NEWS FROM ESCOT

As advertised, last month we held our first APCM on Zoom. It cannot be said we raised our attendance figures significantly but one more person came! At that meeting we presented last year’s Report & Accounts which is a public document so if you would like a copy either in print or by email please just let me know. Financially we made a loss of over £1000 which is not surprising given the lack of fund-raising but it was so good to keep in touch with Youtube services every Sunday during lockdown for which we are indebted to Dave and Dawn.

We are now just starting to emerge from lockdown with services in church again. Sadly there will be no sunrise service followed by breakfast on Easter Day but we have our regular reflective service on Good Friday at 5pm and Communion at 9am on Easter Day. For the moment our regular monthly pattern will be Evensong at 6pm on the second Sunday of the month and Parish Communion on the third Sunday. It is however worth checking the magazine for occasional variations as in May where we celebrate our Patronal festival on 2nd May and subsequent services are moved on a week.

All being well we have our first marriage in church on 17th April. This depends on the provisional release from lockdown being confirmed, and even then guests are limited to fifteen. I admire Georgie and Jake for not postponing their marriage again – it was originally last July – but it will be very different from the wedding they’d planned. They intend to Zoom it to friends unable to be present and assure me they have the necessary expertise. I hope the mobile phone signal is adequate. All being well, our two other planned weddings should take place without restrictions.

Keep safe and well

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

This month is a first for Escot. Our annual church meeting is scheduled for Monday March 8th and we are going to hold it on Zoom. It will be at 2pm and if you would like to join us please let me know and I’ll send a Zoom invitation. As I say every year it is your opportunity to share in what we have been doing over the past year, go through our annual accounts and talk to us about the future. This time you can do it from the comfort of your own home!

Every year we review our electoral roll, the body of people involved with the church who are empowered to elect – or join - the PCC. The only requirement is to live in the parish or to worship there regularly. If you would like to join our electoral roll, please contact Janet Welch on 850940 and she will be happy to organise it for you.

Sadly this year two long-standing members of the PCC are standing down at our APCM. Among other things Lindsay Saunders has looked after the churchyard since Jim Pearcy stepped down and for that we owe her very many thanks. In last year’s quinquennial inspection, it was commented that the churchyard is well maintained, and indeed it always is so. Lindsay also distributes the parish magazine and we are very grateful that she will continue to do so for the moment. Olive Price is our flower supremo and has also been our safeguarding officer, both jobs requiring considerable effort. I am very grateful that she has agreed to organise the flowers for our two weddings this year but we shall miss her regular arrangements. To both Lindsay and Olive may I say a very big thank you – as well as the jobs you have done, we’ll miss your contribution to our PCC discussions. We look forward to seeing you at church events when they resume.

As I write, we have not yet heard about when the lockdown will end so we don’t know when normal services will resume – hopefully by next month things will be clearer.

Keep safe and well

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

Christmas seems a long time ago but we had a happy and well-attended service in church on Christmas morning. Decorations were necessarily limited but the church looked Christmassy – and very clean from the pre-Christmas polish we’d given it!

New year started well with our first Evensong for ten months on the first Sunday in January. Numbers were low but we really enjoyed the familiarity of the words and the feeling of normality. Thank you Terry for taking it.

The next day lockdown started again! This time churches were allowed to remain open for public worship so we hoped to keep going. However cases of Covid around here rose rapidly so by the end of the first week we very sadly decided we had to suspend services again. We are now back to online services for the next few weeks, and for those we are as always most grateful to Dave and Dawn and all those who contribute to them. It would be nice to think we’ll be back in church by Easter but that must depend on a significant downturn in cases and the speed of the vaccination roll-out.

As always I spend January working on last year’s accounts. Assuming I have not made any serious errors we will have made a loss of approximately £1,000 – the figures have not been agreed by the PCC or independently examined yet so could change – which is remarkably good given the circumstances. This year life may be even harder depending on when the world returns to something like normal. Our contribution to the diocese has gone up by 6% to £3,680 which we must find as it funds clergy stipend and pensions, and the quinquennial report has raised a long list of repairs which we need to address.

Still, the days are starting to lengthen so we can begin to think about spring!

Judy Davis

812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

A very happy new year and may 2021 be a better year than 2020 for us all!

A very big thank you to all who contributed to the treats for teenagers who had left care. We collected an amazing amount of things in collaboration with other churches and I understand the Social Services team leader was absolutely delighted by our generosity. Thank you so much.

As I write this in mid December we are still looking forward to Christmas when we will be worshipping in church on Christmas morning and, in spite of the constraints on singing carols inside, I am sure we will have a joyful start to the day.

