News from the Vicar
As the coronavirus pandemic ebbs and flows across the world, it feels in some ways as though nothing will ever be ’normal’ again. However, a lot has changed in recent months and St Michael’s is very much open for business.
It is perfectly understandable that many people still feel uneasy about attending church, perhaps due to a sense of vulnerability, or due to anxiety about spreading Covid if working in a higher-risk field. We try to make things as safe as possible at St Michael’s (details later) but nobody should feel under any pressure to be in church during this uncertain time.
Please remember that there are still many churches with an online presence, and worship can regularly be found on the Diocese of Blackburn YouTube channel. In addition, the BBC continues to offer Songs of Praise on a Sunday lunchtime, as well as the regular act of worship broadcast on Sunday mornings at 8am on Radio Lancashire.
If you are able to get to church, here is a brief update of some of the things happening at St Michael’s along with other items of interest:
Services are now back to normal times:
8.30am and 10.00am on Sundays
11.00am on Thursdays.
From 17th October, the 10.00am service on 3rd Sunday of the month will once again be a ‘family’ or ‘all-age’ service.Ecumenical service: Sunday 24th October, 6.30pm at Alston Lane Catholic Church. Theme of climate change. Please support this service if you can.
Service of Light, Sunday 31st October, 4.00pm.
The timing of this is significant, falling on All Saints’ Sunday and close to All Souls’ Day - occasions when the Church gives thanks for the saints in glory and remembers in prayer all the faithful departed.
At this service, you will have the opportunity to light a candle to remember your own loved ones and members of our church family who have died, whether recently or many years ago. You might also like to use this opportunity to reflect on the suffering of so many during the pandemic, and all the heartache and grief this has brought into our world.
Bishop Jill is coming back to Grimsargh for a confirmation service on Sunday 13th March 2022, at 4.30pm. Children in school year 6 or above are warmly welcome to join the course of preparation, which will begin on Sunday 7th November (4-5pm in church) Children in year 6 at St Michael’s school have been sent a flier about this, but there may be older children in our parish who are interested. Last year’s Y6, for example, missed out on the opportunity to prepare for confirmation, so even though they are now at high school, they would still be very welcome to join the course.
If you don't have a flier from school, to register your child’s interest please let me have the following details by Monday 1st November:
- Name of child
- Date of birth
- Name of parent or carer
- Address/phone/email of parent or carer
ADULTS can also be confirmed, of course and there have already been enquiries about this. I am proposing a course of preparation for adults beginning on Sunday 5th December, probably also on a late Sunday afternoon. Please let me know (preferably by email) if you are interested in exploring making your commitment in confirmation.
In order to run the course for young people, helpers are needed to ensure we comply with our safeguarding policy. Please speak to me as soon as you can if you are willing to help and have a DBS check (or will undertake one). You would only need to attend the sessions - no preparation or planning is required (unless you are keen to get more involved..!) Thank you.
Many legal restrictions may have been lifted, but infection rates have been very high recently, and several people in our community have been personally affected by the virus. This is why we continue to take a
cautious approach in church and in any events we plan.
Here is a reminder of some of the main points to note about worship at present:
- All pews are available to use, but please respect others who may need or prefer to maintain some space
- We ask that you continue to wear face coverings if you can.
- When singing hymns, you should wear a face covering
- Please continue to use hand sanitiser when entering church
- Service sheets are in use as normal, but if you prefer, you are welcome to keep your order of service and hymn book and bring them when you come next time
- At the peace we don’t shake hands but say 'The Grace' together
- Communion is administered in one kind (ie, only bread)
- There are currently no refreshments after services
Thank you for all the support given to the Harvest Festival and the Festival of Angels.
A lot of hard work went into the Angels weekend, and I am immensely grateful to the FAF team for taking such a strong lead in organising the displays in church and running the weekend.
It was a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors into church over the weekend. This wasn’t a fundraising event, but there were many donations left, amounting to more than £330.
On St Michael's Day itself, I was delighted to welcome the whole of St Michael's School into church for their Michaelmas service. As at the school Harvest, it was wonderful to see the church so full of life and youthful enthusiasm. Again, I am reminded how blessed we are to have such a positive working relationship between school and church.
Conversations are taking place with someone who is interested in the role, so please pray for them as they ponder whether this is the right time to take on this responsibility.
Meanwhile, remember that we need to develop a support team to work with the treasurer, so please speak with me or one of the churchwardens if you would be willing to join a team helping with routine matters such as counting and banking cash.
We are seeking two new foundation governors at St Michael’s School.
Positions are also vacant at Archbishop Temple School. It is important that such governors have a genuine involvement in the life of the Church. Please let me know if you are interested in exploring this further.
Do you care for someone at home?
Do you know someone who cares for someone at home?
Sometimes carers need support in various ways, from accessing benefits and respite care, to receiving counselling support or simply having other carers to chat with. Support for carers is available through the Lancashire Carers Service.
The service access team can be contacted on: 0345 688 7113
or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A regular newsletter is produced containing advice and information to support carers.
Thank you for your continued support for St Michael's.
Assuring you of my prayers and good wishes as ever,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.