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Vicar's Letter for this month
November is almost upon us, the great month for remembering. A
month when we are called to remember, reflect, and pray.
On a more light-hearted note, as we head into the last weekend of
October, remember that the clocks go back this weekend. Don’t forget
to make the change before heading to bed on Saturday. Perish the thought that
you might arrive an hour early for church on Sunday morning! Rest assured; we
will find plenty of things at church for you to do.
Sunday 31 October, we begin this special season of remembering
with our celebration of All Saints which falls on 1 November.
Please note we have changed the usual monthly pattern, so that our All-Age
Service will be on Sunday rather than the first Sunday of November. On All
Saints Sunday, we will be remembering and celebrating the lives and faith of
men and women down the ages who have tried to follow Jesus faithfully, amidst
the challenges of their own times; some whose names we know, but many we don’t.
All Saints is a day to thank God for their witness and example. I remember one
All Saints Sunday when it was Deaf Church on the same day. There were few of us
there in the congregation, but Anna, one of the ministry team, encouraged us to
think about the unseen ‘cloud of witnesses’ (those who have gone before us in
faith) worshipping with us. It was lovely to imagine them filling those empty
The 2 of November is All Souls Day; a time to
remember all those who have died, particularly our own family members and
friends. It is also a time to pray for all those who are grieving. Our Memorial
Service will take place on Sunday afternoon at 4pm – a time to come together to
remember all who have died, but particularly those we cherish. This year we are
going back to our usual pattern of having this special service around All
Souls’ Day. We will be holding the service in-person at church, as well as via
Zoom. Those of you joining us via Zoom may like to have a candle with you,
ready to light it when we come to the time of remembering and reading out all
the names. Once again, this service will have added poignancy this year as we
think of those who have not been able to see their loved ones in hospital to
say goodbye, or have been unable to attend the funeral of a friend or relative
when numbers were so restricted during lockdown. It has been so hard for those
bereaved during these challenging times.
COP26 Summit in Glasgow which begins this weekend, and keep that crucial
meeting in your prayers. Bishop Olivia, our Area Bishop will be amongst faith leaders gathered
there. Our prayers are asked for:
· the conference hosts, for wisdom, guidance, and
ambition for UK negotiators and Alok Sharma, COP26 president.
· faith leaders attending the conference.
· peaceful and fruitful discussions between world
· world leaders to make bold commitments to combat
protection and support
for developing nations most affected by climate change.
Our service on 7 November will be focussed on climate
change and praying for COP26. We will be hearing from some of the poorest and
most vulnerable communities of our world who are suffering the worst effects of
climate change. May that service challenge each one of us to reflect and take
urgent action in our own lives. We can make a difference!
May this November not only be a month of remembering, but a month
and year that will be remembered in years to come for courageous
decision-making, urgent action on climate change, and bringing new hope for the