ST GILES FARNBOROUGH - WEEKLY UPDATE


The below are reproduced from the weekly emails sent out from the Parish Office starting Friday 20th March 2020.  If you are not receiving the email direct and wish to do so please get in touch with the Parish Office  01689 853471 parishoffice@stgilespcc.plus.com

Weekly Update - Week Ending Friday 29th May

Grace, Mercy and Peace from the God and Father of us all
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Morning Praise for Pentecost
Choral Evensong for Pentecost

Online Services

I am pleased to say that things are progressing well towards our first online service, which we hope will be available for you to participate in on Trinity Sunday which is June 7th.  The service will be a Morning Prayer available via our own YouTube site https://tinyurl.com/yatm45dd  ,with a link from our Parish website. 

I think it would be good to have a number of different voices in the service.  To facilitate this you are welcome to volunteer as an online reader.  We will let you have the set readings for each Sunday and you can then record them at home using your phone or PC and send them to our online service editor who is David Brooks Wilkins who will then insert them into the service.  These can be either video clips or just audio.  

I appreciate that this is a new learning curve for us and may well be part of the new normal as we move forward.  

Prayer Corner

In this week's Prayer Corner I have been thinking about Isaiah 43: 19 -  

I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I
 will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.  

It can be hard to think of God doing anything new in our lives when so many days feel the same, and it is so easy to feel stale and under-stimulated in this time of lockdown.  However, God is alive and present in all circumstances, even the most distressful and trying ones.  Years ago I remember a Kenyan lady and her family who started attending St Giles.  She was somewhat surprised at times to see our Church thinly attended, she told me how in Kenya they had thought nothing of walking 4 miles to attend a church service which then lasted for 2 hours and included lunch!  

This is clearly a time of adversity for us as Christians, a time when so much has been taken away, yet through this I believe God is shaping and carving something within us that is stronger and deeper than we might have found in easier times.  

After this lockdown maybe we would be happy to walk a few miles just to take Communion again, or to worship God with our friends and to pray together.  Behold God is doing a new thing in us as we sit this out, as seeds stir and grow under the surface of the earth so God’s love is growing and deepening within us - growing through our missing of Church, growing through our sadness and our losses.  As the all saying reminds us, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’  Sometimes we discover what really, really matters to us in the absences of life.  Maybe we can’t grow as much when we are free to take it or leave it.  In your prayers this week reflect on the verse from Isaiah and thank God for the new sense of faith and purpose that this difficult time is giving to you.   Thank God for the ongoing work he is doing in your life.  

Poets Corner

What wind brings to the lagging sail,
Rain to the drooping flower,
Sweet fire
And the broken bread
And song's peace
To the lonely hour,
You bring,
And blithely, to your kind
You come, and lo!
The said is spread,
The flower dances in the sun,
The heart leaps heavenward
Like flame -
And God is in the broken bread. 

Harry Lee  

Planned Giving Envelopes

I am aware that a number in our congregation give regularly through weekly and monthly Planned Giving Envelopes which I appreciate people have not been able to give during the lockdown.  If you have accumulated a number of envelopes you are welcome to drop them off at the Parish Office which Liz will pass on to our Finance team, making sure that the handling guidance has been followed.  

Bees

A home, (a little bit of garden), is required to stand a bee hive on, preferably in the village.  The bees will be looked after so they will safely go about their business without danger.  The host family/person will be entitled to a percentage of the honey as rent!  Please contact Peter Russell 01689 861394 if you can help.  

Strawberry Jam

As we come into the time of year when strawberries are coming onto our shelves, if anyone would like to make any strawberry jam then I am happy to sell it via the ‘Rectory Drive’, as the marmalade proved very popular.  I am very happy to collect when it is made.  Proceeds will go to Save the Fete Fund.  

