A message from Revd Jo Richards on an unusual aspect of parish life.
Live streaming at St Dunstan’s: Thank you to the PCC, and in particular Martin Ward for getting the ball rolling in installing our wifi, camera and getting us up and running with Church Services TV; this has been very much appreciated by us all but especially folk whose funerals we are taking – last Monday we had a funeral with 126 attendees from around the world, 21 countries, on all continents, including Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste; all these folk coming to the funeral virtually – it is so very much appreciated. Thank you.
It was only late last night that I saw this from Revd. Jo: some prayers, offered for the day of reflection on the effects of Covid-19, from the Church of England:
Loving God, You hold all our times in your hands, our past, our present, our future. Be close to us now as we remember all the difficulties and disappointments of the past year. Be especially close to all of us who are thinking of someone we loved and knew, but see no longer, whether family, friend, colleague or neighbour. Help us to trust that they are at peace with you, and comfort us with your presence.
Loving God, You place us in families and communities, and we give you thanks for all those around us who serve us and help us in so many ways. Give wisdom to community leaders, to our schools, hospitals, care homes and other agencies who make a difference to our lives. Help each of us to have the courage to reach out with thanks and kindness to those around us and to speak words of faith as we share the good news of your love.
Loving God, As we journey towards Easter, help us to live as people of hope, knowing that beyond the pain of the cross lies the joy of resurrection. Inspire us in our worship, through our churches and in our homes, that we may bring glory to you and joy to others. Be with those who are struggling in mind, body or spirit, and give courage to those who are facing uncertainty and change ahead. Help each of us to keep our eyes fixed on you, that we may reflect your light to all whom we meet.
Dear God, Be with us as we think about all that has changed this year, And help us to trust that you are always with us. Be close to us as we remember those who have died, And help us to trust they are at peace with you. Show us how to reach out to others with kindness and care, So that hope shines out in every heart and home, Amen
God of Love, As we think about all that has changed this year, help us to trust that you are always with us. As we remember those who have died, help us to trust they are at peace with you. As we reach out to others with kindness and care, may hope shine out in every heart and home. Amen
Good morning to you all on another cold and frosty morning – it is very icy out there – going for my walk yesterday I rather glamorously slipped over on the ice, whilst heading up St Thomas’s Hill, all is well but be careful! Morning prayer: https://youtu.be/E3J53B5PCtk Today in Morning Prayer, we have been asked to remember another character: St. Scholastica, so a little bit about her… I love how we get to hear of these folk down the ages… Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 543) is a saint of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion. She was born in Italy. According to a ninth century tradition, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia.Her feast day is 10 February, Saint Scholastica’s Day. Scholastica is traditionally regarded as the foundress of the Benedictine nuns. Ref and more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholastica
Plastic Free Lent: With Lent beginning next week, Sami (from St Dunstan’s), Caroline Blamely who heads up our eco-church committee and myself are compiling a series of tips to help us reduce the amount of plastic we use in our lives – so much is changing a habit. So watch this space, as we will be publishing these tips in my daily brief, on our website, twitter account, instagram & Facebook – so watch this space.
Ash Wednesday: 17th February: This will be live-streamed from St Dunstan’s in the evening (7.30), Meanwhile, keep warm, it’s freezing, and am heading off to Barham Crematorium so prayers for another family mourning the loss of a loved one – it is so tough. Keep connected, keep well and keep praying!
God Bless, Jo
Rev Jo Richards Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury
Good morning to you all and I hope this finds you all well, as we are here. Yesterday was a stark reminder of the human toll that this virus has had on so many people with the death toll exceeding 100,00 numbers that are difficult to commute. The impact that has had on so many families and communities. Like many of you I am very aware of those who have lost their lives from this virus, and the devastating impact it has had on so many. We think of them today, and all those who are struggling with long-covid. Over the course of the next 5 weeks or so I have 9 funerals in the diary – not all by any means are covid-related, but it is the reality of life at the moment, and the most I have ever had in such a short period of time. John today in leading morning prayer dedicated the service to all those who lost their lives, including the 880 NHS staff who have died from contracting the virus – of paying the ultimate sacrifice. It really makes one stop and think. Please keep all who mourn the loss of loved ones in your prayers. Today is also Holocaust Memorial Day: a national commemoration day in the United Kingdom dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. It was first held in January 2001 and has been on the same date every year since. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_Memorial_Day_%28UK%29 It is times like this that when we see outside the shoots of spring, the snowdrops (Candlemas Bells), and the buds on the trees that we recognise the signs of hope. Jesus is the light of the world. Some of you may have heard the Archbishop talk with words of hope on the Today programme earlier this morning.
Words from one of today’s psalms: 46.10 “Be still and know that I am God”
Wherever you are,
please do keep well,
keep connected and keep praying.
Rev Jo RichardsRector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury
Here is the latest bulletin from Rev Jo Richards of St Dunstan’s, Canterbury. Advent has been a bit different this year!
I must share with you the joy of yesterday – I was invited to take a Christingle service in a local primary school – last year they packed St Dunstan’s church, twice over, and for obvious reasons they couldn’t come to St Dunstan’s and I went to school. Two assemblies – one year R 4&5 year olds, and then year 3: 7 & 8 year olds. They are making Christingles, and I took my ‘giant Christingle’ and we talked through the symbolism of it all….despite all the covid disruption these children were a delight and so interested and engaging. Then we had Q&A session. The most profound questions that came from the Yr 3 children: If Jesus was such a good person, why was he killed, where is Jesus now? How did the Resurrection take place? And this went on for about 20 mins – just amazing, and all so thoughtful, and again the children all so incredibly well behaved. It was an absolute joy to share the morning with them.
