Message from the benefice administrator:
In view of the rapidly rising infection rate in the Vale of White Horse, the Ministry team has decided to close all the Benefice churches on Sunday 10th January and Sunday 17th January. They will not be open for private prayer either.
Paul’s sermon will be online from tomorrow at 9am as usual and there will be an online communion service at 11.30am – do join us.
Please see the message below from Norma:
I am sorry that it has been necessary to close our church buildings again: we did not want to, but feel we have no choice in the current circumstances. The risks are too great. Malcolm Guite’s poem, Behind each number, one beloved face puts it better than I can:
At close of day I hear the gentle rain
Whilst experts on the radio explain
Mind-numbing numbers, rising by the day,
Cyphers of unimaginable pain
Each evening they announce the deadly toll
And patient voices calmly call the roll
I hear the numbers, cannot know the names
Behind each number, mind and heart and soul
Behind each number, one belovèd face
A light in life whom no-one can replace,
Leaves on this world a signature, a trace,
A gleaning and a memory of grace
All loved and loving, carried to the grave
The ones whom every effort could not save
Amongst them all those carers whose strong love
Bought life for others with the lives they gave.
The sun sets and I find myself in prayer
Lifting aloft the sorrow that we share
Feeling for words of hope amidst despair
I voice my vespers through the quiet air:
O Christ who suffers with us, hold us close,
Deep in the secret garden of the rose,
Raise over us the banner of your love
And raise us up beyond our last repose.
We will continue to offer our online services on Sundays and midweek. Please do contact me or Paul with any concerns or requests for prayer. Norma