Hi All

Well weddings can now go ahead and those, which had to be postponed indefinitely, are now being rescheduled.

From 4 July 2020 weddings with up to 30 in attendance can take place, while maintaining social distancing of at least a meter.

You may also have heard from the Prime Minister that services of worship can take place from then too. However apart from the social distancing “guidance” there has been virtually no further information from either HM Government or HM Bishops, except that “numbers allowed will depend on context.”

So until more is said there is little more to say, except that our future will be a mixture of physical and digital and that a return to the physical will at first be experimental, then limited, with a gradual shift from digital to physical, provided there is no second spike.

This week’s teaching from the Acts of the Apostles sees Philip the Evangelist in operation and the Apostles taking action to avoid a very possible division wrecking the unity that is in Christ and his church.

We see why Christian initiation was two stages at Samaria with the Samaritans as it would also be at Joppa with the first Gentile convert. The Apostles had to be there to play a part in these two new phases of the Church’s expansion.

Listen in on Sunday.

Our recent brief survey (5 questions) revealed:

  1. Most missed human physical contact with family & friends.
  2. Most valued digital technology and space & time to appreciate the natural world and give greater thought to the faith.
  3. Most valued that St Mary’s had quickly and comprehensively gone online on a variety of platforms and our weekly communications.
    The 20 or so without Internet facilities listen in on their phones and especially valued our weekly letter.
  4. Most couldn’t think of anything that we are not doing that we ought to be doing.
  5. And as regards the future the response ranged from caution to excitement about meeting again physically.
    None wished to be long-term hermits and none rashly wanted to physically embrace everyone.

This coming Sunday, Janet Waldock will be interviewing Jefferson Lynch, one of our churchwardens who runs a Management Consultancy in the City Of London. How has he coped?

So do stay on after the closing prayer for five minutes to hear from them before we have a 10-minute break and meet up for a zoom virtual coffee time.

Finally, do please pray for the following from among many worthy things you could pray for:

  • Friends & family in Basingstoke who might be open to joining our online Christianity Explored course starting in June with Colin & Chrissie Barton, Emma Hayes & Andy Beckwith. It got off to a good start.
  • And those who have encountered losses and difficulties during lockdown.
  • Kieran with his parents, Nigel & Flora Smith, is having his proton beam therapy in Manchester.
  • We are able to conduct weddings again, even with limited attendance of 30 and weddings are being rescheduled.

May our LORD be with you.


Instructions for joining: the children’s programme, the service on our website and YouTube and zoom codes for virtual coffee which starts 10 minutes after the service

Online Service, 10am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/online-service
Children’s Group, from 9.30am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/childrens-group
Virtual Tea & Coffee, 10 minutes after the service ends: Contact us for Zoom details.

Other ways to join

YouTube: youtube.com/StMarysBasingstoke
Listen to the service by phone: 01256830011 (press 5 to pause, 4/6 to skip back/forward) Charged as a regular landline number according to your phone plan.

Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter too.

Published 26/06/2020, 12:00

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