All Saints, Godshill, is Open

open

The church is open daily from 10am until 5pm up until and including Wednesday October 7th 2020.

It will then be closed for three days whilst Covid-19 cleaning takes place ahead of the morning service on Sunday October 11th.

The church will then be open again from Sunday 11th October until Wednesday 21st October.

Harvest Festival

Dear Friends,

This pastoral letter is for the next two weeks, because I will be taking Annual Leave from Monday 26th – Sunday 4th October inclusive, and will not be putting anything on the website over the weekend of October 4th.

If there are any pastoral emergencies during this time please contact the Acting Area Dean, Hugh Wright, on 01983 853729.

You will all no doubt be saddened that, in order to stem the rising tide of Covid numbers, restrictions on numbers of people gathering have had to be reintroduced by the Government. I’m happy to say that church services and meetings will not be affected, at least for the time being, but guests at weddings have now been reduced from 30 to 15. Please pray for Hayley and Alex, who will be getting married in All Saints on Oct 17th.

In the Church’s calendar next week there is an important date to which I would like to draw your attention.

Tuesday 29th September is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. Michael is mentioned in the Apocalypse as the leader of the heavenly host. He is a patron of soldiers. In Christian art St Michael is usually portrayed fighting a dragon, representing the devil. By his actions, St Michael is bringing the light and goodness of Christ to overcome the forces of darkness of sin.

Along with Michael, we remember the other Archangels, Gabriel and Raphael. Gabriel, who appears in the book of Daniel to explain some of the prophet’s visions, was also the bearer of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and Raphael is mentioned in the Book of Tobit, as the angel who heals Tobit of his blindness. Raphael’s name means God heals and he is often associated with the Church’s Healing ministry.

This Sunday is Harvest Festival in both our churches. Please bring your harvest gifts to church, as usual. Harvest goods will afterwards be donated to the Ventnor Food bank.

We will meet again for mass on Sunday 11th October, when we will have Fr Gregory Clifton-Smith presiding and preaching for us.

Thank you to those who have responded to the Archdeacon’s questions about the future of our churches. I have sent them to him for his consideration.

My love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Harvest-Festival-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

A Reflection

Harvest-Festival-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

In the photo above Anthea is busy preparing some gorgeous floral arrangements for our Harvest Festival service this Sunday.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Next week sees several important commemorations, which I commend to you for your prayerful attention.

The first is on Monday 21st September. This is the day the church gives thanks for the life, witness and legacy of St Matthew, the apostle and evangelist.

Matthew was born in Capernaum and was working as a tax-collector when Jesus called him. He is thought by some scholars to have written an early version of his gospel in Aramaic, a precursor to the Greek version we now have. He is also said to have preached in the East.

Thursday 24th is Our Lady of Walsingham. Our Lady, to whom I know many of you have a great devotion, is an example to us of obedience and faithfulness. She shows us how to stay close to Jesus to the last, no matter what happens in life, so that we can grow more like him and like her – trusting, welcoming and co-operating with God in every aspect of our lives.

As many of you will know, we have a statue to Our Lady of Walsingham in St Alban’s church, and an altar dedicated to her in All Saints’. Before lockdown, many visitors to All Saints’ used to leave prayers on that altar, which were prayed through at our monthly cell of Our Lady of Walsinham. Pray that we may one day be able to resume this important ministry providing, as one member of our congregation described it, “pastoral care for the world”.

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are all Ember days. These are the 4 sets of three days of prayer and abstinence, spread throughout the year, and which are designed to be used as a kind of “spiritual check-up”!

On ember days, we give thanks for the gifts of nature, and ask God’s help that we may use His gifts in moderation and in order to assist the needy.

Ember days are also the times of year which are traditionally set apart for the ordination of clergy.

Due to the Covid pandemic, ordinations have had to be postponed and very much scaled-back this year. Instead of being great celebrations in cathedrals throughout the country, this year they will be taking place in the churches where individual deacons and priests will be serving.

Please pray for all about to be ordained in this and in other Dioceses, especially Hannah Barraclough, who will be ordained Deacon on October 11th and who will be serving at Newport Minster.

