2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends,

This has been a very worrying week, with the numbers of Covid infections and deaths from Covid continuing to rise on the island; but is encouraging to hear how many people from among our congregations have now been vaccinated, as this gives us the greatest hope of coming out of lockdown.

Many of you will have known Eileen Jones, who was a regular member of All Saint’s until age and frailty overtook her. Sadly, Eileen died recently. I don’t have confirmation of the details of her funeral yet, but I will let you know in due course. Meanwhile, please pray for the repose of Eileen’s soul and for all her family who mourn her loss.

Thanks go to Keith and Tom Burden, cheered on by Jackie(!), for getting the window at St Alban’s repaired again so quickly. The jackdaws will now have to look for alternative accommodation!

Monday 18th sees the start of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. This is an ecumenical, international annual event, which is traditionally held between 18th – 25th January.

For 2021, materials have been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp, Switzerland. The theme is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, based on John 15:1-17. This theme expresses the Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.

Unfortunately, this year resources can only be found online. You can find them by going to ctbi.org.uk; but we can all pray for the unity of the church and for reconciliation and a fairer sharing of the world’s resources, which is so needed in these times of such division and social injustice around the world.

Every year, Christian Aid provide daily reflections during the week for prayer for Christian Unity, with Go and Do action points linking into the important work of Christian Aid in the relief of poverty and advocacy of justice. Resources can be found at christianaid.org.uk

If you would like to donate to the work of Christian Aid, you can go to the website, as above, or you can call 02075232046 and speak directly to a member of the giving team.

Please do contact me if you are struggling in any way during these difficult times, and please be assured of my continuing prayers.

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

2nd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

Reflection

2nd-Sunday-in-Ordinary-Time-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew by
Lorenzo Veneziano, dated 1370 and is to be found in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin Creative Commons CC0 License

The Baptism of Christ

Dear friends,

Well, the predicted national lockdown has now happened! I am so relieved we took the decision together to suspend public worship at our churches when we did, because this has been shown to be entirely the right call to have made.

Sadly, Dennis has had to take the additional decision to close All Saints’ completely, even for private prayer; and St Alban’s will also remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Sunday worship can be accessed, though, via live streaming from a number of sources, including eg the Minister, Portsmouth Cathedral or Walsingham Anglican Shrine. If you’d like more options, please get in touch with me.

newportminster.org
portsmouthcathedral.org.uk
walsinghamanglican.org.uk

You can also find worship being broadcast on the TV or radio, e.g.

BBC 1 Sunday Worship at 10.00
Radio 4 Sunday worship at 8.10
Radio 3 (daily)Choral Evensong at 15.00

I will continue to put the Sunday readings on the website, together with a weekly homily, either by me or others, plus my usual weekly pastoral letter.

For those of you who usually go to All Saints’, if you know of people who do not have internet access, but would like to access these weekly resources, could I ask you to print out copies and get them to them, please?

For those who normally go to St Alban’s, I will continue to get copies to you in the usual way.

Although the vaccine programme is currently being rolled out, it will obviously be a while before we are out of lockdown. This will be a time of continuing to care for one another at distance, by phone, email and, of course through prayer. However, for those who are shielding, or who need help with shopping etc, help is available from the Godshill Volunteer co-ordinators:

Alison Child tel: 840179
or
Rodney Downer tel: 854203

In Ventnor, the community hub can offer similar help to vulnerable people tel; 835775 / 857848 9.00 – 16.00 Mon – Fri.

Please do contact me if you’re struggling in any way; and, if you know of someone who is ill and they would like me to contact them, or to pray for them, please let me know.

In the meantime, please be assured of my love and prayers.

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

The-Baptism-of-Christ-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

A Reflection

The-Baptism-of-Christ-Reflection

(Download the Reflection)

The image above is a painting dated 1498-1500 by Pietro_Perugino. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie in Vienna Creative Commons CC0 License

Open letter from Isle of Wight NHS Trust CEO to community, patients and colleagues

Thank you all so very much for the amazing support that you have shown to us and to our health and social care partners during 2020.

