our Old Town Swindon parish including our Old Town Partnership,