The magazines are printed – but due to the current restrictions on movement, I feel it is not right to either collect them or ask people to distribute them.  Due to all services and events being cancelled, the only item from the Hulland Benefice this month is my article – which I have reproduced below…

Rector’s Ramblings – Apart, yet Together

We are living in strange times. Our daily lives and routines have been disrupted by something so small we can’t even see it.  At the time of writing the country is gradually closing down and it won’t be long before there are severe restrictions on our movements.

Mothering Sunday was so very different this year.  For many people it is a difficult day anyway and one which they try to avoid.  For others who would normally have been celebrating with their mothers or children, being forced to remain apart was hard.

But keeping our physical distance is so important in situations like this – it is vital that we follow the guidelines in order to slow the spread of the virus and give our NHS a chance to cope.

And yet… despite the physical distancing, in some ways people are feeling more together than we did a couple of weeks ago.  More phone calls are being made, community groups are getting together to make sure the vulnerable are  helped and supported.  It’s not the blitz, but there is a similar spirit in the places where we live.

So I would encourage you to stay in touch with each other – your friends, your relatives and your neighbours.  We all need each other right now, more than ever before.  Jesus said the second most important commandment is this – “love your neighbour as yourself”.  If we haven’t put that into practice much before, now is the time to do it.

“The first commandment” said Jesus is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”  Whilst we cannot gather for worship at this time, various resources are available to help us connect with God and to feel a sense of connectedness with each other:

  • We have prayer booklets which are available to be picked up from the porches of our five churches. Please do pick one up – there are two orders of service in there along with a variety of prayers.
  • Our church website has:
    • the same booklet available as a download
    • resources which will be updated each week
    • links to online worship resources
    • videos of me offering a reflection each week
  • I shall attempt to live stream Compline (night prayer) twice a week

As we now have to keep our physical distance from each other, we can still remain socially and spiritually close to one other.  May the Lord – who is the source of all love and hope – bless us with his joy and his peace in the days and weeks to come.

Rev Phil Michell