Thought for the Week: The Public House [of God]
Once upon a time, everyone used to go to the pub, and the visit to the pub was a weekly or even daily event for most people. Every community had a pub, and they were busy. But suddenly alcohol was available to buy in supermarkets, and people could drink at home, much more cheaply, and they wouldn’t even have to leave the house. But some people still went to the pub. They knew they could drink at home—the same beer, the same wine, but there was something about going to the pub which was special. They could share the experience with friends, and they would look forward to it. The pub wasn’t just a venue to drink in, it was something more. Being together was important; the atmosphere made the occasion more enjoyable, and it was almost impossible to just have one drink and leave! The Public House was special to the community, and special to the people that went there.
When the lockdown came, the pubs closed along with everything else, and even when other things started to open again, they remained closed. People everywhere, knowing that they could nevertheless drink at home, missed the pub, and looked forward to being there again.
[I hope you will forgive the elaborate analogy—but I hope you know where I’m going—I’ve always said that pub life and church life are more similar than people think!]
We can pray to the Father anywhere, we can meet Jesus anywhere, we can feel the Spirit anywhere, but it is still right to want to return to our church. God’s presence is not confined to the church building—we all agree, but there is something special about the place that we as a community have set aside for God. St Mary’s was built to serve a special purpose: to be the place where we would meet to worship God; where we would gather to celebrate and receive the Eucharist; where we would be baptised and married; where our friends would say farewell to us; where we would pray, and after we are gone, where people would pray for us.
The church is so much more than the sum of its parts, and it’s unwise to think of the building as merely a venue, saying “I don’t need the Church—I can be a Christian anywhere!” We can (and we should!), but we should not forget that the physical church—for us, St Mary’s—is a place of real significance in our life, and the lives of people who have been before us, and people who will come afterwards. So (now that the church is open twice a week), whether you are able to come into church or not, remember to pray for the place, and for its people.
The Parish Church is more than the House of God; the Home of the Community.
Revd Benjamin Jarvis
Church Opening for Private Prayer
We have been advised that the church can now open for private prayer. We will begin by opening on Wednesdays and Saturday, 10am – 12 noon, starting from Wednesday 17th June. This has been thought about carefully and there are various protective measures in place to make the building as safe as possible. On entering church there will be notices displayed with guidance and advice. Please read and do your best to follow them. We ask that everyone observes social distancing and stays 2 meters apart. Face coverings can be worn along with anything else that makes you feel protected. The Office will remain physically closed but Dot and Carol are still working from home and can be reached via email and phone.
We have a dedicated page on our website for prayer resources. Go to stmarysmonkseaton.org.uk/pray where you will find prayers for use at home or privately in church, links to other prayers, reflections and podcasts, and you can also submit prayer requests online.
A ‘Thank You’ Message
Dear Friends, I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, cards and good wishes during my Covid 19 illness and my current period of recuperation and recovery. It has been a traumatic time, particularly for my sister and her family, especially while I was in Critical Care. I owe my life to those who cared for me in hospital and I have no doubt that the prayers and support of so many people across the Diocese and beyond -many of whom I will never know - also aided my recovery. I am so grateful to be able to say I am a "Covid Survivor". I am now at home working towards recovering from the effects left by this disease. I know that it will be a long and slow journey and I need to be patient with myself as I build up my strength and hopefully regain my mobility.
With grateful thanks and all good wishes,
Lesley Towers, PA to Bishop Christine
A Bit of Good News
“We would love to have told everyone face to face but we would like to share with our St Mary’s family that we are expecting our first baby in mid-September. We hope to see you all soon. Susana & James”.
This is wonderful news, Congratulations Susana and James!
Plants Sale for Church Funds
Last year, Dave Haddock brought a selection of plants and shrubs to our Autumn Fayre. He is now offering to sell some of his plants which he grows in his Wallsend nursery garden. 30% of sales will be donated to St Mary’s, so be sure to mention St Mary’s when you order! Order from Dave Haddock: tel. 0191 2524985, mob. 07976 687973, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. View the Catalogue below.
100 Club Winners
Winners for June are: £50 Hazel McLeod, £30 Pat Redpath, £20 Hazel Howliston.
