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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
22 July 2020
 
Our ‘guest contributor’ this week is Simon
 
Giving thanks
 
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
 
I hope that wherever you are right now and whatever you’re doing as you read this, that things are well with you all.
 
This week I’ve been asked to contribute an article to the newsletter, and of course my mind immediately went blank! In thinking about what I might write, it occurred to me that so much of the media coverage around everything that’s going on right now (COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the economy, unemployment) centres around the negative. Perhaps when things seem difficult, it’s hard to bear in mind that not everything is bad…
 
As a result, I thought that I would focus this week on the idea that we should also consider giving thanks for what is good in our lives. Everyone has different situations, and clearly many people have had and continue to have immense difficulties. Some have also experienced devastating loss. It’s certainly not my place to speak to the circumstances of others, so it seems appropriate to make this a personal and individual reflection on the months since we have been together at church, and why I think I should be ‘giving thanks’.
 
Some of you will be aware that I had fairly major surgery at the end of January, following my second cancer diagnosis in 18 months. As a result, I was forced to spend some time at home in February and March convalescing. With impeccable timing, just as I was feeling ready to face the world again, we all went into lockdown! As a result (and since I am still self-isolating) I have now been at home for 5 and a half months. My business stopped dead, I haven’t hugged my children or grandchildren in all that time, I’ve been unable to visit my parents, we are unable to go to church… you get the idea. Perhaps it would be easy to look at this situation and to feel negative about it; and yet…
 
…things have slowed down and we have found more space and time to enjoy the simple things in life. We now have the time and the inclination to embark on long(ish) daily walks, where we can appreciate the beauty of God’s world around us. The other day Anita and I found ourselves remarking on the beauty and diversity of the mature trees surrounding us – even though we were only walking around the playing fields near our house!
 
We are thankful for the largely fine weather we have enjoyed. God seems to have decided that he will help out a little, allowing us all to spend time in our gardens if we have them. My family will testify to the fact that one of my small personal joys (they would describe it more as an obsession!) is eating outside, and Anita and I have been able to do so frequently in the last 2 or 3 months.
 
Even with the (now re-imposed) 40-minute limit on private Zoom meetings, we have enjoyed regular ‘virtual’ suppers with our children and more recently a birthday party – and who knew that it was feasible to read bedtime stories to grandchildren on FaceTime?! Those who suffered through pandemics in the past had no such technology available to them – suddenly the over-reliance on screens that formerly concerned many people has now become a genuine ‘God send’, allowing us to be more connected and less isolated than would otherwise be the case.
 
Personally, the lack of work earlier in the year and a slow return to a very different business landscape has been a mixed blessing. On the downside, it has meant an income reduction, but on the upside I have begun to recognise that there are aspects of my former working life to which I genuinely don’t want to return, and I am grateful for that revelation. Anita would argue that it’s been a long time coming! I’m also thankful for the ability to maintain social distancing and yet still run a business.
 
Being thankful for the NHS has become a given during the pandemic, but perhaps we also need to remember to give thanks for all the key and emergency workers who have kept the country going over the last few months, and all those – some of whom are known to us personally – who have continued to work for the common good throughout this time, including family members, friends and neighbours. It’s fashionable to be critical of the Government in times of crisis, and it’s true that the loss of life has been dreadfully high, but a quick look at what is happening in many other countries persuades me that we should be very thankful for much of what we have here in the UK.
 
Yes, we have been unable to attend church and worship with our friends and family, however we have found the services broadcast on BBC1 to be uplifting and enjoyable. I suspect that our neighbours probably find it odd to hear hymn singing coming from our lounge on a Sunday morning, but we are enjoying singing along to Songs of Praise. On the subject of broadcast worship, we have also enjoyed some of the reflections and hymn collections available on the telephone ‘Hopeline’ introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Over Holy Week this year we were sent a format for an evening of reflection, meditation and worship over dinner on Maundy Thursday. We followed the whole thing and even though it was only Anita and I, we found it deeply moving and with real significance – something else to be thankful for.
 
We have both been grateful that church doesn’t just stop because our building is closed, and I am personally immensely thankful for all those people in our PCC and congregation who have been helping others through these difficult times.
 
The newsletter you’re reading, the pastoral care group, Wednesday evening prayers and meditation, Rex’s weekly Sunday meditation and intercession time as well as the volunteers for shopping are all initiatives for which I am immensely grateful. I really believe that the loving and supportive nature of Golders Green Parish Church is something for which we should all be truly thankful. This extends to the work of the PCC and those who are steering our interregnum as it approaches. It’s far too easy to take such things for granted.
 
So, as I sit here, I am truly thankful. I’m also cautiously optimistic for the future, and I hope you feel some of that optimism too.
 
Henry Allen Ironside, a Canadian-American pastor in Chicago in the 1930s once wrote “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction”.
 
Have a good week.
 
Simon
 
Thank you Simon
 
Update from Dorothy
 
Bless the Lord oh my soul praise His holy name He sent His word and heal my disease through your prayer. I finished my chemotherapy and CT scan which revealed my liver is very healthy, there is  no tumour in my breast and bone Praise the Lord
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support 
God bless you all 
Dorothy 
Christian Aid launches first ever survey of black Christians and climate justice
 
Christian Aid is launching an exciting project to explore the experiences, beliefs and habits of black Christians in relation to climate justice. This will be the first ever study of its kind. 
 
If you are a black Christian living in the UK, we would love you to fill out the survey, and also share within your networks and on social media. The survey is open until the end of August. This is a good opportunity to share your views on a subject that has such huge implications for all of us, and for the whole of God's creation.
It can be accessed here bit.ly/2CcwbsO (and will only take 10 minutes to fill out).
Thank you!
Update on the re-opening of the church.
 
