Masks

From the 24th July the use of face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, in shops and in supermarkets. People are also encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, such as a place of worship.
The House of Bishops has released additional advice that strongly encourages face coverings to be worn by all those attending a place of worship, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.
This advice is strongly encouraged; it is not currently mandatory.

Worship

As we step into this new stage of life with Covid-19, together we will learn how we can worship and gather as the Body of Christ in new, albeit different ways. We begin with a new pattern of services, and due to reduced capacity, and to prepare the building appropriately please let Mother Nicol know by Saturday 12 noon if you are intending to attend the next day’s service (Email: mother.nicol@gmail.com or Tel: 01342 810 183)

For more information on the church opening for Sunday services, please follow this link.

For more information on visiting the churches for individual prayer, please follow this link.

Visiting the churches for individual prayer

Following a change in guidance by the government, and with the Bishop of Chichester’s permission, we are continuing to trial opening the churches for private, individual prayer.
We will post in the notices, website and on the noticeboards the days and times when the churches will be open for visiting. Each week may be different, so please check before traveling.
If you wish to visit the church, please follow the signs and instructions from the usher, and maintain the 2m distance from one another. You will be asked to use hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit (you can bring your own if you prefer), to sign-in (as part of our Track and Trace protection), and to follow the one-way system around the church. The church will look different to normal. All these procedures are in place to protect you and everyone who
visits.

This week the opening times are as follows:
Monday 20th July CLOSED
Tuesday 21st July CLOSED
Wednesday 22nd July 2.00pm – 3.30pm St Margaret’s West Hoathly
Thursday 23rd July2.00pm – 3.30pm St Margaret’s West Hoathly
Friday 24th July 2.00pm – 3.30pm All Saints Highbrook
Saturday 25th July 2.00pm – 3.30pmSt Margaret’s West Hoathly
Sunday 26th July Morning Services – Please see this post

Church open for Sunday services

We are, at last, able to make a cautious return to public worship in our churches.

You may already have read Mother Nicol’s letter explaining the precautions to be taken.  One essential is the maintenance of a six feet distance between households at Sunday’s public services.  To enable us to cater properly for everyone’s needs and safety please either email mothernicol@gmail.com or ring 01 342 810 183 today to register that you are coming.  Mother Nicol’s letter can be read here where you will find further details of how Holy Communion will be administered safely.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can still join us for online worship.

We are streaming services via facebook live and archiving them later the same day on our YouTube channel
Mthr Nicol will post her sermons at: https://nicolkinrade.wordpress.com

This Weeks Services:
02/08/2020

9.00am All Saints, Highbrook
BCP Mattins

10.30am St Margaret’s West Hoathly
All Age Eucharist
Open to all & will be live-streamed
This will be followed by the changing of chairs and cleaning of common areas.

11.30am St Margaret’s West Hoathly
Eucharist
A repeat of the 10.30am service & reserved for the elderly (70yrs+) and/or vulnerable

A Prayer for the week (by Sr Margaret Dewey, USPG)

Lord,
I can only see a little of the road ahead.
I can’t see my final destination.
I can’t even see over the next hill.
and I know there’ll be other ups and downs beyond it –
high points from which one can see quite a long view,
valleys where the hills shut one in.
And some of those clouds may mean storms.
But the great thing is to have started!
Lord,
thank you for calling me,
and setting my feet on the way.
Thank you for the map of the way,
which is yourself.
Lord,
help me to persevere.
Amen

A Prayer for the week

Creator God,
there is so much that is strange in our lives at present.
Help us to pay attention to your creation,
so that we may see you in the common and everyday.
Shepherd Jesus,
as we walk through this rapidly changing world,
help us to know you walk with us.
If our path runs through the valley of the shadow
may we see your light and know your comfort as you lead us.
Comforting Spirit,
as we go about our ordinary lives, surprise us with glimpses of holy ground.
Blessed Trinity, Creator, Shepherd, Spirit,
surround us with you love, now and always.
Amen

