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In Brief

Bible Readings:

For 12th July 2020
(Fifth Sunday after Trinity)

1: Genesis 25:19-34
2: Romans 8:1-11
G: Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Diocesan Magazine

Click here to visit the Exeter Diocese website

A link to the magazine is available on the Home page.

Safeguarding

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Diocese of Exeter Safeguarding contacts

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Coronavirus restrictions eased from 13th June 2020, allowing the church to reopen for private prayer for the first time since March. Here, on Wednesday 24th June 2020, Hazel Price (left) and Emma Waldron wait in the porch to welcome anyone wishing to come into the church and to ensure that social distancing and hygiene rules are observed. Image courtesy of Charles Waldron 24th June 2020.
Highslide JS

Revd John Ewington (pictured) led our Stations of the Cross service on Sunday 15th March 2020. He set up 11 stations representing stages of Jesus' journey to the cross with each being marked with an explanatory reading and meditation as well as a poem or music. Image courtesy of Charles Waldron 16th March 2020.
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In Brief

Bible Readings:

For 12th July 2020
(Fifth Sunday after Trinity)

1: Genesis 25:19-34
2: Romans 8:1-11
G: Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Diocesan Magazine

Click here to visit the Exeter Diocese website

A link to the magazine is available on the Home page.

Safeguarding

View our Safeguarding policy

Diocese of Exeter Safeguarding contacts

Recent Images Highslide JS
Coronavirus restrictions eased from 13th June 2020, allowing the church to reopen for private prayer for the first time since March. Here, on Wednesday 24th June 2020, Hazel Price (left) and Emma Waldron wait in the porch to welcome anyone wishing to come into the church and to ensure that social distancing and hygiene rules are observed. Image courtesy of Charles Waldron 24th June 2020.
Highslide JS

Revd John Ewington (pictured) led our Stations of the Cross service on Sunday 15th March 2020. He set up 11 stations representing stages of Jesus' journey to the cross with each being marked with an explanatory reading and meditation as well as a poem or music. Image courtesy of Charles Waldron 16th March 2020.
More Images
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News Articles Previously Displayed

The 6 most recent records are shown here out of a total of 155 which are available to view. If you would like to see more, please follow the "Show more" link at the bottom of the page.

27th Jun 2020 - 5th Jul 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 20th June

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome each of you as we try to keep connected without meeting up.

The good news this week is that our churches are beginning to open up for private prayer. To start with, this will be just twice a week as we need to keep at least 72 hours between openings to help manage cleaning in the most appropriate way. It is so good to be able to at least open our doors for our personal use and the use of the wider community.

As lockdown continues to ease, we will be given more scope to open and, hopefully, will be able to have services once the risk level has fallen sufficiently. I long for the day when we can finally meet up to pray and praise together. It is so important to remember that the church is not closed, and we are not on lockdown with our prayer life or our commitment to God. No matter where we are, we are still Christ’s body; his church in the world and we are still connected through him, so we are never alone.

I hope and pray that each of you is safe and well and please don’t forget that if you, or anyone you know, needs a chat, a prayer or just a moan or laugh about life please get in touch so we can get something organised.

Remember also that we are still broadcasting our services every day on our Facebook page, Mission Prayer, including a full service every Sunday morning at 10am. Even if you can’t join us you can pray at that time and join the eternal prayer that rings out every Sunday when the whole Christian world prays together as one.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

So may God keep you and bind us together this day and every day.

With blessings

Fr Shaun

21st Jun 2020 - 21st Jun 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 12th June

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to our weekly letter. Much has happened over the last week and we have the possibility, if we meet the requirements, to open our churches for private prayer.

I must make clear that this is not opening for public worship as we are still not allowed to meet in groups to pray. One of the most striking realities to come from this pandemic is that the church has never been closed down: our buildings are restricted and shut, but the body of Christ - the real church, us - has marched forward ever more committed to our faith and finding new ways to be the church. Many have worked for their communities providing help and support. Many priests have been exploring new ways of worship and finding that we are reaching the fringe of our communities. This is something the church has been trying to do for years and, through live streams (e.g. Mission Prayer) and new ways of presenting church, our evangelism is growing. We must keep doing this when we do reopen our buildings: after all, passing on faith and telling the people about faith and God is our primary goal. We cannot abandon those who have searched for God in these troubled times.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

Yesterday, I had a Zoom meeting with all the clergy of Exeter - over 150 of us - and our Archdeacons to clarify what we need to do in the coming weeks before we can open our church buildings. Our main concern is for the welfare and safety of those who come into our buildings for private prayer. The decisions that the church makes are going to be challenging for us, but we have a duty of care to our communities and each other and we will achieve what is being asked of us. I will be meeting with our wardens next week, hopefully as a group on the internet, or by phone to discuss our way forward. We will let you know what is happening, where and when, once it has been thrashed out and planning and meeting our requirements have been met, so be ready for the outcomes.

