Rev Jo’s Letter – Apr 2021

Have you seen our website? If not, do take a look at (and bookmark it) www.gwashandglenchurches.org.uk

I hope that the website and our Facebook page will ensure that everyone is up to date with what’s going on. 

Easter is upon us, the greatest of the Christian festivals, when we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and his promise of eternal life for all who believe in him. Our celebrations will, inevitably be somewhat restricted as we continue with mask wearing, social distancing, record-ing attendances for Test and Trace—and worst of all, no singing. There has been no word about lifting the ban on singing from the government, but Bishop Donald thinks it may well be in place until, and possibly even after, next Christmas. 

Despite this our churches are gradually coming back to life. Essendine is too small to accommodate the whole benefice at present, but otherwise will resume its regular service pattern from April 25th. 

Ryhall will host a Communion service for the benefice on Easter Day at 10.30 to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection and the return to worship in church. 

Carlby will return to its regular pattern from April 11th. See page 16 for a list of all services. 

The Bishop wants all churches who have been Zooming (or otherwise streaming) services to continue this after they resume services in church, and as far as possible we will do this from Ryhall and Carlby. Do let me know if you or anyone else would like to join Zoom services—or if you need help in setting it up. 

April is traditionally the time for Vestry Meetings and Annual Parochial Church Meetings to take place—sometimes incorrectly referred to as AGMs. This year we are granted an extension to the end of May. Legally these are an opportunity for anyone in the parish to vote for church wardens, and then to hear an account of the church’s activities for the preceding year and elect members of the Parochial Church Council. The Church Wardens and the Deanery Synod Representative are ex-officio members of the PCC. If the Electoral Roll is less than 50, six other members may be elected; if it is between 51 and 90, nine may be elected. 

If you are interested in the work of your church, come along. They will be held in the various churches as follows: Ryhall, 7.30pm on Wed. May 12th, Essendine, 7.30pm on Thurs. April 29th and Carlby, 11.30, on Sun. April 25th 

Not only have we had to battle with the restrictions of the pandemic, the weather has presented its own problems. The team replacing gutters and downpipes at Ryhall managed to work through snow, wind and rain and did a marvellous job; no more will water seep into the stone-work for the North door from cracked downpipes or missing gutters, but until we can replace the roof it continues to drip into the interior. At Carlby the north aisle roof had to be totally replaced as the Welsh slates were too thin and worn to be re-used. You can see on page 11 what the gales did to the scaffolding! Fortunately no-one was near by at the time. But now the south aisle and porch are leaking and will need restoration, this time in Collyweston slate. Essendine church is slowly drying out but the churchyard is completely waterlogged despite the moat levels dropping. 

We have all had reason to feel sad and low in spirits over then past year but Jesus said ‘I am with you always, even to the end of time.’ His promise sustains and encourages us as we continue to do his will. 

A very happy Easter to you all 

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