Welcome to St Mary’s. We are a friendly and lively church for all ages, getting to know Jesus better through his Word (the Bible) and his Spirit, together on a Sunday and throughout the week.

 
Red Stripe
 
Red Stripe

WEEKLY MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR, ALEX – 10th June 2021
 

Dear Church Family Members and Parish Friends, 
 
Hoping you're all well. 
 
This news email contains information on the following: 

1.
    The booking links for this week's services (Sunday 13th June at 9 am at St. Paul's and 11 am at St. Mary's)
2.
    Our next foodbank collection
3.
    An opportunity to become a Mission Partner Champion for our parish
4.
    A Banstead Five Information evening
5.
    Our next parish walk
6.
    Our church family directory 
7.
    Our Christian Aid collection
8.
    Gardening at St. Mary's
9.
    Some prayer requests

Love and prayers
Alex 
(07312 113019)
 
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1.               The booking links for this week's services (Sunday 13th June at 9 am at St. Paul's and 11 am at St. Mary's)
To book to attend the service at St. Paul's on Sunday (13th June) at 9 am, please use this link: https://forms.gle/sGLnS1UJ7GVfF9un8
 
To book to attend the service at St. Mary's on Sunday (13th June) at 11 am, please use this link: https://forms.gle/ygqZ5CL2pgJmpGkDA
 
Please book by 12pm on Saturday, as Michael and I will set up the churches in the afternoon. 
 
It will also be possible to Zoom into both and the information for this will be sent out on Saturday. 
 
2.             
  Our next foodbank collection
Our next food bank collection will be on Tuesday 29th June, from 2-4 pm, outside St. Mary's. 
 
Items the foodbank are currently collecting are: dog food (wet and dry), biscuits, children's toothpaste, breakfast cereal (not porridge), pulses, tinned meat, hot chocolate, tinned vegetables, instant mash, tinned fruit, tinned tomatoes, tea bags, washing up liquid, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant (male and female), treats and snacks for children. 
 
Foodbank dates for the rest of the year (all between 2 and 4pm) are: 
 
Wednesday 28th July, outside St. Paul's
Wednesday 25th August, outside St. Mary's
Wednesday 22nd September, outside St. Paul's
Wednesday 20th October, outside St. Mary's
Wednesday 17th November, outside St. Paul's
Wednesday 8th December, outside St. Mary's 
 
3.               An opportunity to become a Mission Partner Champion for our parish
Over the next few months, as society begins to open up again more fully, I will be contacting everyone in more detail about some of the events and opportunities coming up in our parish. 
 
These opportunities include a number of new roles & ways to serve our Lord if you'd like to - and one of these is to be a Mission Partner Champion. 
 
Last year, the PCC (based upon proposals from the church family) selected 6 organisations to be our Mission Partner Champions in our parish for two years. 
 
These are: 
 
BACSECT (John & Dorothy Baxter's school work in The Gambia)
Bridges Nepal (Sally & Yagya Singh's projects in Nepal)
Open Doors (working with persecuted Christians across the world)
London City Mission
CAP (Christians Against Poverty)
Sutton Street Pastors
 
We give to each of these organisations each month, splitting 10% of your giving to the parish between them and we also pray for them regularly too. 
 
Now, I would like to champion these organisations better in our parish - in the next year we will be inviting each organisation to present to us all about their work... and I am looking for 6 people to be the Mission Partner Champions (1 for each organisation) to help us all to be more aware of their work. 
 
A role description for this is attached. Please would you pray - and, if you feel that God has put it on your heart to take on a role like this, then please get in touch for a chat with me. I am looking for people with a heart for God's mission in the world - not for any one particular organisation, as each will need a representative. 
 
If you have any questions, please do be in touch. 
 
4.
    A Banstead Five Information evening
Continuing in our theme of being missional, on Tuesday 29th June at 7pm, we will be holding a Zoom evening in our parish for anyone who is interested in churches working together in the local area to serve our Lord and, in particular (on this evening), to find out about the Banstead Five. 
 
The Banstead Five are a group of 5 churches / sets of churches (ie it is both St. Paul's & St. Mary's we come as one family), who agreed a covenant to work together to share God's love here in Banstead and its surrounding areas, over 25 years ago. The Covenant was agreed with St. Paul's and now St. Mary's have joined in by being family with St. Paul's. 
 
