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