2020

Recording of worship

Recording of worship

Our video service of worship for Sunday, 18th October 2020, may be found on YouTube HERE.

N.B. This recording will not be available until shortly before 11:00 on Sunday – prior to this, it will show the video as being unavailable and “private”.

Order of Service: HERE

The video and those of previous weeks’ services may be found on the Recordings of Services page of this website.

 

 

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, Worship

COVID-19 current situation

October 2020:

  • The church currently remains closed but the Elders’ Council meeting will be evaluating a “test event” (a short act of worship on 27th September) held to check our covid-secure arrangements and members will be informed of our next steps shortly. A recording of this service may be found on our church YouTube channel HERE.
  • The church continues to share a video of worship each Sunday, with the video becoming available for viewing just before eleven o’clock on Sunday mornings. Links to videos are on our Recordings of Services page. Orders of Service are available from this page and are distributed through members-announce.
  • The weekly eNewsletter is shared via members-announce in the middle of the week.
  • We will endeavour to keep this website updated as often as possible. Do visit frequently to check for updates, and also check our Facebook page. We would be glad to receive feedback that you think may be helpful.
  • For further information, follow the link below to read our Covid-19 page, which includes advice from the URC nationally and links to Government and Local Government advice.

Covid-19 (last updated on 13th May 2020)

We wish to continue offering pastoral support to all members of the congregation. Any member of the congregation may contact their Elder if they, or someone they know, may need help in connection with a pastoral need or a practical need – we are here to support each other and do what we can for our communities. Any member of the Secretarial Team may be contacted if your Pastoral Elder is not available.

DO LET US KNOW IF YOU NEED ANY HELP.

We continue to pray for those who are having health difficulties or who have responsibility for taking decisions in relation to this difficult situation.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current
We’ll meet again – Ukuleles

We’ll meet again – Ukuleles

By popular request…
The Ukuleles of St. Andrew’s with Castle Gate United Reformed Church, Nottingham
share their video of “We’ll meet again”

This rendition and the video was made under self-isolating conditions in May 2020 during the week of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

 

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, events, news

VE Day anniversary

Friday, 8th May, was the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Out member, Ruth N, shared recollections of her experiences on VE Day with our members through our eNewsletter and, with her permission, the article is reproduced here:

“It is almost impossible to find words to describe the feeling – the War had ended. It was joyous beyond belief…

With my sister Margaret and friends, we walked in the evening from our home in Sherwood to the Arboretum. We joined a long line of people doing the Conga all around the Arboretum grounds and then the line snaked down the road all the way to the Market Square and you just went with the flow. There were such vast numbers of people we had to hold hands to make sure we could keep together.

The Market Square was literally heaving with people singing and dancing. Such a great outpouring of relief – Church bells were ringing again, having been silenced during the war as they were to have been our warning sign that an invasion on our shores had begun – fortunately never needed. There were lights everywhere – no black-out restrictions. People were smoking their “ciggies” after dark OUTSIDE.”

 

Ruth, who was 15 at the time of V.E. Day, said it was difficult to describe the experience but it is one of those moments that you carry in your heart.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, Report
From the front line…

From the front line…

Our member, Maggie B, works in the NHS. She contributed the following article for our weekly “eNewsletter” shared on 9th April 2020 and gave permission for it to be shared on the website.

She writes:

