We cannot gather at our War Memorials or in our churches this year but we can remember together. Sadly we cannot hold public worship in church for the next 4 weeks.
As a Team, we have put together an online Remembrance Service. It will be available from 10.45 am o Sunday and if you “tune in” then you will be able to observe the Act of Remembrance and the 2 minutes silence at 11.00 am. The service remembers the fallen from all four parishes and also how we would normally be gathered and includes contributions from all four parishes.
The service will continue to be available online if you would prefer to connect later. If you normally connect to the online service earlier, please note that this week it is not available until 10.45 am.
Advent and Christmas
We continue to plan for services in Advent and for Christmas, though we do not know what the restrictions and limitations will be. All we can say at the moment is “watch this space”
We hope to have a Christingle Service on Dec 6th
The Diocese recently posted a lengthy paper outlining proposals to group parishes into quite large Mission Communities. Some will have seen the document, others not.
There are two significant elements to it. First, this much larger grouping of parishes, normally into groups with about four paid posts (including one curate). The second and more significant element probably is that the current financial crisis in the diocese and the downward curve of income means that the number of stipendiaries (paid) posts in the diocese needs to reduce more and faster than was previously envisaged. However, we do not know the actual time-scale for all this.
There was a set of maps at the end of the document – though we are now told this is only a suggestion to help parishes realise the sort of size for Mission Communities.
For us in Turton Moorland, it would mean being part of a Mission Community at least twice the size of the current Team, but we do not know how parishes would be grouped within each Mission Community, nor how clergy would be deployed.
We hope to know more in the coming weeks when we have heard from the Bishop and Archdeacon.
We understand that we will have a chance to contribute. While the suggested map split the existing Team up and separated Belmont from the other parishes, we are told that we can make the case locally for what we think is a better configuration.
Please pray for our diocesan leaders – the current allocation and finances are not sustainable and things do need to change and there will be reductions in paid clergy posts. It will challenge to us to encourage greater collaborative ministry and to draw on the gifts and skills of all but it will also require us to be good stewards, using our resources wisely and for the right projects and reasons, and humble to know what we cannot do, even if we would like to. Alongside that, we need to pray that we have the faith to step out to do the things God IS calling us to do, but we need to be careful that we are not just wanting God to bless our preferred projects!
We are called to be God’s people where we are, gathered for worship and sent out in witness, love and mission. We continue to have this call, and God is and will be with us in and through changes.
If you have any questions or concerns, or feel you would like to know more please be in touch, but at the moment we do not know much more than you!
Rev’d Peter Reiss: 6th Nov 2020