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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
09 September 2020
Greetings to everyone.
This week’s main article has been sent to us by Marlies from Lagos with her news of living in the midst of the pandemic. It is so good to know that she is keeping safe
and we send her our good wishes.
Other articles in this edition:
Tony has written an update on the progress that is being made towards opening the church, which we hope won’t be long now.
Jenny has contributed an article on her meeting with the, Revd Dr Lydia Mwaniki, Director for Women, Gender and Youth, when she was working with Christian Aid in Nairobi. This amazing woman has changed the lives of so many across Africa, but, what she says in the video link Jenny has provided, applies just as much to the situation of many women in this country too. As with so many acts of discrimination, we are not exempt. Jenny’s article on meeting Revd Dr Mwaniki reminded me of the time Donald and I were campaigning for the ordination of women in the UK in the 1980’s. We were fortunate enough to meet one of the first ordained women from Kenya who was visiting England. Kenya, being way ahead of us, legislated to ordain women in 1982; we had another 12 years to wait. Her stories of what it was like to be one of the first ordained women, as people adapted to this change, were priceless and not so dissimilar to those of women in the UK when they were ordained in 1994. But, Kenya had set the path for us.
Jenny has also sent a reminder that this week is, “Organ Donation Week”, and written about how lives can be changed by donation as well as how the law relating to this has recently been changed.
It has been so good to have the main articles for this newsletter from different members of our congregation each week. It is such an effective way to keep in touch with each other. If anyone would like to contribute, on any subject or viewpoint you want to share with us, you would be so welcome. Please contact Sally.
Our guest contributor this week is Marlies
Covid and Nigeria - A view from Marlies written on 23rd of August 2020
Thank you for inviting me to write something for the Newsletter, on how things are going in Nigeria, regarding Covid.
'Lock down!'; I did not really know what to expect, it was all so very new and strange.
In March 2020, this meant no going out at all in Lagos, for anyone.
All ports were shut, land, sea and air, and there was a curfew 8p.m. to 6a.m.
No shops, no schools no offices, no banks, nothing!
There was a deadly virus going around, people we knew were dying.
No visitors of any kind, no leaving home at all. Isolation!
The first C-19 case in Nigeria, was in Lagos, a mega city with a population of about 21million people.
Lock down sadly meant many people had no means of lively hood at all.... a huge
sector of the population are daily paid and literally live from hand to mouth... what would they do?
For a couple of weeks, I thought it was a nightmare that I would eventually wake up
from..... it was not, this was for real.
As in many unpleasant situations, one gradually adjusts, and then one begins to help
those that are in far greater need.
The saving grace was that communication was not affected, phones still worked, a
big blessing as one could communicate with family flung all over the world, some at
home, others stuck thousands of miles away, as they cannot get back home.
Months went by and the predicted disaster for Africa did not happen.... Lockdown
eased a little with time, repatriation flights were allowed occasionally, which meant at
least there was hope..... keeping hope alive was vital to survival at this time.
Romans 5,3-5: We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble
produces endurance, endurance brings God's approval, and His approval
creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out His love
into our hearts by means of the Holy spirit, who is God's gift to us.
Special Covid hospital units were set up, the Lagos State Government reacted
quickly and positively to contain the situation as best as they could.
Gradually people started to work again but part time, they needed to live, but many
however did not and still do not understand the gravity of the situation and do not
heed directives and guidelines.
Enforcement is difficult. To date there have been 51,000 confirmed cases in Nigeria,
but that is based on the limited testing done.
But the decision to stay put here in Lagos was, with hindsight, a good decision.
The pandemic has taught me so much, including but not limited to the futility of the
possessions that we own and cherish, they are just a burden.
A lot is just vanity upon vanity. These things are just “stuff” and are not important.
Just staying alive was now the most important thing and assisting others in situations
worse than yours.
Happily, things are improving in Lagos, though prices have gone up from
fuel/transport to food.
The stress is now slightly less, but we are not out of the woods yet.
International commercial flights will resume at the end of this month, thankfully.
Hopefully, we will once again meet up in Golders Green to worship together.