[I have been asked] to say a few words about my experience of the current situation, in the belief that my experience is more interesting! This is not a word I’d use to describe the situation, not least because every time I hear it I think of the phrase “may you live in interesting times” – the provenance of which I’ll leave to you to decide!
 Over my past few shifts, I have been variously: scared; tired; fed up; horrified; joyous; bemused; uncomfortable. To be honest, we have been quite lucky at work as we are one of the so-called ‘clean’ wards – we still admit patients of our own speciality (and some others too) and if any of our patients develop Covid-19 they are moved to one of the respiratory wards. The hospital is unrecognisable, purely because everything we did know has changed and most specialty wards have now become respiratory wards. We have new ways of working, and every time I walk into work something else has changed. But we still go back to our fundamentals – each patient is here for a reason, and we need to make sure that they are safe, pain-free, comfortable and well-looked-after whilst they are with us, even if we do have to wear facemasks and end up repeating ourselves frequently.
 We still manage to laugh, not only with the patients but with the staff too, but unfortunately our jokes are not suitable to be repeated. (I’m not sure which is worse – NHS humour or military humour. Answers on a postcard please!) We are also aware how fortunate we are – we may be having to go to work, and potentially risk our health, but we are also able to see and be with other people, and our opportunity for actual social interaction is immense. We do practice social distancing as much as we are able, and we do remind others when necessary, but it’s quite tricky to help a patient mobilise to the bathroom if you are 2 metres away from them.
 If you were to ask me what you could do to help, then I would say you are already doing it. Stay at home, go out as infrequently as possible and stay as far away from others when you do. I may sound like a broken record, but this is a nasty disease and the consequences are horrible, and too often heart-breaking.
 Take care,

Maggie

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, news
New look for this website

New look for this website

Our website has a new look and a new virtual home!

In order to continue looking good and being easy to navigate on mobile devices, the website has a new overall appearance, but the content is essentially the same.

As always, we will be glad of your feedback and encouragement.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, Website
A prayer

A prayer

In his letter to members in our weekly eNewsletter, our minister included a prayer, having in mind all those who have lost loved ones unexpectedly, those who are in hospital, those recovering at home and those who are feeling anxious, lonely and afraid.

“Almighty and Eternal God, whose love and care is close to each one of us, especially in our time of need, we hold before you all who are desperately ill at this time, all in Intensive Care Units, all recovering on the wards, all at home having beaten the virus, but still sore and anxious. We pray for all those who are starting to feel ill and are desperately worried about what awaits them in the days ahead. In the name of Jesus, who brought healing to the sick and hope to the downhearted, we ask for your healing for all in need, for your patience, for your inner peace and your strength and encouragement, that they may be made well and returned to the love of their families.


Eternal God, we pray too for all those who have lost loved ones, who are facing the aching reality of deep grief and sorrow and who, at the moment, cannot honour their loved ones in the way they would wish. We pray that you will comfort them with the knowledge that their loved ones are in your eternal love and care; that you will bring them new hope and new possibilities and the determination just to carry on.

Eternal God, we pray for all those who are working day and night to nurse and to tend the sick. We give thanks for the skill and dedication of doctors, nurses, managers, cleaners, delivery drivers, engineers and designers, those in government and in positions of authority, all who are working so hard to develop and bring new ways of healing to those in greatest need. Please keep them safe when they are in harm’s way and strengthen and encourage them when they become tired and disillusioned.

Eternal God, above all, we pray that this current crisis will pass quickly and that a way can be found to beat it once and for all. We pray that you will watch over all our loved ones, wherever they are and that you will keep them safe and well. We pray that we may all be reunited in love and friendship very soon. We offer you our prayers, in the knowledge that it is impossible to pray earnestly and for nothing to happen. And to you, Eternal God, be all honour, glory and praise, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current
Minister’s letter

Minister’s letter

We will not be producing a printed newsletter for April, but we would like to share the Minister’s Letter which was written, in advance, for that April Newsletter.

 

18th March 2020

Dear Friends,

These are unprecedented times. You will know by now that we have needed to cancel all public worship and all activities in our Churches until the beginning of May. At that time we will review the decision in the light of current advice. As most of you will not be going into the Church, we have decided to halt the production of the newsletter for the time-being. Hence, this letter is being sent to you by email.

Please assume, unless you hear otherwise, that all services and all activities in the Church planned for the remainder of March and for April will not be held. Very sadly, this will include our Holy Week services and our Easter Celebration. We have also had to postpone our Young People’s Service, planned for this coming Sunday. However, this service can be shared with us at another time and we look forward to that very much indeed.

