Latest Newsletter - 24th June 2020
Dave Walker’s cartoon this week helps us to think about the place of church during the pandemic. The cartoon gives us a vision of the church being involved not only in the creation of different ways to worship, but also in being part of a much wider provision. Many parishes have been critical hubs in their communities as they are part of the food bank network. Others have been involved in projects giving different kinds of advice to local people. More still have been cooking and distributing meals (if they have the luxury of a large enough kitchen!) and joining in with local delivery networks.
A lot of other churches, however, have not been in a position to undertake such work. On the one hand, we in Cheam Parish have managed to keep a semblance of church life going through online services, newsletters, discussion groups, and telephone calls. On the other hand, although some people have been helping in an individual capacity, we have not contributed much to the wider community in ways that connect with people beyond our regular congregations.
This highlights a need for our parish to work hard in the coming years to forge much stronger connections within our community. In order to do this, we need to find a way to listen to a much broader range of local residents, so that we can discover what needs there are that we might be able to address in some way. This is not an easy task but it will be critical as we look to raise the profile of our churches.
Regarding this newsletter, I am pleased that many people continue to read it and that it has provided an ongoing link with the parish during this time of continuing uncertainty. I intend to keep it going on a weekly basis until my summer leave with my last planned letter on 22nd July. I will then review its ongoing relevance when I return.
Breath of God
Breath of God,
be my life this day;
be my compassion.
Breath of God,
be my connection
with your places of distress and darkness;
with your places of despair and desolation.
Breath of God,
flow where you are not expected;
flow where there is hurt and hatred.
Breath of God,
flow where life is coming to an end;
flow into the kingdom of death.
Breath of God,
flow into me, through me, from me:
as grace, as love, and Spirit, as life.
Breath of God, breath of God, breath of God,
breathe on me,
breathe with me
Stephen Cherry, “Barefoot Prayers”
With love and prayers to you all,
The Reverend Dr Nicholas Peacock
Team Rector, Cheam Team Ministry
Worship Coming Up in June and July
At the time of writing, the government has announced that places of worship will be able to open from 4th July. We await further information from the Church of England regarding restrictions and will give an update as soon as we can.
The following services will be live-streamed on YouTube:
Wednesday 24th June 11.00am Eucharist for the Birth of John the Evangelist
Sunday 28th June 9.30am Parish Eucharist for Trinity 3
Followed by Zoom Coffee at 10.30am
Wednesday 1st July 11.00am Eucharist (BCP)
Sunday 5th July 9.30am Parish Eucharist for Trinity 4
Wednesday 8th July 11.00am Eucharist (BCP)
Sunday 12th July 9.30am Parish Eucharist for Trinity 5
Wednesday 15th July 11.00am Eucharist (BCP)
Sunday 19th July 9.30am Parish Eucharist for Trinity 6
Wednesday 22nd July 11.00am Eucharist for Mary Magdalene
Sunday 26th July 9.30am Parish Eucharist for Trinity 7
Wednesday 29th July No Service
The Rector will be on leave in August and we are currently exploring possibilities for services in this time.
Details for accessing Zoom coffee on Sunday 28th June are below. Please contact the Office for the password.
Meeting ID: 884 0628 5452
Church Opening for Private Prayer
Following government guidance, our plan is to open our churches for ‘private prayer’ as follows:
St Oswald's will be open:
· 10.00am-11.30am on Sundays from 28th June
St Dunstan's will be open:
· 11.30am-12.30pm on Sundays from 5th July
· 11.00am-12.00pm on Wednesdays from 7th July
St Alban's - there are currently no plans to open, but we are keeping this under review.
There is an accompanying sheet with this newsletter which will help you to understand what to expect if you would like to spend some time in our buildings when they are open.
We are looking for volunteers to supervise the churches during the opening times. If you are interested in helping out, please contact the office (email@example.com).
Issues Of Race
Questions of race and racism are at the front of our minds with the current protests, which began in the USA and have spread across the world. The Rector addressed some of these issues in his sermon on Sunday 14th June, which can be found on the website.
We will be holding a one-off discussion group on Zoom at 8.00pm on Tuesday 30th June. If you would like to take part, please contact the Rector (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are interested in finding out more, you might find the following books to be of interest:
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, When They Call You A Terrorist (Edinburgh, Canongate, 2018)
Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race (London, Bloomsbury, 2018)
Ben Lindsay, We Need To Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches (London, SPCK, 2019)
If you would like to receive a visit from the Rector, he is happy to meet with parishioners following the current guidelines. At present, this means he can meet with people outside. Clearly this will depend significantly on the weather! Please email the Rector directly (email@example.com) or contact the office.
If you would like us to pray for someone or something, please email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Louise will compile a weekly prayer list to be used at all our services.
For reasons of privacy, we will use first names only and the person for whom you are asking us to pray should be happy for you to do this.
Distributing this Newsletter
We are very aware that some people do not have access to electronic communication. If you know someone who would like a paper copy of the weekly newsletter, please do print a copy and deliver it to them. Without access to the Parish Office, we are not in a position to do a mass mail. Equally, deliveries around Cheam are very sporadic at the moment.
If anyone would like to be contacted, please call or email the Parish Office. We are happy to offer practical advice (where possible) or simply have a friendly chat. PLEASE DO NOT FEEL ALONE.