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Town Centre Churches

The Rector writes …

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, 16th January 2022, Epiphany 2: the wedding at Cana.

8am St Peter’s: Communion

10am St Peter’s Communion: I shall preside and Lucinda will preach.

10am St Augustin’s Communion:  The Rev’d Dr David Wheeler.

10.45am St Stephen’s:  Communion: The Rev’d David Lund.

4pm St Peter’s: Choral Evensong.

Next Sunday, 23rd January:  Epiphany 3.

8am St Peter’s Communion

10am St Peter’s: Communion: I shall preside and preach.

10am St Augustin’s: Communion: The Rev’d Steve Parselle.

10.45am St Stephen’s: Communion: The Rev’d John Turpin.

The set readings for this second Sunday of Epiphany tell the story of ‘the first of the signs that Jesus did and manifested forth his glory’; the transformation of water into wine at the wedding at Cana. (John 2:1-11). John doesn’t call it a miracle, he rightly calls it a sign. It is a sign that points to so many profound and liberating things about the God whom Jesus reveals to us; His delight in and concern for our own personal life and loves, attested by His presence at the wedding feast, His abundant generosity in more than meeting our needs in the midst of everyday life, His call to us to move from the mere outward purity, symbolised by the water for ritual washing, to a transformation of inward joy, symbolised by the wine. But most importantly, this sign points to the gift of His very self, His own heart’s blood, given once for all on the cross and received by us in communion.

Epiphany at Cana

Here’s an epiphany to have and hold,

A truth that you can taste upon the tongue,

No distant shrines and canopies of gold

Or ladders to be clambered rung by rung,

But here and now, amidst your daily  living,

Where you can taste and touch and feel and see,

The spring of love, the fount of all forgiving,

Flows when you need it, rich, abundant, free.

Better than waters of some outer weeping,

That leave you still with all your hidden sin,

Here is a vintage richer for the keeping

That works its transformation from within.

‘What price?’ you ask me, as we raise the glass,

‘It cost our Saviour everything he has.’

(Malcolm Guite)

Covid

We shall continue to be very careful, mindful that numbers of cases of Covid are still rising rapidly each day and the NHS is under extreme pressure.  We shall, therefore, be self-restrained on organized activities in our church buildings, and respect that everyone is encouraged to work from home, where possible, and restrict their social (and religious) interaction, for the moment.

In line with guidance, people should be wearing masks indoors at all times and sanitiser is available to use.  It is a legal requirement to wear a mask in services, but there is an exemption for singing even though singing increases transmission risk. We strongly recommend mask-wearing, including at sung worship. People can choose to sing wearing masks, notwithstanding that it is not mandatory.

There will be some distanced pews and I encourage people to spread themselves out as much as they can.

As we are not expecting anywhere near 500 people, therefore, worshippers will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for attendance at services in any of our three churches.

However, it is worth reminding people that it is simply best practice to take a lateral flow test before coming to any service, or Church event, and not attend if you test ‘positive’.  No one will be checking, but this is down to each person’s own conscience and their exercise of moral responsibility.

Compliance with the measures detailed above will ensure that everyone is as safe as possible in these difficult times. Let us continue to pray for each other, and particularly for those who are isolated or lonely at home.

We give thanks for the lives of Trevor Lambe, Jen Fisher, John Higham and John Davis;

May they rest in peace

And rise in glory.

Communion will continue to be offered in one kind (bread only, dipped lightly into the consecrated wine) to those who queue, one by one, distanced, in the main aisle.

Let me know, please, if you can help with teaching in Sunday School – it is an urgent and sharp need, to enable us to care properly for the many children who are brought to our churches.

I am considering taking confirmation candidates to Winchester Cathedral to be confirmed as part of the Paschal Vigil.  We have done this before and it is always a great experience.  Let me know if you would like to talk about being prepared for confirmation.

Enjoy the week – and keep safe and well!

Ian

The Rev’d Dr Ian A. Terry

DTh, PhD, MA, FRSA

Visiting Research Fellow: Winchester University

Team Rector:  Bournemouth Town Centre

Chair: Local Governing Body: Bournemouth Collegiate School

18 Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6NT

07733336047 (text)

01202 554058

Registered Charity Number: 1186400

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