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Jul 30, 2020
The parishes of St Margaret Downham St Mary the Virgin Ramsden Bellhouse and
St Peter South Hanningfield
Ministry team Rector (currently vacant)
For general enquiries please phone or text 07485 039204 or email [email protected] and a member of the ministry team will contact you.
Associate priests The Revd Jean Andrews 3 Sewards End, Wickford, SS12 9PB Tel: 01268 733817 email: [email protected] The Revd Miranda Seaman - currently on placement elsewhere
Curate The Revd Suzy Edmundson 19 Westering, Bicknacre, Chelmsford CM3 4ND Tel: 01245 224181 email: [email protected]
Churchwardens St Margaret Downham Lee Baxter 30 Louvaine Avenue, Wickford, SS12 0DP Tel: 01268 734266 email: [email protected] Joan Griggs 8 Warren Drive, Wickford, SS11 8NE Tel: 01268 763924 email: [email protected] Michael Roome 1 Broome Close, Billericay, CM11 1SX (Assistant warden) Tel: 07770 795388 email: [email protected] Pauline Mills 29 Carlton Road, Wickford, SS11 7NB (Assistant warden) Tel: 07802 646511 email: [email protected]
St Mary the Virgin Ramsden Bellhouse Beryl Clements 8 Duffield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 9RY Tel: 01245 601298 email: [email protected] Derek Hayden Laurel Cottage, 7 The Grove, Billericay, CM11 1AU Tel: 01277 656221 email: [email protected]
St Peter South Hanningfield Derek Greasley 67 Park Lane, Ramsden Heath CM11 1NL Tel: 01268 711092 email: [email protected] Melissa Clark Poplars Farm, Warren Road, Rettendon Common, CM3 8DG Tel: 07807 177464 email: melissa_c[email protected]
Contents From the Ministry Team 2 Thomas More, Reformation martyr 4 Covid-19 and its impact on our finances 5 Ramsden Heath Horticultural & Allotment Society 7 Ramsden Heath Social Club News 11 Community Coffee Mornings 11 News from St Peter’s South Hanningfield 11 The reasons for going to church 13 Puzzle corner 14 Children’s pages 16 Smile lines 18 Contacting The Herald 29
The Herald is published monthly by Downham Parochial Church Council on behalf of the churches in Downham, Ramsden Bellhouse and South Hanningfield. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of Downham PCC. The Herald is on sale in St Margaret’s, St Mary’s and St Peter’s at 50p per copy. Alternatively you may purchase an annual subscription for £5.00. If you wish The Herald to be delivered to you please contact Robert Andrews on 01268 733817 or email [email protected] The Herald can also be downloaded free of charge from www.downhamchurch.org.uk
From the Ministry Team I’m writing this in the week leading up to 4 July, the date on which many of the lockdown restrictions which have been in force since 23 March, will be relaxed. The clergy and wardens are currently working out exactly when it will be safe to open each of our churches again, but we only received detailed guidance from the Church of England on 1 July, so planning is in the early stages. But what will public worship look like, when we do resume? We have to accept that things will not be the same as before as there are many things we have to adapt in order to keep everyone safe. There’s a real danger that the relaxation of restrictions will lead everyone to forget about the hygiene and social distancing put in place to slow the spread of disease. We’ve seen examples of this already, with pictures of overcrowded beaches during the recent hot weather. It’s important to remember that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and still poses a serious health risk. In order to maintain social distancing, the number of people attending each church will have to be limited. Each church will have its own limit, depending on seating arrangements. Only members of the same household or ‘bubble’ will be able to sit together. Everyone will need to sanitise their hands on entering and leaving, and before receiving Communion.
The Herald This copy of The Herald is published a week later than normal and is even thinner than normal because so little is happening in our villages at the moment. Hopefully it will not be too long before we can resume some semblance of normality. The government announced in early June that public worship in churches could recommence from 5 July and we were hoping to publish details of our services during July. Unfortunately, as you will read in the Revd Jean’s article below, the regulations covering public worship were not published until 1 July and are very complex. It will be a few weeks yet before we can consider recommencing our services in church. We have been unable to produce printed copies of The Herald since March because of the lockdown restrictions, but we plan to resume from August, provided there is no significant second spike in Covid-19. We know that some people prefer the online version with its colour pictures and external links therefore in future we will produce it in both formats.
At present there is no government requirement to wear face coverings where social distancing is in place. You may, of course, wear one if you wish. You may be asked to write your name and a contact phone number down, in order to assist NHS Test and Trace should it become necessary. This information will only be kept for 21 days and will only be given to Test and Trace. There will be no singing during the service and you are asked not to speak responses in a raised voice, to reduce the risk of transmission from aerosol and droplet. We will be allowed to use the service books, but they must be quarantined for at least 72 hours after the service concludes. The collection plate will not be passed around during the service and people will be discouraged from offering cash. Where cash is offered it will have to be placed in a bag which will then be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before it can be handled. Many of our regular congregation already make monthly payments by standing order and let the plate pass by. Hopefully more people will be encouraged to do that. Churches are also being encouraged to accept contactless card payments in place of cash and this may be something that we have to consider in the near future. At Communion services, there will be no physical sharing of the Peace (ie handshaking) and at the communion you will be offered the bread only and this will be administered silently by a priest possibly wearing gloves and a mask. You will be expected to stand to receive communion and the bread will be dropped into your hands, not placed there as we have come to expect. There will be no refreshments served after the service. These are just the main differences that you will notice. It all sounds a bit grim, but just before lockdown started we did have a week when many of these restrictions were in place, and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We have a duty to remind you of current Government advice to certain groups of people:
• People showing COVID-19 symptons should not attend. • People who are self-isolating because of a possible or confirmed
case of COVID-19 in their household, or because they have been requested to by NHS Test & Trace should not attend
• People considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who have been advised to shield are currently advised not to attend.
• People who may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including those aged 70 or older, regardless of medical
conditions, should stay at home as much as possible, and if they do go out, should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household. It is their decision whether to attend church or not.
We will still be continuing to hold services via Zoom, which will be recorded and posted on Facebook as at present, so if you do not feel comfortable with venturing out to church just yet, you can still worship with us. When we reopen our churches the time of the Zoom service will need to change to 3.00pm, to enable us to staff the services in church. We will let those on our contact list know of the opening dates of our churches once they have been agreed. If you are not on the list, and would like to be, or if you would like to join our Zoom service congregation, please email [email protected] or phone the Benefice office on 07485 039204. Information will also be posted on our websites:
www.downhamchurch.org.uk www.ramsdenbellhousechurch.org.uk www.southhanningfield.church
If you know people who normally attend church, but do not use the internet, please try to keep them informed of what is happening. The months ahead are going to be challenging as we face the uncertainty of what other changes to our lives we may have to make in the future, but always remember that we are not alone and try to follow the advice of St Paul: The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4.5-6)
Revd Jean Andrews
Thomas More, Reformation martyr The Church remembers Thomas More on 6 July These days, lawyers and politicians are held in the lowest esteem by the public, along with tabloid journalists and estate agents. St Thomas More was both a lawyer and politician, who is today much admired for holding steadfastly to his faith-based principles. He lived in dangerous times, when anyone, even queens, who