In the light of the recent Government announcements the subgroup of the PCC met again last week to think through and discuss what we need to do so we can re-open safely.
Thank you very much for all of you who have contacted us in recent weeks supporting the decision to take a cautious approach to ensure all of us are kept safe from this terrible virus.
 
The Bishops of London and Edmonton have written to all churches making it very clear that although we are now permitted to open, we should only do so where it is considered safe.
The subgroup thought that it would be sensible to work towards opening the church in September providing that there is no second spike of the virus.
We will keep you all informed at each step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask any question you have.
 
While we would like us all to be back together again, we want to do so in a way that prioritises everyone’s health and safety. This is in the forefront of our minds.
 
The sub-group at our meeting began to build a ‘Road Map’ of what needs to happen and be in place before we can open.
These are some of the steps that we need to take
Deep clean the building before it is opened - ensuring all surfaces and door fixtures, light switches are cleaned in line with Public Health England guidelines, and Historic England guidance for cleaning of historic and delicate surfaces. (We have contacted a company who provides this service and are awaiting a quote from them)
We need enough cleaning products to ensure all surfaces and door fixtures, light switches are cleaned after each time the building is used. (we will be contacted our cleaner to ensure they are ready to restart work in the church)
need to remove all Bibles, prayer books, leaflets etc from the building.
removing holy water from stoups, all candles and matches/lighters
to have a rota in place of sufficient people to welcome and to ensure those who entered the building keep to the appropriate distancing requirements
Clearly marked separate in- and-out entrances and exits
Clearly marked one-way system around the church. (Tape should be arriving in a few weeks)
keeping a register of all those entering and leaving the building who sign in with their own pens
ensuring there are required sanitizer washing facilities at the doors for all those entering. (we are currently sourcing these)
Hand sanitizer dispensers outside the toilets (we are currently sourcing these)
Order face masks for those volunteers helping with the welcome and the service. (we have sufficient masks on site)
We need posters and signage outlining the Government guidelines to display around the church. (we are currently sourcing these)
We need to remove the sofas and children’s toys out of the church.One of the group has volunteered to measure the church and workout seating and capacity for the congregation with social distancing.
 
As you can see there is still much to be done, but to repeat, we want to open the but only as soon as we feel it is safe, our safety is in the forefront of all our planning.
Daily Hope - The Church of England Phone line church service - is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr, Margaret, Yvone, Anna, Jason, Ian, Eva, Juliette, Ivor, Myfanwy, Tim and Dorothy


We at Golders Green Church will continue to offer a number of ways we can and will keep in contact though emailing and phoning each other, the use of Facebook and the website, sending out updates by supporting those who need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted and anything else you may need if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions.
The important thing is, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are drawing up a list of volunteers we can call on to help. If anyone wants to add their names to this, please email Rex rex@gg-pc.co.uk
 
Radio, Television and Online Worship

You may wish to join in worship during this time through television and radio.
Check online, in the Radio Times and elsewhere for details:
Songs of Praise BBC 1, Sunday afternoon, variable times
Sunday Worship BBC Radio 4, Sunday, 8.10am Choral Evensong BBC
Radio 3, Wednesday Daily Service
BBC Radio 4 (Longwave only), weekdays, 9.45am
Big Sunday Service Premier Christian Radio, Sunday, 7am, 8am, 10am Easter Sunday Eucharist A service is usually broadcast on the BBC on Easter morning
Free 24 hour telephone church service 0800 804 8044
Online resources Church of England Daily Prayer https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-dailyprayer
https://mailchi.mp/b9d86a4acdc7/coming-up-from-st-pauls-cathedral-1274047?e=377e26b1db St Paul’s Cathedral have a number of resources available for us to use.
Church of England Online Resources during this time https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronaviruscovid-19-liturgy-and-prayer-resources
Go On-line to " ps://www.achurchnearyou.com", put in Area or post code and find a local church that broadcasts Worship.
Prayers from Christian Aid https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/churches/coronavirus-prayers
https://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you Go (a short service each day in the Jesuit Tradition)
LICC have some great resources on their website https://www.licc.org.uk/
Especially on Covid-19 https://www.licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-journeys/presence-pressure-purpose/

YouTube - Worship Video of the week
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD8T2PeNCJA  Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes - Holy Spirit
 
Do you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Rex at rex@gg-pc.co.uk 

Rex Morton, 22/07/2020
Hello
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-26 at 1Welcome

New to Church

 
Welcome. Whether you've just moved to the area, or have lived here all your life - we hope our website helps you find out what you want to know about Golders Green Parish Church.

Key information about the church:-

When and where does the church meet?
What to expect when I visit the church?
Is there a dress code?
Will I be made to feel uncomfortable?
I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them?

 
When and where does the church meet?
The church meets every Sunday at 10.00am. It helps to get there 10 minutes early and be seated in time for the service to start. We meet at Golders Green Parish Church, our address is West Heath Drive, Golders Green, London, NW11 7QG. 

What to expect when I visit the church?
You can expect a warm welcome, great worship, an impacting preach and a friendly group of people gathering to learn more about God. Also FREE tea, coffee and biscuits!

Is there a dress code?
No, just wear something comfortable!

Will I be made to feel uncomfortable?
 We want you to feel at home and enjoy the service. Do join us for a hot drink and biscuits after the service to get to know some people from the church.

I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them?
Please feel free to call 020 8455 1873 or email the church office with any questions you have and we will be happy to help you.