Weekly Update

Dear All

We hope you have had a pleasant Christmas.  It was good to see some of you at the carol services held at each church before 'lockdown', and also at Harlington Midnight Mass and at Harlington Church and Toddington Church on Christmas Morning.  We hope you have enjoyed the Christmas recorded services.. and if not, do please have a look.. especially at the family service with Samson the donkey.

We are sending a quick email now to let you know that there will be morning services 27th December - 

Harlington Church at 9.30am 

Toddington (St George of England) Church at 11am. - A joint Toddington/Chalgrave Benefice Service.  Please dress warmly as there is a gale blowing up at the moment.

Services at Westoning Church have been suspended during December.

With this Sunday falling so soon after Christmas Day there will be no recorded service issued this week nor Upper Room zoom service.  To support the clergy at this busy time, Bishop Alan has recorded a video sermon message for this Sunday which we invite you to listen to at home.  Please click on the download link below (click the 'command' button and the mouse to view).

Link

Messy Church families and everyone, may like to view this video about the shepherds going to see baby Jesus–The Christmas Story.  It gives us opportunity to reflect on the story and on our own personal response to Jesus

Clergy are guided to take a week off after Christmas to recharge our batteries and Nigel and I look forward to stepping back for a rest next week.  We will not be sending out invitations for Afternoon Tea or Morning Prayer, but if you need any support please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. In the meantime, you may like to link up to Daily Hope, Messy church, or watch a Sunday service on tv or online.  St Albans Abbey issue a weekly service and Harlington Web site offers a link to this service each week. 

The Church of England offers the  Daily Hope resource – dial 0800 804 8044 for prayer, reflection, music and worship services from the Church of England. A weekly service is available from 9 am every Sunday.

Messy Church at home downloadable sessions:

https://www.messychurch.org.uk/resource/messy-church-home-april-june-downloadable-sessions

You may wish to view the Christmas Message and Service from the Lord Lieutenant (link below) which gives a good overview of the past year in Bedfordshire.

Nigel and I wish you a peaceful Sunday, and thank you for your support, Christmas cards and good wishes.  We look forward to seeing you all again soon but guide you please to take care of yourselves and stay safe during this Tier 4 lockdown.

God bless you all

Linda and Nigel

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

Dear Colleagues and Friends

Please enjoy the Lord-Lieutenant’s Christmas 2020 message on You Tube at: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire's Virtual Christmas Message 2020 "We Stand Together as One" - YouTube

After the toughest of years where we have all changed our lives radically in order to protect each other from the Corona Virus, we heard on Saturday from the Prime Minister that it will not now be possible to come together with our much-missed families for Christmas as promised. 

Like you, I feel sadness and disappointment.

Nevertheless, we should remember, that the choices that we have made over the past year to socially distance, to wear masks and to wash our hands frequently, may well be the reason that someone else is alive and that knowledge must make our sacrifices worthwhile. No matter how hard it may feel, I would urge you to continue to dig deep and follow the rules that will help us to protect our family, friends and neighbours.

In common with so many other faith traditions this year, our Christmas celebrations will rely now in some way, on the power of technology to help us show our love.

In this context, is with great love that I send you our Christmas video which I hope you will enjoy while you sit down with a cup of tea, or a cup of good cheer, to reflect on a momentous year in all our lives. 

The production is 25 minutes long and shows the immense goodness of the people of Bedfordshire as they have supported each other through the pandemic. 

Please feel free to forward the video to all who might want to share in this great story of how people from all backgrounds and faith traditions in our wonderful county have "Stood together as One" to meet the challenges of this year.

Please enjoy the Lord-Lieutenant’s Christmas 2020 message on You Tube at: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire's Virtual Christmas Message 2020 "We Stand Together as One" - YouTube

May I thank Phillip Fothergill DL for his immense professionalism and good humour in kindly producing this video for you.

 Thank you for all that you have done to help others this year.

Wishing you the blessings of Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and renewal.

Kind regards

Helen