NEWS FROM ESCOT

A very happy new year and may 2021 be a better year than 2020 for us all!

A very big thank you to all who contributed to the treats for teenagers who had left care. We collected an amazing amount of things in collaboration with other churches and I understand the Social Services team leader was absolutely delighted by our generosity. Thank you so much.

As I write this in mid December we are still looking forward to Christmas when we will be worshipping in church on Christmas morning and, in spite of the constraints on singing carols inside, I am sure we will have a joyful start to the day.

Looking back over 2020 it has been such a strange year. In spite of our fears and problems, the first lockdown gave us time to appreciate the beautiful area in which we live and enjoy spring, helped by glorious weather. Listening to the birds as I walked across the bridge over the A30 with no traffic in either direction was wonderful. Then summer when things opened up and sadly Covid numbers started to grow again leading to the inevitable second lockdown and a feeling of gloom pervading the air. Now, though we still have several difficult months to come, we have the start of vaccinations and can almost feel optimistic.

As from January we are having Evensong at 4pm on the first Sunday of the month, taken by Terry Palmer, in addition to our Parish Communion on the third Sunday at 10.30am taken by Rev David. Please do come and join us for either or both.

I hope you, your family and friends are staying safe and well and may I say again, a very happy new year!

Judy Davis

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NEWS FROM ESCOT

Here we go again! As I write we are in our second lockdown and, sadly, all live November services have been cancelled. We are living in hope that the lockdown will be lifted on December 2nd so live services can begin again. All being well, in the weeks leading up to Christmas we will follow the recent pattern of a service in one of our churches each week, Escot’s being at 10.30am on December 20th.

Along with Buckerell and other EFP churches we have been collecting towards Christmas hampers for teenagers who have left foster care and are now living independently. Their life is always difficult and this year even more in this time of real uncertainty - even their Christmas meal has been cancelled. Teenage treats have included crisps, chocolates, fizzy drinks and toiletries. I’m so glad we’ve had a chance to contribute in a small way. It’s very humbling and makes me realise how very fortunate my family and friends are.

In all ways this Christmas will not be like any other and sadly this applies to our carol services which we have reluctantly decided cannot go ahead as we assume we will be restricted to small numbers – and no singing! However we have a first, a YouTube carol service of carols and readings with contributions from all three churches which will be available on the EFP churches website from December 13th. The link is given at the top of the services page. Please do join us there for a good sing and the telling of the Christmas story – I’m afraid you will have to provide your own mulled wine and mince pies!

On Christmas morning we will have our usual Family Communion service at 9am at which we hope many of you will be able to join us. It will be good to worship in church on Christmas Day.

In spite of all the constraints and problems of 2020, may I wish you a very happy, peaceful and safe Christmas.

Judy Davis

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Rectory notes December 2020 – A Christmas Fairytale

 

Once upon a time... there was a beautiful forest. Everyone called it the Christmas Forest. Each winter all would come to it for a merry and festive time. Every patch of woodland was named after the particular delights it brought: Shopping Wood, Parties Wood, Carols Wood, and more.

But one winter a Man with a Mask brandishing a chainsaw arrived at the forest. Brutally he began to raze all the lovely trees to the ground. Parties Wood was first – the majestic timbers of fun and jollity crashed to the earth, the buzz of conversation and fuzz of drinks extinguished. Shopping Wood was flattened next, the eternal piped carols falling silent. The man pressed remorselessly on. Even Family Gatherings Wood was given little respite, the loving trees cut to pale shadows of their former selves.

His merciless task nearly complete, he encountered a secluded glade, once the quiet centre of the forest. In the glade lay a little cottage. He powered down his chainsaw. Quietness fell. He pushed open the door. Inside sat a young woman, gently cradling a baby. She looked up and smiled. “Shhhh…” she said, “He’s slept through your noise, I don’t know how!” She nodded to an empty chair, and he tentatively took a seat. “My other half’ll be back in a moment,” she continued, “make yourself at home. Help yourself to a drink and something to eat. You must be exhausted.” With that she started to sing softly to the child. The song was somehow familiar to the man, echoing in his distant memories of coming to the Forest himself in better days. “Silent night,” she sang, “holy night, all is calm, all is bright.” And the man sank back into his chair with a contentment he had forgotten possible…

 

Our own ‘Christmas Forest’ will be a smaller wood this year. We will miss much of our familiar traditions and joys, whatever the level of Covid restrictions. But small things can bring large pleasures: a smile, the warmth of family or a friend even if via a screen, your favourite Christmas drink, a much-loved arm-chair.

