Easter 5

Dear Friends,

As part of the C/E prayer series I mentioned last week, a question was raised which seemed to speak into the way a number of people have told me they’re feeling at the moment. The question was, “How do I pray when prayer seems impossible?”

Given the year we’ve had, it is not surprising that some people are in this place. Some have described feeling as though God has let them down, or has even abandoned them. Prayer has become impossible or even pointless. It feels empty, with familiar words and rituals losing their comfort.

Although these experiences are dark and painful, I’d say they are also normal and inevitable. All the great spiritual writers speak of times like these as “desert experience”, and are part and parcel of the Christian journey.

If this is true for you, I’d say “Hang in there”. When I was going through a time like this many years ago, a wise spiritual Director said two things which I have always remembered. The first was, “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”, and “Take the body along and the soul will follow”.

When you journey through the desert, what you look for is an oasis: a place where you can quench your thirst. The oasis will be different for each of us: it might be a familiar prayer; a verse from scripture; a piece of music; a photograph; or even some symbolic action. Discern what it is – no matter how small and seemingly insignificant – that still connects you to God, and then hold onto it tightly through the desert.

I have personally found it helpful to have something physical to hold onto. Whether it’s my rosary beads, or the holding cross made from one of the original crosses at Walsingham, I can get a sense that, as I hold onto these items, God continues to hold onto me, no matter what I’m feeling like, nor whether I recognise Him or not.

Sometimes, the opening words of Ps 130 can be a comfort, “Out of the depths I have cried to you O Lord; Lord, hear my voice”. At others, simply saying “Come, Lord Jesus”, over and over again.

If you can do any of these things, then you are a person of prayer, in community with God and held by Jesus. As you hold onto him and cry out to him in whatever way you choose, he is holding you.

In the Bible, the desert is always a place of discovery. The prophet Isaiah says, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom.” (Isaiah 35.1)

May this be true for you, too.

With my love and prayers,

Deacon Corinne

Scripture Readings

Easter-5-Readings

(Download the Scripture Readings)

Reflection

Sunday-Reflection-to-come

(Download the Reflection)

The image is of the Eastern Orthodox icon of Jesus Christ as the True Vine. It is to be found in the Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens, Greece and dates from the 16th century. Creative Commons CC0 License

HRH Prince Philip 1921-2021

HRH Prince Philip

Announcement

Today we join with the whole nation and friends across the world in expressing our sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Amidst the pain and grief we also lift prayers of thanksgiving for his life, service and example to our nation and to the world.

Statement from Bishop Christopher

The Duke of Edinburgh has lived as an exemplar of public service and devotion to duty. His commitment to the Queen and to the nation has been steadfast and his down-to-earth persona has been coupled with deep loyalty and service. I pray today with gratitude for his life, for Her Majesty and the Royal Family in their loss, and with compassion for all who mourn.

Life of HRH Prince Philip

HRH Prince Philip was born Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark, on June 10th, 1921. After being exiled from Greece as a young child, Philip grew up in France, Germany and the UK, and joined the Royal Navy in 1939, serving in the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets during the Second World War. In 1947 he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles, taking the name Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents, so that he could marry Elizabeth, and was given the title Duke of Edinburgh. He left active military service when Elizabeth became HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and was later endowed with the title HRH Prince Philip.

He retired from royal duties in 2017, having completed over 20,000 solo engagements. During his long service as consort to the Queen he became patron to over 800 organisations, including being President of the World Wide Fund.

The Queen and Prince Philip had four children – Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex – as well as eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

HRH-Prince-Philip-prayer

Read the announcement from Buckingham Palace

All Saints, Godshill, open during Holy Week

The church will be open MOST DAYS from 10am to 4pm during Holy Week and the week after.

Palm Sunday28-MarchOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Monday29-MarchOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Tuesday30-MarchOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Wednesday31-MarchOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Thursday01-AprilOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Good Friday02-AprilOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Saturday03-AprilClosed for Covid Cleaning
Easter Sunday04-AprilService at 11:00am
Monday05-AprilOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Tuesday06-AprilOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Wednesday07-AprilOpen 10:00am to 4:00pm for private prayer
Thursday08-AprilClosed for Covid Cleaning
Friday09-AprilClosed for Covid Cleaning
Saturday10-AprilClosed for Covid Cleaning
Sunday11-AprilService at 11:00am

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.