Prayers from St. Andrew's Church
Published on 07/07/2020
It was great to see lots of you in church today. I've just got back from Honeychurch and I'd say about 75% of our regular congregation came back to church today across all four churches.
It feels great to have services happening again in our buildings... with people actually present! And the distancing measures and hand-sanitsing was pretty easy to do.
We made an audio recording of the full service from North Tawton this morning. That will appear on the website shortly.
Here is a video of the service from North Tawton this morning... a slightly abridged version of the full service.
Next Sunday (12th July)...
9.30am Parish Communion at Sampford Courtenay
11am Informal Communion at North Tawton
Please find here a service for this Sunday (28th June).
Also attached, a Be Still prayer sheet prepared by Rita.
The July edition of Roundabout is out now. Copies can be collected from the church porch in Sampford Courtenay or the Town Hall steps in North Tawton. Bondleigh's have been delivered.
Please remember Fran Bliss in your prayers this week. She begins her BAP (Bishop's Advisory Panel) on Monday for selection towards ordination training. Big week for her! And it's all being done via Zoom rather than residentially.
All four of our churches will reopen for public worship next weekend (Sunday 5th July).
Next Sunday (5th July) we will have the following services:
9.30am Morning Worship at Sampford Courtenay
9.30am Communion at Bondleigh
11am Morning Worship at North Tawton
3pm Evensong with Communion at Honeychurch
We look forward to welcoming you back.
If you have not done so already, please refer to the attached document "Information for the Congregation" as to how you can come back to church services safely, and/or watch this video which covers the same information.... (in a far more interesting way!)
There has been some speculation in the media about whether singing in church will be allowed. There is as yet no official word from the Church of England about this. If allowed, we will be having some congregational singing in services, but less than normal.
We fully appreciate that not everyone will feel able to come back to church services immediately, and please don't feel under any pressure to do so. We will still be producing online content so that you can join in worship remotely. We are working on this being a live-stream of the services in North Tawton. Please bear with us as we get this functioning over the next few weeks.
Please follow the link for a service recorded at St Andrew's Sampford Courtenay for this Sunday... Trinity 2, Sunday 21st June.
Revd John Courtie speaks about "gentleness"... another aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Thank you to all those involved. For the first time since March, this one has some live music in it.
Returning to church this summer:
All four of our church buildings are now open for private prayer during the day.
Back in May, the Government stated that it was their intention to allow churches to reopen for public worship over the weekend of 4/5 July. This remains the case, but the date has not been confirmed yet.
So it is our intention to restart services that weekend if allowed, but we may not be able to confirm this until just a few days beforehand. The recent experience of zoos and museums has been that the Gov. gives very little prior notice!
So we are ready to go on 5th July, with services in all four churches (as we would normally do on a 1st Sunday) but we may not get the final go ahead until a few days beforehand. We'll let you know.
There is a chance we will have to remain closed for longer, but all the indications appear to be that 5th July remains the restart date.
Over the last 6 weeks, the wardens and I have been putting together a Restart Plan for our churches. It has been formulated in line with Church of England guidance and risk assessment.
A vital part of the plan is how we all behave when we come back to church services and events.
So, there is something really important that each of you can do to make sure we can open as swiftly and safely as possible.... Please read the attached "Information for the Congregation".
Now, like me, you might be slightly fed up with "advice" at the moment. I feel like I have been drowning in it since March.
But the issues remain important, so we have prepared the following "Public Information Film" based on the attached information. Please either read the attached information or watch the video, or both.
Thank you to Emily, Samuel and Olivia for their help with this. Much more fun than homeschooling!
Once services restart, we will continue to post content online for those who will need to stay away for longer.
This content will be either prerecorded services much like we have been doing, or edited highlights of Sunday services, or live streaming of Sunday services. We are working on the latter at the moment, but we need to get a Wi-Fi connection into St Peter's.
In the meantime, do stay in touch. Really looking forward to seeing you soon.
Please find a service for this Sunday linked below.
