Newsletter and Notices

The latest Parish weekly newsletter is here.

Other notices are as follows -

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THESE NOTICES DO NOT APPLY IN THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS SITUATION.

Please pray with thanksgiving that worship and Holy Communion inside St Michael’s is able to continue and that we can resume a private prayer session from Monday 18th January.  Thank God for the smooth running of the services and the joy of being able to gather again.  Please pray for our ongoing worshipping life, both in church, and via Zoom for those not able to worship in person.  Please pray that we can continue developing procedures for safe and confident worship in the building, as circumstances evolve, in weeks and months to come.  Our current approach can be found here.  If you haven’t already received it, you might also like to see the Vicar’s message 'A Christmas like no other'.

Would anybody like to host a Zoom fellowship meeting after services?  We would like to continue to offer this important fellowship for some time to come and haven’t been able to for a while.  Please email the Parish Office as soon as possible if you’d be happy to host.

NHS Test and Trace App – Anyone who downloads the NHS Covid-19 app onto their phone can scan the code when they arrive at Church, and the app on their phone then remembers that they have visited the Church (data deleted after 21 days).  You might prefer this option, or to complete the paper form (or do neither).

Red Bucket total and thanks – After claiming Gift Aid, the final red bucket total was £17,016.74.  The Charities Support Group would like to say a huge “thank you” to all who donated. Some of the thank you letters received from our charities are now on the website, as it’s more difficult to access them on the Church or WCC boards.  Do follow this link to read more how the money was apportioned and to read some of the letters.
 

Bishop’s Stortford Food Bank 
 
Click here for an update from Bill Macdonald, Chair of Bishop's Stortford Food Bank:
'Things are looking up at the Food Bank' 

HOW TO DONATE:
Put items into boxes near check-outs at Waitrose, Tesco at Lancaster Way or Sainsburys or when doing shopping.  Please don’t be put off donating if the box seems full.
Food Bank at the Methodist Church (Monday 10am-1pm, and then Tuesday and Thursday 10am-4pm)  To avoid unnecessary contact, we will leave a trolley in the doorway at the side path entrance. 
 
MOST NEEDED ITEMS:
Long Life Fruit Juice
Tinned Meat & Fish
Long life Milk
Biscuits
Tea Bags & Coffee
Jam & Marmalade, Marmite & Honey
Tinned Vegetables
Beans, spaghetti and soup
Pasta and Pasta Sauces
Long dated cereals
Washing up liquid
Washing liquid or tablets (for washing machines)
Toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorants, shaving foam & razors, sanitary products etc)
 
Donating money: https://www.justgiving.com/bishopstortfordfoodbank  or send a cheque or make a BACS payment direct to our bank.  For further details please contact our Coordinator.
To work as a volunteer: The Food Bank currently have a waiting list of people wishing to work as a volunteer packing food at the Methodist Church, but it is looking for more drivers to delivery boxes of food items in and around town.  People must own their own transport and be available on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon.  If you are interested, you will need to request an application form by contacting Hana Hainsby, the Food Bank Coordinator at bsfoodbank.coordinator@gmail.com.

Tearfund Reboot Campaign
The coronavirus crisis has changed the way we see the world. It’s reminded us of the fragility of life and exposed deep inequalities in society. As churches and communities adapt to find new ways to be a light in the darkness, many are re-imagining what life could be like.
We don’t have to go back to the old system that keeps people living in poverty and damages the environment. Together, we can protect those most vulnerable in this crisis, and reboot the economy in a fair, sustainable way. We’re calling for a world that allows every person to flourish – along with all of creation.
Visit the Reboot Campaign on Tearfund’s website for more information, including a blog series on their five Reboot steps:
Respond: Share vaccines and resources
Reset: Cancel debt
Recognise: Include faith groups in recovery
Recover: A better world for everyone
Renew: Walking the talk

Activities in Church.  If you need to carry out any currently permissible activities in Church, please co-ordinate this with the Parish Office and make arrangements with a keyholder (such as a Warden) to access the Church at a suitable time.  Please arrange any such activities to take place outside the times when the Church is open for private prayer.  

Oneness, David ArkellDivine Loves – David Arkell, one of our organists, has written a poetry collection with all proceeds going to the Bible Society.  Click here for a taster selection.  The book of 52 poems with Christian themes costs £5.00 and is available from David Arkell via email: davidharkell@yahoo.co.uk.   David has written a new poem relating to the pandemic, one which looks forward as well as back.  Click here to read it in full.

Vacancies – Both our Director of Music vacancy and our Families Minister vacancy are open for enquiries.  Please see the Church website vacancies webpage for documentation.  Please feel free to disseminate this information and documents through any channels you think may be helpful.  And please pray for God’s guidance in this process, and for his call to be heard by the right person and discerned by us here.  Please contact me if you’d value an informal conversation.  Many thanks, Derwyn.

Teaching Eucharist Talks - The four talks given by The Revd Derwyn Williams at the Teaching Eucharist on 24th March 2019 have now been posted on the website if you want to listen to them again or if you missed them.  Click on the purple 'Recent Media' button.

NOT DURING THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS SITUATION - Church Opening – On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays the Church is generally open from 9:15am–3:30pm, and open until later on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Please can tasks and activities be scheduled within these hours.  If access is sought outside these hours, please contact the Parish Office to request, or make an arrangement with a keyholder.  Many thanks, Derwyn.  DURING THE CURRENT SITUATION THE CHURCH IS OPEN FROM 12NOON-1PM EVERY DAY (FROM 18TH JANUARY) FOR PRIVATE PRAYER ONLY.

Parking in the Churchyard – Please be aware that the churchyard is needed intermittently for workmen attending to repairs, so parking is not always available.

Recycling – St Michael’s School has inspired us to collect crisp packets.  The school council team collects, sorts and takes them (along with other items) down to the night shelter collecting point so the shelter benefits from the money and the school benefits by knowing they are doing a tiny bit to keep the planet clean.  If you bring your crisp packets to Church we will take them directly to the night shelter.  We are also collecting toothpaste tubes and broken pens.

A message about money - Please see the attached message from the Vicar.
"Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, we have had much bad news about money matters. The finances of governments, businesses, families and institutions have all been hit hard, and will continue to be under strain for a long time ....  read on ...
Thank you to everyone who has responded with gifts to help the church’s finances.  

Guide to Holy Communion – Copies of this useful guide, written by Derek, are freely available to members of the congregation.  Please help yourself. They can be found in the Publicity Area.
 
Books to read – If anyone has any devotional/spiritual books in good condition that they would like to add to the glass bookcases for others to read (in the understanding that they may not be returned), please place them in the bookcase.

For visitors to St Michael’s, a new way of giving – We have a text messaging giving account.  It will accept donations from £2 to £20.  Text STMIC followed by any amount between 2 and 20 to 70085.  Try it, it works quickly and easily!  Many thanks!

Community Money Advice Connect - helps set people free from debt and money worries.  We are an Associate Member of Churches Together in Bishop’s Stortford.  Due to increasing demand, we urgently need more volunteers with a heart to help people with money issues to strengthen the team and keep the service running.  If you would like to know more about being an adviser or praying for us, please email us at bsmoneyadviceservice@ntlworld.com or telephone the Manager, Heather Clapham for a no-obligation chat on 07857 209870.

Unwell and needing contact from us?  Please make sure to inform the Parish Office if you are unwell and would value contact from the Church, or would like to request a visit or communion at home because you are housebound.  Please don’t rely on the ‘Grapevine’ to communicate for you: do contact the Office direct (01279 654416 / church@saintmichaelweb.org.uk).  Thank you very much!