WELCOME TO THE RIVERSMEET BENEFICE

 

Riversmeet Benefice

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In light of the new, highly infectious variant of the coronavirus and the pressure this is putting on the NHS, the Benefice has decided to suspend all services until and including Sunday, 21st March. There will then be a review.


There will be a Zoom service at 11am each Sunday, which will then be posted here.  Please contact Shelagh Ashley if you would like the link to be emailed to you so that you can take part in the live service: shelaghashley@btinternet.com   


The readings for each Sunday are now available - just click on the link.


Here is the link for Sunday, 21st February's recorded service: which is available on YouTube 

https://youtu.be/iyS-EksVRjs


 and on Zoom, where you are able to follow the service slides as well. You will need this password:  85i%fRf3   https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/8Fncm90-V9DfgqqK5NlCrU3l-qeMw4S_k0fzB1ZUat1ipbSzcO8-oCT-fKjthmtW.RA5l0KVxqCbetUrS


February 2021 


 Sunday 28th February 2nd Sunday of Lent

Zoom service of Holy Communion - 11am

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

Romans 4:13-25

Mark 8:31-38


Sunday 7th March 3rd Sunday of Lent

Zoom service of Holy Communion - 11am

Exodus 20:1-17

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 2:13-22


Sunday 14th March Mothering Sunday

Zoom service of Holy Communion - 11am

Exodus 2:1-10

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 2:33-35


Sunday 21st March Passion Sunday

Zoom service of Holy Communion - 11am

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Hebrews 5:5-10

John 12:20-33


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.

  

Here is this week's message from Revd Graham:


The most frequent question I am asked at the moment is, “When will we be back in church for services?” The short answer is, I don’t know, the long answer is, I’m hoping by Easter. We have been pleased at the progress made in recent days, with the number of infections dropping and more and more people being vaccinated, and now everything seems to be tipping in our favour. We still need to be very careful and cautious about the things we do and how we go about them. Real normality still seems to be a long way off, but it now appears that we are on that road.


Easter would be good timing for us to return to our churches, as we think about and praise the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is associated with many different things, but the theme of freedom is central as Jesus bore the consequences of our sin on the cross. His actions enable us to be free from the burden of our sin, as he offers each of us forgiveness.


We have been bound by the restrictions of lockdown over the past few months which, as I found out in my conversations with people, has affected people’s mental state of mind. It has been hard to be away from our loved ones, unable to meet and hug those who we are close to. We have discovered over the weeks and months how important a touch, a hug and a kiss really are to us. Social interaction is essential, but there is nothing quite like holding someone close to you. We are painted a picture in John’s gospel of Jesus’ mother, her sister and Mary Magdalene standing at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying, and one can imagine them, not standing two metres apart but in an embrace that brought some comfort.


Many, if not all, are looking forward to a comforting embrace in future weeks, one that will bring a sense of relief and normality. I hope that soon we will able to return to our churches, hug one another, and once again enjoy the freedom we once had.


God bless!


Revd Graham



I’m not sure if there is a connection, but to move from St Valentine’s Day to Shrove Tuesday in forty eight hours seems a bit much! All those chocolates and flowers and now eggs and flour! From the celebration of love, to the using-up of all those odd bits and pieces that we are not supposed to eat in the season of Lent. Today, (Ash Wednesday), marks the beginning of Lent and leads us to the celebration of Easter in a few weeks’ time.


What we are really doing is following through the theme of love, as we come to the ultimate sacrifice that is part of the love story of God towards his creation in humankind. Throughout the Bible from the Old Testament to the New, God continues to love his people. Time after time they rebelled, turned away from him, made idols of their own, even killed some of God’s messengers, but God still loved them despite his vows to punish them for their wrong-doings. When he sent his son, it was in the greatness of his love for all people, and the ultimate sacrifice was made on our behalf.


We all still manage to get things wrong, we all trip up and do things that are contrary to God’s will for us, but the important thing is that God still loves us despite our persistence to do wrong things. I think this is one of the most amazing parts of our faith that God continues to love us. He could just as easily give up on us when we go astray, but he doesn’t. Unlike our computer operating systems we find on our computer, when you get a message that says, “Your software is no longer supported” and we can longer update or renew our security systems. God will never say, “Sorry you are not supported”. He is always there for us, if only we make our connection with him, and allow him to guide us in our thinking and doing. As we make our reflections in Lent, never forgot God loves you!


God bless!


Revd Graham


Today we have heard the announcement that Captain Sir Tom Moore has passed away due to Coronavirus. There have been many tributes paid to him, and as they continue to pour in, we have been reminded what an inspirational person he was, and continues to be, as we reflect upon his life and achievements.


It was only when he was ninety nine years old that he came to the attention of everyone. His life for ninety odd years seems very ordinary, and it was only when World War Two broke out that his life changed when he enlisted to his local regiment. He served abroad and played his part in the defeat of the enemy. Tom’s extraordinary feat of walking one hundred laps of his garden to raise one thousand pounds for NHS charities brought him to the forefront of the media; that target ultimately being surpassed by an incredible amount.


