As I write, we still find ourselves in a situation of confusion. Travel abroad is strictly speaking allowed, but we’re not supposed to go abroad except for essential reasons. Can a holiday be deemed to be essential – if for mental well-being? What about visiting family? I would so dearly love to see my grandchildren again, but the Netherlands is still on the amber list, so we continue to wait. How are we to interpret the guidelines/rules/law? And there is the new variant causing worry again.

However, churches are opening up again, and activities long dormant are beginning to consider how they can re-start safely. So we move forward slowly and cautiously.

As Churches re-open, I will not be sending mailings out each week to all the people who have been receiving them for the last year plus after this week. I will, however, continue to send services to those unable to get to church.

Last time I wrote, I posed some tough questions. What, as Church, are we called to do? And how are we to carry out our calling? How do we go about making God known to those around us? How do we spread God’s love with those who need it most? It has often been said that the Church is the one organisation which exists for the benefit of those outside it.

Last Sunday was the Sunday in Ascension tide, following Ascension Day. The last words that Jesus spoke to his disciples was an instruction: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ That is our task today. But, it’s not easy.

There’s a lot going on in our Circuit. A lot of information about what is going on, not just in our Circuit but elsewhere too, is available on the circuit website, and a Circuit newsletter is also available. This week, for example, you can re-visit the Prayer Vigil for India and read Asir Ebenezer’s messages (yes, and you can still donate if you wish to), and there is information about the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Service for the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, on Wednesday. So keep visiting the website, frequently.

At Davenport and Edgeley there are collections for the Food Bank, and at Edgeley for the Food Pantry, and at Davenport for Stockport Together who supply parcels for school children both in Adswood and in Cheadle, and also offer food for the wider community. Please do support these if you can. I find it utterly heart-breaking that there are people just around the corner from any one of us who are struggling to cope, often through unforeseen circumstances.

Meanwhile, Bible Study continues on Monday mornings at 10.30 am. Maybe we’ll see you there? The readings this week will be: Isaiah 6: 1 – 8, Romans 8: 12 – 17 and John 3: 1 – 17. The login details are:

Meeting ID: 844 6822 4096 Passcode: 273445

Yours, Lindsay

While restrictions are being lifted – quite rapidly now – please bear in mind the following:

"COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within 2 metres). The further away you can keep from other people and the less time you spend in close contact with them, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others. Close contact, including hugging, increases the risk of spreading COVID-19."

We are therefore strongly discouraging hugging on Church premises.