WELCOME TO THE RIVERSMEET BENEFICE

 

Riversmeet Benefice

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Here is the link to the Ascension Day service recorded in Little Barford church https://youtu.be/o0DSWhclI3g


There will be a live streaming of Sunday's service at 11 am. If you would like the details of this, please contact shelaghashley@btinternet.com


These are the links to the last service, which was recorded in two parts as we had an interval in Café Communion and which is now available on YouTube:https://youtu.be/P-Wpys7fTvE    17th May Part 1

https://youtu.be/Fm4LiTx3k5o    17th May Part 2


If you know of anyone who does not have access to the internet, please tell them about this free phone line:

The national church Daily Hope phone line

This free national phone line was launched on Sunday, 26th  April and is aimed particularly at the over 75s who do not have access to the internet.  The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.  This is a simple way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury before choosing from a range of options, including ‘Prayer During the Day’, ‘Night Prayer’ and a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service. A section called Hymn Line will also offer a small selection of hymns, updated daily. 


Please contact Revd Graham Buckle regarding baptisms, weddings and funerals. His email address is: dovecote10@btinternet.com. Funerals can now only take place at a crematorium or at the graveside. Weddings and baptisms can now not take place until the current restrictions are lifted.


 

Message from Revd Graham

Summer at last! As I write this the sky is blue, there is only a little breeze and it is warm! I was chatting to someone the other day, on my daily exercise. He worked very long hours before the lockdown, but now finds himself with lots of spare time. He was telling me how he had discovered a book about birds which belonged to his late father. His words to me were, “I get it now - creation and all that stuff.” What a wonderful statement to make! He is now discovering birdlife, wildlife and wild plants and flowers. I think this is a real good news story which has come out of the virus pandemic. It has taken our current situation for him to realise all the beauty and wonder that has been around him all this time.

There are new, good things coming out of the dark times we finds ourselves in. We are also finding more people joining in with our Zoom services, and not only those who live within the four parishes, but further afield too! Technology has its uses, as we can reach further than we could before. It has also been a valuable tool in accessing our families and friends who may be thousands of miles away across the other side of the world. Speaking to them, and seeing them with no barriers! (Except for the occasional dropping out of the internet!)

God’s love has no barriers, his care for each of us is constant. There’s only one thing that can stop us receiving what he offers; us as individuals. We can choose to accept or reject him, we can ask him into our lives, or put up a shield that prevents him entering in. I hope that you will discover God’s love for you, I pray that you will be able to say, “I get all that stuff about God loving me”. God bless you in the days ahead, that will I hope, be filled with more light.

                  

Revd Graham   


I’ve had a number of conversations recently about the restrictions during this lockdown period, where people are confused about what they should and shouldn’t be doing. To some it is clear what they can and cannot do, to others it is very confusing and in some cases contradictory! I’m sure you won’t mind if I say that the church on occasion has been a bit slow in interpreting what we can and cannot do with social-distancing and indeed with our buildings, who is allowed in and who has to stay out of the locked premises. We’re hoping to restart the building work at Blunham very soon with the right risk assessments and procedures in place. It will be a relief to see the work getting going again.

When it comes to interpreting the government rules and regulations, like most things, there are never two situations alike, each is individual, each has its own uniqueness. Just as we are all unique, all individuals, even identical twins have some differences! And that is how God views each one of us. We are loved by him as individuals, he doesn’t group us together as we ourselves do sometimes. It reminds me of the Gospel that tells us that God knows when a sparrow falls, and that even the hairs of our head are counted (that’s easier done for some than others!)

God cares for each and every one of us, knows our needs, and if we allow him he will help us as we live our lives through this pandemic. May God watch over you in the coming days.                  


Revd Graham  

 


As we approach the commemoration of VE Day, and watching various documentaries and films about the Second World War, I am reminded how the country pulled together to combat the threat posed by Nazism. How it wasn’t just the soldiers on the front line who were in danger, but also those working on the home front! It was a time when everyone was called upon to play their part in combatting the terror.

It is remarkable how our local communities have come together to make sure that those who fall into the category of vulnerable have been looked after and cared for even after 6 weeks of lockdown. Of course we give thanks to those who are on the frontline, like the NHS workers we have been clapping on Thursday evenings, along with the other key workers.

I remember all these people in my prayers each day, as we all should, and give thanks for all that they do, as well as all other workers who are helping the cause, either by the practical things, manufacturers of equipment, even the scientists who are searching for a vaccination.

I was reminded the other day by our own Bishop of St Albans about the new church in Thessalonica, when St Paul commended them for their “work of faith and labour of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”.

The work of the NHS and the others is vital as we try and draw nearer to the day when things can truly get back to the normality that we knew before the pandemic, even though our return journey may be staggered. And so we commend them for their work of faith, labour of love and steadfastness. God bless you as we continue in lockdown restrictions.       


Revd Graham   


We have experienced some lovely warm, sunny weather since Easter, but now that seems to have come to an end for the time being. The rain has come, which some have described as April showers, to refresh the earth and all of the plants and trees, and to make the lawn grow. We are now into the season of regular mowing to keep the lawns looking nice and manicured! It has been uplifting to enjoy the sunshine during the daily periods of exercising. Now things are not quite so bright, but nonetheless the green of the leaves, the colours of the spring flowers bring that lightness of hope for the coming weeks and months.

We are fortunate in this country not to have extremes of weather that some nations experience. Long periods of drought, weeks of freezing conditions, monsoon rains and other meteorological anomalies. The seasons flow from one to the other, with wonderful regularity.

As the flow of our daily lives has been disrupted by the coronavirus, there are some things that remain constant. As mentioned above the seasons come and go, the rain still falls, the sun still shines, the trees and grass still grow. The love of God remains constant too. I was reminded recently of some words from Psalm 115, where we read in verse twelve, “The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us.” It may seem difficult to understand in these times of lockdown and coronavirus that God is near. These words remind us that he knows what we are going through, and he does care for us, he does love us. He is mindful of us as each day passes, he knows our cares and concerns, and he will bless day by day. An old hymn comes to mind, “Count your blessings, name them one by one…” The hymn speaks of being tossed about in the tempest, just as we are now, but that God is with us each step of the way if we only trust in him. May God bless you in the midst of this pandemic.