Best wishes,

Matthew


Weekly Update - Week Ending Friday 22nd May

Grace Mercy and Peace from the God and Father of us all and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Morning Praise - 24th May
Evening Prayer - 24th May
Childrens Service - 24th May
Childrens Colouring Picture - 24th May

Prayer Corner

As part of our Sunday service I have included the Apostles creed which is usually said at Morning and Evening Prayer.  A bit like the Lord’s Prayer its familiarity can lessen its depth and meaning as it is easy to say it in a rather formulaic way.  It occurred to me that the Creed could be used as an aid to prayer and meditation.  Below I have suggested that you might like to say the Creed slowly and think about the following topics of prayer which I have put under each section.  

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 

Focus on the word ‘Father’, try to think of God relationally as your heavenly Father and you as his son or daughter.  Think of God as a creator and allow your mind to picture some element of his creation which speaks of God’s beauty, intelligence and wonder, such as a sunset, the stars at night, the petals of a flower, a pet at play, the joy of your garden.  

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,

Here think about your relationship to Christ Jesus, the part he plays in your life and faith.  Thank him for his love, forgiveness and healing in your life.  Think of his mother Mary and her example of faith and obedience, is there anything to copy here?  Think of Jesus born as a baby and the celebration of his birth at Christmas and what this season means to you.  Give thanks that Christ was born for you and give thanks for the time of Christmas and the way you have celebrated it with the people you valued and loved in former times.  

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. 


Here we think about Jesus's death, his sacrifice on the cross.  Let us lay before him our own failings and sins and also the sacrifices that we have made in the name of love.  We pray for people oppressed by injustice and the victims of oppression and violence, we pray for strength to carry our own cross and the patience to bear faithfully with times of suffering and loss.  We also rejoice in the love of Christ that was extended to those who had died before they had a chance to know him, in other words that he ‘descended to the dead.’  

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. 


Let us rejoice in Christ’s victory over the grave and over our own mortality.  Focus on what this means to you.  Thank him for his love that holds us through death to eternity.  Thank him that love is stronger than evil and hurt.  Try to picture and imagine the risen and ascended Christ in glory and power, able to pray for you and now wanting to reign over your life.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


As we draw to the end of the Creed you are invited to open your heart to the coming of the Holy Spirit and to pray for a greater awareness of God's loving presence with you during the course of your days. Turn your attention to the Holy Catholic church and here pray for other churches, local and further afield.  Pray for our leaders and the Pope and rejoice that you are now part of a universal family numbering over a billion.  Furthermore through the Communion of Saints we are spiritually joined to those who have gone before us in life.  Here think about your loved ones who have died and picture them enjoying the light and peace of God.  Finally acknowledge and do not doubt your faith, or what Christ has done for you and given to you.  You are part of the communion of saints, the Catholic faith, and you have obtained through his blood the forgiveness of sins and the promised resurrection of your mortal body to eternal life.  

You are of course welcome to divide this meditation up over a period of time or to use it as part of your weekly devotions, either way I hope that the above meditation will help to move you to a more deep and contemplative use of this familiar part of the church's litany.


Poetry Corner - Kindness

This was sent to me recently and I think it speaks volumes about our current predicament, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.  

To recap what we now know: it did not begin
in a laboratory in Wuhan, nor with a pangolin or bat,
but it already lay dormant within us, like a seed
in need of certain conditions to grow;  

its symptoms are many and various,
and may include some, or all, of the following:
tear drops, sudden laughter, a feeling of warmth,
and a peculiar uplifting of the heart;  

it leaves its trace everywhere: from boxes
left on doorsteps to conversations over fences;
it can be transmitted over vast distances,
through a phone call, or from a smile across the street,  

or a certain softness of tone spoken beside
a hospital bed; it affects young and old equally;
there is no race or gender immune from it;
it has the power to topple bad governments;  

if one person were to pass it on to just three others
and they, in turn, were to pass it on to three more,
in no time at all, the world would be full of it,
and where, might we ask ourselves, would we be then. 