Wishing you all a blessed week ahead

Fr Shaun

12th Jun 2020 - 12th Jun 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 5th June

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to what is now our 10th weekly “Lockdown Letter” and it comes with my hopes and prayers that you are all keeping well and safe at this time. I understand many are worried by the fast easing of the lockdown but remember that you do not have to rush into anything too quickly.

It feels like the world is going mad at the moment with civil unrest as well as the virus. Thankfully, North Devon has always been a place of stillness and quiet. Right at this very moment in time it is so important for us to maintain our ability to pray, both for ourselves and for our family around the world. We need to pray that the stillness and quiet enjoyed by us here might be felt around the world. We can be grateful that we are connected to the rhythms of life that sit in all creation, in our wildlife, our farms and all that lives and swims in the sea. We are blessed by the very place where we live and, on our long walks in the beauty that surrounds us, we make that connection stronger. Keep that connection strong in your prayer life.

All of us want to see our churches open, but it will be some time yet before we can join together in public worship. Every day we are getting discussion papers on how to achieve that safely. However, as with other walks of life, opinions on this can change from moment to moment. We promise to let you know, though, when we have in place all that needs to be done to make it safe to return to church worship.

Many of you are in situations, due to health conditions, that even when we first open you may not feel that it is safe to return. We will, though, continue to broadcast our Mission Prayer Sunday services as we do now as well as our daily prayer every day at 10am, even when our churches begin to reopen. If you have a computer laptop, iPad or mobile phone with internet connection you can join in or watch at a later time. You are not, nor will not be, forgotten and we will do all we can to ensure that you can join in and be part of the service. If you need any advice on how to get the services just let me know.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

Please don’t forget that, if you or someone you know needs a call, a chat about life, or prayers said with you, let us know so we can make arrangements for you.

Keeping each and every one of you in my prayers.

Fr Shaun

6th Jun 2020 - 6th Jun 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 29th May

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to another week in lockdown together. It has been a hard process for many people including those with families and those who live on their own. We are now beginning in slow steps to make more contact with others. I hope and pray that you are all doing well and please don’t forget to let me know of anyone who would like a “telephone visit” from me. Chris and David are also available to call. It is always good to talk to each other in any way we can.

I hope you are taking the opportunity to join me in my morning service (Mission Prayer) which runs live every day from 10am. This coming Sunday, also at 10am, we will be celebrating Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please do join us for this important service.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

Things will slowly get back to normal and eventually we will be together in person in our worship. However, it will take quite some time before we are fully accessible to all - but we will manage. Our top priority is safety and some challenges lie before us with our buildings and our meeting spaces to achieve this. We will, though, overcome the obstacles as they present themselves.

Unfortunately, some of our congregation members are in hospital at this time and I would ask you to keep them and all our friends in your prayers. We must keep to the rules so we cannot make visits yet. Some of us are still in lockdown until the 30th June with complicated medical issues, including me, so please remember us in your prayers as well, as it can be very frightening to think you are so at risk.

Prayer is so important at the moment and in the stillness and the sunshine in your lives, please always remember that God is with you, that God loves you and that no matter what befalls us, God will be our rock.

So, until next week, may God’s blessings be with each and every one of you.

Fr Shaun

29th May 2020 - 29th May 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 23rd May

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to our weekly update to the churches of our Mission Community. First of all, I hope you are all keeping safe and well, as lockdown is slowly unfolding before us.

Many of us are waiting for movement on opening our churches but we must be cautious and take our time as we have much to prepare for. Today (Friday 22nd), I received updates and suggestions from the Diocese of Exeter on how we are to prepare for this and, although it is a huge amount of information, with technical do’s and don’ts held within it, I would like to give you all a flavour of what it contains. It proposes a phased reopening along the following lines:

Phase One: Clergy allowed back in church for personal prayer and broadcasting of recorded services. This has been allowed since 7th May.

Phase Two: As well as the above, permission will be given to reopen churches for personal prayer. The priest and PCC will need to decide whether and when to open their churches for private prayer. Anyone will be able to enter an open church, provided hygiene and social distancing measures are observed. This could happen from mid-June.