A Message from Roger about St Mary’s 100 Club 2020/21
As June rolls into July the excitement of another 100 Club year looms. It promises to be a bumper year too. We have been locked down for so long that we have hardly spent anything and may have extra funds to invest or perhaps more accurately donate to St Marys. Last year the 100 Club raised £1295 for church funds which went mainly towards the costs of cleaning the church hall.
For £25 a year you are entered into twelve monthly draws with the chance of winning £50, £30 and £20 or in December £100, £50 or £30.
As we won’t be in church for a little while, Ruth Blake will be unable to use her persuasive charms to encourage membership, but St Marys will be most grateful if you will join or re join the scheme. All you need to do is transfer £25 using online banking to St Marys 100 Club, Sort Code 20-62-09 Account No. 53160653. Alternatively, drop off a cheque made payable to St Marys 100 Club or even cash. Please post or deliver either to me at 61 Brierdene Crescent, Whitley Bay, NE26 4AD or to church. (The letter box is in the north door.)
I would appreciate if existing members could send me an email or text confirming payment. If you are a new member, I will need your name and address. A contact email address or phone number would be useful too so that I can confirm receipt and deliver your winnings to your home!
Roger Windass email@example.com 0191 2528048 (home) 07989 973 353 (mob)
and team, Ruth Blake, Margaret Campbell and David Tompkins.
Our Online Coffee Morning is a success, and we will be keeping it going. If you haven't given it a go yet, try it out!
If you are able to join us online between 10:30am and 11:15am on Tuesdays we’d love to see you. Go to ‘Events’ on our website: stmarysmonkseaton.org.uk/events to RSVP and get a link to join via Zoom. You would need to click on RSVP and enter you name and email address and click on ‘submit’. An email is then sent to you with a link to the Coffee Morning. If you haven’t already got Zoom, you can get it for free on your computer, tablet or phone. You could download it now from https://zoom.us.
Because they've had to cease direct contact with service users, our colleagues at ‘Walking With’ have for the time being closed their centre in Wallsend and are unable to accept food or clothing donations
As an alternative way of supporting their refugee and asylum seeker clients, ‘Walking With’ are using financial donations to purchase and donate Tesco vouchers for food and essentials while the lockdown continues. They've spent nearly £2000 to date on vouchers, and will need to purchase more to continue the much needed support for their clients and their families.
Donations will be welcomed, preferably by electronic transfer, or cheques payable to 'Walking With North Tyneside'. If you can gift aid please let them know. They will need your details.
Unity Trust Bank/ Customer: Walking With/ Account: 20160878/ Sort Code: 60-83-01
Walking With in North Tyneside, Hugh Street, Wallsend, NE28 6RL
New Daily Hope Phone Line
“Daily Hope” offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available FREE, 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. You can select options to listen to Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service. A section called ‘Hymn Line’ offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection.
There’s a webpage with ideas for volunteering during Covid-19, which will be continually updated with new information. https://www.newcastle.anglican.org/Generosity/Covid-19/volunteering/
Two NEW ways to volunteer are:
Age UK – Call in Time is a free telephone friendship service for people 60 and over. You are matched up with a likeminded person who's keen to make a new friend, and every week they'll give you a call. Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely, particularly if you're used to sharing your home and time with others. A friendly, 30-minute chat on the phone every week can make all the difference.
Age UK – Become a Digital Buddy
Gift Aid and Planned Giving
Please contact Rosie Tate if you would like a Gift Aid statement regarding the tax year just ended, or if you have any questions regarding Planned Giving during lockdown. (firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 297 0869).
Recognising how impactful the coronavirus and isolation can be to our mental health, The Church of England has provided some mental health resources, including tips for dealing with loneliness, daily reflections on various issues, and links to support providers. You can access the resources here:
Your Prayers are requested for
Rest in Peace
Pamela Diane Kay
Freda White (Anniversary)
For those who remember John and Ann Hallatt, Ann is now a resident at Rosemount Care Home: John remains at his home. The whole family is very grateful for your support and prayers at this difficult time.
Don’t forget, you can still add someone to the prayer list by emailing or phoning as usual, but you need to get their permission before adding them to the sick list.
Do let us know if you or others are celebrating any special event or anniversary so that we can put this news into our future email letters. You can do this by calling 0191 251 4216 or by sending us an email: email@example.com