From the Vicarage 28th March

FROM THE VICARAGE

Julian E Ll White

Dear People of the Parish,

To state the obvious, we live in challenging times.

This piece is to assure you that the Parish Churches of Mathern, Mounton, St. Pierre and Shirenewton will do all that we can to support you at this difficult time.

Many of the expected ways in which we would  try to assist the local community have been  closed to us. These may be briefly described as follows:

  • The Church in Wales has decreed that all services in church shall be suspended  until further notice..
  • Church buildings will be shut to all members of the public until further notice.
  • The Church in Wales also decrees that clergy are prohibited from visiting parishioners or from conducting wedding services until 31st July .This is an attempt to retard the spread of the Corona Virus.

This, to put it mildly, is both frustrating and inconvenient to both people living in the parish and to myself. In particular I am upset by the second declaration as recorded above as a ‘doors-open’ policy, which has been the norm for church buildings for centuries, is an avenue now shut (for the short term, God willing) to us.

I believe that, for many reasons, a readily available church – never mind the provision of a service or the Vicar for that matter – has served as a valuable benefit for people in times of considerable stress.

However, the various needs and concerns of the parishioners will be remembered in daily prayer by both myself and other Christians in the community.

I shall make every effort to maintain contact with regular church attenders either by telephone or internet (not that I can operate it much beyond turning the machine on!). I am, of course, more than willing to assist any other local inhabitant if at all possible. I mean this. After all, like the rest of you, I am not going very far in the foreseeable future.

My contact details are: 01291 622317 and jel.white@btinternet.com

Like you, I am sure, I have felt most appreciative of the attitude and actions of so many in this country. Whether it is the bravery and selflessness of the Health Service or the life-enhancing care and concern of countless individuals, I am both humble and proud.

I shall strive to make this a weekly communication. Please feel free to share it with anyone who you think might find it of some value. With ever blessing and good wish during these testing times.

Julian White (Rector & Vicar)