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Monthly Letter Revd Sharon Francis

Dear Friends,

 This is the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’, to quote from John Keats’ poem.  On Sunday, 4 October we will have our Harvest Thanksgiving Service.  This year, due to the risks of Covid-19, the Church and School will not be sending out the usual parcels of harvest gifts to people in the village.   We are so sorry about this because I know how much some of you enjoy see the children at your door, and Year 6 love it too!

 This year we will divide all harvest gifts between Family Support Work, which helps struggling families across Sussex and in our own locality, and St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church foodbank in Tunbridge Wells.  We will take any non-perishable foods, but the charities ask particularly asking for ·Tinned soups, tuna,  (corned beef, hams, meat balls, stew and minced beef) ·Tinned vegetables, spaghetti, macaroni cheese, ravioli ·Tinned fruit, rice pudding and custard ·Rice, Coffee, Sugar, squashes, jams, Nutella, breakfast cereals, biscuits ·Longlife milk

There is a fuller list coming out from school, and available on the church website.  As Rev Douglas Wren writes in his letter this month, we have deprivation on our doorstep, so let’s do what we can to help our neighbours put food on the table for their families.

 Further afield, our financial Harvest Offering this year will go the Bombay Teen Challenge which lifts vulnerable children off the streets of Mumbai, offering them a safe home environment, education, and a new start in life.  If you wish to make a donation, please pop it through the Vicarage door and I’ll ensure it’s included with our church collection.

Another harvest — any manual trade, DIY or needlecraft tools can be given a new lease of life by a charity called Tools with a Mission, helping people abroad earn their own income.  For further information, please contact Sheila Jones (864117).

All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above,

Then thank the Lord, or thank the Lord, for all his love.

Wishing you a Harvest of Blessings,

Sharon

Trevor Harrison Ordination

Trevor Harrison is being ordained Deacon tonight by Bishop Will Hazlewood.  The pandemic restrictions means that only a limited number of people are able to attend, by invitation only, but the good news is that we will be live streaming the service.

The service starts at 19.00 (which is 7 pm in old money) and we aim to turn on the stream at around ‘five to’. Click Here to view the live streaming

Last we week we filmed an interview between Trevor and myself.  A lot more people are becoming deacons at about this time, and they all made similar interview films which you can find on the Diocese of Chichester’s website. If you’d like to watch that interview (it’s not live, so you can just go there at any time), CLICK HERE

Live Stream Service 26th July

Join us at 9am onwards for our 9.25 Live Stream of our service CLICK HERE


Tomorrow is the seventh Sunday after Trinity, and represents our first attempt at live streaming – which means that those of you at home will be able to watch the 9.30 service as it happens.

If you are able to come to the service in person, please book in as usual by replying to this email. The reply address (admin@stthomasgroombridge.org.uk) is for Sarah Cooper, our administrator.

Everyone attending church will be asked to wear a face-mask throughout the service, with the exception of coming up to receive communion.

Anyone leading worship will remove the face covering when they need to speak, and will have particular regard to the 2m ruling.  I shall wear a face mask when administering communion as that cannot be done without breaching the 2m rule. 

There will be a Zoom meeting at 11.00. This is primarily for those unable to join us at 9.30, but of course everybody will be welcome.
Live-streaming
We have decided to try our hand at live-streaming this week, rather than pre-recording the service.  This is the next step forward in ‘doing church differently’ and is rather experimental.  In theory, it reduces our workload since we don’t have to record another service, but there has been a learning curve as you would expect, and some aspects will be a bit hit and miss. The additional outlay on new equipment amounts to £12.99 so far, and perhaps we get what we pay for.

I know that those of you who listen at home, and those of you who see John bobbing up and down in the 9.30 am service, will bear with us patiently while we try to get to grips with the new technology and assess may need for other equipment. We are learning as we go. 

We have an organist for the service, but there will be no singing, so you might find that the pace is generally slower than that of our recent online services.

How do we find the live stream?
I’m glad you asked that, since we are still working this out; it will probably seem easier after the first attempt! First of all, we’ve set up a live stream on YouTube to start at 9.00 tomorrow morning. As usual, Click Here . Don’t expect to see or hear anything of interest until about 9.25, but it gives us time to get everything up and running.

Once you’ve found it, you should have the option of watching from the beginning, or fast forwarding to watch ‘live’.  Unless you want to look at our test card for any length of time, I recommend the ‘live’ option.

If 9.30 is too early for you, it should be possible to pick up the service later, and we might even be in a position to edit out the boring bits.
Option 2: Go to our channel
If, for any reason, the link above ceases to work, it should not be difficult to find the live stream just by going to our channel. The button below selects ‘live streaming’ – and that should be ok even if the URL for the stream changes.

Our Zoom coffee and chat is at 11.00, to give us time to clear up after the church service. Numbers are fewer now that the church is open, but everybody is welcome.

If you prefer to log in from your own Zoom account, the meeting ID is 435 011 359 and the password is 864864.

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