29TH MARCH 2020
Newsletter Update from Golders Green Parish Church
Welcome to our Parish Newsletter which we are sending each week to you to keep in touch with updates and feed in any news you would like to send to us.
Since our last letter we had a directive from the Church of England telling us all churches must be closed. We obviously complied with this. So, along with others we are finding different ways of keeping in touch with our congregations and communities to enable acts of worship to take place directly into people’s homes. Those of you who have looked at facebook and YouTube, for example, will have seen that these are of great variety showing the great breadth and diversity of Church of England worship. Radio and TV channels are broadcasting services regularly so those who do not have access to social media can join in which is so important.
Every church in England automatically has a page on the website, “A Church Near You”.
If you go to it and fill in the Area or postcode you want you can find worship taking place. There is always something every day.
A number of clergy, being new to using skype or YouTube are working hard to perfect their expertise, others such as Cathedrals and Abbeys are more equipped to do this, but all are showing their Faith and Faithfulness to our Christian beliefs in their desire to keep in touch with congregations and those further afield. They range from short reflections, Matins, Evensong, the Eucharist, Compline, Bible readings, Taize and meditation, from their dining rooms, a newly constructed chapel in their homes or even, on a warmer day, in their gardens. On our part in Golders Green we are staying together as a church community by worshipping, praying and communicating with each other. Rex is adding to this letter, below, to keep you in touch with what we are doing
As so many new restrictions have been announced that deeply affect our lives. It is even more important that we hold together as a supportive community.
We will continue to offer ways we can and will keep in contact. We will do this through emailing, phoning each other and, where we can, through the use of facebook and our website. We want to know about and support you if you need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted, if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions. Or most importantly if you just want to talk.
The important thing is, PLEASE LET US KNOW. If you have friends in our congregation or community who we are not be reaching out to, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We might not have their full details on our Parish list. So ask them if they would like to receive our newsletter and, with their permission, be put on our list.
Most particularly we would like to build a list of volunteers, known to us, who we can call on to help. If anyone wants to add their names, please email Rex firstname.lastname@example.org.
We held a PCC meeting on Sunday by Skype, that Simon Houghton organised for us. This went very well, thank you Simon and all those who were able to link in. As a result, we organised a group to carry out many aspects of our support work. In our next newsletter we will tell you more about the areas in which we took decisions.
But, importantly, we would like to hear from you. If you have ideas, prayers, poems, thoughts and/or suggestions you would like to to share with us please do. This is your newsletter and it is important we hear from each other.
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr. Onochie, Margaret Morgan, Yvone Sterenborg, Anna Morrison, Jason Ewulu, Ian Kerr, Eva Mrkvicova, Juliette Doman, Ivor Steyler, Myfanwy Khan Tim Nurse and Dorothy Nwagwu
With our love and many good wishes to everyone.
Sally Barnes and Pam Omeye-Howell, Churchwardens
Simon Houghton, Vice Chair of the PCC
Meditation on the closing of churches by Gilo - Theologian, Poet and Author
Churches may be glad of the stillness.
These great stone ships seldom have the chance to
Hunker down into replenishing silence.
Christianity is too talkative. Noisy religion.
The Society for Standing Up and Sitting Down Again.
The Society for Annunciation of a Momentary Silence
You see your empty church and see shipwreck
And think that because you are not there in linen robes
With rehearsals of creeds, that prayer is not there.
But your churches and temples are not empty.
Silence is there. Praying in her many houses.
Clergy not creed nor any religion own Her.
Stillness beyond all religion,
Yet deeply at its core,
Even while you fill temples with the clatter of words.
Let silence be the guardian and keeper of these stone vessels
She who keeps the stillness on the ocean’s floor
Who tends the cave where no noise echoes because
no noise enters
Hers is the aching heart that hides ancient atomic groan
And her home, the rest between the beats in every heartbeat
Look out to the stars beyond the stars and listen
Listen to Her listening to the listening of your own
Go within and find Her in the hush.
In the breath of alleluia in the night
In the inhalation of hope before waking
Hers is the softness between the breath.
And the hidden quiet light that lingers at death
Do not fret about your empty church.
Silence holds the space holy
Ans always did.
She holds all things and mourns all things
She is in all things
She holds every story but her own.
She knows each name, with no need to know her own
Let silence guard the stillness and the stones.
While you care for the bereaved and those full of fear
That is your creaturely task. The task of all who call
Each to be priest to each and every other.
And when the great keys turned, the wooden
Tread gentry. Do not rush to fill the stillness
The great stone ships held their prayer for you.
The bade the Absolute to enter in.
They prayed with you.
Honour them with silence of your own.
Used with permission of the author