The Parishes of Tavistock, Gulworthy and Brent Tor
The Parish Office, 5a Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8AU Tel: 01822 616673 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
As lockdown continues, I would like to extend my sincere thanks for all you have being doing as members of the Church during these challenging times. Thank you also for the many kind messages you have sent to me. It is very encouraging to know of the many acts of caring, concern, and support for one other and for our communities, at this time. Thank you all.
Over the last few months much has been happening in the life of our parishes and I want to take this opportunity to update you on a few of these. But first, an advert for next Sunday:
The Big Music Sunday Service 14 June, 6.00pm
Everyone is invited by the Royal School of Church Music to join in celebrating the role of music and musicians in church life. The Very Revd Dr John Hall, RSCM Chair of Council (and recently retired Dean of Westminster) will lead The Big Music Sunday Service during which you will be able to join with choirs from the UK and around the world, singing hymns, psalm and anthems. There will be links to this on RSCM and St.Eustachius Church websites.
During lockdown we have been recording and streaming worship each week. These can be found through the following links:
Brentor Church website: www.brentorchurch.org.uk
Tavistock Parish Church website: www.tavistockchurch.org.uk
Facebook: St.Eustachius’ Parish Church Tavistock
YouTube: Very Revd Christopher Hardwick
Midweek Reflection (Wednesday):
Brentor Church Website: www.brentorchurch.org.uk
For those without access to the internet, “Daily Hope”, is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 (free ‘phone line). This offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England.
I host a “Virtual Coffee Morning” using “ZOOM” each Wednesday at 10.30 am. If you would like to join me, please email me at email@example.com and I will send you the link. Everyone is welcome.
We have been raising funds to support our NHS hospital in Tavistock and over £2000 has been raised. This, together with a Quilt made by the “Vintage Green” group at Tavistock for auction/raffle by the hospital, will be sent shortly. Thank you to everyone who has supported this financially, practically, and through prayer.
Funds have also been raised to support Christian Aid, and The Melanesian Brotherhood.
For June, The “Mission of the Month” is the Farming Community Network. Details about this will be posted on the Tavistock Facebook page and website.
At Brentor, Sally and Christopher Pancheri have spearheaded the raising of £1259.70 for St Luke’s Hospice during six weeks of the lockdown. This was the result of amazing generosity in exchange for bread, scones, cake, quiches, and other initiatives. Thank you Sally and Chris, and everyone who has helped raise this incredible amount of money for the Hospice.
Other activities during lockdown include our regular study group organized by the Revd Mike Loader. This is now held via “ZOOM”. If you would like more information, or to take part, please email Mike on firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The Revd Tony Vigars will be continuing his study group looking at the Acts of the Apostles shortly. If you would like to know more about this, please email Tony on email@example.com for details.
A “Virtual Vestry Group” organized by Sarah Pendle appears each week on the Church Facebook page and the Church website. The activities and themes follow our Sunday worship and this is great fun for the younger members of the family. I thoroughly enjoy it.
As Training Incumbent, I am preparing to welcome new licensed colleges to the Benefice later this year and have been attending “Induction Days” for this via “ZOOM” in Durham and Exeter, whilst working closely with Diocese to agree the training process and programmes.
Rosie Illingworth will be joining us from Cranmer Hall, Durham, as a stipendiary curate shortly and I know she looks forward to getting to know everyone. Rosie will be living in the Curate’s house at Whitchurch. Rosie tells me that she needs a little help with the move from College and I include a short message from her:
“Hello everyone! I’m looking forward to moving to the Benefice on the 16th June and getting to know you all. While I think I’m sorted for the house essentials (bed, cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, table and chair), I was wondering whether anyone had any unwanted furniture (wardrobe, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc.) that is taking up space in your house which I could gratefully take off your hands? Of course, this would only be if it is possible to collect or deliver it safely, while observing social distancing guidelines. If so, please let me know – my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much in advance!”
Dr Hazel Butland has completed her training on the South West Ministerial Training Course in Exeter to become a self-supporting curate in the Benefice from the 12th September 2020. I look forward to welcoming her as she begins a new stage of training and ministry among us. Thank you Hazel for your ministry as a Reader which is hugely appreciated.
Liz will be joining us as a licensed Reader in October 2020 having successfully completed her Reader training on the South West Ministerial Training Course in Exeter. I look forward to welcoming Liz to the Benefice. I know Liz has enjoyed being with us “on placement” over the last 12 months and is really looking forward to being with us.
Fiona, who worships at St.Eustachius’, has been appointed to our newly created and recently advertised part-time post of “Children and Family Worker”. Fiona will begin this work when it is possible to do so under the present circumstances. The role is to reach out to the new families that will flow into the parish area as a result of the current housing developments in Tavistock. By supporting and strengthening current initiatives for children and families at St Eustachius’ Church, including Messy Church, Vestry Group, Open the Book, and Nosh@9.30, Fiona will identify new mission and faith opportunities with this age group and help develop new worship for young people and families.
Tavistock Parish Church Sound System
Installation of a new sound system at St.Eustachius’ will begin on Monday, 8th June. This is expected to take two weeks. Health and Safety requirements and risk assessments have been agreed in accordance with Diocesan guidelines to enable this work to be carried out during the lockdown. I am very grateful to Martin Pendle, Peter Rowan, Gillian Hiles, and the “Project 700” group for their work in achieving this.
Across the Church of England, we are actively planning for a phased re-opening of our church buildings in line with the Government’s easing of the lockdown. The timetable remains uncertain because the Government is keen to avoid a spike in the infection rate. Initially, it is likely that the Government will allow our churches to open for individual private prayer, hopefully from July 2020. Our Ministry Team and Parochial Church Councils are considering the best way to do this so that we open safely and well. I will continue to keep you informed as further guidelines are received and firm proposals can be made.
This is just a snapshot of some of what has been happening over the last few months in our Benefice. Much more could be added. I hope that, alongside our regular worship and prayer, and the very many, often unseen, acts of Christian care and concern which take place daily, you will draw encouragement from them, as I do.
I look forward to resuming our activities in our churches as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. Until that time, please continue to stay safe and well, and to follow Government advice.
I will continue to keep in touch by telephone, email/letter, and upload worship, prayers and reflections on our websites, Facebook, and YouTube.
Please be assured of my continued love and prayers. With God’s Blessing