Service for Trinity 1 from St Peter’s North Tawton
Thank you to Danny Semorad for leading the prayers in this one. Danny mentions John Horne in the prayers... a long standing member of the village at Sampford Courtenay who has been ill for some time.
Sadly, subsequent to this recording, John has died. So please remember Maureen his wife, and their son Martin in your prayers. Thank you.
Next Sunday we will have a recorded service from St Andrew's Sampford Courtenay, which will feature a few more familiar faces... John Courtie and a small group of singers.
Re-opening on Monday:
I am pleased to report that all four of our churches will be re-opening from Monday morning (15th June) for private prayer and small funerals. Please do drop in when you wish.
There will be hand sanitizer at each door, and please observe 2m distancing if anyone else is there too. All churches have been thoroughly cleaned.
As has always been the case up until March this year, SC and HC are kept unlocked at all times. BL and NT are unlocked during the day.
We are still working towards a 5th July start but this is not confirmed yet. As Zoos and Parks have found this week, we may get the go ahead only a few days beforehand.
Please don't feel under any pressure to come back to church immediately if that would not be wise for you or your household, but I know many in our congregations are really looking forward to seeing each and gathering for worship again.
So we will endeavour to restart services as soon as we are permitted.
In view of this, there will be some "Information for the Congregation" coming to you all on email (or by post for non-emailers) in the next week so that we can all be suitably prepared for church gatherings again. It is really important that you read this.
Have a great weekend.
We went to Honeychurch this time. See here....
Traditional communion (BCP) from St Mary’s Honeychurch for Sunday 7th June, Trinity Sunday
We're still aiming for a July 5th restart of "normal" services. But not confirmed yet. We are still waiting on Gov and Church of England confirmation about places of worship. But if Ikea can now be open...! (I'm sure you follow my thinking.)
I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, now that restrictions are easing a bit, look out for a few other familiar faces getting involved in our online services over the next couple of weeks.
Do keep prayerful and positive. We're getting through this!
All-age Family Service for Pentecost (Sunday 31st May) from St Peter’s North Tawton....
...with action songs. (Emily is far better at them than me!)
I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Hello church folks,
Two videos for you to enjoy today....
Firstly, Be Still with Rita from St Andrew's Sampford Courtenay, including the hymn The Lord's My Shepherd by Stuart Townend (1996) Thankyou Music.
The prayer sheet is also attached so you can follow along with Rita.
She also refers at the end to the UK Blessing sung by members of 85 different churches around the UK... gorgeous. See here:
Secondly, What I'm missing about church during lockdown part 4:
Includes the hymn May the Mind of Christ My Saviour by Mark Petersen (1997) Emu Music
Couple of other things...
1. Dog walking.... Julie Bailey and Carolyn King have been helping a lady in North Tawton by walking her dog for her. If you can offer the odd day to help them out that would be much appreciated. Either contact them directly (details in the St Peter's directory) or via me. (Half an hour walk with a very easy dog)
2. Face-masks... Rachelle Samllacombe is offering to make church members a face-mask if you would like one. Do contact her direct (details in the St Peter's directory) or I can pass on the request.
Coming for this Sunday.... all-age Family Service style service for Pentecost.
Service for the Sunday after Ascension - 24th May 2020 from St Peter’s North Tawton... see here:
Coming over the next couple of weeks... Be Still prayer sheet, a service for all ages for Pentecost, a service from St Mary's Honeychurch for Trinity Sunday.
And with quite a bit to work out in the meantime....
Coming in early June (we think): our churches re-opening for solitary prayer, small weddings, and small funerals (with distancing measures in place)
Coming in early July (we think): our churches re-opening for services (with distancing measures in place)
If the above happens to this timetable (and nothing is confirmed yet) then we intend to continue to post content online as well for those that feel they cannot come back to church immediately, and for those in the wider community who have been tuning into our online services.
Have a lovely weekend.
Happy Ascension day!
See a service from Sampford Courtenay here.... with Rita and John Courtie.
The writer to the Hebrews tells us... (of Jesus)...
"Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens." (7:26)
What I’m missing about church during lockdown... part 3, with cake!
Ascension Day service coming in a couple of days too, with a message from John Courtie.
