Schools are on holiday, the villages are unusually quiet as people jet off (at last) to sun and sand, or drive off to camp in a green field somewhere, but in our three churches things are pretty much what they have been all summer. The magic 19th July and Boris’ proclamation of the freedom it will bring make little difference to our pattern of services and general church life. A conversation with the
Bishop yesterday (7th July) suggested that reviving congregational singing, and the resumption of sharing the chalice at Communion is not advised. Discussions will take place in weeks to come.
I said a while ago that I would not write about money again, and I won’t, except to tell you that two of our churches,
Ryhall and Carlby, have bought card readers, so that you will no longer need to hunt for your collection on a Sunday—all you have to do is enter an amount and swipe your card. The sum you specify goes straight into the church account. This will be very useful when we have concerts or other events, too, as all tickets can be paid for in this way.
If you were in Ryhall churchyard between 3 and 5am recently, you might have seen bat volunteers carrying out their surveys. These form part of our planning application for the new roof, a process which has been the cause of much sighing and annoyance. We have raised enough to start work, but Rutland County Council continues to insist on replacing the lead with more lead. Historic
England (formerly English Heritage) have been extremely helpful in supporting our case, as there was an attempted theft of the existing lead, in itself sufficient reason to use a material of no interest or value to thieves. We should hear RCC’s decision in early Autumn.
August sees several happy occasions in our churches; the marriages of Janine Juggins and Nick Gilchrist at Ryhall and of Sue Wilson and David Laughton at Essendine, and the baptism of Austin Hynan at Carlby.
Children in Rutland schools will find themselves back in the classroom (or entering it for the first time) at the end of August. May it be a much easier and happier year than the last one for the children and their teachers. I certainly look forward to Collective Worship in Ryhall School with the whole school present and the children fully involved again. I shall have been in post two years in September yet only six months of those two years have been ‘normal’ as far as church life is concerned. I sometimes feel that I am ‘the new Vicar.’
At Easter 2022 I hope to present four young candidates, all regular attenders at church, for Confirmation. Preparation will start in January. If anyone else would like to consider this, or just wants to know more, do let me know. You need to be a churchgoer, or at least a serious enquirer after the faith, since you would be making a solemn commitment to renew and uphold the promises made for you at Baptism. If you have not been baptised (christened) this can take place, either at the Confirmation service in
Peterborough Cathedral, or in your own church beforehand.
Enjoy your summer of freedom.