We are waiting to discover what the future holds. Well, that's nothing new, is it? Arguably, that is the deepest of human concerns: what will happen is always a matter of faith, hope, prayer. In this case however, we sense that, with rises in cases of Covid-19 things aren't going quite as hoped for back in March when the roadmap was set out. And that can be a struggle.
At the start of April, on Easter Day, with great joy we gathered on the Mump and then across the benefice for The Eucharist. Since then we've been waiting for the time when we can sing, shake hands (and even hug!) during The Peace, hang around afterwards and chat, and generally do the things we like and want to do as ordinary people, with God in our hearts.
Interestingly, new traditions have arisen throughout the lockdowns since March 2020. We know the discomfort of masks, but we put up with them. We don't receive the wine during the Eucharist, but we know the president does that on ur behalf. We have learned to sit in bubbles: sometimes meaning we have had to use different pew (Oh, My!) Singing has perhaps become the major focus of our hope. We are all missing hymns so much, I know. Yesterday's wedding between Rosanna and Richard featured some of the best humming I have yet heard. A gentle murmur behind masks, like a warm buzz from friendly bees. In Stoke St Gregory, the tradition has emerged of singing the final hymn outside: the doors open, the organ with all stops out (well played Steve).
Traditions are so often a response to local need, and the pandemic has certainly required new responses. So, as we wait to hear (probably) that we should be patient just a little bit longer, we need to look with hope on our new traditions. Are we in or out of church? Can we have a chat over a coffee? Can we sing or hum? Whichever, put our left foot forward, in and out, then our arms and then twirl around. Take this eternal hopefulness as a time to consider what really matters and what it's all about. Anyone fancy a conga?
At last, after so many months of biting our lips or (at best) humming along to our favourite hymns and songs, we can now... ta da aaaah... sing in church!
From this coming Sunday, 25th July, after the pandemic restrictions have been fully lifted, we are making one significant shift in our protocols: singing is permitted across all Athelney Benefice churches.
Please note: all other protocols remain operative, so, no common cup, please wear masks inside church, please maintain a sensible distance from each other and please be aware that some may be less than comfortable with a release of the restrictions.
As sensitive and mature people, I know we can all understand the need for these continuing behaviours, but in the meantime: SING! SING! SING!
In the garden at Manor End, The Fosse with Liz and Keith Gibbs
Saturday 10th July 10-12am
Proceeds to the Church Bell Fund
NB If it’s wet we’ll cancel!
Also, sorry, there’s no parking at the house!
Bells have rung in North Curry church since at least the reign of Henry VIII. Half of the current bells are already over 200 years old.
They are a traditional part of the village, and not just for churchgoers. The bells are heard by all: most often in the church clock chimes, which sound every quarter, day and night; but they also mark the turning points of village and personal life, from births and weddings to funerals.
But the bells can no longer be rung as before. The frame and fittings that support them, and the bells themselves, are wearing out. It is no longer safe to ring the largest bells together. We need to raise around £150,000 to get the bells ringing again. If you would lie to help with this, please head over to the northcurrybells.com site and find out how.
Please start giving some thought to your favourites. The Sunday worship at Stoke St Gregory on 18th July will be a combined “Songs of Praise” with the Baptist church. It will be outdoors and so we will be able to sing openly and without masks… O Joy! There will be a suggestion form in church in Lyng on 13th June and subsequently in Stoke St Gregory.
We are gathering tomorrow (13th June) for our monthly united benefice Eucharist. This month it is at St Bartholomew's, Lyng. Parking is available in the "Old Pub Carpark": thank you!
It has been a while but Coffee Wednesday is returning to North Curry Church. You may remember it as Coffee Monday, but the vicar's day off is Monday and he doesn't want to miss out!
10am every week starting 9th June in the church. There will be cake.
It is not fully formed, and there are some odd gaps but as of this week (10th June 2021) it is going live. Please be patient as we continue to develop it and add many more features. Thanks!