Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

September 2009

Will October see the great Swine Flu resurgence? It is predicted that as the school term gets well and truly underway, we may see a sudden increase in the infection rate. But if this fails to materialise, then I will be delighted to revert to the sharing of the chalice at our Communion services.

I know it has upset many to be denied the wine - other than as I have been able to intinct it onto wafers at the distribution. But on the other hand, I would hate to think that anyone might have been made seriously ill, because we had failed to observe the Archbishops' recommended guidelines. It's one of those difficult choices in life with which we all get faced from time to time. But sobering to think that the last time such restrictions were brought in, was during the Black Death!

I have another reason for hoping Swine Flu stays a relatively mild problem. On 6th October I am due to re-enter Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital for the next stage of the reconstructive surgery to my hand. (I think they should be giving me a season ticket at that place!) But of course, if Swine Flu 'takes off' again, it might all get put back - I hope not, as I just want to get through the next few months and hopefully regain the full use of my fingers. Your prayers would be much appreciated.

Meanwhile you will again be in the excellent hands (sorry about the pun) of James Makepeace and other local colleagues for a few services this month.

I will take this opportunity to provide advance notice of one or two slight changes that the PCC and I would like to introduce in 2010. The first of these concerns the readings that are used at 8am on Sunday mornings. At present these are quite different to those used for the 10am service and are rather restrictive - just one set for use, year in, year out.

I propose moving to use the same readings for both Sunday morning services - which will provide a greater sense of sharing in the common worship of the Christian church (nearly all denominations now use the Revised Common Lectionary with its 3-year cycle.) Printed copies of the readings will be provided for use at both services and so that people can take them home for further study and prayer if required. However the 8am service will continue to be 'prayer-book' in style and language, and we can continue to use the BCP readings for the Wednesday morning service, unless I receive requests to bring this into line also.

Secondly, on '5"' Sundays' our service of Matins will remain, but at the later time of 11 am - which was the traditional time for Matins in many churches in years gone by. Meanwhile at 10am a less formal, themed, 'Family-style' service will be held each quarter, and whenever possible, with a speaker chosen to represent that subject. This to last 30 - 40 minutes with coffee following - in which those arriving for Matins would be very welcome to share. In this way we might encourage a mingling in fellowship of rather different congregations, and widen the attraction of services we are providing. The main choral focus on this day will continue to be Matins with its psalms, canticles and hymns. The 5th Sunday Family Service will be in addition to that on 1st Sundays.

These changes will not take effect until January 2010 - so you have several months to ponder them and plan your diaries accordingly. - The first 5th Sunday of the New Year will be the 31St January. Watch this space for news of the theme for this first trial!