Parish Newsletter - 18th June 2021
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the Prime Minister had announced on Monday evening that all the Covid rules that have dominated our lives for so long were to be relaxed next week? Sadly, albeit for good reasons, this has not been possible, and we will face ongoing restrictions until 19th July at the earliest.
For our churches, this means continued social distancing and limited attendance, no congregational singing and choirs limited to no more than six singers, and it remains impractical for us to have after-service refreshments or other social events. Although this makes it difficult to plan anything, our churches have been discussing services and events they would like to hold to mark the eventual end of restrictions and reflect on our experiences since March 2020. Please see below for more information. We all look forward to being able to recognise the challenges and sadness of the pandemic as well as joining our voices together in songs of worship and thanksgiving.
Following the news about forming a new group ministry with the parishes of Worcester Park and Belmont, we keep on building our new ministry team. The Reverend Steph Nadarajah was licensed as part-time Associate Priest on 12th May. Steph works in the parish on Sundays and Tuesdays and will be focussing on developing our pioneering ministry. In the last week, we have also announced that Francesca Perlman will be joining the parish as Assistant Curate. Francesca is to be ordained deacon on 26th June and will take part in her first service in Cheam Parish on Sunday 27th June at St Alban’s. Please make Steph and Francesca feel welcome and pray for Francesca as she prepares for her ordination. Finally, the post of Team Vicar at St Oswald’s and Vicar of Christ Church with St Philip, Worcester Park has been advertised and we are planning to hold interviews with any shortlisted candidates on Monday 19th July.
Last Wednesday marked the festival of Richard of Chichester (d1253), best remembered for the following prayer, well-used and loved by generations of Christians:
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen.
With love and prayers to you all.
The Reverend Dr Nicholas Peacock The Reverend Beth Lewis
Team Rector Team Vicar
We will continue to follow the following pattern of services over the summer:
8.00am Eucharist on Sundays
9.30am Eucharist on Sundays (livestreamed on YouTube up to and including Sunday 25th July)
11.00am Eucharist on Wednesdays (or Morning Prayer during holidays)
10.00am Eucharist or Service of the Word
We will continue to have limited capacity in our churches due to social distancing until at least 19th July. We don’t want to turn anyone away, but to be sure of a place at one of our services, please contact:
St Dunstan’s: The Parish Office (07928 833324 / email@example.com)
St Oswald’s: Diane Haddock (020 8644 1704 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
St Alban’s: John Adams (07504 442279)
Relaxation of Covid Rules
The government will review the latest data and make an announcement about any further relaxation of Covid rules on 12th July for implementation from 19th July. We will study the announcements and corresponding guidance from the Church of England closely and make changes to our own approach where possible.
Family Services at St Dunstan’s
It has been difficult to maintain the fledgling monthly family services at St Dunstan’s. We have put these on hold for the time being.
There will, however, be an event for families and children in the Rectory garden at 4pm on Sunday 27th June at which we will talk about ministry for children and young people at St Dunstan’s. If you would like to attend, please contact Melody Thorpe (email@example.com).
The livestreamed Sunday morning service from St Dunstan’s now only has a small number of people viewing. It has played an important part in the life of our parish during the pandemic, but we will be putting the livestream on pause over the summer. We welcome any feedback and will revisit this in September. We hope to maintain an online presence in some way.
A huge thank you to Lizzy and Anna Peacock for managing this on almost every week since March 2020.
Holy Ground – Online Worship for Cheam, Belmont, and Worcester Park
Holy Ground is a new Facebook page for the people of Cheam, Worcester Park and Belmont. It’s a page that, we hope, will attract followers of Jesus Christ, curious spiritual seekers and everyone in between; building community and helping us to grow in faith, hope and love.
Please do follow us (@holygroundcheamwp) and like our posts! Every Tuesday, Steph Nadarajah, our Associate Priest, will be leading a service of Night Prayer, often (though not exclusively) from the Northumbria Community at 9pm on Facebook Live. This is a 15-20 minute, gentle, contemplative service in which all are invited to participate. We’d love to see you there.
The PCC agreed not to hold formal annual meetings in each individual church this year, but encouraged more informal meetings when suitable. A meeting has already been held at St Alban’s. Other church meetings are as follows:
St Oswald’s – Sunday 11th July – at the end of the 10.00am service
St Dunstan’s – Sunday 18th July – at the end of the 9.30am service
These meetings are a chance for each church to consider the membership of its District Church Council and to ask questions about any aspect of church life to the clergy and churchwardens.
Forthcoming Special Services and Events
As the Covid rules are slowly relaxed, the PCC discussed what the parish might do to mark our experiences of the pandemic. Each church has agreed to arrange the following, as long as circumstances permit:
A Service Of Lament, Hope, and Thanksgiving (Sunday 19th September, 10.30am, followed by a picnic and games in Cheam Park)
Open Weekend to include Celebratory Banquet (date and time to be decided)
An informal Songs of Praise and Afternoon Tea (date and time to be decided)
A Service of Remembrance (date and time to be decided)
All of these events are parish events to which everyone is welcome.
Foundation Governors at St Dunstan’s, Cheam, Church of England Primary School
There are some upcoming vacancies for foundation governors at our parish’s church school. These are important positions in the gift of our PCC, which allow us to continue to support the school and its Christian ethos. If you are interested in being a governor, please contact the Rector for a further conversation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Croydon Episcopal Lay Conference
There will be a Lay Conference for churches in the Croydon Area on 6th November. Organised by lay people for lay people, this promises to be an interesting day with engaging speakers and workshops. For more information and details of how to book, see the below flyer:
Living in Love and Faith
The Church of England parishes within the Sutton Deanery are pleased to support the Living in Love and Faith course. All around us we see changing understandings of human identity, changing patterns in relationships and families, changing sexual attitudes and activity. You may ask yourself, therefore, what does it mean for followers of Jesus to walk in love, faith and holiness today? The course aims to help participants think through this question. Please give serious consideration to booking a place. To make things easier for us in Cheam Parish, one of the courses will take place at St Alban’s. For more information, please click here.
Prayers and Pastoral Conversations
If you would like us to pray for someone or something, or would like to have a conversation with Nick or Beth, please email them directly (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the office (email@example.com / 020 8641 1284).