Weekly News Sheet

   News from the churches of

           St Peter & Paul, Fenstanton, and 
                     St Mary, Fen Drayton

         5th July 2020

             Trinity 4



Fen Drayton


All services suspended till further notice. Church closed

All services suspended till further notice. Church closed

Staying Connected

your new weekly newsletter from the parish


Rev Rosie writes: Welcome to our newsletter so that we can “Stay Connected” with one another.

 “Teamwork”: That word might feel you with memories, good or bad, of having to do team-building exercises for work, or perhaps a club you belong to. The photo shows teamwork of a slightly different nature. My twin granddaughters, not yet aged two, are clearly working out together how to overcome the obstacle that is in their path – and clearly there are more interesting things on the other side of the gate.

What they don’t yet understand is that the gate is there for their own safety, as the open door you can see is the bathroom and to the right is the kitchen.

And that’s how it is with the opening of our churches here in our parish, for the moment. It’s one thing getting over the gate – the obstacles that are in our way to opening our churches – but we need to know what’s on the other side: what are the implications of opening the doors?

As I said last week, we have a PCC meeting this Wednesday, 8th July (at 7.30pm, to remind PCC members) and we will discuss how to be a Covid19-secure venue. This week, as from 4th July, I become a ‘Venue Manager’. But this particular Venue Manager is going to have a team, no team-building exercise required, (now I have the theme tune from Mission Impossible in my head). It may sound a very easy thing to open the churches, but if you have read any of the guidelines then you will know that it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. Bishop Stephen and Bishop Dagmar have both been in touch this week, assuring us of their support and prayers. Each parish/benefice can make their own decisions locally, and then let the Rural Dean know. The current permission to remain closed, or to open, can continue into August, when it sounds like it might be reviewed again. We have only to consider the plight of the communities in the Leicester area to understand why some are more cautious than others.

In the meantime, we are not allowed to open until we have made our buildings Covid19-secure and we will continue with our orders of service for all ages, and our Zoom meetings and Zoom prayers.

ZOOM gathering and meetings:

You will find a list below of all the things you can join in with using the one meeting ID and password. All the church meetings have one meeting ID and password. Owen and I have those details, so do contact either of us. Owen is really good with helping you set up and use Zoom for the first time, so please do ask for his help. Email Owen ohucklesby@virginmedia.com  or phone 01480 465211.Vicar Rosie at rosie.tallowin@btinternet.com or phone 01480 467393.

Sunday morning chat, online fellowship, at 11am

Monday evening Compline (Night Prayer) at 8pm, led by Philip Blunt

Thursday Morning Prayer at 8.30am, led by Philip Blunt

Weekly Wednesday Community Café (8th July) at 2pm until 3.30pm, please note earlier time – you will need the community meeting ID and password for this available from the Vicar.

You are welcome to invite friends and give them the meeting ID and password, but please don’t publish it on social media. All welcome!

Thanks to Caroline for organising the quiz – it was great fun and provided some laughter and groans (when we realised what an answer was). We are still welcoming new people each week, so if you haven’t joined us yet then please feel you can drop in, for any or all of the time. Rumour has it that we will have a few more quiz questions.

For our prayers this week:

Please pray for Steve & Liz Banks, Ian and Bron Taylor, Mark Richardson, RLB, Ben, Donna and Jessica, Margaret Dwyer. Please continue to pray for our St Ives foodbank.

RIP: Please pray for all those who are mourning the loss of a loved one at this time.

We think this week of the residents of Chequers Close and Court, Fenstanton, and Horse and Gate Street, Fen Drayton.

Dagmar, Bishop of Huntingdon, is putting a short reflection on the Diocesan YouTube channel for each Sunday.

Bishop Stephen reminds us of the dial-in service to enable people to engage with worship. Here is the link: dial-in facility


News for this week:

Virtual Open Gardens – wait for it: Ian Hucklesby writes: “Thank you to all the villagers who have kindly allowed their gardens to be filmed or photographed for our first-ever virtual Fenstanton Open Gardens­čî╝. We were very fortunate to be able to film more gardens than you can usually physically visit over the weekend. Each different garden film-clip is being edited, but the strong wind last weekend is too evident on some clips and voiceovers are being made! Hope to have the film available next week. Thank you for your patience.”

