28 March 2021

Dear EFP church folk,

Some great news for Easter first!
Fresh off the Government/CofE Covid-restrictions press: from this week, singing outside in a churchyard as part of a service will be permitted!
So weather-permitting, we can sing on Easter Day!
What we will most likely do is start and end each service with a hymn outside. On Good Friday we will do so just at the end.
We will work out the details this week, and let you know in advance.
Social mixing will still be limited by the wider rules (Rule-of-6 / 2-households).
Inside the church we still can’t have a singing group.

Palm Sunday tomorrow -
Our 7th and penultimate Beatitude converges with Jesus entering Jerusalem - ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’.
Our theme - ‘Cycle of violence, Cycle of Peace’
Feniton Palm Sunday Communion 10.30am - service sheet for 'straight' printing HERE and in paginated form HERE.
Sunday video reflection and prayers - link HERE.

Attached -
Questions for reflection
Lent Prayer Diary

Next weekend’s services -
Apr 2nd Good Friday Reflection: 
12 noon Payhembury
3pm Feniton
5pm Escot
Apr 4th Easter Sunday:
9am Escot Communion
10.30am Feniton
11am Payhembury (* note the later time)

As we enter Holy Week...
Good Friday and Easter Day - a gathering of prayers
Good Friday and Easter present us with the opposing poles of experience of death and life, pain and joy.
So in our Good Friday and Easter services, we will hold specially all the spoken and unspoken prayers of all in our communities, as well as our own, particularly those arising from the pandemic -
on Good Friday - prayers of pain and grief, to bring to the Cross
on Easter Day - prayers of hope and new life, as we celebrate resurrection
During Holy Week, there will be opportunity for written prayers to be left in one of the churches by any who wish to do so.

A sonnet for Palm Sunday - by Malcolm Guite -

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The Saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they'll find
The challenge, reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus, come
Break my resistance, and make me your home.

from 'Sounding the Seasons'

A prayer from this week’s Beatitude -
God of peace,
thank you for coming to be our peace.
Make us bringers of peace
to those around us
through all we do.
In Jesus’ name.

Picture of the week -
The displayed penalty for not obeying was $50...
Pertinent for the start of Holy Week, as the leaders of Jesus' time thought they could leash him in. They were wrong.

Take care, and God bless,

Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team
The Rectory
Station Road
Feniton EX14 3DF
01404 850905