23rd January 2021

Hello Everyone

What a gloriously sunny and cold week this week has been with clear blues skies and frost on the car in the morning. 

We are particularly enjoying the warmth flowing through our radiators today because it has been a rather chilly week at home.  Our boiler had been struggling and on Tuesday evening with a hiss and a clang, and a flood of flowing water through the overflow it ended its days. An early morning 1am visit by Cadent quickly followed to seal off the gas supply and make the house safe and we 'layered up' (with quite a few extra socks and jumbers) resigned to wait until help could come. Fortunately, the wonderful company which services the church boilers came to our rescue and God looked kindly on us too...(thank you to those who prayed) and instead of waiting until next Wednesday or Thursday as the earliest date for a new boiler to be fitted, an early slot and a new boiler just happened 'coincidentally' to become available and was fitted yesterday.  Amazingly, what was going to be a two day job, became a smooth running one day job, with gas switch on late yesterday.  We are so incredibly grateful. God is good.  

This has also been a time of reflection... not only about environmental issues, but about people who are struggling to heat their homes this year who also juggle that awful dilemma of providing food or heating for their families. Sadly, more and more people are likely to be affected this year as finances tighten.  Flitwick Church offers a meal bag service with all the required ingredients and a recipe to provide a hot meal for a family, or for others who need support.  I wonder if this is perhaps something we can do practically, in addition to our existing support to the food banks?  Or perhaps you may have some ideas about how our churches can reach out.  At Toddington, we issued food hampers at Christmas, but these problems are there all year round. As the body of Christ, how best can we reach out to make a difference?  I can't help thinking about the story of many star fish stranded on a beach, and the little boy picked up one star fish at a time and threw it back into the ocean.  When challenged that it was pointless.  He replied..'Well, it made a difference to that one!'  How can we as church Make a Difference?

Services for Sunday 23 January 2021- Epiphany 3.

9.30am Chalgrave Church - Holy Communion

10am Harlington Service of Christian Unity at the Village Hall, led by Churches together in Harlington, for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity

(9.30am Harlington Church - a short service of Morning Prayer for those not able to join CTH service)

11am Toddington  Church - Service of Holy Communion

11am Westoning Church - Service of Holy Communion

3pm Tingrith Church - Service of Holy Communion

6pm Online Upper Room Service with a theme of 'Being the Body of Christ'

Other Events this week

Monday Morning Prayer Toddington 9.30am, Craft Time 2-4pm Wilkinson Hall (once a month 4th Monday)

Monday 4pm 'The Bible Course' at Toddington Rectory - (Please register with Linda - All welcome but numbers limited to 6).  

Monday 7.45pm 'The Bible Course' online by zoom

Tuesday Toddington Knitting group Wilkinson Hall 10.30am

Tuesday Westoning:  Westcaf 10am and  Sewing Bees 1pm Village Hall

Wednesday Morning Service 10am Harlington Church

Friday Toddington Painting for Pleasure group 10.30am Wilkinson Hall

Friday Westoning Little Stars 1.15pm Church and 2pm Friday Fellowship Village Hall

This week we give thanks for the special time held at various occasions, Chalgrave 'Pop Up Tea Room' (next meets on 23rd February - 4th Wednesday on the month), for Toddington Coffee Morning and Fellowship Time, for Westcaf, Little Stars and Sewing Bee and Friday Fellowshio at Westoning and all gatherings. We thank you for the fellowship and for your help, for all those who serve and support, and for the funds raised to help maintain the work of the churches.

Please hold in your prayers this week:

Those who are sick and awaiting operations or are receiving treatment.

Those who grieve and those who have died.

Our Schools

The Government and those who lead.

Those affected by Coronavirus, either directly, or through the delay of other treatment or diagnosis.

All who work in the health, care and emergency sectors

Please do take care of yourselves and stay safe.  We have never known a week like the week past with so many commitments cancelled due to Covid.  Whilst we hear nationally infections are reducing, it certainly doesn't feel like it on the ground.  I wonder if there may be a slight correlation between the lack of Lateral Flow test kits available and a decline in the numbers of people testing positive.  Please look after yourselves and continue to take precautions for now.

We send you our love and prayers

Linda and Nigel