St Mary’s update: Heritage England recently announced a short-term emergency fund aimed at supporting repairs to listed buildings that have been impacted directly or indirectly by the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding is limited and likely to be heavily subscribed, but an Expression of Interest was submitted before the 28th June deadline to fund some much-needed repairs to St Mary’s church and to pay for the development of tender documents for a larger grant application. The EOI was developed by our architect, Ashley Courtney, and the standing committee prior to submission by Phil Christie. If we pass this hurdle, we shall be invited to submit a full grant application by the end of August. As Phil reminds us, a successful award would be a big step towards gaining the funding needed for significant repairs to the roof and parapets, so we will place our trust in the Lord and keep our fingers crossed too.

Cycling for Mission to Seafarers: Julia writes: “The 90-day challenge finished on Friday 3rd July, and I got soaked through on the last three days! The final total is 1,162.6 miles and I’m thrilled to say our parish has raised £460 so far. There is still time to donate if you wish. I've thoroughly enjoyed doing it and thank you all for your support.” (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julia-mitchell-fendraytonwithfenstantonparishcharity-2020)

A message from your treasurer: Christine Harris writes: “First, I would like to say a massive thank you to those in our community who continue to support the life, mission and ministry of our Churches financially. This is done mostly through the Parish Giving Scheme, regular standing orders or envelopes. During this difficult time, when our church buildings are closed, we are still very much a church, meeting virtually for prayer, services and fellowship, loving our neighbours by offering practical support to the vulnerable, and caring for our communities. In fact, Rev Rosie, along with her wonderful helpers, is working harder than ever. With the closure of our buildings, we cannot receive all the gifts that we normally would. We have also lost revenue from normal income streams such as weddings that have been cancelled or re-arranged for next year.

If you would like to help by giving to the church at this time, I am now pleased to confirm that we have an online platform set up whereby you can give confidentially and safely: just click on the link, https://tiny.cc/fenstantonchurchdonate. You can ask for a receipt and also state whether we can claim Gift Aid on your giving. If, however, you are not happy to go online but would still like to help the church at this time, please contact me at fentreasurer@hotmail.com or ring 01480 390065 and I shall be very happy to explain the options for giving at this time. All enquiries will be kept strictly confidential. Many thanks for your ongoing support.”

 Happy Birthday to everyone in our parish family who has a birthday this month. We hope you have a lovely day.

AquAid Lifeline: Josie writes: “I am sending a container to AquAid Lifeline in Malawi this year and it's huge – 40ft! I am beyond excited! So, I am looking for the following items to begin filling it: laptops for students at college/uni; desktop computers for our schools (these will all be wiped of all files before leaving the UK); sewing machines; tailor’s dummy; knitting machines; wool for the knitting machines; children's (and adults) clothes aged 0-25 years – some of our children begin school very late due to lack of school fees; men’s suits and shoe; tools – carpentry, metalwork, motor mechanics – all for our students’ vocational training courses (large items also accepted); workbenches; warm blankets; bed sheets; shoes suitable for school; sports equipment; footballs; football kits; football boots; educational teaching aids including any for visually- and learning-impaired children; new exercise books/ball pens; office swivel chairs; school lab equipment – in fact anything useful for schooling, as they have so little; calculators; backpacks/rucksacks; large chests of drawers; suitcases (all sizes); bicycles; rotavator, poly tunnel, gardening tools; old mobile phones and chargers etc. If you have anything you think might be useful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

Don’t forget to send us your pictures, comments etc so we can stay connected as the church family and friends during this time. Email: ian@fenstanton.net

With assurance of our prayers at this time

Don’t forget to Stay Connected this is your space too.

Rev Rosie Tallowin with additional help from Ian MacKellar