Brian Bilston


Notices

Recording Services from St. Giles

Thank you to everyone who kindly offered to help, through this  I am pleased to say that we anticipate being in a position to relay a morning service for Trinity Sunday on 7th June.  You will eventually be able to access it via our own St. Giles YouTube page.  I believe that being able to offer this facility will play an important part in the life and mission of our Church, not just during these current times but in the future as well.  It will take time to get it right so please do bear with us.  More details to follow.    

Church Reopening

To date we still do not have a definite date for the resumption of public worship at St. Giles.  We do know that it will not be before 4th July.  I understand that faith leaders are currently in discussion with the government as to what is going to be a viable way forward and a timetable for re-opening.  In the meantime we have been asked to start thinking about what re-opening would look like in our situation and how the current stipulations on social distancing etc. would work in our Church.  Thought is now being given to this and more information will follow when it is available.  I appreciate that the longer this goes on the more stressful and upsetting it is, particularly in terms of the loss of our Church and all it means to us.  I hope that with patience and fortitude and God’s strength we will continue to keep loyal to our faith and our commitment to St Giles.

Christian Aid

I am delighted to say that even during these straightened times we have still been able to send to Christian Aid a total of £351.10.          
    
Donations                             £205            
Tomato plant sale                £146.10            
Total                                     £351.10  

Save the Fete Fund

Many of you have already started contributing to our Save the Fete Fund which we hope will go some way to replacing the lost income from this important occasion. I am delighted to say that so far we have had:              

Donations                             £720            
Sale of Marmalade                 £61            
Total to date                         £781.  

Please do remember that I am very aware that any of our fundraising and appeals at St. Giles are held against a backdrop of very worrying times.  So I am grateful for everyone’s support whether it's their time, talents, finances, prayers, worship and the constant goodwill and loyalty that people have to our Church

Gift Aid Envelopes

I  am aware that a number in our congregation give regularly through weekly and monthly Planned Giving Envelopes which I appreciate people have not been able to give during the lockdown.  If you have accumulated a number of envelopes you are welcome to drop them off at the Parish Office which Liz will pass on to our Finance team, making sure that the handling guidance has been followed. cont/over  

Bees

A home, (a little bit of garden), is required to stand a bee hive on, preferably in the village.  The bees will be looked after so they will safely go about their business without danger.  The host family/person will be entitled to a percentage of the honey as rent!  Please contact Peter Russell 01689 861394 if you can help.  

Strawberry Jam

As we come into the time of year when strawberries are coming onto our shelves, if anyone would like to make any strawberry jam then I am happy to sell it via the ‘Rectory Drive’, as the marmalade proved very popular.  I am very happy to collect when it is made.  Proceeds will go to Save the Fete Fund.  

Best wishes,

Matthew

Weekly Update - Week Ending Friday 15th May

Grace and Mercy from Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Morning Praise - 17th May
Evensong - 17th May
Childrens Colouring Picture - 17th May
Ascension Day Service - 21st May

Prayer - Grace and Mercy

For this week's prayer exercise you are invited to reflect upon the theme of Rogationtide.  Find a quiet time and place and bring some ‘asking’ prayers to your Heavenly Father:   
·        
* What is it that you would like for yourself and for others?  Ask God for them.
* Acknowledge the goodness and beauty of the natural world as God’s gift and expression.
* Pray for God’s blessing upon our farmers, agricultural workers, our crops and fruits newly sown and growing.
* Bring before God any worries you have, ask for peace and trust and a sense of perspective.  
* Reflect upon your priorities in the light of our Gospel reading.  

Conclude your prayers by singing to yourself, or reading, this hymn.

1.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be added unto you
allelu, alleluia.

Chorus Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, allelu, alleluia.
2.  You shall not live my bread alone,
but by ev'ry word
that proceeds from the mouth of God;
allelu, alleluia.

