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St Peter's Wolvercote & All Saints Wytham 
Wednesday 22 April 2020

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Dear Friends
     It was lovely to receive the mailings last week, while I was off work. Thank you to all who contributed. And thanks for all your encouraging feedback as well. 
     With the lock-down extended, the novelty has certainly worn off. Some of you who live alone may be finding it quite hard. Let's continue to support each other by phone or email, and keep praying for those in the thick of it, especially NHS staff and patients in our hospital intensive care wards, remembering that it's for them primarily that we're maintaining our social distancing. 
     This Sunday we'll be hearing the story of the journey to Emmaus, a story that encourages us that the risen Jesus is alongside us on this strange journey we're on. As on Easter Day, we are planning to offer a simple Communion service which we invite you to join in "Spiritual Communion". We would welcome feedback on whether this element of our worship together is something you would like us to continue.
     With love and prayers
     Charles

Enjoying God’s creation lightly
     Daffodils, cherry blossom, even blue bells are beginning to push their way out of the ground. The first sand martin and swallow have arrived back from Southern Africa and the chiffchaffs are singing from the hedges and woodlands.
     We cannot deny the real and devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on lives and livelihoods. Yet the many consequential changes have led to unexpected results. As industries, transport networks and businesses have closed down, we've experienced a sudden drop in carbon emissions. For example,we hear that levels of pollution in New York are nearly half those in 2019 as a direct result of measures introduced to contain the virus.
     It may be that people who are avoiding travel now are really appreciating slowing down, spending time with families and focusing on core priorities such as enjoying God’s creation in their gardens, allotments and going on walks. These moments of crisis can highlight how important such priorities are, and help us focus on the health and well-being of family, friends and community. The time afforded by self-isolation could be seen as an opportunity to take stock of our consumption and how we affect our environment.
     When the pandemic eventually subsides, will carbon and pollutant emissions “bounce back” so much that it will be as if this clear-skied interlude never happened? Or could the changes we see today have a more persistent effect? 
     Sooner or later we will need to ask: what do we want the world to look like when we come out the other side of this pandemic? We have the gift of time, to reflect on the possibilities of systems and livelihoods that live in harmony with nature rather than against it – and to be involved in making permanent changes  happen through raising our voices, demanding climate action, and praying regularly,
     St Peter’s made the commitment to be more environmentally-conscious last year. Already this year, our congregation has raised enough money to provide proper sanitation and clean water for five communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia which had been living with the constant risk of sickness and death. Through FairTrade Sunday and a Lent talk, we highlighted how we must make the right food-buying choices to avoid social injustice in poorer countries. In May, we will find novel ways to celebrate our first Environment Sunday on 17 May. More news to come!                                                                                                                Beth Knowles

Prayers for our time
Suggested by Stephen Drew       


We begin our day 

We begin our day with trust

We begin our day with hope


We make room for the unexpected

May we find wisdom and life in the unexpected.

 

We pray for all whose day will be difficult………

May we support, may we listen.

 

Today we will look for God in the ordinary moments

 

May we find the wisdom  and courage we need for today

God be with us

May we hear the needs of those we meet

God be with us

God be with those we love and cannot touch or see.    

Amen

© The Corrymeela Community, 2020

Clap for Carl and Katie, The Post Box, Godstow Road
     Wolvercote residents turned out in force last Saturday - suitably socially distanced - to thank Carl and Katie for their extraordinary efforts keeping the Post Box open, providing essentials for the community during these difficult times. Click on the image below to see a short video courtesy of The Edit Shed.
Something to smile about

This lovely little girl is Alison McDonald's first cousin’s granddaughter. She's wearing a beautiful, spring green coat knitted specially for her by Alison. 

What craft projects are you doing at home during this time of social distancing? We'd love to share images of  your successes (or failures!). Maybe you've been drawing or painting. Or practising a musical instrument - short videos welcome.

It's a great time for photographing signs of spring. 

The images at the top of this week's newsletter were kindly sent in by Alison (cowslips on Wolvercote Green) and Amanda Saville  (her Easter Garden)
A message from Wolvercote Community Market
Veg and fruit supplies are becoming more reliable so please don't hesitate to order from us - even if you don't fit into the vulnerable category - as our aim is to help the whole community to stay safe by staying local.

Available produce Order your veg, fruit and eggs
  • Email Ros and John Bleach at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 12 noon Thursday including a telephone number and your postcode. 
  • State clearly if you are over 70, or unable to shop (because you're unwell, a single parent, have mobility issues etc.) or have underlying health conditions as we prioritise the most needy if oversubscribed. 
  • We will let you know by Friday morning if your order has been successful.
Collection
  • Collection from the White Hart community pub car park Sunday 10:00-11:00
  • Customers must practice safe distancing. If there's a queue, maintain a distance of at least two metres from other.
  • We only accept contactless card payment - no cash.
Reaching the vulnerable
  • Please contact elderly, isolated or at-risk neighbours to tell them about the scheme and pick up shopping for them if needed. Let us know if you're unable to arrange collection. We'll deliver if necessary.
All the best from the market volunteers x

Sign up for the Community Market newsletter to find out what's available each week.
 

Be a ‘Home Hero’ for Aspire - tackle the #TwoPointSixChallenge 

     Aspire Oxfordshire helps our community's most marginalised people to overcome permanently social issues such as homelessness, unemployment, isolation, and to build their skills, qualifications, work experience and resilience to achieve their full potential. They rely on donations to keep going.
     Thousands of events - such as the Virgin Money London Marathon, the world's largest one-day fundraising fixture - have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant, detrimental impact on charities across the country, including Aspire. Many will not survive the next few months, and are having to reduce or completely halt their services at this crucial time.
     On 26th April 2020, the intended day of the London Marathon, the 2.6 Challenge will be launched - a nationwide fundraising campaign to support organisations like Aspire who desperately need more support than ever now and in the months ahead.
     From walking 2.6 miles around your garden, juggling 26 times, baking and selling 26 cakes - there are so many ways to get creative, get active, and have fun - pledging whatever you can or fundraising for your challenge to support Aspire.
     Are you ready to be a ‘home hero’ for Aspire? Here's how to get involved. Choose your task, share what you're up to, and donate or fundraise to support Aspire's crucial support services, ensuring they can be there for those who need them.

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