Looking back over 2020 it has been such a strange year. In spite of our fears and problems, the first lockdown gave us time to appreciate the beautiful area in which we live and enjoy spring, helped by glorious weather. Listening to the birds as I walked across the bridge over the A30 with no traffic in either direction was wonderful. Then summer when things opened up and sadly Covid numbers started to grow again leading to the inevitable second lockdown and a feeling of gloom pervading the air. Now, though we still have several difficult months to come, we have the start of vaccinations and can almost feel optimistic.

As from January we are having Evensong at 4pm on the first Sunday of the month, taken by Terry Palmer, in addition to our Parish Communion on the third Sunday at 10.30am taken by Rev David. Please do come and join us for either or both.

I hope you, your family and friends are staying safe and well and may I say again, a very happy new year!

Judy Davis

812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

Here we go again! As I write we are in our second lockdown and, sadly, all live November services have been cancelled. We are living in hope that the lockdown will be lifted on December 2nd so live services can begin again. All being well, in the weeks leading up to Christmas we will follow the recent pattern of a service in one of our churches each week, Escot’s being at 10.30am on December 20th.

Along with Buckerell and other EFP churches we have been collecting towards Christmas hampers for teenagers who have left foster care and are now living independently. Their life is always difficult and this year even more in this time of real uncertainty - even their Christmas meal has been cancelled. Teenage treats have included crisps, chocolates, fizzy drinks and toiletries. I’m so glad we’ve had a chance to contribute in a small way. It’s very humbling and makes me realise how very fortunate my family and friends are.

In all ways this Christmas will not be like any other and sadly this applies to our carol services which we have reluctantly decided cannot go ahead as we assume we will be restricted to small numbers – and no singing! However we have a first, a YouTube carol service of carols and readings with contributions from all three churches which will be available on the EFP churches website from December 13th. The link is given at the top of the services page. Please do join us there for a good sing and the telling of the Christmas story – I’m afraid you will have to provide your own mulled wine and mince pies!

On Christmas morning we will have our usual Family Communion service at 9am at which we hope many of you will be able to join us. It will be good to worship in church on Christmas Day.

In spite of all the constraints and problems of 2020, may I wish you a very happy, peaceful and safe Christmas.

Judy Davis

812739

Rectory notes December 2020 – A Christmas Fairytale

 

Once upon a time... there was a beautiful forest. Everyone called it the Christmas Forest. Each winter all would come to it for a merry and festive time. Every patch of woodland was named after the particular delights it brought: Shopping Wood, Parties Wood, Carols Wood, and more.

But one winter a Man with a Mask brandishing a chainsaw arrived at the forest. Brutally he began to raze all the lovely trees to the ground. Parties Wood was first – the majestic timbers of fun and jollity crashed to the earth, the buzz of conversation and fuzz of drinks extinguished. Shopping Wood was flattened next, the eternal piped carols falling silent. The man pressed remorselessly on. Even Family Gatherings Wood was given little respite, the loving trees cut to pale shadows of their former selves.

His merciless task nearly complete, he encountered a secluded glade, once the quiet centre of the forest. In the glade lay a little cottage. He powered down his chainsaw. Quietness fell. He pushed open the door. Inside sat a young woman, gently cradling a baby. She looked up and smiled. “Shhhh…” she said, “He’s slept through your noise, I don’t know how!” She nodded to an empty chair, and he tentatively took a seat. “My other half’ll be back in a moment,” she continued, “make yourself at home. Help yourself to a drink and something to eat. You must be exhausted.” With that she started to sing softly to the child. The song was somehow familiar to the man, echoing in his distant memories of coming to the Forest himself in better days. “Silent night,” she sang, “holy night, all is calm, all is bright.” And the man sank back into his chair with a contentment he had forgotten possible…

 

Our own ‘Christmas Forest’ will be a smaller wood this year. We will miss much of our familiar traditions and joys, whatever the level of Covid restrictions. But small things can bring large pleasures: a smile, the warmth of family or a friend even if via a screen, your favourite Christmas drink, a much-loved arm-chair.

We crave for hope, for a light in the current pandemic darkness however small. And small is the Christmas hope at first – a fragile child cradled by a mother, in an unnoticed corner of the ancient world. But this tiny acorn will grow into the mightiest of oaks: God himself in our midst – in our homes, our communities, and our inner selves. This Christmas we may have less. Yet, in the silent night, maybe we have all we need.

 

Rev David Carrington

 

Team Vicar of Escot, Feniton and Payhembury

The Rectory, Station Road, Feniton 01404 850905 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.