Dear EFP church folk,
I hope you have had a good week, and been able to enjoy the continued amazing weather - a blessing in these difficult times.
A longer email than most, because there is a bit to share about our church buildings.
Church buildings -
Our church buildings provide three things:
1. a physical and spiritual witness to the presence of God in our communities
2. a place of prayer
3. a place for gathering together
During lockdown, (1) hasn’t changed. The buildings' witness is timeless, and testifies even more strongly now to the history of faith in our communities and of those who have gathered in the building through the ages.
During lockdown, (2) obviously hasn’t been possible in physically. Yet the buildings hold the prayers of hundreds of years on our behalf.
I spent some quiet time in all three church buildings last Sunday. It felt as if the church buildings were saying to us, “We’re more used to being empty than you realise, and we’re more comfortable with that than you might think. Yes, come back when the time is right, and I will love embracing you all again. But there is no rush, take your time. Meanwhile we will continue our quiet witness.”
I had spent some moments at each church gazing at its ceiling. As I returned home - and knowing we were reflecting on ‘Heaven on Earth’ for Ascension - I sensed that the churches were also saying to us, “Don’t be restricted by our four walls and roofs. The heavens are your roof. We don’t really have walls - the Church doesn’t have walls. You can worship and pray everywhere!"
Our buildings are a gift. Let us allow ourselves to rediscover afresh the gift they are...
So to the next phase of re-opening our buildings…
Pentecost service today -
This will be a Communion service, and so I am for the first time hosting it from within one or our church buildings. Feniton got the vote, for a reason I will explain in the service.
Also attached -
(All documents also on Google drive
Picture of the week - “I’ve got one nerve left…” may be how many of us feel at times through this period...
Take care and God bless,
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team