“… through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:6
Jan 6th 2020
The season of Epiphany points us to the Bible truth that God has revealed His plan of drawing all kinds of people – from whatever backgrounds – together to Himself. It is good to be reminded that this plan is continuing, despite us once again going into a national lockdown.
As All Saints’ Church we want to continue to be actively involved in God’s plans, though there are of course implications for us of the situation in the country.
You may have seen (though the reporting has been sketchy) that Churches are able to meet in this lockdown – when in the previous 2 lockdowns we had to close. So far, All Saints’ has held Sunday services on every Sunday we have been allowed to since Covid hit, but at the PCC meeting on Tues evening significant concern was expressed about whether it is wise or safe to open for services, given the seriousness of the situation nationally. It appears many churches – especially in the South East – have chosen not to meet publicly now even though it is legal to do so.
In the end, we decided we would plan to hold a service this Sunday 10th Jan at 10.30am as usual, but that we shall need to be especially vigilant to stick to our “covid secure” risk assessment for the building. This means – everyone maintaining 2M social distance from those not in their household or bubble, using hand sanitiser on entry and on leaving, wearing masks, not singing aloud and leaving straight after the service without “mingling” with others outside their household (as the government instructions emphasize.) Clearly this is a limited church experience but hopefully it is temporary, and the only alternative is not meeting ‘in person’ at all.
The PCC will continue to review this decision – beginning next week. We all need to be aware that the greater rate of infections from the “new variant” of the virus is increasing risk and we need to be ready to alter our plans if necessary.
No one should feel obligated to come to services – indeed many will think it better not to come in person given their vulnerabilities.
We plan to continue our online services in the same way as in previous weeks. Just google All Saints’ North Ferriby and click on the online service picture or use this link – http://www.northferribychurch.co.uk/whats-on-2/online-sunday-service/
The latest sermon should also continue to be available by phone on (Hull code) 699634 after a 12 sec pause. Look out for the codes, available on the online service page, to join in the zoom coffee time at 11.30am.
The Parish Hall has to be closed to groups again and Helen Gilchrist, our Parish Administrator, has returned to home working – though she can still be contacted by e mail; email@example.com
On Sundays, we are planning to start a new series of sermons “The down to earth God” looking at the early chapters of John’s gospel. James Munro, our Parish Assistant is planning to continue to provide online Bible based assembly videos for North Ferriby School, even if the children are having to stay at home.
Adam is continuing to run online sessions looking at some key figures and ideas in the early history of Christianity. New people can join in the discussion on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 on Zoom and/or view the videos on our Church YouTube channel (google YouTube North Ferriby church). If you’d like to join in (max an hour) let Jim Innes know by email and he can send an invitation firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also planning a new midweek online series looking at the significance of Jesus ‘Uncover’. This involves video and discussion avoiding putting anyone “on the spot”. If you would be interested, or know others who might be, please let me know.
It has been encouraging to see people looking out for each other, doing practical things and keeping in touch by phone – this is going to be especially important during the next few, challenging, weeks. If you know of any one in specific need do let Sheena or me know (631306). The Helping North Ferriby Group continues to help local people out in practical ways, especially if isolating. Please do keep praying for one another and our church’s life and mission. If you would like to share in prayer updates do contact Lester (07814 103240) who can add you to the WhatsApp prayer group. Adam’s daily devotions – in the coming days on the names of God in the Bible – are also available on this prayer WhatsApp group.
With love and prayers,
The words above remind us that God has a plan! It is a plan that, nothing that surprises us from a human perspective, can stop. God is working to bring everything together under the leadership of Jesus! This plan has been working out for centuries and awaits a fulfilment and that gives us great confidence for the future, despite all that is going on in our world.
It is now almost 6 months since the Prime Minster put the country into lockdown because of Covid-19 Back in March we said our church family continues to work to be ‘a church in Ferriby for Ferriby with the gratitude to God…and to declare his excellencies to our parish and beyond.’ With thanks to God and to many of our members who have worked hard, this, within restrictions, has been possible.