My love and prayers,

Corinne

Scripture Readings

25th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

A Reflection

25th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above dates from the 11th century and is by an unknown author Creative Commons CC0 License

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

With the Government announcement that social gatherings will be restricted to six people as of Monday 14th September, I am pleased to say this doesn’t not apply to churches!

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that, “after contact with Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship. Worship is the work of God – not a social gathering – and gives the strength to love and serve”.

This is a great relief, especially as we start to move into the time of year when there are more special services. Here are some dates for your diary:

The first of the special services will be our Harvest Festival, which will be held on Sunday September 27th at 9.30 at St Alban’s and 11.00 at All Saints.’ Please bring harvest goods to church; and following the service the goods will be donated to the Ventnor Foodbank.

On Sunday November 1st at 11am there will be a joint celebration of All Saints’ Patronal Festival at which + John Hind will be presiding and preaching. Please note there will be no service at St Alban’s on that day.

Monday November 2nd is All Souls’ Day and +John Hind will be say mass at St Alban’s at 10.00, followed by refreshments. Please let me know the names of departed loved-ones whom you would like to have remembered at the altar.

Sunday November 8th is Remembrance Day. St Alban’s will have an Act of Remembrance incorporated into the 9.30 mass. At All Saints’ we will have an Act of Remembrance, gathering at 10.55 at the War Memorial, followed by Matins in church. We will be pleased to welcome members of the Parish Council and the Scouts but, in order to remain Covid compliant, we will need to continue to limit the number in church to 30.

I hope the changes to the number who are now allowed to gather won’t be cutting across too many social arrangements you might have had planned. It is so disappointing to have to cancel events which have been eagerly anticipated, but it is important to do all we can to keep everyone as safe as possible.

My love and prayers,

Corinne

Scripture Readings

24th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

Forgiveness Poems

24th-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Poems

(Download the Poems)

The image above is The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant by Claude Vignon, dated 1629 and is to be found in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours Creative Commons CC0 License

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

In my pastoral letter on August 2nd, I asked you to respond to two challenging questions which were posed by the Archdeacon at Deanery Synod to all the island churches.

As we heard at Synod, we are at a crossroads in ministry on the island at the moment, as we face a huge financial shortfall. We were told that most parishes are in a decline in numbers, that giving does not cover the cost of ministry on the island, and that Covid has merely brought forward the need to address these issues seriously and urgently.

I asked you to consider the Archdeacon’s questions carefully, and to come back to me or the Churchwardens with any thoughts and ideas you might have. I have yet to hear from anyone.

The Area Dean wants to have feedback from all the churches by the end of September, so that she, along with the Archdeacon, can start to shape the future of ministry on the island, in which everybody has a part to play, so I pose the questions again.

Question 1: Is my Parish sustainable? If not, what changes do we need to make to make it sustainable?

Question 2: What needs to be present for Mission and Growth on our Island to be achieved?

I don’t want to sound alarmist, but Peter’s questions challenge us to recognise the fact that unless our churches are financially sustainable, growing and engaged in Mission, our future hangs in the balance.

In order to respond to the Archdeacon’s questions, we clearly need to consider our identity as churches, and to ask ourselves further questions such as, who is missing from our congregations? What might we do about that?

Things are obviously going to have to change, if we are to move from managing decline to a mind-set of growth and Mission, and thereby to secure the future of our churches. It is therefore imperative for us to find positive reasons why people would be attracted to our churches, and to think about the things which would enable them to thrive.

For example, if we think in terms of service to the community, what did we do in the past that we don’t do any longer? Would it be desirable to find a way to revive that, or is there something else we could do?

As I’ve said, it’s up to each one of us to contribute to the discussion, so that we can have a say in our future. I therefore urge you, seriously, to consider these questions and PLEASE to get back to me with any suggestions you might have about possible ways forward.

My love and prayers,

Corinne

Scripture Readings

23rd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

A Reflection

23rd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is from the book of Lindisfarne, dating from the late 7th century and is to be found in the British Museum Creative Commons CC0 License