Psalm 91 has sustained me through these very troubled times, and I urge you to
reflect on this Psalm also.
God is truly our Protector.
Stay well stay safe.
Thank you Marlies
Pre-Opening the Church
I write on behalf of the Churchwardens and the PCC to let you know what is happening about the re-opening of our church building.
As you may recall the PCC said we were looking to open sometime in September or thereafter. I have been working on the re-opening. Along with some friends we have stripped the church back to enable a deep clean to take place before setting up the chairs in a safe way to allow us to re-open.
Unfortunately, whilst all the physical work has been done to allow this, I have noticed that there is a problem with the electricity which means we would not be able to have
any sound out of the sound desk. This also means that we would not be able to project information onto the screen or even have someone lead us in prayers or a service because the microphone would not work.
The PCC agreed at the recent PCC meeting that we should get this fixed. I am anticipating that we should be able to get this fixed within the next two weeks, but we cannot open the church until that has happened.
We would appreciate your prayers about resolving this so that we can gather together once again.
Once we know what is happening with the electrics within the church building itself and when that will be resolved, a further letter will follow letting you know the date of
opening and detailing what we need to do to keep us safe when we do gather.
Every blessing in Christ,
Revd Dr Lydia Mwaniki, Director for Women, Gender and Youth - Jenny
It’s good to be reminded that GGPC is not just part of the Church of England, but
part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, connected with fellow-believers in every
part of the world, in their different contexts, and facing their different opportunities
and challenges. With that in mind, do look at this video of an interview with Revd Dr
Lydia Mwaniki, Director for Women, Gender and Youth at the All Africa Conference of Churches:
I had the privilege, and huge pleasure, of meeting her when I was working with
Christian Aid colleagues in Nairobi in May last year. She’s a truly inspirational
woman, with an amazing story. In the video she talks about her path to ordination in
the Anglican Church of Kenya, her academic studies and why she’s so passionate
about gender justice. She recently received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s award
for outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society. The citation refers to
"her prayerful, post-colonial interpretation of the New Testament, astute advocacy of
gender justice, and articulate joy in Christ, which have influenced church leaders and
the education and hope of innumerable women throughout Africa.” It’s wonderful to
know that there’s a woman like her in such a very influential role, and that her
achievements have been recognised at such a high level. But it’s not an easy job
and she needs all the encouragement she can get. I know she would value your
prayers as she continues her work to transform the lives of women and girls across
Organ Donation Week - Jenny
This week is Organ Donation Week. We’re encouraged, if we haven’t already done
so, to think about allowing our organs to be used after our death to benefit people
who are seriously ill and who are waiting for a transplant, often for years. The law on
this recently changed, and in England there is now a presumption of consent for
organs to be used, though it’s possible to opt out if you object. The ability to improve,
or even save, someone else’s life after our own death is awesome, and something
we’re all encouraged to think about and to discuss with our family and friends.
Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for an organ transplant.
Here’s a story of one very happy recipient, Michelle, whose life has been transformed:
Michelle needed a single lung transplant after living with interstitial lung disease, a
condition which causes a hardening and stiffening of the lungs, for 23 years. She
was placed on the transplant waiting list when her health began to significantly
deteriorate. “Climbing a simple set of stairs would take me about 15 minutes,”
Michelle says. “So I would climb up about two steps and then I would sit down, take
a breather and then I would start again.” After a year on the transplant list Michelle
finally received the call she’d been waiting for. "I was a bit nervous, a bit scared, but I
knew I had to have this transplant. My health now is fantastic, there are no problems
and they are ever so pleased with my progress."
You can find out more about organ donation, and how to register your agreement,
here: www.organdonation.nhs.uk, and the same website has a very helpful
explanation of the Christian perspective: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/helping-
you-to-decide/your-faith-and-beliefs/christianity/. Please think about this - you could
save up to nine lives
Daily Hope - he 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
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
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
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://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you Go (a short service each day in the Jesuit
LICC have some great resources on their website https://www.licc.org.uk/
Especially on Covid-19 https://www.licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-