It was reported on the radio on Wednesday this week that it was exactly 18 months since our Prime Minister announced the first lockdown. Now there is evidence that we are emerging from the pandemic or at least “learning to live with the virus”, enabling us all to move forward into some kind of normality.
I have spent the last few days watching cricket at Edgbaston, which almost feels “normal”. I have said before that watching 4 day county cricket in the open air offers the ideal chance for safe distancing. I counted about 400 spectators in a stadium that can accommodate well over 20,000!! There is hardly any need for the official guidelines to state that there is no longer a policy of social distancing at Edgbaston!! And, fortunately, we don’t have to wear face coverings to watch cricket!! Similarly, it was a great joy to be a small part of the team supporting our St Andrew’s “heroes”, who undertook and completed the 20 mile sponsored walk through some wonderful scenery, taking in the 6 churches of Greg’s new parish; and, of course, to see Greg and Fran again and share the experience with some of their new flock. Veronika, Linda and Steve (and Paul and Mark, as support) earned every penny of the sponsorship for the church that you have given or will give – there is still time!!
Indoor events are a little different, of course. Even in the vast expanse of the Edgbaston stadium, the spectator guide advises that nothing and nowhere is 100% risk free, and not everybody is fully comfortable about returning; so all are requested to make the experience less anxious by wearing face coverings on entry and exit and when moving around the stadium, and to show respect for others at all times – much as we do in church, now that we are encouraging people to come back to worship together. We can even sing now (behind face masks!) and there is definitely a more normal feel to services; and it is good to be back and to see “real” people again.
The situation is under constant review, and last Tuesday the Prayer Ministry Team prayed, amongst other things, about the future and how services are to be presented as we emerge from the pandemic. It was also a great privilege and joy to be invited back to King Henry VIII School for two events in the last week or two – as a volunteer host for the Heritage Day Tours of the school and as a guest at the Annual Prizegiving, where one of its many former pupils who have gone on to distinguished careers was the guest speaker, spoke inspiringly to the pupils and reminisced with his former teachers!! The Headmaster, Head Boy and Head Girl all declared from the stage how good it was to be back, with the Hall full of parents, pupils and guests; there seemed to be little concern about mixing. But all present were required to produce evidence of a negative Natural Flow Test from the preceding 24 hours. Maybe this is a way forward? One thing is certain: it is all in God’s hands; and we can be confident that Jesus is with us and we can put our trust in Him. He will never let us down. So:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 4-7)
The PCC met on Monday 2nd August and have agreed the following changes which will be reviewed regularly.
People are requested to:
Use the sanitiser when entering church.
Use a face covering when in church.
Singing – will now be allowed but requested to be done behind a face covering.
Move to a 1 metre distance – therefore all pews will be open, but only 2 people (related or formally in a bubble) are allowed to sit in each pew. People will be asked to sit at the opposite end of the pew from the people in the pew in front/behind. This is to achieve the 1 metre social distance.
Upstairs will now be open on Sundays to increase capacity.
If people, due to mobility or preference, wish to sit downstairs for the Sunday service you will need to contact Julie to book a place. Otherwise, the booking arrangements will be suspended, and people will be seated on a first come first served basis, utilising both the main body of the church and upstairs. The capacity of the church will be 60 people.
People will still be encouraged to record via the track and trace app.
We will continue with the current arrangements for sharing the peace.
Communion – will be administered in the pews as now. We will follow the option to administer the bread only at this time. We will request that people continue to wear a face covering when receiving Communion to protect both themselves and visiting clergy.
Coffee – will not be available after any service at this stage.
Wednesday Service – Wednesday service at 10am has resumed.
Life Events Weddings/Baptisms/Funerals – The church can accommodate 68 people utilising upstairs and downstairs and choir stalls. The number able to attend will be at the discretion of the person officiating at the service. Singing will be requested to be undertaken behind face coverings.
As you can imagine trying to get the balance right is very difficult, but we will keep the guidance under review. We will continue to take our steer from the Church of England and Public Health England guidance to make sure that we are keeping us all as safe as possible.
The church will continue to open on Thursdays and Sundays from 9am until 5pm.
Nick Tooby – Churchwarden
On behalf of the PCC
Church Opening Times
The church is open for private prayer on Thursday (9am – 5pm) and after the service on Sunday.