Recent developments have shown, we are clearly not out of the woods yet, but it is a relief that according to the government press conference on Wednesday “COVID secure venues like places of worship…can still hold more than six people in total.” With all our risk assessed procedures in place, we aim to continue our Sunday service at 10.30am. Can I say, thank you to Lester, who is able to lead our music and sing to lead us (even though the congregation cannot sing due to the spread risk.)
We also plan to continue our online services in the same way as in previous weeks. Just google All Saints’ North Ferriby and click on the online service picture or use this link – http://www.northferribychurch.co.uk/whats-on-2/online-sunday-service/ The service is now available as a single play video.The latest sermon should also continue to be available by phone on (Hull code) 699634 after a 12 sec pause. Look out for the codes, available on the online service page, to join in the zoom coffee time at 11.30am. Thank you to Jim Innes and Steve Ward for their excellent technical support for all this.
Helen Gilchrist, our parish administrator, has been working from home and some days in the parish office recently. From next week she is due to back in the office Mon – Fri mornings (635758). We are also pleased that Dave Philips has been appointed our new Parish Hall caretaker and is keenly getting to work and bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the situation, as many Hall users (though not all) start up their groups again. Brian Clark has returned to his churchyard work as Sexton.
On Sundays, in All Saints’ and Online, we are starting a new series of sermons “God’s Big Picture” tracing the storyline of God’s plan through the whole Bible in bite size chucks. This should be a good way to better grasp God’s plan for ourselves, as well as to help others. The weekly outline is below.
You will notice we plan to have a Harvest service on Oct 11th and possibly another one (quarantine time permitting) to allow families to come, especially as school services are restricted. Our Annual Meeting Sunday – postponed from March – is planned for Nov 15th as part of the 10.30 service. Christmas planning is inevitably rather uncertain currently.
Adam Young, who is planning to go to Japan for his 3-month placement with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship as soon as it is allowed, is running online sessions looking at some key figures and ideas in the early history of Christianity. New people can join in the discussion on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 on Zoom and/or view the videos on our Church YouTube channel (google YouTube North Ferriby church). If you’d like to join in (max an hour) let Jim Innes know by email and he can send an invitation email@example.com
Hopefully, you’ll be aware that About Ferriby is operating again – thanks to Kath Harvey, Fergus Aitken and the team. If you would like to contribute content send it to firstname.lastname@example.org We’re also planning to start collecting for the Hull Foodbank again – donations can be left in the foyer of the Parish Hall, which will usually be open weekday mornings.
We are delighted that James Munro has joined us as our new parish assistant from Cheadle. We are, as with his predecessor Ben, sharing him with the Anlaby Churches and he is looking forward to helping with children’s and youth work and taking part in regional online training with others.
On practicalities, Derek Shepherd our treasurer, told the PCC this week that income has as expected, dropped for church and the Parish Hall during the pandemic, but expenditure is down too – if not to the same amount. We shall need to use reserves to balance the books, but not perhaps as much as feared. Most of our financial needs are met from our own church family, so thank you to all who have kept giving. All our contributions make a difference. The online donation page can be found on our webpage under the welcome, (then giving) tabs or at this link –
You may notice that work on the church building – due from our last Quinquennial inspection – has now begun. This involves replacing guttering, stonework repairs, damp works and roof lead replacement. Thank you to Jonathan Verdon Smith for his oversight of these necessary works.
It has been encouraging to see people looking out for each other – doing practical things and keeping in touch by phone. If you know of any one in specific need do let Sheena or me know (631306). The Helping North Ferriby Group continues to help local people out in practical ways, especially if isolating. Please do keep praying for one another and our church’s life and witness. If you would like to share in prayer updates do contact Lester (07814 103240) who can add you to the WhatsApp prayer group.
With love and prayers, Matthew