Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
The Church is coming into a busy time of year. Our harvest celebrations are behind us, and we look forward to All Souls, then Remembrance Sunday, and shortly after that we begin Advent, and the preparations for Christmas. Obviously, things will be very different this year; social distancing, the rule of six, hygiene regulations, facemask’s and guidelines as to who we can meet and where will inevitably shape the way we mark these days and seasons.
As we enter November and the season of remembrance, we remember loved ones we have lost, and we remember Jesus, the resurrection and the life, our hope and future. With that hope in our hearts, we come to Remembrance Sunday.
Update 02/11/2020: The previously planned Remembrance Sunday service at the memorial is now cancelled
“Dear Friends. Due to the government’s announcement of a second national lockdown commencing on Thursday 5th November, the short services due to take place at the war memorials in Nether Heyford, Church Stowe and Flore on Remembrance Sunday have been cancelled. This decision has been taken after much prayer, thought and discussion, and with great disappointment. However, there will now be an online Service of Remembrance on the Benefice Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/HS9FB) beginning at 10:30am, when the village Rolls of Honour will be read out. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of the heroes of our villages, albeit a very different one in these unprecedented and challenging times.If you are able, please visit the war memorials in the villages throughout the day as part of your daily exercise on either Sunday 8th or Wednesday 11th November. Remember and honour the fallen, lay wreaths and pay your respects in private. Please ensure that when you do this, you observe social distancing guidelines to ensure we can all pay our respects as safely as possible.” With every blessing, Rev Stephen
At the war memorial, we recall Jesus’ words from the beatitudes; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God”. Peacemakers, people who put themselves at the heart of the issue, striving for a just solution, yearning for peace, for wholeness and wellbeing for all.
As we begin to look forward to Advent, we will have a series of gift services in aid of eve, a Northampton based charity working with the survivors of domestic violence and abuse. (eve is the working name of the Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge.) At this time of year, the charity gratefully accepts new books and toys for children, ladies’ toiletry sets and/or cosmetics, small personal gifts, or chocolate selection boxes and Christmas food items that can be passed on to the families in the refuge. Gifts should be unwrapped. If you would like to donate a small gift, please drop it in to the Rectory prior to 29th November or bring it along to one of the three parish gift services on the November service rota.
One certainty in these uncertain times is that Christmas will be here on 25th December. You won’t be surprised to know that the church is looking at ways to do Christmas a little differently this year. Building on the many community successes in Heyford since March (food boxes; teddies; Holiday at Home; Facebook services, scrubs etc) one suggestion is to light up our windows over Advent and turn our village into a giant Advent calendar. How would it work? At least 24 families, shops, pubs, school, village hall etc volunteer to put up a picture/display in their window and light it every evening from dusk. A picture will be posted on a specific Facebook site and children and adults can go around the village and spot the displays. There will be more details in the next Prattler but to get started we need 24 volunteers. If you are interested, e-mail or text Pamela Hutchison, so we can see if it’s a runner. (Pamela Hutchison; firstname.lastname@example.org / 07803 125005). If you want to see some examples of how it might work and the wide range of possible displays have a look at stoweninechurches.org.uk/AdventWindows or Helmdonhistory.com advent.
I believe one more certainty in these ever-changing times is God’s presence with us, through all that’s going on. One of my favourite contemporary Christian writers, John Ortberg, reminds us “The most frequent promise in the Bible is ‘I will be with you’.”
Please be assured of my prayers during these unprecedented times, and if there is anything the Church or I can do for you, please give me a ring.
With every blessing,
Stephen 01327 344436 Mobile: 07511 544375 Email: email@example.com
October 20th 2020