Since this time, this group of churches have worked together on events such as holiday fun weeks, praising in the Park and other events big and small. Some of you were involved in delivering Christmas meals to those who were isolated and vulnerable at the end of last year through this. 
 
As St. Mary's members are newer to this relationship than St. Paul's members, I thought it would be good for us to hold a 'find out more' evening and have invited Neil Allison, Chair of the B5, to attend and present to us. 
 
It will also be an opportunity to think about appropriate ways that we can support the 'Banstead Five' further. 
 
To sign up to attend this evening and be sent the Zoom link, please use this link: https://forms.gle/9ZiMf8g7XoVZ35Zb8
 
5.               Our next parish walk
Our next parish walk will take place on the morning of Saturday 19th June and is around 3 1/2 miles. 
 
This will be led by Jim Illingworth, who plans to start at Langley Vale and visit the forest of soldiers' memorials, followed by a picnic on the Downs. 
 
If you would like to join this walk, please email Jim: jim.illingworth@virgin.net
 
He will contact those who do so, giving full details, including joining instructions and contact details for use if the weather is doubtful and you wish to inquire whether the walk is still on. (Please do let Jim know if you sign up and then are unable to come so he knows how many of us to expect). 
 
6.               Our church family directory 
Michelle has kindly been researching all the GDPR regulations for our church family directory and we are delighted to attach a form for you to fill in if you would like your details included in this. 
 
Our plan is to include anyone who would like to be and to circulate the directory around those in the church family who opt into this. We will issue further instructions, but we will probably charge a small fee e.g. £1 for it and ask everyone to keep it in a locked drawer so that church family contact details cannot be found by others who do not know us. 
 
We will not share your details unless you specifically give us permission to do so - and this is separate permission to the ability to contact you ourselves which we already hold. 
 
The wonderful thing about this will be it will grow further our church family links, as you will be able to contact each other if you wish to, to share news and build each other up. 
 
The form attached can be returned by email or by post to Michelle our operations manager: operations@norkwithburghheath.com / St. Paul's Vicarage, Warren Road, Banstead, SM7 1LG (marked for ATO Michelle Cahill)
 
Or given to one of us in church. The forms will also be sent out in the post to you all. 
 
7.               Our Christian Aid collection
We have been collecting for Christian Aid in the parish for a few weeks now (trickier than usual in covid times). Thank you to everyone who has already contributed. 
 
If you would like to still do so, donations can be put through the vicarage door in an envelope marked 'For Christian Aid', at any point up to Wednesday 23rd June.
 
There are Christian Aid envelopes on their way to those of you who haven't been able to be in church in recent times, but I have got somewhat delayed in sending these out. It is quite possible you will receive your envelope after having donated - my apologies for this. 
 
8.               Gardening at St. Mary's
For around 20 years now, possibly more - he does not 'sound his own trumpet' - Doug Nurse has been doing a superb job of tending the St. Mary's garden. Thank you SO much Doug... we will be thanking your properly in a service in due course as well. The garden is looking wonderful and always does - we so appreciate it. 
 
Doug would love to continue with this (gardening is one of his greatest passions and it is his favourite way of serving God), but it has become a bit too much for him to manage everything himself and so we are looking to put together a team or a rota across the year of people who may be happy to give 1-2 hours every few months to complete some basic gardening tasks to support him. 
 
Doug will continue doing the tasks he can - and will be 'lead gardener' for us - but the rest of us would help out at his direction. 
 
If you might be happy to help with this, please be in contact, so we can put together a rota.
 
This role may be particularly attractive to those who are nervous about being inside the building currently - as it is all work outside. 
 
9.               Some prayer requests
This week for your prayers - please offer thanks to God for the wonderful afternoon David Wright and I spent at Rosedean and Montclare nursing homes. Praise God! It is SO great to be back with our dear friends again. We have dates set for the rest of the year, including Christmas Carols ??
 