Online Service & Bulletin
The PCC met on Monday 13th September and has agreed that the online service will come to an end from this Sunday (19th September). The online service has been a great way for us as a church to meet together during the pandemic. We are so grateful for the IT team who have worked continuously during the pandemic putting the online services together (all working full-time), all the readers, leaders and preachers who have made it possible for us to worship throughout. It was also agreed that the bulletin would reduce to once a week with it being sent out on a Friday starting from 24th September.
Becky Crowe – Churchwarden
On behalf of the PCC
Peter Bruton’s Funeral
Peter’s funeral is in church on Wednesday 29th September at 1pm. As we know, Peter had a very full and active life, being involved in many groups. Due to Covid restrictions in church we are limited to only 70 people at the service. Unfortunately, so that all the groups and friends can be represented, attendance is by INVITATION ONLY. I appreciate many people will be disappointed, but the family would appreciate, if you are not invited, to take a moment at 1pm to remember Peter wherever you maybe at that time, and give thanks to God for his life.
St Andrews Church – Weddings through the age’s exhibition and Gift Day
Help required – As part of our Gift Day this year, to support the finances of the church, we want to hold an exhibition of weddings through the ages. This will focus on the people and wedding dresses worn in our church by the many couples who have held their “big day” in St Andrews Church.
Can you help?
We want to exhibit wedding dresses from people who have been married in our church. The church has been holding weddings since 1875, and it would be great to exhibit a selection of dresses from as early as possible up to the current day. The good news is you don’t need to wear them yourself! If you have a wedding dress, we could borrow please email me.
We are also wanting to exhibit wedding photos of the happy couple across the decades. Again, if you are willing to loan us your wedding photo to display, please email me.
The event will be held on the 30th October between 10am – 3pm in the church.
Nick Tooby – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tailors Dummy or Mannequin
Does anyone have a tailors/dress makers dummy or a mannequin that the church could borrow for the above event? We would need them for 27th October to prepare for the event on 30th October. If you have one and are willing to let the church borrow it please contact Nick Tooby or the parish administrator. It is will well looked after. Thank you.
Annual Sponsored Walk
Last Saturday, 18th September, Steve, Veronika and Linda joined with Greg for a sponsored walk. Those of you who have been coming to church a long time will know this annual event, started about 15 years ago with a 40 mile walk across Wales. I, (Linda), only supported at this event along my husband, but have walked since. All these years later, and our hips, back and feet have aged somewhat and so we limit our walks to about 20 miles now.
This year, we joined with Greg Smith and a number of his congregation, who were raising money for the historic churches trust in Shropshire. However, with all the good works throughout the pandemic that St. Andrews have done, we decided that all the money we raise will go directly to St. Andrews church to enable us to continue our good work.
The walk started from St. George’s church in Pontesbury at eight in the morning. It was an early start for us as we needed to travel there, and so we set off at six o’clock. In itself it was a difficult walk as those who know the area will testify. It is really hilly and sometimes the terrain was quite tough underfoot. One particular area, going up stiperstones to nearby devils chair was particularly steep and it was rocky underfoot. The first half of the walk seemed all uphill, and the second part, when the feet were sore, seemed mainly downhill. We called into a number of churches along the way, and had a short reading and a prayer at each. The fellowship was wonderful, as was the hospitality as we were served refreshments and cakes at most churches and as facilities were not always available, one very kind lady opened up her home to us so that we could use her toilet too. In total about 25 people or slightly more participated in the walk. Only nine of us completed it all. This would not have been possible but the amazing support from my husband Paul, and Jeremy, who ferried people back and forth and gave moral support and encouragement as well as ensuring everyone had whatever was required. Finally, we ended up at the Nags Head, for a well-deserved drink and rest before returning home.
It is still possible to sponsor us using one of the following methods:
· Sponsorship form is in church
· Use our specific online giving page, which is secure and offers a receipt, just follow the link – https://givealittle.co/campaigns/5f369064-5669-4be8-94e1-86e6e23fbef8
· You can telephone Lin direct for her to record you’re her number is 0247468535
· Give your donation to one of the Churchwardens
A big thank you to you all.
