A Letter from our Vicar Fr. Tom 

Dear All, 

 

I am now able to tell you that all public worship in churches is to cease as of Wednesday 18th March. This is a directive from HM Government and will come into place as of now. Never in my life have I come across such a feeling of sadness and concern, but we must think and pray for new ways to stay in touch with one another, not neglecting to pray for and serve those around us as best we can.  

 

It has always been the historic vocation of the Church of England to be the church for everyone. William Temple, one of the great Archbishops of Canterbury and York of the last century, is often quoted as saying that we are the one organisation which exists for the benefit of its 'non- members'. As the challenge of the coronavirus grips the world, and as the Government asks every individual and every organisation to rethink its life. The Church of England in all its parishes will have to serve all people in a new way. Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold. But this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop. Far from it. We need to look at new ways of serving everyone.

 

Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead. Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day. We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support. Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it. Here in the benefice we are playing our part with our buddy scheme for those who are isolated and alone. If you know of anyone who needs help then please do get in touch. 

 

I pray that by our service, and by our love, Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel - a hope that will counter fear and isolation - will spread across our land. 

 

I remain here fully to serve the changing needs of our parishes and I hope that you will join me in continuing to pray at home, to read the scriptures and to hold vigil alongside those who are ill or in need.  

I will be in touch with some advice and resources for personal prayer and reflection 'at home' and also some practical advice about the way forwards, that we may still mark this season of Lent and Easter with the reverence and joy that it deserves. Do sign up for the newsletter through the 'about us' tab at the top. 

 

The peace of the Lord be always with you. 

Please be assured of my thoughts and prayers,

  

Fr. Tom 

 

Covid-19 Help for you and those you know

 

One of the best things about living in a village is that people are prepared to look out for one another and lend a hand

I know everyone is helping to do their bit and the church is here to help too

At the moment we are able to offer help with the following:

 

Local Foodbank

In St. John’s Church (Markyate) and St. Leonard’s Church (Flamstead) there is an ‘open table’ Foodbank. To avoid any embarrassment the Foodbank is unattended and those who find themselves in need of some food should feel able to go into the church and help themselves to the food that they need. The bank will be up and running by Thursday 19th of March.

If you are able to donate towards the Foodbank then you would be very welcome to do so. Items that would be useful are non-perishable items of food and toiletries. Donations for the Foodbank can be left in either of the churches in the donation box. Any extra food will be given to another local Foodbank at the end of the week. 

Buddy System

There will be some who find themselves alone at home and unable to get out of the house to do the things that they would usually do. This may include shopping, paying bills, collecting medicine. More important than practicalities will be the reality of worry and loneliness amongst those who live alone. If you would like any help then please get in touch on the number below.

If you would like to be a ‘buddy’ for someone who needs help with anything then please call me at the Vicarage and I will try and pair you up with someone in need. All volunteers will need to understand good safeguarding practices. 

Open Table Foodbank from THURSDAY. Donations welcome from TODAY. 

If YOU need help at home or would like to help then please call 01582 842040

If I am unable to answer the phone (quite likely) then please just leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I am able. Both churches are open for meditation and a space to think. If you need help with any other matters then please do get in touch on the number above

 

 

 

 

A welcome throughout the year

Welcome to the website of the United Benefice of Flamstead and Markyate. Our benefice brings together two parishes: St Leonard's Church in Flamstead and St John's Church in Markyate. We offer a range of services on a Sunday as well as during the week - all are welcome. The clergy are always avaliable to talk through any pastoral concerns you may have. We are here for everyone and not just people who come to church or have a faith. We invite you to explore the site for news on our regular and special services, events and heritage.