These are unprecedented times. Such crises bring out the best and the worst in people. Sadly, we only hear about the worst. However, the best is also being shared across the country, as people rally to support and help those in the greatest need. In our churches, we have strong networks of pastoral care and support. If you find yourself in need of supplies, in need of prescriptions to be collected or in need of a friendly chat, please do not hesitate to ask, either through your Pastoral Elder, through your Church Secretary or to me. In the current circumstances, loneliness is the most dangerous threat. Please don’t feel bashful about asking for help or support. In these times, it is vital that we rally to support each other. However, it is also vital that we observe good hygiene practices and stay safe. If you want to open your windows and play opera to your neighbours, then please do! My favourite is Traviata!!

One thought that comes to mind is that we follow one who reached out to those who were isolated and cut off from society to give them acceptance, inclusion and a loving touch. That showed huge courage and immense compassion. In the current circumstances it is a very difficult example to follow, but one that nonetheless gives us a huge challenge.

At the end of April we say farewell to our friends David and Trisha Legge. David has been a Minister in Nottingham for over 10 years, has been instrumental in helping us form the North and South Nottingham Areas, has been a colleague for me as a Pastoral Consultant for Nottinghamshire and has worked tirelessly to service the Synod Office’s IT needs. We shall miss them both in Nottingham, but wish them both a long and happy retirement.

I have no wish to make this letter overlong, but I would like to add a thought for the season. The current crisis is making us feel afraid and wary of each other. A recent book by Rowan Williams entitled ‘Meeting God in Paul’ focusses on some of the apostle Paul’s more challenging ideas. One of these is about the radical freedom that relating to God brings us. Rowan Williams writes: “Christian freedom is the liberty to let God do God-like things in you – to give life, to promise forgiveness and reconciliation, to communicate hope in word and action.” I cannot think of a better description of the lasting effects of the resurrection of Jesus than this.

God knows our every need and will level mountains into plains and rough places into smooth pathways, if we can only learn to ask and to trust. If we make a straight path for God into our hearts and souls, God will make a straight path for us. The truth of the resurrection that we celebrate at Easter is that God will always bring new life. No matter how hard something seems or how final some disappointment or ending appears to be, God will always bring new hope and new possibilities. We open our troubled eyes to look in trust and there will be God, standing beside us to strengthen us and going before us to show us the next step on our adventure through life. The great message of Easter Day is to ‘let go and let God’ and to bathe in the freedom that comes with the knowledge that we are loved and accepted.

Please note that I will be on holiday from Monday 13th April to Wednesday 22nd April inclusive. In the case of a pastoral emergency, please contact either one of the Secretarial Team or your own Pastoral Elder.

I wish you all a very happy Easter! Please take care and stay well.

God’s richest blessings,

Chris.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current, news

Lockdown

Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, has written a poem, Lockdown, reflecting on the impact of the coronavirus. He shared it in a Facebook post on Friday, 13th March. In less than a week, his original post received more than 23,000 positive reactions and was shared more than 39,000 times. A member suggested we should share this with you.

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

Richard Hendrick, March 13th 2020

This is a link to the original post:

facebook.com/BroRichard/posts/10158060660454328

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, news

Church closure

17th March 2020

The Minister and Secretarial Team have today (17.3.20) agreed that our church should follow advice from the URC and suspend all worship and activities until the end of April. This means no public worship in Church until the beginning of May (unless advice changes), cancelling all our Holy Week worship, cancelling meetings (including Lent Groups and choir practice), postponing our AGM and cancelling all other activities arranged in the building. Hall bookings have been cancelled. The Stroke Club will not meet and the Nottingham Child Contact Centre will not open.

It is with great sadness that this decision has been made, but the health of our members and halls users must be our first priority and is our greatest concern.

The church intends to provide ways in which we may continue to share worship. Following an experiment to stream our service last Sunday, we expect to be able to stream and/or podcast a simple act of worship in the coming weeks. Information about this will be shared on this website.

We wish to continue offering pastoral support to all members of the congregation. Any member of the congregation may contact their Elder if they, or someone they know, needs help, whether in regard to a pastoral need or a practical need – such as help with shopping. Any member of the Secretarial Team may be contacted if your Pastoral Elder is not available.

We continue to pray for those who are having health difficulties or who have responsibility for taking decisions in relation to this difficult situation.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, Current