The challenges we have faced as a community have been huge and we cannot underestimate the impact that Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had and will continue to have.

Whether you have lost a loved one, worked on the frontline throughout or been shielding at home – we have all experienced the anxiety and strain of the pandemic.

We have found a way through
Yet our community has been so strong in the face of Covid-19. Together we have found a way through – we have led the way with the first Covid-19 App, kept cases low on the Island and protected the most vulnerable among us.

But with the emergence of a new variant of the virus and a rapid spread of cases across much of the South East we now have a new challenge to face.

The Christmas we all wanted to see has ebbed away as the new variant took hold and we are faced with tougher Tier 3 restrictions from Boxing Day.

You can find more information about Tier 3 restriction.

Rising cases
Cases locally are rising and we know from earlier in the pandemic that it is only a matter of time before we see an increase in admissions to hospital. This of course all coincides with the pressures of winter.

The key to our response so far has been the support of our community and partners and the dedication of our staff.

You stood on doorsteps in your thousands and clapped for the NHS and key workers, you donated food, gifts and money to our charity and crucially you have diligently followed the Government guidance.

Dig deep and go again
We ask you now to dig deep and go again. We need you to help us continue to fight against this virus. What we need from you now is not clapping or donations. What we need is for you to act as though you and the people you might meet have COVID-19.

Wash your hands, cover your face and keep your distance from people.

More information about how to control the spread of the virus is available.

The thousands of people that make up Isle of Wight NHS Trust, our staff and volunteers, will be here for you if you need us. Our teams are working flat out, as they have throughout the pandemic, to provide safe and compassionate care. To deal with the impact of the coming surge in COVID-19 cases and winter pressures we really need your help.

Follow the guidance
Please follow the Tier 3 guidance to the letter and keep yourself, your loved ones and our community safe. Ask your friends and family to do the same because we all have a part to play. We should all maintain good hand hygiene, wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

You can also help by making sure that you are accessing the right services. You should call NHS 111 first before coming to the hospital and they will help you get the right support, whether that’s from your local pharmacist, GP, our Urgent Treatment Centre or A&E. If it is a life-threatening emergency please call 999.

Find out more about NHS 111

Social contact is driving the spread of the virus
We know how very difficult these new restrictions will be for us all but there is clear evidence that social contact, particularly in people’s homes, is driving the spread of the virus.

There is significant risk for our community if people start mixing freely over the coming days. I urge you all to have a careful Christmas.

Devastatingly consistent
Sadly this disease is proving devastatingly consistent. More social contact leads to rising cases, which leads to more hospital admissions and tragically, more people dying. We should take this very seriously but we should not give up hope.

By working together and supporting one another we will get through this. With the start of a mass vaccination programme we can see a way out of the restrictions that have so impacted our lives.

I am proud to be part of this Trust and part of this community and I know that we will rise to the challenges ahead of us.

Have a safe and happy Christmas, Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive

Image: Colin D under CC BY 2.0

O Radiant Dawn – a Resource for Advent

In this booklet you’ll find a reflection to use each day during Advent.

For each day there will be a portion of Scripture, a short reflection and a prayer. You might like to use it to
accompany the lighting of an Advent Candle or Wreath, or with opening a door on the Advent Calendar in your home, as you take a moment to prayerfully reflect on the journey this season takes us on.

CLICK/TAP HERE for the booklet (it may take a few moments to load).

A message from churchwarden Alan

Hello Friends,

Since the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, where Chris and I were re-elected to the Deanery Synod and I am again one of your Churchwardens, we have had yet another lockdown and Chris and I have had to learn the mysteries of the Zoom internet meeting facility. I had heard Zoom mentioned a lot during the pandemic, but I must admit to not having a clue how it works or what it looked like, so some fast learning was needed so we could join the online Deanery Synod meeting and I could swear in as Churchwarden at the Archdeacon’s online visitation. All very clever stuff and hopefully I will learn to use properly as time goes by.