Phase Three: As well as the above, clergy will be allowed to take small Sunday services. National guidance will be issued about numbers in the congregation and social distancing requirements. The date for this is as yet unknown.

Phase Four: Larger services will be allowed in church but when this could be feasible is also not yet known.

It is likely that our churches will begin this process by the PCCs deciding if and when their buildings could open. There is no insistence for us to open if we do not feel able to. However, it would be good to start meetings to prepare for this possibility even if this will present some challenges as we cannot meet without social distancing and many within our churches fall into an-risk group.

Among matters that PCCs will have to consider will be whether we can provide adequate hygiene and the ability for social distancing. Roping or taping off parts of the building could be a means of limiting the area required to be maintained for worship, if that is feasible.

Churches will need to be cleaned regularly once opened for public private prayer and this will raise practical issues such as whether a cleaning rota can be set up. Protective equipment and knowing how to clean heritage items without damaging them will also need to be taken into account.

Later on, when services are permitted, ways will need to be found to avoid using order-of-service booklets. Hymn books will not be needed as singing will not be allowed until the risk of passing on the virus is negligible. Likewise, it will be some time before it will be possible to share the peace and to take Holy Communion. We are currently allowed to ring a single bell, though!
These measures may seem harsh, but we are responsible for public buildings and will have to comply with the new regulations while they are in place.

We have been asked to continue the new ways of worship that we are doing now, especially with providing services on the internet (e.g. Mission Prayer). One benefit of the lockdown is that people who are unable to attend church in person have suddenly felt themselves to be included as they can watch online! It has been suggested that church services could be recorded in future so that these valued congregation members do not feel excluded when things get back to normal. We are asked to look to the future to seek new ways to attract people again new and old.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

These are just some highlights for you to digest. The most important thing is that we remember we are all in this together and we will return and will be stronger when this is behind us.

I long for the day we can gather together, worship, sing and ring our bells and be part of our church community and our communities we serve.

Thank you all for being patient. I pray that each of you keep healthy safe and blessed by God.

With prayer

Shaun

23rd May 2020 - 23rd May 2020

Letter from Revd Shaun - 15th May

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Welcome to our weekly letter to all the churches in our Mission Community. We are still facing a lockdown and it seems that this may continue for quite some time to come.

I would like to take the time to say ‘thank you’ for all those who are carrying on doing their bit for the church. We have so many people who are using the lockdown to continue fundraising for our building projects, arranging for even some building work to be done on the outside - all with a view to returning to a healthy, prepared church. To those who are working so hard to maintain our church finances in this difficult time, I thank each and every one of you on behalf of myself and the congregations you are serving so faithfully.

As you all know our main funding comes from our events, coffee mornings and generous giving. We have not been able to do those, and our finances have suffered as a result. Many of you are still giving regularly to our churches and, for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart: you are making the job of those who are dealing with our finances a little easier. If you have not been able to contribute and would like to please get in touch with your wardens or treasurer to talk through how you could - they will all be pleased to assist you.

I have said on many occasions that the church is not a building: it is we, the people, who are the church, so church is not shut down or closed. We are the keepers of the gospel, not the building, but we must recognise that our buildings are important to us and the communities we serve. We share with our communities the joys of life at baptisms and weddings, we are central to our communities in sharing national events, our bells ring out for all to hear and people love this. Yes, our buildings are important and when we return, we must share that joy with everyone. We could, perhaps, hold special services to honour our NHS and carers. If you have any suggestions as to how we could do this, I would be pleased to receive them.

Circumstances may be a little harder for us as we move ahead but, by the grace God, we will in his name push ever forward.

May I thank everyone who is joining in on our Mission Prayer Programme morning service and full Eucharist service on Sunday mornings at 10am. It is so good to worship together: even if it is by live streaming on our laptops, iPads and mobile phones, we are still doing church.

The link to Mission Prayer is https://www.facebook.com/mission.prayerprogramme

Please remember that we are taking prayer and favourite hymn requests, so keep them coming in. We have had new and old - just beautiful hymns of praise to God.

I pray for each of our communities every day and I miss each and every one of you. I cannot wait for that day when we can stand together and worship our Lord together. I miss the smiles that we share together, I miss the cups of tea and coffee and the conversation. I miss the family who we have become. But we will endure, and we will be back worshiping together.
I hope that each and every one of you are safe and illness free of any kind. I am only a phone call away, so please let me know if you would like to chat or be added to our phone ministry.

May Our Lord bless and protect each of you and those you love and care for.

With prayers,

Revd Shaun.