Vicar's Monthly Letter
As I write we have just heard that places of worship can re-open for services in July. I am intending to start services in St Mary’s, Bishops Frome on 5th July at 10am and if possible continue with a service there each week. I am aware that this will be a very tentative start back to church for us and there are still many factors that could upset any plans we make.
Many of you will have also heard on the news that places of worship can open for private prayer from the 15th, (then it was the 13th) of June. This was of course subject to a whole list of restrictions. To date the only one of our group of Churches that is ready to open to the public for private prayer is St. Mary’s, Much Cowarne. This will be limited to Sundays from 11am to 2pm and Wednesdays from 2pm until 5 pm.
I am sure some of the other Churches may want to open as they work out how to maintain social distancing and if they are able to find volunteers to carry out the necessary cleaning regime that the guidelines require. However, this may not be possible for them all until more restrictions are lifted.
With the continued closure of many of our Churches the Camino walk that I had planned for St James’ Day on 25th July has now been postponed until further notice. I had hoped that we could still go ahead with the walk between St James’, Stanford Bishop and St James’, Ocle Pychard but sadly this will not be possible until the current situation improves. Follow the latest developments at http://caminofromevalley.simplesite.com
Our worship in the Frome Valley has continued via mail, email and YouTube. I know it’s not ideal but the experience has given us a sense of identity as a group in a way that I haven’t experienced before. If you are not on our mailing list (snail mail or email) and would like to join us please let me know. Some of our services have involved editing video clips together so that we have different people doing readings, prayers, sermon and even some organ music. Thank you to all those who have contributed to our online services.
Wednesday online Coffee mornings using zoom have been a great success. If you haven’t had a chance to try this why not join us for a coffee?
And finally, many thanks to all those who have decided to give to the Church via the Parish Giving Scheme or by Standing Order. One person commented how easy it was to set up their Direct Debit with Parish Giving over the phone on the scheme’s new number, 0333 002 1271. This can be done for Churches that are registered with the scheme which include; Bishops Frome, Evesbatch, Fromes Hill, Much Cowarne and Ocle Pychard.
Ocle Pychard is also the first of our Churches to accept online donations, there is a link on our website that will take you to the giving page http://www.fromevalleychurches.org.uk
Looking forward to the day that we can finally get back to worshipping on Sunday mornings together again.