Rector's March 2020 Pew Letter 

Firstly, let me encourage all of us to remain prayerful, peaceful and loving to all we meet. Panic is a destructive force. We put our hope and trust in the living God. As we live out the faith which God has given to us, we can bear witness to God’s unfailing nature.

We are facing an unprecedented situation in our lifetime and in our culture.  In light of the current situation regarding the Coronavirus, the leadership team is constantly discussing how best to deal with the risk that faces us and create policies as requested by the Oxford Diocese. We have agreed on a number of actions, but of course the situation is changing daily, and we will follow the advice that is sent to us from both Government and the Diocese.

I will keep you updated via email and social media.  At the time of writing, the Government has adjusted its advice to recommend those who are coughing or ill to self-isolate.  There are no instructions for us to cease meeting although we have taken the decision to cancel the Community Lunch.

Pastoral Care, Contact Jo Wigley, number is 07512 274423. Please call her if you would like to talk.

It is also a good idea, if you haven’t done so already, to set up a quick way of communicating to all your Connect group members by Whatsapp or Messenger, so that you can be in regular contact with everyone. As Christians, we want to serve our community and each other. So, if you are able, please check in by phone, text, Facebook or by email on the vulnerable, the lonely and the elderly. Let’s see if we can help them by doing some shopping whilst following the Governments guidelines by leaving the bags by their door.

On a personal note, in the event of you having to self-isolate please do ask family members, neighbours and home groups for help and assistance. We are committed to adhering to the Governments isolation advice and our policy is at bpchurch.uk/covid19 which I’d be grateful if you could all read.

We are exploring ways of communicating with each other if we are stopped being able to meet together in the church building. We should be able to use our Livestream capability, so watch out for communications about this.

The Bible records that only hours before Jesus was arrested, he promised this to his disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ (John 14:27).

That’s the peace of a pure heart that is capable of resisting the pressure of fear. It’s the peace that allows us to be stable, solid and caring whatever fears there may be. It’s the peace we need now. May you and I be granted it.   

We are holding a Sunday lunch (free of charge) for all 11.15am congregation members on 29th March.  The aim is to discuss what the review has recommended and to see what people think.  You need to RSVP if you want to attend.  Sign-up sheets in church.

Future Events and Easter Services.

We are fast approaching the most important time in the Church calendar.  Over the next few weeks we can expect many people to visit BPC and we must do our utmost to make their experience so good that they want to return!

As ever we’ll be pouring ourselves out to make our major services and events really first class so I hope and pray you’ll be inviting friends and neighbours along. 

This is the programme:

Confirmations and Baptisms – Sunday 22nd March – 6pm.
Lunch for the 11.15am congregation, on 29th March (please RSVP)
Prayer & Praise - 6th April,
Men’s Breakfast –4th April. Prof James Tooley. Palm Sunday’s 11.15 will be Eucharistic.
Easter Messy Church, April 5th at 3pm – fun for families.
Maundy Thursday Communion Meal, April 9th at 6.30pm – tickets via office.
Maundy Thursday Stripping the Altar Service 9pm.

Good Friday
10.15 service in BPC followed by walk of witness
11am Service at Old Gaol followed by refreshments at The Centre
2pm Meditation in BPC.

Easter Day
8am BCP
9.30am Family service with HC
11.15am Eucharist
6pm ‘Easter Alive’ with baptisms

Outreach.   We have some exciting plans to reach out into the community and Olly is looking for more team members. If you’d like to be involved let him know: outreach@bpchurch.uk

Production Assistance.  We need more help on the Production Team (sound and visuals) so if you can help do let Ali Burt know: production@bpchurch.uk

Orchestra. We’re looking at forming an orchestra and choir for the combined Pentecost service (1045am on 31st May).  If interested in joining please email Ali worship@bpchurch.uk.

Alpha is starting shortly.  Do please be thinking of who you can invite.  Making disciples is what we’re all about.  Full details at bpchurch.uk/alpha.

Please pray for protection against Covid19 and for all who care for us and are in authority over us.

I wish you all the very best and look forward to seeing you at one of our many services.

Bring a friend along!

Will, Rector