The Deanery Synod was attended by some 75 people online, or do we call them Zoomers? The meeting highlighted some of the main problems facing our Diocese and individual churches. The shortage of clergy to fill vacancies such as our own will no doubt lead to a reduction in the number of parishes on the island and we will have to “fight our corner” to ensure we get treated fairly along with the other three Anglo Catholic churches.

Of course, finance was a major issue, with the Diocese currently taking advantage of a Government covid-19 loan which of course will have to be paid back. With lockdown restrictions, churches have all had huge reductions in income and a large majority are finding it impossible to pay their full parish share (quota). The benefits of the Parish Giving Scheme were explained and it was clear that parishes using the scheme were doing far better during the pandemic. A major problem facing us and the whole Diocese is the low numbers in our congregations and closure of churches is something that is going to be the cause of much soul searching and discussion in the near future. However, it was heartening to hear some saying that closure really should be the last option, although we will have to find good reasons to support the case that Anglo Catholic Churches such as ours are needed by people on the island to ensure their spiritual wellbeing is cared for and that transport issues in rural areas such as the island do justify the need for churches that would not be so essential in an urban environment.

If anyone would like more detailed information about the issues discussed at the Deanery Synod, please contact me by email at iowtv@hotmail.com and I can supply copies of the reports, Powerpoint presentations etc.

As one of your Churchwardens and I am sure that Dennis would agree, that although Covid-19 has taken an awful lot of effort and time, we do not forget that as soon as we are permitted to, it is important that we are ready to move forward with finding a new Parish Priest. In February we will have the visit of +Norman, Bishop of Richborough and we must take the opportunity to impress on him that we need all help possible to find a priest who will continue the Anglo-Catholic traditions of this parish.

Best Wishes to you all for Christmas
& I hope the New Year brings better news for us all.

Alan Philpott

All Saints, Godshill, Limited Opening

open

The church has very limited opening in the next fortnight. It will be open today, the 20th and tomorrow. It is then closed for three days whilst Covid-19 cleaning takes place ahead of the morning service on Sunday October 25th.

In the following week, it will only be open on Wednesday 28th October.

The daily opening hours are from 10am until 5pm.

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.

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

St Aidan and St Gregory the Great

Monday 31st August – St Aidan (+651) and the Saints of Lindisfarne

Aidan, a native of Ireland, was a monk on Iona. When the Christian King Oswald returned from exile on Iona to his kingdom of Northumbria, he invited the monks of Iona to provide missionaries to instruct his people in Christianity. After initial difficulties, Aidan was consecrated bishop and sent with a group of Irish monks to begin this task. He established a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne which became the centre of a major missionary effort in the North of England. The monastery also became a valuable centre of learning and an important training ground for the education of English boys who would continue the work of evangelisation. From Lindisfarne Aidan journeyed throughout Northumberland, usually on foot, and working closely with King Oswald who found him to be a wise adviser and a good personal friend. After Oswald’s death in 642, Aidan continued this work under his successor, Oswin, but when Oswin himself was killed nine years later, Aidan did not long survive him and died two weeks later in 651. According to St Bede in his History of the English Church and People, St Aidan was a man of great gentleness and moderation, outstanding for his energetic missionary work. His influence on the North of England was enormous, and his wise promotion of Christian education among the native English laid the solid foundation for the spread of the Gospel in the centuries which followed his death.

Thursday 3rd September – St Gregory the Great (540-604)

Gregory was born in Rome and followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, finally becoming Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for some years. He founded a monastery in Rome and some others in Sicily, then became a monk himself. He was ordained deacon and sent as an envoy to Constantinople, on a mission that lasted five years. He was elected Pope on 3rd September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy, and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down. He was a liturgical reformer, and a great musician – Gregorian Chant gets its nomenclature from his encouragement of music in the liturgy. His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of St Augustine and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care (his Pastoral Rule was later translated into Anglo Saxon by King Alfred the Great as a guide for his bishops), spirituality, and morals, and designated himself ‘servant of the servants of God’, a title still used by the pope. He died on 12th March 604, but as this date always falls within Lent, his feast is celebrated on the date of his election as Bishop of Rome. He is accorded the title ‘Apostle of England’ for having sent St Augustine of Canterbury to these shores.