Please find here a service for this Sunday (17th May) Rogation....
Couple of other things...
Foodbank.... and dog walking
It's been great to be able to take a car load of donated food from the church porch at St Peter's to Okehampton Foodbank each week. Today when I was there, the staff told me about a lady from North Tawton who lives in Butts Way who is a regular client at the food bank.
She is shielding and unable to leave her house at the moment, which means she has regular food delivered to her from the foodbank. She has a dog (friendly apparently) that she is paying to have walked each day because she cannot walk it herself, and the expense is contributing to her need for food from the foodbank. Could anyone help with dog walking? Please get in touch with me and I will get you more details.
I hesitate to mention money at this difficult time, but if you are a regular giver to one of our four churches please would you consider your giving at this time. Some of our costs will have reduced in recent weeks due to lack of services and other meetings (eg. heating and clergy expenses) but most of our costs will be unaffected, particular the big ones like insurance and common fund (the share we pay to the diocese).
Standing orders will have continued, so if you give to church that way.... thank you very much.
But "Sunday giving" (cash collections and the envelope scheme) has reduced nearly to nil since mid March, for obvious reasons.
If you are a "Sunday giver" please would you consider either switching to give by standing order (even if it is just a small amount or a small proportion of what you would normally give), or keep aside your regular Sunday cash gifts so that they can be given later in the year.
Of course, the usual stipulations still apply... please give cheerfully and in proportion to your income. I fully understand that this crisis is having significant financial implications for some people. And of course it is more important that your household is fed!
However, if you would like information about setting up a standing order to any of our churches, please contact the respective church treasurer.... (I can supply their contact details on request if you need them).
Colin Pimlott (North Tawton)
Chris Owen (Sampford Courtenay)
Jane Semorad (Bondleigh)
Claire Weeks (Honeychurch)
The next Sunday service will be coming soon, probably late tomorrow or Saturday morning.
In the meantime, here is the next in the series "What I'm missing about church during lockdown... fellowship with others."
It includes the song... O Church Arise by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. See full version here....
Hopefully you have seen the VE Day service we recorded for church and community a few days ago. If not, follow the link on here...
But I thought you regular church folk might want something else too this weekend. So here is something....
What I am missing about church during lockdown... Part 1: Praise and Worship as a Congregation.
It includes a bit of Psalm 147, some prayers, and clips of the following songs....
Living Hope by Phil Wickham (2018) Bethel Music
In Christ alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty (2001) Thankyou Music
Only a Holy God by Michael Farren, Jonny Robinson, Dustin Smith, Rich Thompson (2016) CityAlight Music
Dear church family,
Please find here a link to a community Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for VE Day+75, recored in North Tawton and Sampford Courtenay (with "flypast"!).
See here also....
Thank you to the cast.... Rita, Samuel, Emily and the birds.
Thanks also to....
Sophie Hawking (Choreography)
Barry Tarr (Editor and Technical Support)
The Wind (Background Effects)
God (Lighting and everything else)
Rev'd Nick Weldon
Devon. EX20 2EX
t. 01837 880183
m. 07970 984190
Hello church family,
Please find here a service of traditional communion for this Sunday (3rd May), recorded on Friday in Bondleigh.
Do continue to make use of the resources on the St Peter's Church website.... there is lots there... Be Still's, prayer resources, links to good spiritual reading, and links to worship music of various kinds.
Coming next week... a service of thanksgiving for VE Day+75. This service will be especially suitable for the wider community, so please think about who you could pass the link on to. The plan is to film it midweek next week so it is available for Friday 8th May.
Please continue to look out for friends and neighbours, even as restrictions begin to ease in the coming weeks. Many in our community will still choose to remain at home.
Hope to "see you" soon,
Please find here a service for the 2nd Sunday after Easter, recorded today at St Peter's.
(Apologies if it doesn't start at the start. Still haven't mastered how to make it do that yet! Just drag it back to the start and it will play fine.)
Please also find attached a latest Be Still for personal prayer and reflection.
