News Desk July 2021
Covid Roadmap … the last few miles
As I write, the Prime Minister has announced that the final stage of the road map to the removal of all legal coronavirus restrictions has been extended until 19 July. For this reason, little is going to change in church life over the next few weeks, although at national level the issue about singing in church is still under negotiation. Even so, the summer and early autumn will be a time to reflect on how we open up post-pandemic at church; what can return and what will need to change. Initial conversations are beginning, with an opportunity for all to make a contribution to this process projected in September. In the meantime, we need to stay constant in prayer, seeking God’s will for how we use this unique opportunity to reset church life and be the people that God wants us to be for the times ahead.
…to Louise Bale, to be ordained priest in Wells Cathedral on 26 June. Robin has been invited to represent the place that St Andrew’s had on her journey while she undertook part of her training with us. Louise continues as Curate at St Mary’s and St John’s, and as member of the Chaplaincy team at Musgrove Park Hospital. Our prayers go before her.
New Lay Pastoral Assistants
Having completed their training, Steve and Carol Bull and Darren Chalmers are to be commissioned as LPAs by Jim Cox, our Area Dean, at St Andrew’s on 11 July at 3.00pm. This will be a deanery service with other candidates from other churches, so we will need to be careful about numbers now that restrictions are continuing. However, we will live stream the service to our own Facebook page. LPAs work alongside the clergy and Readers of the parish to assist with pastoral care across a wide range of contexts from visiting the sick to supporting families coming for baptism services. Please pray for Steve, Carol and Darren as they take up this important ministry.
From 1 July we are changing our website provider and going live with a newly designed website. Some parts may still be under construction, as they say, at the start date, but I hope the new site will look fresher and more responsive to current needs. Thanks to Bill Perry and Lesley Gold for their IT consultancy and “building work” respectively. The website address from this date will be https://stastaunton.churchinsight.com/
Prayers of Life
This is an extension to our Lent Course on prayer and will be held on 24 June, 1 July and 8 July at 7.30pm on Zoom. Themes covered will be praying in the everyday, prayer and personality and some training for those who may be interested in learning how to lead the Intercessions in worship. Each evening stands alone, and attendance at the Intercessions training need not mean you have agreed to join that team! If you interested in this, or any other theme, just come along and take it from there. Zoom joining details will be in the weekly newsletter.
Reader on Placement
During August and September, Sue McKen, a Reader from the Seven Sowers Benefice, south of Taunton, will be joining us on placement. Although licensed in 2018, Sue had to begin her ministry as her benefice went into vacancy and so never completed the placement expected as part of her final training. Sue has asked for experience of a church in an urban setting and so St Andrew’s will be fertile ground for her needs. She will be worshipping with us most Sundays, including taking up the occasional duty in the sanctuary and on the preaching rota, as well as taking part in different aspects of parish life. Please give Sue a warm St Andrew’s welcome when she joins us for the first time on Sunday 8 August.