We would like to return to the tradition of placing flowers on our altar table each week. As from Sunday, 26th September, there will be a Rota available on the Notice Board at the rear of the Church for the period October-December, 2021. If you would like to reserve a week in which to remember a loved one by having flowers in Church, please would you sign up for the appropriate Sunday.
The procedure has changed, and we will not be collecting money from you. Instead, we are returning to the original system: You are asked to provide your own flowers and bring them to Church on the Thursday before the relevant Sunday. Please arrange them in the brass vases and stand them on the altar table. (Water is available in the kitchen and scissors are in the kitchen drawer.) Any flowers from the previous week with remaining life can be transferred to the stoneware jug which stands at the back of church or other appropriate vases. Dead flowers/cuttings and any rubbish should be taken to the appropriate bins outside church.
A special thank you to Ann and Frank Dove, for their amazing commitment and hard work in maintaining our flowers inside church over so many years.
If you have any queries, please speak to Lesley Lee.
Our next Children’s service will take place in church on Sunday 3rd October.
Our Wednesday Service has now resumed and commences weekly at 10am. Everyone welcome. There is no need to reserve a seat.
Building Our Faith
Our Wednesday evening bible study and fellowship takes place on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Zoom. We will be looking at Old Testament characters over the next few weeks and everyone is welcome to join us.
The zoom joining details are:
812 4505 0020
If you have not joined us before you are very welcome. If you have any questions, please contact me.
This is a reminder that anyone who volunteers for a role at St Andrew’s, whether paid or unpaid, must be safely recruited and may also require a DBS check. St Andrew’s are proud to abide by the regulations stipulated by the diocese to ensure the safety of all as far as we possibly can.
If you have a role, or volunteered for a role within the church and have not been safely recruited please contact either Julie Crow (Parish Administrator) or Linda Chylinksi (Parish Safeguarding Officer) immediately. The contact details are:
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847 or email@example.com
Parish Safeguarding Officer: Linda Chylinski – 024 7646 8535
We are looking to resume a sidespersons rota for Sunday services. If you are willing to do sidesperson duty please let Julie or one of the churchwardens know.
Please note that each individual will need to be safely recruited for this role. We will need a short application form completing and contact details to obtain 2 references. A DBS check will not be required for this role.
We are looking to safer recruit volunteers for our Youth work. If you feel you could help with either the Drama Club, Rock Solid or the Youth Wellbeing course then please get in touch with Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to Central foodbank, Sue Barnes is coordinating this so please contact her to drop off food at her house. Contact Sue at email@example.com
If you are unable to give food you can also donate online here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/rddonate-checkout/
Save our Greenbelt
Please see the enclosed update on saving the greenbelt in Eastern Green.
Good News! – Save our Green Belt, Eastern Green, Coventry (crowdjustice.co.uk)
Please find attached some useful information from the Good Neighbours Project – some of you may already be involved in this initiative.
The website link is https://hopecoventry.org.uk/projects/good-neighbours-coventry/ if you require further information. I can also provide details of the contact who sent me this information. Individuals can refer themself into the service or it is possible to refer others as long as permission has been given to do so.
Please find enclosed the latest update from our Mission Partners, Dan and Phillipa Munday.
Andrew Cullum would like to invite you to a performance of a new piece of Christian Drama.
The Gospel According to Others is written and performed by Andrew, and is a one man show lasting for about an hour.
When: 27th-29th October 7:30pm
Where: St Georges Church, Coundon, Coventry, CV6 1EA
To give you a clear preview of the show, on his website he has one scene available for advance viewing in its entirety. Here’s the link: http://www.andrewcullum.co.uk/page3.php
It’s possible you may have already seen his performance as Peter walking on water at the Coventry Cathedral Centenary in 2018. This scene is part of the show.
For further information please see the enclosed flyer.
Do send Julie your favourite bible verses or hymn verses, names for prayer and any birthdays, celebrations or articles for inclusion in the bulletin. Julie can be contacted on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Churchwardens: Nick Tooby – 07951 925772 and Becky Crowe – 07875 552518
Parish Administrator: Julie Crow – 07756 918847
Parish Safeguarding Officer and Children’s Advocate: Linda Chylinski – 024 7646 8535
26th September 2021 – The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
James 5.13-20 & Mark 9.38-50
Hebrews 1.1-4 2.5-12 & Mark 10.2-16