Do stay "in touch",
Rev'd Nick Weldon
Devon. EX20 2EX
t. 01837 880183
m. 07970 984190
Hope you are all keeping well, safe and occupied!
Normally, Be Still would be held this Thursday,23rd April, and so I have attached a copy of some prayers and readings.
I will leave some copies in Sampford Courtenay church porch. If you are aware of those not on email who might like a copy, please would you contact them (electronically or by phone!) and let them know.
Here is a link to the next Sunday service... for Sunday 19th April, the 1st Sunday after Easter.
Sorry this has taken us a few hours to get uploaded... issues at YouTube... they've been eating too much chocolate!
Here is a service for Easter Day from St Peter's North Tawton...
Here is the final 7 words from the cross....
We may not be able to meet face to face today, or indeed on Easter Sunday, but nevertheless I pray that this will still be a truly blessed Good Friday and Easter for us all.
Here are a few things to help with that...
Another daily devotional recorded today... (The final one will appear on my YouTube channel tomorrow)
Here is a great illustrated poem suitable for all ages that explains how Good Friday is a good day....
For something a bit more traditional... Some lovely videos here of the choir at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney singing some classic Easter hymns... all conducted by Ross Cobb, a former colleague of mine.
Recorded just before shutdown in Australia.
There will a service for Easter Day uploaded first thing on Easter morning. It's going to involve all the Weldon's this time (!) and hopefully no lawnmowers.
FOOD BANK... thank you to those of you still putting donations in the box in the church porch at St Peter's. Please keep it up. I took this week's donations into Okehampton Food Bank this morning.
Usually they do an average of 14 food parcels a week. This has risen to 40 each week since mid-March.
A couple more daily devotionals here...
There will be a 3 more coming over the next few days, and there's lots of other resources for prayer and worship for Holy Week via the links on here:
Maundy Thursday Prayer Book Communion will appear on my Youtube channel tomorrow, and linked from the St Peter's website also.
(Things to look out for on the video... birds tweeting, the space hopper, and the chap mowing the churchyard!)
I hope everyone is well. Please let Rita or me know if you are unwell, or in need of anything.
I'm glad lots of you, along with the birds in my garden, have been enjoying the services we have been uploading. Lots more stuff to come this week....
Including some short daily devotionals for Holy Week (called "7 words from the cross") the first two of which are here...
Also, Rita has produced Stations of the Cross in document form for you to download below.
Here is the latest video service for this Sunday... Palm Sunday (5th April 2020).
This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, and we are going to try to make available all the services and resources we would have produced this week anyway.
They will appear throughout the week on the St Peter's Church website:
Compline (Night Prayer) which would have been on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Sampford Courtenay... Rita has produced this in document form below.
Maundy Thursday Communion... we will upload a videoed Prayer Book (1662) communion service ready for this Thursday.
Good Friday... Rita will produced a document version of Stations of the Cross, and I will upload a videoed Thought for Good Friday.
Easter Day... we will upload a videoed Informal Communion with sermon ready for next Sunday.
Stay well, and stay in touch.
Nick and Rita
Rev'd Nick Weldon
Devon. EX20 2EX
t. 01837 880183
m. 07970 984190
I hope you are well.... (that phrase has slightly greater significance now doesn't it!?)
Here's the second of our recorded services. And this one is on video! Rita and I recorded this today (Friday 27th March) for use this weekend. I hope you find it helpful at this troubling time.
We will keep doing these and a mid-week "thought for the day" until such time as we can meet normally again. This video and previous recordings can all be found at http://www.stpetersnorthtawton.org.uk
We said last week that we hoped to do something outdoors in the churchyards on Easter Day. That was before Boris announced the shutdown last weekend. So unfortunately, we cannot now have any kind of physical gathering on Easter Day.
Available below are some resources for personal prayer and study, including the prayers Rita prays in this week's video service.
Stay at home
Stay exercising once a day
Stay 2 meters away
Stay in Christ and not in worry
Stay in touch
Nick and Rita
Latest thought for the day below...
Services for Palm Sunday, Mandy Thursday, and Easter Day to follow in the next 10 days.