Welcome to our Website
We are pleased to announce that from Monday 22 June, the Church will be open for
Monday-Thursday from 10.30am -12.30pm.
All services, groups, concerts and activities at St Andrew's and St Francis remain suspended until further notice.
If you would welcome pastoral or practical support from the Church over the coming weeks, please contact the Parish Office on 01252 715412 or email email@example.com. If you are able and willing to support others over the phone during this time, please do also let us know.
Please note that the Parish Office is now closed, but emails and phone calls will be checked at regular intervals
We do hope you will join us for our 10am service each Sunday morning on Facebook and YouTube:
To view, click on the Facebook or YouTube links below:
To join one of our Zoom Services, the code is 599 647 1397
Dear Church Family friends,
This is now the 17th letter I have written to you in this time of lockdown and isolation. Little by little restrictions are easing and certainly the town-centre is getting busier once again. Not all shops and businesses are back to normal by any means, but at least we can book a haircut or go for a socially distanced pint!
We continue to open the church building Monday to Thursday 10.30am to 12.30pm for individual private prayer. Please do come along if you are able to make a visit on your daily exercise. The Hospitality Team is there to welcome you warmly.
PCC has had a first look at two very important issues this week: our response to the Black Lives Matter initiative and our plans for reopening the church building for public worship. We will see how we can extend the discussion of the former in due course; the latter we will look at again on Saturday morning.
Along with many of the churches of the Diocese, we are considering how to be physically present with all the limitations required of us and at the same time present online for those who may be housebound or may be just looking.
We will have more news on this next week. We are planning to consult with you more widely (as other churches are doing) as part of this process, to find out whether, if we were to reopen, you might or might not venture back just yet. The very early evidence from last weekend is that people are proving to be very cautious and numbers have been small.
Just to remind us: we are being encouraged on every side not to rush into anything which is not sustainable or helpful. The Bishop of Guildford has already given permission for all Guildford churches, should we wish it, to stay exactly as we are until September. Taking proper time now, should mean that the future is more secure not less.
For now, please do continue to check in with us on YouTube, Facebook or Zoom. Access details are on the website where copies of sermons and of these weekly letters are also available.
Josey has moved to Farnham! Thank you so much to those who helped with lifting and carrying things to make this a really smooth process and to all those who prayed it would be a straightforward day. She is settling in nicely and beginning to enjoy her new surroundings.
The Farnham Coronavirus Support Fund has made grants of around £8,000 to help those with short-term practical needs. Referrals can be made to the fund by us. If you know anyone you think might benefit, please do let us know.
Sunday: 10am Morning Service on YouTube or Facebook
6.30pm Evening Service on Zoom
Monday: 8.30am Morning Prayers on Zoom
3.45pm Kids Alive on Zoom
Wednesday: 10am Breathe Coffee and Catch up on Zoom
12noon Assembly for schools, children, and families on YouTube
Thursday: 7pm Youth Group on Zoom
At the end of July, we would normally be away for the New Wine Christian Festival. This year, it has gone online. We hope to be able to access some of the worship, teaching and learning. The programme runs from the evening of Thursday 30 July to lunchtime on Monday 3 August.
The programme includes: 11am Morning Service and 8pm Evening Service. Each afternoon there are seminar streams for small groups with discussion.
More news and more detail next week!
This week has been almost too busy with Zoom calls! I am feeling “webinared” out! I think if I hear one more person say “You need to unmute yourself”, I shall go crazy. Kathryn has been seeing Year 10 students face to face in school. Josh has been re-connecting with his gardening instincts and has set up a vegetable patch for his many little pots of growing things. We have also been able to watch an amazing musical on the TV called “Hamilton”. It tells some of the story of the early years of life in the US, with some completely gripping performances from black actors and musicians. The guy playing George III is wonderful: mad, obviously, but very well worth a watch.
I offer some reflections on the Collect for this week:
O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
When I was at school, the Headmaster used to read a Collect each morning in our assembly. This was one of his favourites. What I love about it is the request for God’s mercy on us to increase so that our journey through this life might always have an eternal perspective.
It’s very easy to focus on the here and now. In many ways we have to do that: to know the latest information, the up to date guidelines and the present position on this or that important thing. However, we also need to hold onto the overarching narrative: that whether we know it or not or whether we like it or not actually, our lives are ultimately in God’s hands. He is the creator and sustainer of all that is. He is with us in our current isolation and confusion and is also offering answers which help those who have big questions in this time of crisis.
Whatever our circumstances we can come to him as our protector, ruler and guide. A great prayer for this week and indeed for every week.
Kathryn joins me in assuring you of our continuing thoughts and prayers.
With all good wishes, as ever,
David 8 July 2020