Giving at this time

Although our churches are now open for services, our numbers are restricted and many people are not yet ready to return to our church buildings. This means are collections are considerably down, and we have had to cancel our fundraising events. At the same time, our spending has not fallen significantly and we have not reduced what we pay those kind people who keep the churches clean and the churchyards looking so beautiful.
We would love a little more support to make ends meet so if you have been wondering whether you could help the church, now would be a really good time to do so. Ideally, you may wish to support us through the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) which is tax-efficient and helps our administration. We can either send you a form to complete (please email the appropriate church treasurer, or ask Mthr Nicol) or you can phone the PGS directly. Their phone number is 0333 002 1271. You will need to have to hand: your bank account details, whether you wish to increase your gift in line with inflation each year (we hope so but if not we shall still be grateful), confirm if you are eligible for Gift Aid and the PGS code for the church you wish to give to (Highbrook: 102010161 or West Hoathly: 100610170).

A Prayer for Srebrenica Memorial Week

O God of truth and justice,
we remember today the consequences of hatred
in lives brutally extinguished
in hearts torn apart
in memories scarred with pain.
As we remember and honour the victims of hatred,
lead us to sorrow over the sins of humanity.
Draw close, we pray,
to mothers and sisters,
wives and grandmothers
and all relatives and loved ones left behind,
and heal the pain in their souls.
And teach us, O Lord,
to learn how to live for a world
where differences are respected and valued,
and where fear and mistrust
can never overwhelm us
nor vengeance be stirred in our hearts.
Give peace we pray, to the people of Srebrenica;
that their lives may be restored
through your grace.
Amen

25 years ago, on 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladić overran and captured the town of Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia which had been declared a UN Safe Area. In the days following, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. Thousands of women, children and the elderly were forcibly deported.
On the 11th July, we honour the victims and survivors of genocide, and pledge to creating a better, stronger, and more cohesive society in the United Kingdom. By doing this we give ourselves hope of illuminating the darkness and creating a safer community for all.

Food bank and the Basket of Blessings by Emma Mahony

Unusually, my eye was drawn to the simple empty ‘basket of blessings’ in the
church door when I entered St Margaret’s after Lockdown, because I felt that
its image had spurred me on to action during the pandemic. With the church
and village hall closed, and with support from Mother Nicol (who was advising
the congregation to put extra food in the supermarket collection points at this
stage), I set about getting four food collection points set up around the
neighbouring villages. In Sharpthorne in our own Costcutter’s, where my son
was working we added the first, then premium organic fare at Plawhatch Farm,
followed by Horsted Keynes Store and the Fellows Barkery in Ardingly.
The response and the generosity of the villages were immediately
overwhelming, and around Easter we were having to re-empty the baskets daily
to make space for all the food. If there had been hoarding in the early days,
people were now giving back all that extra food, and buying some more pasta
and sauce on top.
As I began to take the boxes to the central Emergency Food Hub in Haywards
Heath Town Hall, an additional centre to the Trussell Trust food banks
because they were struggling to manage double their capacity during the
pandemic, I noticed how basic the ingredients were that were being sent out.
With a little help from the fellow foodbank volunteer Lucinda Meagher, a
former employee of the IMPACT foundation, a charity based in Haywards
Heath, and Fiona Rocks in Ardingly, we set about getting funds to add
something extra to these basic boxes.
Within weeks, we were sending out healthy recipes using donations and
additional fresh food, such as eggs and cheese, for families. Before long we had
32 recipe bags going out to 32 families of four or more weekly.
The feedback has been really positive, with many families reporting doing more
cooking together, and asking for outdoor cooking sessions in the summer.
That call to Mother Nicol has resulted in over 1,000 meals going out in the
local area, supported by the generosity of the parish.

Public Worship in church

We are still waiting for government and Church of England guidance to be
published regarding the opening of churches for public worship. Once we
have received this guidance, we will let you know more details on how this will
work for us to enable us to gather again at our churches safely. In the
meantime, please continue to join us for online worship.