Parish Update - 6th April 2020
Jesus comes near and he beholds the city
And looks on us with tears in his eyes,
And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity
Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.
He loved us into life and longs to gather
And meet with his beloved face to face
How often has he called, a careful mother,
And wept for our refusals of his grace,
Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,
Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way,
Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.
But we might waken yet, and face those fears,
If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.
Malcolm Guite, “Jesus Wept” from Sounding the Seasons (Canterbury Press)
Yesterday’s celebration of Palm Sunday was a thoroughly strange experience. It is usually a joyful service, which is full of difference and movement as we bless our palm crosses and process into church. We would normally hear many different voices as the whole of the Passion narrative is read out. Instead of reflecting the noise and crowds of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, however, it was just me talking to a camera with my family gathered around the dining table, not really knowing who is watching.
We have now entered Holy Week and begun our journey with Jesus towards his Good Friday cross. One of the joys of Holy Week is to share every step of this journey with a small group of dedicated parishioners. Holy Week this year, however, will be very different. Our church buildings are closed. We are effectively confined to our homes. We cannot be together.
Jesus’ journey in Holy Week, however, is itself a journey through ever-increasing isolation and abandonment. He ends up on the cross alone and defeated, deserted even by his closest followers. In his final moments, he cries out, ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ Maybe our own sense of isolation in our homes can bring us a little closer to this feeling.
We are, therefore, going to have to find some different ways of walking in the way of the cross in our homes. Here are some suggestions about how we might do this:
Join us on YouTube for one of our streamed services over the coming days:
Wednesday 8th April 11.00am – Eucharist
Thursday 9th April 8.00pm – Maundy Thursday Eucharist
Friday 10th April 12.00pm – The Liturgy of Good Friday
Sunday 12th April 9.30am – Easter Day Eucharist
Gather various materials from around your home and garden to make your own Easter garden.
Look around your garden and make your own Good Friday cross, which can then be transformed with flowers on Easter Day.
Look at some of the links to other resources available on our parish website.
Please share your experiences with us, in words or photos. It would be good to be able to put some of this on our website, so please indicate what information you are happy for us to put online.
A few other notices for the week:
Easter Day Coffee on Zoom
I have scheduled a gathering on the video-conferencing platform, Zoom for 10.30am on Easter Sunday. Grab a drink and a biscuit and we can join together for a chat and to wish each other Happy Easter.
If you haven’t used Zoom before, it can be used through a computer (with camera and microphone), or by downloading the app on a smartphone or tablet. Visit www.zoom.us to download software or the app. To join us on Sunday morning, you can either simply click on the link below or enter the Meeting ID and password.
Topic: Cheam Parish Easter Day Coffee
Time: Apr 12, 2020 10:30 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 447 161 025
Parish WhatsApp Group
For those who use smartphones, we have a WhatsApp group so that we can stay in touch with each other. If you would like to join the group, please contact the office by emailing, giving your mobile number and confirming that you are happy to join. You will need to download WhatsApp from your provider.
Worship and Prayer – after Easter
We will continue to live-stream services on from the Rectory on our YouTube channel as follows (orders of service will be available on the parish website):
Sundays at 9.30am
A Simple Eucharist following Common Worship Order 1.
Wednesdays at 11.00am
Holy Communion following Common Worship Order 2/BCP (no service on 15th April).
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.
A reminder that the office at St Dunstan’s is now closed. Louise Page, our administrator, is working from home. She can be contact by email (email@example.com) and we now have an office mobile number (07928 833324). Louise will continue to work Tuesday to Thursday mornings.
Wider Cheam Support Group
We have been trying to establish a wider support group across Cheam, working with Cheam Baptist Church. Looking into this in detail, regrettably we have decided that the safeguarding requirements for organising this were too complex for us to manage with the resource we have. The communication we sent to those who offered help can be found here.
In summary, there are two ways in which help can be offered in the wider community. First, informal offers of help amongst friends and neighbours are strongly encouraged. Second, Sutton Council is working with local charities to provide an excellent volunteer service to those most in need.
We are working to analyse the extent of financial risk across our three churches. In the meantime, please:
· Continue to pay regular standing orders.
· If you pay by cash or envelope in the weekly collection, save your money to pay in a lump sum later in the year.
· Consider either raising your standing order or making a one-off payment.
For more information, please visit the ‘Giving’ page of the website, where there is also a button for online payments. We would be extremely grateful for any additional help you can give.
A Collect for Palm Sunday
Lord, your love is broken open
among cheering crowds and traitor’s coins,
deserting friends and hands washed clean,
the mockery of power and the baying mob:
as we follow your way of passion,
give us the faith to bring our weak and divided hearts
to the foot of the cross
and the door of the empty tomb
that they might be opened,
astonished and healed,
through Jesus Christ, who carries the weight of the world.
From ‘Prayers for an Inclusive Church’
There will be no newsletter in the week after Easter as I will be taking some time off. The next update will be in the week of 20th April.
With love and prayers to you all,
The Reverend Dr Nicholas Peacock
Team Rector, Cheam Team Ministry