Hello again and welcome to our newsletter.
Every day we hear valiant efforts by the government to ease everyone back into a more normal way of living. My enforced holiday seems as if it might be coming to an end. I hear from people for whom it is all an unending nightmare, as well as more fortunate people who are ‘doing fine, thank you’. Together with God’s help we will overcome this extraordinary crisis.
Many parishes have tried having Mass in their church, for limited numbers and with prior booking. That’s not for us just yet. For the time being you will be able to continue with Mass by video link. For many of you this has been an enriching experience, seeing other churches throughout the world, and listening to other preachers. Who is the most interesting? This Sunday we are asked to remember to pray for seafarers and those who care for them when they are in port, especially those who work at the Apostleship of the Sea.
The gospels begin a series of Jesus’ parables. This week we hear again how the faith is something like a grain of wheat. It is scattered widely, but can only flourish in the right soil. It is very precious, and each of us has to nourish and protect it. In the horrible history of the Jewish nation, various prophets kept alive the faith and the hope of the people. When they were prisoners in Babylon, they had no king, no temple, none of the basic signs of God’s presence to buoy them up. They survived. They found other ways of keeping in touch with their God, and found out a lot more about themselves and the way God cared for them. Perhaps there is something like this going on in our lives at present.
I have offered Mass for Vocations, for John Dodd, for Canon Browne’s intentions, and for Tom and Ann Weighill. This Sunday, Mass has been requested for Rose Livesey whose birthday it is, and on Wednesday next Mrs Margarita Birch will be ninety, so very best wishes to her in advance. It is the golden wedding anniversary of Ian and June Blythe, and we offer them our sincere congratulations.
I was reading in the South Warrington News an interesting article by the funeral director Charles Craven, describing the worst aspects of Covid 19, and all the sadness of grief that has come with it. James Tandy at Burroughs says he is coping now, after the epidemic peaked in May.
Thankfully we have had no funerals since January, which is a mercy. Some of the people in the nursing homes are finding their enforced isolation hard, and we remember them and their carers in our prayers. I have not heard from any who have lost their jobs. May God protect everyone and give us the grace to hope.
We still need volunteers to see that the church is a safe place by wiping potentially infected surfaces with sanitizer. We can’t call on over-70’s for this. You see younger people doing this job in supermarkets and now other shops and business places. Can you and the younger members of your families help with this essential task?
Please do get in touch. Without you there will be no going back to church.
Best wishes to everyone and keep safe.
Fr Tony Elder