Welcome to our Website
Following advice from the Government and the Archbishop of Canterbury, we regret to inform you that all services, groups, concerts and activities at St Andrew's and St Francis are now suspended until further notice and the Churches are closed.
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:
Dear Church Family friends,
Look out below for news about Ascension Day, Thursday 21 May
which starts with Morning Prayer at 8.30am
As one week blends into another, and we hear of the gentle loosening of restrictions around the world, we find ourselves here in England with things pretty much as they were. Obviously, the confusion continues, the uncertainty, the misinformation, the lack of information, the ignoring of information – all add to the challenge of living with Covid19 and lockdown 2020.
Our Graffiti Wall, open in the church porch, has attracted some attention. When you are walking by on your daily exercise, please do have a look, and, if you wish, add a Bible verse, a message, a prayer or a drawing of some kind to encourage and inspire others.
Do, please, continue sending in your contributions to the Corona Creative! patchwork. The technical instructions are included in previous letters which you can find on the website. Any queries, please contact the Parish Office 01252 715412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josey is sending a Half-Term Activity Pack to children and families. For more information about this, please contact Josey directly: email@example.com
Our Lockdown Gallery is now on our website and Facebook. It includes photographs, artwork and poetry. It runs as a slide show.
We are getting into more of a regular pattern of things in this first phase:
Sunday: Morning Service at 10am on YouTube or Facebook
Evening Service at 6.30pm on Zoom
Monday: Morning Prayers at 8.30am on Zoom
Thursday: Youth Group at 7pm on Zoom
If you would like to join us via Zoom for any of these services or groups, then please do email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom code.
The Farnham Coronavirus Support Fund has been able to help four people in its first week, as it gets going. Referrals can be made to it for small grants for those in need.
The Community Leaders call this week revealed a need in the area of personal hygiene. The Farnham Hygiene Bank could really do with some help. Please, if you are passing the church porch, could you deliver any of the following, which will be passed on to the HB: toothbrushes and paste, soaps, deodorants, shower gels, nappies and baby wipes. Many thanks.
Thy Kingdom Come
This programme of prayerful concern for our world can be accessed through the websites:
a. www.thykingdomcome.global (for materials including a lovely prayer journal) and b. www.fcct.support/tkc (for video content from local church leaders)
This amazing international 11-day initiative starts this Thursday 21 May, Ascension Day with Morning Prayer at 8.30am. The Zoom sign in code is: 599 647 1397. Do join us if you can.
Each day, there will also be a short video for us to watch to accompany our prayer journal.
In addition, and at the end of the week, there will be a final town-wide Love in Action Zoom Prayer Gathering on Pentecost Sunday at 7.30pm. Joining details for this (which are different from those for Ascension Day) can be obtained from the office.
On a personal level, Kathryn, Josh and I have been enjoying walks around the town, discovering parts we didn’t know existed (K and D) and running to push out fitness (J). We are supporting local business by ordering a take-away meal each week. This week we had a fantastic evening meal from The Castle Inn in the centre of town. Order online before 4.30pm, pick up and enjoy! We have all found Celebrity SAS quite a challenging watch!
I offer some words from Philippians 1:12, where Paul writes this:
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel
When our little group travelled to Greece this time last year (Can you believe it? Where did the 12 months go?), we visited Philippi. We saw the ancient site and a possible place used as a cell or dungeon. Maybe this is where Paul was detained. Maybe this is the place from which he wrote this letter.
We might have imagined that imprisonment would be one of the worst kind of things to happen to a person, where the normal business and activity of life is seriously put on hold. It is a place of isolation, of loneliness and, potentially, of despair.
And yet, even here, in prison, Paul can see that there are some ways in which his work can advance, the mission go forward, and the gospel be made known. This would be completely beyond expectation for many and even understanding for some. It seemed that Paul thought that God could use even the worst of situations for good.
Noone is seriously suggesting that God caused this pandemic. However, he does seem to be able to use it for good: virtual attendances at church services online are up, more people seem to be saying that they are turning to prayer, amazing acts of neighbourly kindness and generosity are being witnessed throughout our land.
One of the most beautiful pieces of music to emerge from lockdown was commended by Boris Johnson this last week. It is called the UK Blessing and involves numbers of singers and musicians from all over the country. If you haven’t heard it, do check it out. You can find it on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U&t=35s Just press control, click and enjoy.
At the very end, these words appear: Our buildings may be closed, but the church is alive.
Kathryn joins me in assuring you of our continuing thoughts and prayers.
With all good wishes.
David 20 May 2020