Chorus Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, allelu, alleluia.
3.  Ask and it shall be given unto you,
seek and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you;
allelu, alleluia.

Chorus Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, allelu, alleluia.

Poets Corner

 I would like to suggest two poems this week which I believe tie in with the theme of Rogation, both are by the Jesuit priest poet Gerrard Manley Hopkins.  One is about ploughing, much of which is taking place at this time, and the other about the interactions between man and nature.

Hopkins was so keen to convey the feeling, nature and experience of seeing something that he often created his own words, phrases and original poetic rhythms where he felt ordinary language was wanting.  This can make his poems difficult to understand.  The first poem is Harry Ploughman, (its worth reading slowly).  Much of this poem focuses on the sheer power and strength of the ploughman, his crimson cheeks, his curly hair caught in the wind, man and machine straining and working together as the plough cuts through the earth in curls like ‘a fountain’s shinning-shot furls.’

Harry Ploughman

Hard as hurdle arms, with a broth of goldish flue
Breathed round; the rack of ribs; the scooped flank; lank
Rope-over thigh; knee-nave; and barrelled shank–
Head and foot, shoulder and shank–
By a grey eye’s heed steered well, one crew, fall to;
Stand at stress. Each limb’s barrowy brawn, his thew
That onewhere curded, onewhere sucked or sank–
Soared or sank–,
Though as a beechbole firm, finds his, as at a roll-
call, rank
And features, in flesh, what deed he each must do–
His sinew-service where do.  

He leans to it, Harry bends, look. Back, elbow, and liquid waist
In him, all quail to the wallowing o’ the plough:
‘s cheek crimsons; curls
Wag or crossbridle, in a wind lifted, windlaced–
See his wind- lilylocks -laced;
Churlsgrace, too, child of Amansstrength, how it hangs or hurls
Them–broad in bluff hide his frowning feet lashed! raced
With, along them, cragiron under and cold furls–
With-a-fountain’s shining-shot furls.

The second poem also links into Rogationtide and is entitled God’s Grandeur.  In this poem Hopkins reflects on how the earth is charged with the irrepressible grandeur of God which flames out and oozes out like oil.  He then comments how this beautiful earth is also marked and  smeared by man’s toil.  Yet despite all our exploitation, toil and work, nature has a strength and vitality which allows it to grow and renew itself, ‘nature is never spent,’ because its power stems from the active presence of the Holy Spirit who over the ‘whole world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.’   This brings to our mind the theme of next week's prayers and readings for the feast of Pentecost the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

God's Grandeur


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;    
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;    
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.  
And for all this, nature is never spent;    
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went    
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent    
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.  

For those who want to observe the Ascension of our Lord on Thursday 21st May, a short service sheet is also enclosed.

Noticed

Bell Augmentation Project

I am pleased to announce that the PCC has agreed to the addition of two extra bells to our existing ring of six.  We are now awaiting formal permission from the Diocesan Advisory Council through the Faculty Process.  

The installation of bells at St. Giles has greatly enriched the life of our Church, and has done much to enhance the traditional and rural character of our Church, whilst at the same time raising the presence of St. Giles and its worship within our community.  

A window of opportunity has arisen for us to further enhance this part of our common life with the further addition of two extra bells bringing our total to eight ringable bells.  A full engineer's report conducted by Adrian Dempster of Ward Cole has established that the tower will easily be able to accommodate the additional weight (5cwt) and there is space in the ringer chamber for the additional ropes.  Our current bells are light and these extra bells will add to the range and depth of the overall ring.  In addition such is the popularity of bell ringing at St. Giles the extra bells will allow our ringing team to offer more people a chance to learn and enjoy this pastime.  

For those amongst us who are concerned that St. Giles faces other more important priorities, I am pleased to say that the majority of the funding of this project has been secured with funds from the wider bell ringing community.  The PCC have agreed a contribution of £5,000 from a legacy that was specifically ring-fenced for Church building based projects.  

