Welcome to our Website
The Church is now open daily for private prayer.
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 live in Church and 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 great start to our hybrid Sundays! We had good numbers of people joining us for our 10am live and also for the 10am broadcast. Thank you for coming to church and/or for continuing to check in with us on YouTube or Facebook.
The start of the new autumn term has, for sure, brought its own joys and challenges. Children are back in school, but many are suffering from colds and are staying away. We are now all trying to understand the Rule of 6 and what this might mean for us individually, as families and as church family. Please may I encourage us to continue to pray for good new beginnings. There is still so much to get used to and so much uncertainty for everyone.
We are putting together an outline programme for the months of September and October. I do hope you will feel that these are exciting steps forward:
8am twice a month as previously Live: church from Sun 20 Sept
10am weekly as previously Live music: church/ Recorded music: broadcast
6.30pm weekly as previously Live music: church/ Service also on Zoom
11.30am weekly as previously Live in church
11.30am monthly Live at St Francis’ (Harvest) on Sunday 27 Sept
As we know, places of worship are included in the amended legislation, and consequently, the wearing of face coverings in them is mandatory. We would respectfully ask that (apart from your having a specific medical exception) all those who attend St Andrew’s or St Francis abide by these directions. If you feel that you still need to stay away and stay home for your own protection or for that of others, of course, we fully understand.
Music is so important to so many of us. The live 10am morning services include organ and piano music and small group singing/playing. There will be some live music also at the 6.30pm. To others of us, sharing communion together is something we have really missed. We are really pleased, therefore, to be able to offer this again, although in a slightly abridged form, and receiving only bread to begin with.
Our upper number limit for live worship in our building is 50, but if you would like to join us you will be very welcome. The Evening Service Zoom ID Code remains 599 647 1397.
Our Autumn programme will also include opportunities for small group learning (groups of 6 max or larger on Zoom), and some social events: Come Dine With Me – Saturday 26 September (6 person supper parties), and a Family Quiz Night – Saturday 31 October. Please do sign up for these in church or via the office.
We will also be able to re-start our Organ Recital Series on Tuesdays, from 13 October, when Geoff Tuson will be our guest musician. Geoff is married to Evelyn, our organist. Due to the effects of COVID on our finances, we are asking audience to make a £5 contribution towards the costs of these recitals; however, sadly, we are not able to offer refreshments just yet.
We have fixed a date for our APCM: Sunday 11 October at 10am. This will set the business in its proper context of worship, will allow us to review 2019 (reports and accounts will be available next weekend), be encouraged with what God has been doing and might be doing going forward. We do hope you will want to join us if you can. If you have any questions arising out of the reports, please do let us know in good time ahead of the meeting, so that we can give you as full an answer as possible.
We are currently liaising/consulting more widely about the larger events coming up: Remembrance Day and Christmas Services and events later in the year.
All the elements in the programme will be under review, as we wait to see how things pan out over the next few weeks.
Money Matters: For some lockdown has been a serious financial challenge. For others, we find that we have not spent very much money at all. We have not gone anywhere much, not eaten out very often, and not even put petrol in the car more than a few times since March. If you are able to help us as we seek to address our income challenge (lack of live services, concerts and buildings hirings/lettings), please see our website for more information about the Parish Giving Scheme. Or you can phone the PGS directly: 0333 002 1271 to sign up to help. Please do quote that it is St Andrew’s Church, Farnham you wish to support. It would be great to have you on board in the adventure and responsibility we share together.
At home: this first week of the new term has seen us back in school (Kathryn), wearing a visor to teach; experimenting in the kitchen (Josh), managing to chop part of his finger nail off; and checking the finer details of what is and what is not possible as far as you can tell from the government, the C of E, and the Diocese of Guildford (David).
And finally: A reflection on the bible reading from Genesis 3 from Morning Prayer on Monday. When Adam and Eve have acted God’s deliberate and specific instruction (eaten the forbidden fruit), we read these chilling questioning words from God to them: “What is this that you have done?”
Of course, God knows the answer to the question before he asks it of them, but in asking he shines a very bright light on a dark and murky secret. They have been found out.
We could apply this discovery to all manner of current affairs, where people have been found out: politics, economics, personal ethics, the environment … we could go on.
Last Sunday, Kathryn and I caught the BBC TV programme about Extinction. As ever with David Attenborough, the filming was at times exquisite and the landscapes breath-taking. To avoid spoiling things for those who have not yet watched it, I simply draw our attention to the two main points of the narrative: a. the planet is in trouble and the future is looking pretty bleak; b. it is not too late to do something about it. The illustration Attenborough uses to help us grasp this is truly inspiring.
Pointing the finger at sin may seem to suggest that all is lost. The truth is much more hopeful. There is always (as my training incumbent used to say) “time for amendment of life”.
This week, as we wrestle with legislation we don’t like and may find ourselves tempted to flout it, as we struggle to know what our part is in the stewardship of all God has given us and we may be tempted to ignore it, and as we seek the find the right (polite!) words to pray for the leaders of the nations, and we don’t know where to start, let’s remember: God is for us, he knows us and he hears us and he is in the forgiveness business.
Kathryn joins me in assuring you of our continuing thoughts and prayers.
With all good wishes, as ever,
David 16 September 2020