It is amazing that one act of kindness has made so much difference. I am in a privileged position in that I meet many families and hear many stories of lives that have been lived and that have made a difference to many other lives, along the journey of life. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus has made a difference to generations of believers. I want to underline that one year of Captain Sir Tom’s life has made and will continue to make a difference to others, through the money raised and the inspiration he has been to the world. It goes to show that we all have the ability to make a difference, and age doesn’t matter! If you want to put it into a mathematical form, just one percent of Tom’s life was all it took to go from zero to hero. Someone most of us had never heard of, even though we live just down the road to someone who had an incredible impact on a watching world.


The lesson we can learn is that one act of kindness and perseverance can make an amazing amount of difference. I hope we can use our lives to make such a difference to the lives of others.


May God bless you!


Revd Graham



I enjoyed seeing the snowfall over the weekend, but of course it brings mixed blessings. It was great to see children outside playing and building snowmen, even a pony having fun in snow. It does also disturb our way of life with some schools closed, travel disrupted, and in places temporary closure of vaccination centres. Whilst the scenery is so beautiful, bright and cold, we must think of those for whom the weather brings aches and pains and possibly loneliness, with the lack of capacity to get out for fresh air and shopping.


I have heard a number of stories of people, helping each other in the midst of this cold weather spell. So in some ways the weather has brought glee to the young at heart, and dismay to others.


We’ve been hearing on our Zoom services about the revelation of Jesus to people as he began his earthly ministry, first of all at his Baptism in the river Jordan when God’s spirit rested on him in the form of a dove; then by Nathanael hearing how Jesus knew about him without meeting him, and last week at the wedding in Cana when Jesus turned the water into wine! Many people, particularly the authorities of the time, did not approve of Jesus and what he was saying and doing. To the authorities, Jesus was a disruption to the status quo, undermining their authority; and who was he to say the things he was saying? And by what authority was he performing acts of healing and miracles? Jesus came to save the sinner, to bring a new hope for future generations, and to take away the rule of the authorities so that people could be free.


My prayer is that we all stay safe in the midst of the pandemic and that we can all receive hope and light in the presence of Jesus as we place our trust in him to be the Saviour of our lives.


May God bless you!


Revd Graham



Here is this week's message from Revd Graham:


We have had some electrical work done at the Rectory today, which resulted in the power being turned off for about thirty minutes. It is surprising how much we rely on having electricity to power just about everything we do. No power equalled no internet, no landline telephone, no computer, (although I could have used the laptop with its battery!), no boiling kettle for a hot drink… the list is endless of items which rely on mains power, which we in turn rely upon; more out of convenience than anything other reason.


It reminded me of the passage in chapter 15 of John’s Gospel, where Jesus speaks of abiding in the Father. Put into a more modern form, it means staying connected to the root of our faith and beliefs; that is Jesus Christ. Without being linked with the true power source of our beliefs we lose our focus on our discipleship, and our aims and goals.


In some ways it can be thought of in a similar way to the wiring of a three pin plug that we are all familiar with! (I hope). There are normally three wires for most appliances, live, neutral and earth. (Brown, blue and yellow/green). We need the power of the live wire, to enable us to grow in faith, be strengthened in our tasks and be powered to live as disciples. We need neutral to give us a different perspective of the world, not influenced by the things around us that interfere and pull us this way and that, away from our true life of discipleship. And finally we need to have yellow/green earth connection that enables us to stay firmly grounded in the world. Not thinking of ourselves as more righteous than other people, or more pious in our living.


It is important that, as we need to plug in to the mains supply for electricity, we keep ourselves connected to the author and creator our faith, to empower us to live as God designed us to live.


May God bless you!


Revd Graham


As I have mentioned before, I feel privileged to live in such a beautiful place and to have so many lovely walks close by, with no travelling needed! And I guess that living so near the river is a real bonus! In a few short minutes I can be down by the waterside and taking in wonderful views of the church, the Old Rectory and across to the A1 and Sandy.


It was on a day off recently, that walking by the river I was able to watch a kingfisher going to and fro across the water, dancing from overhanging shrub to shrub. This time I was armed with my camera as you will see in the picture below.


I am always amazed at the way that creation has developed to adapt to its surroundings, and the fact that birds and animals can be so well camouflaged that their intended prey cannot see them against their background. So you might ask, why is the kingfisher so brightly coloured and not camouflaged to fade into its background? I’m not an expert, so I’ll leave you to discover that one for yourselves. What it does make me consider is the role of the church in our communities.


Far from wanting to blend into the background, the church and the disciples of Jesus Christ are there to bring light and to stand as a beacon of hope in a dark world. It would be easy to stay in our buildings, when we can get into them safely, and not to be seen in the world. Jesus described this in a number of ways, but compared it to putting a light under a bushel and not on a lampstand or as salt to flavour our communities. The light of hope and the seasoning comes from the love of God. And as God loves us, so are we to love as he loves us. I hope that you feel that love as we continue through this coming week and beyond.


May God bless you!


Revd Graham