I am indebted to Nick Wilkins who has done so much to bring this project to fruition and through whose enthusiasm we have one of the best supported ringing teams in the Diocese.  I hope that we can all look forward to the Dedication of these new bells when the lockdown is finally lifted.  

AGM, PCC and Churchwardens

Due to the currenckdown the Church of England has legally extended the timeframe for the holding of Annual General Meetings until the end of October of this year. The current PCC will therefore remain in place until that time as will our Churchwardens. The Vestry Meeting when Churchwardens are elected will therefore take place prior to the AGM as per normal. The Parish Accounts were signed off at the last United PCC and are currently available on the Document Downloads page of this website. They will also be available for discussion and inspection when we hold the AGM.  

To date the PCC has not met as we have been waiting for the latest government advice. If the lockdown continues then we intend to meet via Zoom. If you have any questions, or comments about anything to do with church governance, or issues pertaining to the life of our Church, please do get in touch.

St. Giles Parish Fete

Some time ago the decision was reluctantly taken to cancel this year's Rectory Garden Fete.  As we are now in May it certainly feels sad and indeed strange that we will not be holding this important and popular occasion.  Not only does the fete help to raise a significant sum of money for the life of St. Giles, (usually in the region of £4,000), but equally importantly it brings the village together in a shared occasion which is enjoyed by everyone who attends.   
This year’s fete would have been held on Saturday 13th June.  On this day we still plan to put up the bunting at the Rectory.  On this day please can you remember St. Giles using the prayer below. If you are in a position to do so you are also welcome to contribute the money you would have spent at the fete to our SAVE THE FETE FUND. This can be given on the Saturday of the Fete and throughout June, (cheques may payable to St. Giles PCC via the Rectory) or an online payment can be made to:

Parochial Church Council of St. Giles - General Account
Account number 50686212
Sort Code 20-14-33.

If you choose to make an online payment please can you let Carol Fryer know that this payment is for the Fete fund.  Her contact details are: carolafryer@icloud.com  or telephone 01689 855468. 

Thank you very much. 

Parish Fete Prayer

Dear Lord, we thank you for the life of the Church of St. Giles and for the village and Parish of Farnborough in which it serves.
We thank you for the St. Giles Fete and for the happy times we have enjoyed as we have attended it over many years.
We thank you that through your love and the hard work of many the needs of our Church have been supplied.
At this difficult time O Lord, bless the work of our Church in all we seek today to further and prosper the life of your kingdom in this place, and may you grant us hope for that time when we will once again be able to enjoy our common life together in your name.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Weekly and Monthly Envelope Scheme

We are very grateful for the money donated to St. Giles through the weekly and monthly envelopes. As they are mounting up please feel free to either take them or post them to the Rectory or Parish office.  

Parish Magazine

As you may be aware, our printers are temporarily closed due to Covid-19, and we are not able to receive printed versions of the Farnborough Parish Magazine.  In addition, the Church of England has advised against hand-deliveries of items such as parish magazines.  However, I'm pleased to let you know that an electronic copy of the May edition is available and a copy can be obtained by emailing: advertising.parish@btinternet.com

If you have any articles or items of interest for the future editions, please email them to Eddie & Helen Roberts: farnboroughparishmag@gmail.com
    
Best wishes,

Matthew

 

ABOUT ST. GILES CHURCH


Coronavirus and St. Giles -

Dear Member of St. Giles,

As we are all aware the Government has issued some stringent guidelines and advice concerning the control and containment of the coronavirus.  The advice states that we are to avoid unnecessary gatherings and that people over 70 are to self-isolate for 12 weeks.  At 1.30 p.m. today the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued advice that public worship be suspended until further notice. 

Consequently, I and the PCC have taken the sad decision to suspend all services and social gatherings in the Benefice of Farnborough until further notice. 

Matthew Hughes
17th March 2020