Welcome to our Website
The Church will be open for private prayer during lockdown, Monday - Friday from 8am - 12pm
If you would welcome pastoral or practical support from the Church over the coming weeks, please contact the Parish Office on 01252 715412 or email email@example.com. If you are able and willing to support others over the phone during this time, please do also let us know.
Please note that the Parish Office is closed to visitors, but is staffed Monday-Friday in term-time from 9.30am-12.30pm
We do hope you will join us for our 10am service each Sunday morning which will be on Facebook and YouTube:
To view, click on the Facebook or YouTube links below:
To join our Services on Zoom, the meeting ID is: 599 647 1397
Dear Church Family friends,
What a week of watching and waiting: watching what was happening in the US and waiting for Boris to tell us what would be happening here at the end of lockdown and over Christmas. It has been quite a challenge for us all. At least, now, we know some things … apart from which tier we will be in and, therefore, how many of our friends and family we can reasonably expect to see over the Christmas period.
We want to let you know our plans for Advent and Christmas
This Sunday (Advent)
8am to 8pm Church open for prayer
9.15am Prayers: on Zoom (Zoom Code is 876 1120 5817)
10.00am Morning Service: on YouTube/ Facebook
7.30pm Evening Service: 30 minutes on Zoom (Zoom Code is 599 647 1397) to round off our prayer day and prepare us for the Advent season.
Monday 30 November
8.30am Morning Prayer – if you have something or someone you would like us to pray for, please either fill in one of the prayer cards in St George’s Chapel in church or send a confidential message to our new dedicated e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 1 December
11.30am No Service of Holy Communion, until 8 December (at the earliest).
Wrap Up Farnham: we are invited to share in a local campaign to help keep people warm over the winter. This new initiative for the town gathers unwanted or unused coats from the people of Farnham and distributes them to those most in need.
A drop off point for donated coats will be operated from The Maltings from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 November (10am till 4pm) - read more about the project here: https://farnhammaltings.com/artsandhealth/wrap-up-farnham/
Saturday 28 November: 7pm Games Night, on Zoom (599 647 1397), organised by John and Josey, with contributions from members of our Youth Group. Why not get drinks and nibbles organised and join in the fun? Sadly, of course, we will not be able to invite friends or family round to our house, unless they are already in our household or bubble.
Sunday 29 November: 8am till 8pm, our church building will be open for private prayer. John and Josey are creating special areas in church for us to use for prayer in Advent, with some props, visual displays and practical resources. You can sign up for a 45 min time slot in the “Prayer Zone” in the Pavilions. There is just one place left!
To sign up, please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/st-andrews-prayer-day-tickets-128743538389. You will need to register with eventbrite - but it’s free, and so are the tickets. You can also book via the office, John or Josey who can book a slot on your behalf. To comply with being Covid secure there is only one ticket per slot, as churches are still currently only open for private prayer. Of course, you can always come together with others in your bubble or your single household.
The final 30 mins (ie from 7.30pm) will take the form of a short Evening Service for everyone to join in on Zoom (see above).
Giving Gifts at Christmas
All of us will be considering our shopping options for Christmas this year. It may be that many of us opt for an on-line option. May I please offer two thoughts:
- We are being encouraged locally to do all we can to support our businesses, pubs, restaurants, hotels and our non-essential shops. Last year, Kathryn and I bought all our major Christmas gifts within the town and we plan to do so again.
- It may be that you would like to give a special Christmas Gift to the church this year. As you know, we have taken a serious hit on our regular income over recent months and are facing a not inconsiderable deficit going forward. If you would like to do this, you can give via the Parish Giving Scheme (Tel: 0333 002 1271), quoting our unique parish code: 17-0617042 and mention St Andrew’s Farnham specifically; or you can give by text or our new QR code – details of these are on our website and in church; or you can post a cheque, made payable to St Andrew’s Farnham, to the parish office. We would be very grateful for any help you are able to give.
Changes are coming to Farnham
The Farnham Infrastructure Forum gives us the chance to contribute to the consultation around the way Farnham will look in years to come. You can register for updates on www.farnham.gov.uk/LLF. Opportunities to hear more of the plans include Zoom calls on: Wed 25 Nov and Wed 9 Dec, 6 and 7 Jan at 6.30pm; and on 6 Jan at 3pm. It would be good to make the most of being able to hear some of the current thinking, see some of the people involved in the decision-making, and, if we wish, have our say!
Organ Recital – please book on Eventbrite (booking opens 4th December)
On Tuesday 8 December at 1.10pm Katherine Dienes-Williams, organist at Guildford Cathedral, is our guest musician. Admission £5.00.
Illustrated Talk – please book on Eventbrite (booking opens 4th December)
On Tuesday 15 December at 1.10pm we welcome Roy Waight who will give an illustrated talk on Florence Nightingale, in this her anniversary year. Admission FREE, but donations welcome.
All our services this year will be “ticket only”. Please book on Eventbrite to make sure you get a ticket for the service/event you plan to come to. Booking opens on Friday 4th December.
Sunday 20 December
3pm Carol Service at St Francis – 30 mins outdoors
(please wrap up warm!)
5pm Carol Service at St Andrew’s
2pm, 3.30pm and 5pm Christingle Services
11pm Late Night Communion Service
9am Holy Communion Service (BCP) said
10am Holy Communion Service (for all ages) with music
Sunday 27 December
10am Morning Service on YouTube – no service in church
There are three ways in which you might be able to help us with our Christmas programme, please.
- We will need Hospitality Teams to steward each service very carefully this year to make sure that we are COVID-safe. Please could you kindly let Emma know if you are able and willing to help and, if so, which of the services would work best for you? Thank you so much.
- Evelyn is putting together a small group of singers for the Carol Service and for Christmas Day morning. If you would like to be part of this, please just let her know on email@example.com. Rehearsal 4pm on Sunday 20 December.
- Josey is preparing for our Christingle Services and will need some help with preparing and assembling gift bags. Please contact her directly to let her know if you are able to help on firstname.lastname@example.org
At home: this week has been a quieter week than normal, waiting for government announcements (David), facing the challenge of Microsoft Teams (Kathryn) and cooking a really wonderful celebratory meal for a friend’s special 60th birthday (Josh).
And finally, a short reflection on some words from Isaiah 40:27-31 from Morning Prayer today:
Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God’?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
There are just times when we feel at our wits’ end (Ps 107:27). When we feel that life is so tough we are not entirely sure we can carry on. Comments like “The virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas” and “’Tis the season to be jolly careful” possibly don’t help!
At times like these, it’s easy now and then also to think that God has disappeared from the scene, that he has left us to our own devices, that he is happy for us simply to get on with it, struggle on, try to make sense of it and figure it all out by ourselves.
Isaiah, in this wonderful passage, reminds us that it is precisely at times like this when we need God most, that he is most there. The amazing creator and sustainer accompanies us on life’s journey and gives us the recourses we need to get by and to get through.
As we approach Advent and make our tentative plans for Christmas, let’s not forget this and make the most of the fact that God is not only there but can be relied on completely.
In this season too, please do let’s also make use of the church when we can. We can pay a visit on our daily exercise routine and know that, wherever we may be, in church or at home, God hears us and will answer our prayer. If we feel able, we can also, from next Sunday, join his people once again for public worship (socially distanced and with masks, please).
And finally … if anyone is feeling particularly anxious or afraid, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be very pleased to hear from you and very willing to take time to listen and to pray for you.
Kathryn joins me in assuring you of our continuing thoughts and prayers.
With all good wishes, as ever,
David 25 November 2020