Latest letter from the Vicar

Dear all

Another week has past, and here we are fast approaching the end of June!  How quickly time is passing.   

With the gradual emerging from lockdown this week Toddington church opened to host a small funeral and two churches - Westoning and Toddington were opened for Private Prayer.  We hope that Chalgrave and Harlington churches will also be able to open for private prayer towards the end of next week once practical arrangements have been put into place. (Before we can open, the churches need to be cleaned and prepared for social distancing with appropriate signage and hand sterilisation gels, to make sure that visitors are safe). 

Private Prayer times:

Westoning Church - Wednesdays at 12 noon for one hour and Saturdays at 2pm for one hour. (as part of social distancing safety measures - face mask advised whilst in church)

Toddington Church - Monday from 12-2pm and Friday from 10-12noon in the Cheyne Chapel. (as part of social distancing safety measures - face mask advised whilst in church)  

Dates and times for Chalgrave and Harlington churches will be released once practical arrangements have been met.

Tingrith Church will open at 11am on Sunday 4th July.

It is certainly good to be able to open the church doors again, albeit under strict health and safety guidelines.  

At present there can be no led worship, no singing in church and hymn books and contact items have to be removed.  Parts of the churches will be cordoned off... but it will be lovely to be able to welcome people to come and pray and to spend some quiet time in church after all these weeks. 

We are moving forward with consideration of how and when to open for public Sunday worship services.  The government has announced that it is possible to hold public worship from July 4th but the Church of England and our Diocese are still awaiting the accompanying government guidelines. The opening of churches is permissive and not prescriptive and we as ministers have been guided by the bishops that there is no need to rush.  We will need to consider carefully what is best for each parish. In the immediate, internet services will continue as many people enjoy accessing these, and it has become an increasingly valued part of weekly ministry. 

Services for this week:

  • This week's pre-recorded service was filmed at Chalgrave Church, with readers Sue Spence and Margaret Wade from Harlington, and Martin Godfrey from Westoning, with the Quintet choir singing a hymn (recorded individually in their own homes, and compiled by Nicholas in his home... amazing what is possible!).  Our musical accompaniment is by Nicholas with some hymns from St Martin's in the Field choir. The link to this week's service is:       
    The service is hosted on Harlington Web site but can also be accessed through each churches' respective websitse or Facebook pages, or on the Church of England 'A Church Near You site'.
  • At 9am Sunday 28th we host our live zoom Upper Room service to which you are all welcome.  The service offers an hour of different short reflections, music, prayer, and a personal testimony.  It is a special time with members from the different Quintet churches joining together in worship.  There's opportunity to pray or you can do what most do: sit and bathe in the peace and beauty of the Upper Room, where some disciples gather to start the day.  The theme this week is 'Coming to faith.'  Do give it a try.  It is an hour that will set you up for the week. Please contact Linda or Nigel for the access invitation.

         Morning Prayer Tuesday at 9.30am by zoom.  Access link from Linda or Nigel.


Our zoom gatherings continue this week:

  • Harlington Coffee time Tuesday, at 10.30am 
  • Westoning Coffee morning Wednesday 10.15am 
  • Toddington/Chalgrave Coffee Morning Thursday 10.30am
  • Chalgrave gathering Monday eve on 8x8 at 7.00pm ( an invitation link will be sent out separately)

Beware of Scams:

There are increasing warnings to be careful of scam attempts online and by phone which seek to access your personal and private banking information. With this in mind, Robert has prepared a special SCAM awareness page, hosted on Harlington Web site.  We encourage you to click on this link to read the guidance about how to protect yourself.

Harlington village fundraising appeal for the repair of our Church Bells - this week a member of Harlington Community set up a generous independent campaign to raise funds to get the church bells ringing again.  It is wonderful to know how much the bells mean to the village. Within 5 days of launch the campaign has already raised over £1,000.  Thank you so much Roger Ivett for your initiative and to the village for your wonderful support. We look forward to the bells ringing out once again.

We send you our love and care, and our prayers.  Do please let us know how you are. We are definitely interested.  Thank you also for your care and support towards us.

We hope you have a very good week.  We continue to pray for your health and wellbeing and for the protection and care of your families and loved ones.

God bless

Linda and Nigel