WHAT'S IN THIS WEEK
Worship with us:
Our Sunday Service of Holy Communion is online for the majority of people; only those people with specific ministries essential for worship are able to attend in person.
We are open for Morning Prayer on a Wednesday at 9am, staying open for private prayer until midday.
Whilst nowhere can guarantee 100% safety, we have a thorough risk assessment for this and all activity in church.
Join us online! Head to our YouTube Channel to join us Live at 10am on Sunday, and access other videos. You can do that by clicking or tapping on this link:
NEW THIS WEEK
Thanks from Peter & Rosemay
Thank you for your continued prayers for Olya, our young niece. After almost a year of chemo and radio therapy the tumour under her ribs has gone down marginally. She has highs and lows but on the whole her spirits are good undoubtedly helped by your prayers and ours. A difficult operation is now being considered. Whether or not this will go ahead we do not yet know. Please continue to hold her in your public and private prayers.
Many thanks, Peter and Rosemay.
Join us for a coffee after church!
In the live-stream video description on YouTube (or here) there's a link to join us on Zoom for coffee after the service, at 11am on Sunday (for half an hour). You don't need to have a Zoom account to join, just follow the link. We hope to see you there!
Get ready for Candlemas
We shall mark the end of the Epiphany season with candles and responses as we usually do. Please have a candle available at the end of the Eucharist on 31st January, so you can join in at home.
Thought for the week - The Wisdom of Cats
I’ve always had cats. When my siblings and I were growing up, we always had a cat, and since I’ve had my own home, cats have been welcome there. Some of the neighbourhood strays took that a bit literally and would turn up on the doorstep when they were injured or ill. This was the case with my oldest cat, Leo, who appeared in the garden one wet November night, seriously ill with a rare autoimmune disease. He was nursed back to health and adopted by the other stray in the house (she died in 2012) so he’s lived here in luxury ever since! At the moment, I have three cats – the aforementioned Leo along with Harry (large ginger) and Pip (tiny Torbie), all of whom rub along quite nicely together with only the occasional scrap.
Since the first lockdown in March I have been working at home so I’ve had much more time with them and have, once again, begun to marvel at their incredible gifts and fascinating features. One turn of a head, one flick of a tail can communicate so much more than their human servant can manage in several sentences.
As you’d expect, there’s a very great deal of sleeping. Tucking themselves up cosily (Harry covers himself with a blanket when he sleeps!) on a rainy day, resting carefully after a large meal and dozing gently in front of a nice fire are all skills at which they excel. But, the skill which particularly fascinates me is their ability to watch and wait. They take turns sitting on the desk in office, on the window sill in the sitting room and, in better weather, by the low railing beside the path, to watch in, what looks to me, like perfect stillness. There may be the odd frisson when a dog turns up to be groomed in the shop next door but, generally, the watching, the waiting, the stillness is remarkable. It’s real contemplation.
How I envy them that gift! If I had even a tiny bit of that capacity to be still I know that I would be less anxious, less caught up in the small things of life, less distracted when I need to concentrate. Most of all, I think I’d be far more able to recognise and enjoy the presence of God which surrounds me all the time. Maybe I could even learn to bask in God.
So, one of my intentions for 2021 is to learn from my cats, to watch how they settle themselves into this stillness and to let them lead me to my own stillness before God. I’m so grateful for the wisdom of cats.
Revd Clare Connors
MORE NEWS & REMINDERS
We have a wonderful flower arranging team who put together lovely floral tributes for us in church. The flower arranger’s team has reduced to around half of the volunteers who were on the rota in 2018/19. If at any time you’d like to come onto the flower rota to help with this much needed role in church do let us know. Those on the current rota aren’t needed at the moment due to the current restrictions but will be back in action hopefully for Easter and possibly with new volunteers!
Suzanne would like to thank everyone at St Mary’s for their prayers and for the cards they sent to her for her Baptism on Sunday 10th January. Suzanne is very grateful her Baptism could go ahead and she is so happy to have now been baptised!
Thanks from Emma Campbell
Thank you all for your prayers for Emma. Her latest scans show the fantastic news that she has no evidence of the disease following surgery and chemotherapy. It has been a gruelling year for the family exacerbated by Covid-19 but they have come through. Please continue to hold Emma in your prayers. Cheryl
For your prayers this week:
Your Prayers are requested for
Alan and Margaret Stears
Rest in Peace
Don’t forget, you can 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. You can also use the form on the website here to submit a prayer request online.
This Sunday's Hymns & Readings
Remember that News and notices from previous weeks are all available to read by clicking "notices" at the top of the page. Sign up below to receive our weekly email by joining our mailing list.