Dear Church Family, HAPPY NEW YEAR! This greeting is sincere although I recognise that our current lockdown make that harder to realise. We have now entered a third National Lockdown. The mutation of the virus to a form which is very significantly more transmissible than the original presenting a much higher risk and local cases are rising significantly. In the latest Government Guidance regarding Places of Worship we are not required to cease public worship in person. However. The Archbishop and Bishops guidance says they are "taking the view that 'may' does not mean 'must', where there is concern about being able to hold services safely. Judgments must be made locally following a proper Risk Assessment tailored to your circumstances." The PCC have been reviewing the Risk Assessment and implications for our own worship in person at St Mary's on Sunday. The PCC have decided that In the light of the heightened health risks, we will suspend worship in person. We will be worshipping on line and we will review the situation as it develops. All of our online services can be accessed via the Website, Facebook page and Youtube channel. If you are unable to access our online content then we would love to give you a copy of our 'spiritual resources for 'Keeping Faith Aflame at Home' booklet which contains some short orders of services and ways to help you pray and grow in your faith. If you would like a copy of this please do get in touch with the clergy team, both paper and digital copies are available. GATHERING TOGETHER If you can join us every Sunday Online at 10:15am and at 6pm (1st and 3rd Sundays) for our services or do join in using the spiritual resources booklet. We meet together for a virtual coffee/catch up time after the 10:15 service every week. This is a great way to stay connected. Everyone is welcome. To join, please use these Zoom details: Meeting ID: 835 8694 1587 Password: Thirsk Small Groups and Monday Morning Prayer are continuing to meet online. Let us know if you would like the Zoom details. You can download Zoom from www.zoom.us. GIVING This year has hit many churches financially, and we are so grateful for your continued generous giving. If you usually give through the plate or use the free will offering envelopes, please do continue to set aside your giving over this next period of lockdown. If you would like someone to collect your envelopes and deliver them to church, do ask. If you wish to give online you can do this securely on the website at www.thirskparishes.org/give. PRAYER MEETING Join us for the Church family prayer meeting on January 26th at 7pm on Zoom. Prayer is at the heart of all that we do and especially so now. Use these Zoom details: Meeting ID: 845 2679 6409 Password: prayers If you, a friend or neighbour would value a phone call do let me know by telephoning 01845 574742. Also, do let me know if you could volunteer to offer practical help to others, for example collecting shopping or prescriptions. It is important that no-one is forgotten, and we find ways to care for one another. ENCOURAGEMENT These verses from St Peter's first letter encourages me that we can have hope, not just in the vaccine but also in our faithful God.
" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." - 1 Peter 1:3-5
St Peter encourages us that although we live with challenging and uncertain times our heavenly Father is faithful, Jesus is victorious and our eternal future is guaranteed. Happy New Year!
Derek, Helen, Mary, David, Tracey & Jill
"Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.' Isaiah 26:3-4