Love and prayers, 
Alex 
 
Rev Alex Stevens
Vicar
Parish of Nork with Burgh Heath
 
The PCC of the Parish of Nork with Burgh Heath is a Registered UK Charity No 1180563

 

WEEKLY SERMONS - To access our past weekly sermons, please click here

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR OUR NEWS PAGE WITH OUR VICAR'S WEEKLY UPDATES

WEEKLY SERMONS - To access our past weekly sermons, please click here
 

Plans for our Parish for the Coming Months

We are delighted to be able to let you know that from Easter Day we will be re-opening our churches - with a service at 9 am at St. Paul's and a service at 11 am at St. Mary's (both of which will be available by Zoom as well, for those who are not able to or do not feel ready to return). The plan is for the churches to then remain open for Sundays, but also Zooming, from then. 

We made the decision, back at the beginning of January, to close our churches to most people - live streaming on Zoom from them on alternate weeks, due to the national lockdown, the very high infection rates in our local area and the many folk in our church family who are elderly, vulnerable or both. 

Now that the Government has published the plans for emerging from lockdown 3, the infection rate nationally and locally is much lower, and many in our church family have received their first vaccine, we had decided that it is the right time (from Easter day) to open again for Sunday services - with all the safety measures in place: socially distanced 2 metres apart in household groups, wearing masks, hand sanitisation and no singing (plus quite a few other things behind the scenes, but this gives you the basics!) 

In the event of any backwards step - emergence of new variants, local infection rates rising again... anything similar in the coming months we could need to review this again... but we are in a good position to be ready for any eventuality should this arise!

This is wonderful in many ways - our churches being open makes them more available for those in the community who may wish to join us and gives the option for those who wish to be there in person to do so.

This is also sad in some ways, because we have come to love being together as both churches, but one family - and most days one or even several of you mention this as something you have been enjoying in the last year, such is the joy which getting to know and love each other has given us all. 

Therefore, in addition to opening the churches, we are putting in place the following to help us continue to grow in our love and fellowship with one another across the whole family.

From April, once a month, usually on the fourth Sunday of the month, we will have a joint parish service at 10 am instead of the 9 am and 11 am services in either church. Initially these will be via Zoom - livestreamed from the churches (taking it in turns as we have been). Eventually, when it is safe to do so, we will move into doing this together in person.

We will be continuing to put on a range of Zoom events, which are open to everyone in the church family (from both churches) - and indeed, to anyone else who wishes to join us. In the coming months (dates attached in a PDF which you can print out) these will include:

*    Running the Bible Society's Bible Course - building on having run the prayer course. This is an 8 week course and will be on Tuesday evenings again at 7.45 pm, commencing Tuesday 13th April (A sign up link for this will be sent out next week)

*    Running the Prayer Course a second time for those who would have liked to join in but couldn't on a Tuesday evening. This will be on Wednesday mornings, at 11 am, commencing on Wednesday 24th March. (A sign up link will be sent out for this next week)

*    Continuing our parish prayer meetings (approximately fortnightly, but depending a little on the Vicar's diary)

*    On Tuesday 23rd March (a year since the first day of the first national lockdown), we will be holding 2 identical reflective events at 2 pm and 8 pm on Zoom,  to give anyone who wishes the opportunity to pray and reflect on the losses of the last year - and also to give thanks to God for His faithfulness and provision through this time

*    Our next parish APCM (annual parish council meeting) will be on Monday 19th April, on Zoom, where we will celebrate God's goodness to us and the progress in our parish in the last year

*    During Holy Week (commencing 28th March) a range of Zoom & YouTube services will happen throughout the week - please see the dates overviews

*    We are working to provide other one-off events for the parish - some details still being confirmed!

We are in the process of joining together & reforming our online presence. Thanks to Michael, we now have a parish Facebook page, a parish YouTube channel - and we are working on (but it is a huge task) a parish website. (More information about these will be in the other vicar updates)

Over the next few months we plan to put together (when we have sought permission and checked details with everyone) a parish directory. So many of you would like to contact each other to send good wishes, share news etc, having got to know each other and this will make it so much simpler for everyone to do so. Please be patient with us, but we hope that we will be able to publish this in May. 

Gradually, when it is possible to do so, we hope to resurrect the parish walking group (we did manage one walk between the lockdowns!) - and there are other possible shared group opportunities in the pipelines as we move forward together. I am so looking forward to sharing more in coming weeks... but have a lot to write today!  

Rev Alex Stevens
Vicar
Parish of Nork with Burgh Heath