We crave for hope, for a light in the current pandemic darkness however small. And small is the Christmas hope at first – a fragile child cradled by a mother, in an unnoticed corner of the ancient world. But this tiny acorn will grow into the mightiest of oaks: God himself in our midst – in our homes, our communities, and our inner selves. This Christmas we may have less. Yet, in the silent night, maybe we have all we need.

 

Rev David Carrington

 

Team Vicar of Escot, Feniton and Payhembury

The Rectory, Station Road, Feniton 01404 850905 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rectory notes November 2020 – A Silent Remembrance

2020 has been different in so many ways. So let us make our village Remembrance commemorations this year different too. Let us make it a ‘Silent Remembrance’.

Silence: the silence of a First World War battlefield when the guns have ceased and the scattered dead lie still. The silence of a COVID intensive care ward, save for the wracked oxygen aided breathing. The silence of grief of loved ones, bereaved by war or by disease. The silence of a peaceful country lane with wayside summer flowers mingled with birdsong, more still this year in lockdown. The silence of sunset, as the blazing orange ball slips below the horizon to close the day. The silence of dawn, light wordlessly welcoming the day’s new life.

We can gather on Remembrance Sunday this year as is customary in our public spaces in Feniton and Payhembury at 10.55am (provided Government rules remain as they are when this goes to press). But we can’t gather in our usual manner. In Payhembury, as a public gathering, household groups (or six at the most) are not permitted to interact. Across the green and the road, we must distance. In Feniton we will gather within the churchyard, offering a more open space than the lane, similarly distanced and separate.

We cannot gather in our usual manner. So let us do so silently. Not that Remembrance is ever a chatter-y affair. But this year let us come together in silence, and hold this silence throughout, save the liturgical words of Remembrance. Let us allow the Two Minute Silence to sit within a broader ocean of stillness.

Some will wish to stay distanced in their homes, and mark silence there. Some will wish to continue into the church for the Remembrance service. These services too will be the same yet different. Social distancing and the absence of permitted congregational singing offer a poignant symbol of our connection with all who are distanced by death and lie in peace. Fewer people will be possible in our churches. But we can still commemorate together, gathered or not.

‘And after the fire a sound of sheer silence…’. It wasn’t in the earthquake, wind or fire that God spoke to the ancient prophet Elijah in a transformational moment. It was in the silence. Silence embraces the deepest of pain like no words can. And from its stillness beauty and new life arise too. Let us this year mark a Silent Remembrance.

Rev David Carrington

Team Vicar of Escot, Feniton and Payhembury

The Rectory, Station Road, Feniton 01404 850905 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NEWS FROM ESCOT

We have now been able to have two services at Escot since lockdown. They are not ‘normal’ as we sit socially distanced from each other, wear masks and are not able to sing but it is so good to be back in church worshipping together rather than virtually. There is no ban on organ music so Shelagh has been able to play hymns and bring some music into the services. It is lovely to see everyone again as some of us have not met since early March.

In September we are continuing with one service across Escot, Feniton and Payhembury each week, Escot’s being on September 20th. We hope this will be a ‘Climate service’ supported by resources from Melanesia but details still have to be agreed. Each week there will also be a short video service for those unable to attend in person.

Harvest time approaches but sadly this year we are unable to hold our Harvest Supper. That is sad as it is always a very happy occasion but we look forward to having one in 2021. I am sure we will celebrate harvest in church but as yet we have not agreed what we are going to do. As you will appreciate, we are working out what we can do as we go along and the regulations keep changing so our planning horizon is very short!

I hope you have all had a chance to enjoy the glorious sunshine we had early in August, even if some times it was too hot. At that time I was hoping for rain, but perhaps not the 2 inches we got in one go. I know some people in Feniton were flooded but I hope none of you suffered that way. Let us hope for a more temperate climate this onth.

Judy Davis

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NEWS FROM ESCOT

In some ways it seems as if the lock-down has been going on for ever. Although restrictions are being gradually eased those of us who are older are still being encouraged to be vigilant and ‘stay cautious’. Over the last few weeks we have been so privileged to have online services