17 January 2021

 

Dear EFP church folk,
 
I hope you are staying well, and those closest to you. For those who are or have been unwell, or finding things particularly tough, may you know God’s grace with you.
 
Tomorrow we will reflect on God knowing all we are going through at the moment, even when we don’t - and that he holds all of our days, even now.
Words from Psalm 139 we will read tomorrow - 
 
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it...
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed…
I come to the end—I am still with you.
 
So today we have our video worship. Link HERE.

  • watch together at 10.30am , or any time
  • including a hymn, as well as reading and prayers from others
  • Service sheets are available here: for straight printing and paginated
Services in our churches remain suspended..
 
This week’s Prayer diary and Children’s church are attached, with thanks to Becky.
 
Prayer -
A simple prayer for these times -
 
Living God, who chose to live amongst and within us,
at this time of continued pandemic
may we and those around us
know your presence 
in our homes, our communities, and our lives.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Take care, and God bless,
David
 
 
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team 
The Rectory
Feniton
 
9 January 2021
 
Dear EFP church folk,
 
I hope you are staying well, and those closest to you.
 
So, Lockdown number 3. I hope you are adjusting to the new rhythm, whatever it has meant for you.
Each lockdown has had a different feel and different rules.
 
Church-wise… 
  • Communal worship is permitted. But the decision whether to do so is being made locally.
  • We (wardens and myself) initially hoped and planned to continue Sunday worship, with increased safeguards to ensure safely.
  • However, given the ever worsening Covid situation, and the growing concern about an activity that draws people together, we have regrettably decided that holding Sunday services is not wise.
  • Sunday services are therefore suspended until further notice.
  • There will be no All Age service at Payhembury tomorrow.
 
This decision is not made lightly. The supportive benefit of services is evident. But everyone’s health is the priority, and I hope you will understand why this decision as been made. It does feel it fits with the nature of this lockdown and the precautions needed.
 
Here is today’s Sunday video reflection - wherever God lays his hat (our homes), that’s his home…
With no services in church again, you may wish to watch it at 10.30am for the sense of community - or just at any time!
 
Feniton and Payhembury churches continue to be open for private prayer.

 
This week’s Prayer diary and Children’s church are available through the hyperlinks, with thanks to Becky.
 
Prayer -
In our video reflection tomorrow, we will reflect on God’s presence in our homes.
 
Living God, who chose to live amongst and within us,
at this time of continued pandemic
may we and those around us
know your presence 
in our homes, our communities, and our lives.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
 
Take care, and God bless,
David
 
 
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team 
The Rectory
Feniton
 
3 January 2021
 
Dear EFP church folk,
 
A happy and healthy New Year once again. I hope that despite the restrictions and strangeness of this Christmas, you were able to enjoy the celebration and make it special in some way. Most importantly, I hope you and those closest to you are staying well.
 
Today is Epiphany Sunday, when we draw inspiration from the journeying of the Wise Men. They arrive at the Bethlehem party rather late! But they travel in Hope, and particularly in Faith. At the start of this year, we need signs of Hope; the Covid-19 vaccines offer some hope in a practical sense. But as the Covid era draws out, and with continuing uncertainties and ups and downs ahead, I sense that our need of Faith is especially important. It is from Faith that deep Hope emerges.
 
Today’s Sunday reflection and January’s Parish Magazine article both follow this theme.
 
The Sunday video reflection link, slightly later than usual, is at -
I’ve attached January’s Parish magazine article, for those who don’t see the magazine (see Feniton News for this).
 
Feniton church’s boiler has bowled an extra googly ball over this Christmas and New Year period, by deciding to go on strike during the coldest weather. Many thanks to David and Cara for managing the situation. Thank you too to Babs and other Payhembury and Feniton folk for the flexibility for today’s rearranged service.
 
Today's Prayer diary from Becky invites valuable prayerful reflection on the transition of an old year to a new. 
This is attached, along with Children’s church, with thanks to Becky.
 
Services scheduled for January - pending boilers and any Covid-related changes, are -
10th: Payhembury - All Age 10.30am
17th: Escot - Communion 10.30am
24th: Feniton - Storytime+ 9am
Payhembury - Communion 10.30am
31st: Feniton - Team Communion 10.30am
Continuing in Tier 3, we continue to advise careful consideration about attending a church service, particularly if you’re in a vulnerable group.
 
Picture and reflection for the end/beginning of the year: 
On New Year’s Eve afternoon, I pedalled gently up to Hembury Fort, to savour the last of the 2020 daylight. A good sunset would be a bonus. What I got instead was far more dramatic. The sky darkened from the northwest, with the approach of a large wintery shower. Hail then snow fell on Hembury Fort. I was caught totally by surprise!
As I stood in the wintry precipitation and stunning light, it felt powerfully symbolic of 2020: just when I thought the year had done all that it would, it throws a final glorious trick! 2020 was a year that did its best to teach me that no plans are certain - but that the surprises can be beautiful and moving. Something to carry into 2021.
 
 HemburyFortNewYearsEveHemburyFortNewYearsEve
 
 
Take care, and God bless,
David
 
 
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team 
The Rectory
Feniton
24 December 2020
 
 
Dear EFP church folk,
 
Happy Christmas Eve. The strangest of Christmases is nearly here. 
 
I hope that whatever Christmas Day will look like for you, yours is a joyful and peaceful Christmas, as we celebrate the day from which the world would always have Hope. 
 
 
Christmas Communion video - 30-mins service for Christmas Eve / Christmas Day -
 
 
Service sheet: (Click HERE for straight printing and HERE for the paginated version) - you will need this for the words!
 
You are invited to share Communion at home.
 
I invite you to join in with the video, if you’re not coming to one of the church services.
 
 
Tonight: Midnight Communion 11.30pm, Feniton and Payhembury.
(the Feniton service is ON)
  • Think carefully Covid-wise about coming   (Tier 2 guidance below)
  • and if coming to Feniton: WRAP UP VERY WARM!   the boiler has broken down
 
Christmas Day
Family Communion 9am Escot   (Tier 2 guidance below)
NO service (or Blessings on the Green) in Payhembury
 
Sunday 27th: 
NO Joint service at Feniton (or anywhere else) - this is Cancelled (due to the boiler)
 
 
Some sad news
Iris Gwernan-Jones (Ruth’s mother-in-law) died last week, aged 96.
She became a much loved member of the Feniton congregation since moving to the Gittisham care home. She will be deeply missed.
A note from Ruth and Alun and the family is attached (HERE). This includes information about her funeral in the New Year.
 
 
Take care, stay well, and have a happy Christmas.
David
 
-------------------------
Tier 2 guidance -
 
If planning to come to the services -
  • consider carefully whether you should attend.
    • particularly if you are in a vulnerable group.
    • use the video Communion alternative if you would feel safer.
  • remember the Tier 2 rule: 
    • no social mixing in the church
    • Rule of Six outside
  • please sanitise your hands on arrival
  • scan in with QR code if you have a smart phone

Sadly it has been necessary to cancel the scheduled service in church on Sunday 27th December 2020 at St Andrew's this year. This is due to the boiler having broken down.

BUT - the Midnight Communion is ON!!