You’ve probably noticed that the ‘Going Viral’ posts are well and truly out of sequence, and have doubtless concluded either that Will has lost it, or that some posts are scheduled a little in advance, while others are posted on or soon after we hear from someone with an interesting tale. Thank you, Jo. for today and other days!
Good morning to you all, on another beautiful autumnal morning – and the skies over Canterbury this morning were quite stunning at 6.40am!. Updates: Our church buildings are now closed for the duration of this lockdown, as instructed by the government, but we are able to broadcast services from them (behind closed doors). Sunday Service for Remembrance Sunday: 8th November 2020 On Sunday we will be broadcasting a Benefice Remembrance Sunday Service from St Dunstan’s (as we have 4G cover), during which the names of the war dead of the Benefice will be read out. This service will be live streamed at 10.00 on FaceBook Live, and then uploaded to youTube (all accessed through our website: www.dunstanmildredpeter.org.uk
We are still awaiting CofE guidance as to whether or not this can be a team of us, or me on my own and a camera! (I am assuming a team, unless we hear to the contrary)
Immediately after the service, we will have a short Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial, where we will be laying a wreath, and observing the two-minute silence at 11.00 – more details to follow relating to this.
Call for Prayer: Archbishop Justin has asked that we all pray at 6.00 every evening for the nation at this time (this coincides with our night prayer, in which we will be incorporating the prayers). Please do use this resource (attached) – this will also be available on our website.
Today’s prayer: Friday National and Local government We pray for those who are in positions of authority with responsibility for decision making at national and local level at this difficult time. We ask that God would give great wisdom, deep commitment to all and right judgment.
Words from today’s second reading: Revelation 3: 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. God Bless, and please do keep safe, keep connected and keep praying – and do join us on-line…Jo Rev Jo Richards Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury
You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
I read this passage from the Sermon on the Mount in June, when Rev Jo Richards was considering, with her churchwardens, how to open up their churches. They felt that with the Cathedral nave open in the evening there would be a building people could enter to pray privately. After Mrs T and I visited, we agreed with them.
But I was reminded of another time we visited; it was for an open evening, where we saw an order of service from 1914-1918, which included a prayer for our enemies. Then as now, Europeans were working in each others’ countries, had spouses, cousins, who were citizens of elsewhere, and suddenly found themselves ‘at war’ with dear ones.
When we pray for our enemies we are praying for our brothers and sisters; let us not make enemies for ourselves today in public or private life.
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Another briefing from Revd Jo Richards, who welcomed Bishop Rose to Saint Mildred’s Canterbury for All Saints. Bishop Rose looks after Canterbury diocese on behalf of Archbishop Justin Welby. Photo by Tim. More change to worship is coming.
Good Morning to you all on this All Soul’s Day, another damp autumnal morning. It was a delight however yesterday to welcome Bishop Rose to St Mildred’s for our All Saints’ Day Eucharist, which you can watch here. It was a lovely service and thank you to all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make it all happen so smoothly, a very memorable day, a hidden gem as Bishop Rose called it – and literally as it took her a while to find it!
From what we understand, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday night, places of worship will once again close on Thursday 5th November, with the exemption of funerals, individual prayers and to broadcast acts of worship. Further details will be coming out this week from CofE, as to what exactly this means, but our initial thinking is that we will live-stream a Sunday Eucharist from St Dunstan’s at 10.00. As before this will be on Facebook Live, and uploaded to YouTube. If we go down this route it would be really good to have pre-recorded readings and intercessions, and may well have pre-recorded hymns ie – what we did from the Rectory, but in St Dunstan’s – please watch this space!
Meanwhile, today being All Souls Day, thoughts for all those who remember loved ones today. From Exciting Holiness: “Since its foundation, Christians have recognised that the church, the assembled people of God, is at its most perfect when it recognises its unity in God’s redeeming love with all who have said, who say now, and who will say in the fullness of time ‘Jesus is Lord'”.
God Bless you all, and do keep safe, keep praying and keep connected
Rev Jo Richards Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury
Good morning to you all on this beautiful autumnal morning, and hope this finds you all well, as we are here.
St Dunstan’s turn’s purple! Martin Ward from Canterbury Rotary Club has written the following….
“Two of Canterbury’s Rotary Clubs will be lighting up St Dunstan’s Church this Saturday evening (24th) to mark World Polio Day. The Canterbury and Canterbury Sunrise clubs will be bathing the walls of the ancient building in purple light between around 7.00pm and 9.00pm to help highlight this crucial worldwide health program. Rotary throughout the world has been at the forefront at battling this crippling and life threatening disease through mass immunisation programs and health education. The campaign is bolstered by the generosity of Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, who matches every pound raised by Rotary with two of his. Such is the success of the project there are only two pockets; one in Afghanistan and the other in Pakistan, where the disease is still active.
Earlier on Saturday, around midday, members of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, will be planting purple crocus corms on the corner of St Dunstan’s and London Road to create an annual swathe of purple as a reminder of the End Polio Now campaign.”