Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

November Newsletter

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all managing to stay safe despite the worrying signs that Coronavirus infections are on the increase. We need to continue to look after one another as we head into the winter period where transmission levels are likely to expand and more of us succumb to the effects of the virus.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago what are the church doing about looking after the community in these difficult times. That's a really good question and one where we as an organisation are very poor at highlighting the positive benefits made to people of all faiths and none. Church members will be well aware of what is being done to support foodbanks, second helpings, community care, dept relief, youth clubs and toddler group.

An article in the recent Sunday papers highlighted the fact that church groups throughout the UK were supporting some 35,000 community projects before the pandemic struck. Some of these activities have ceased due to social distancing measures but many continue with the vulnerable and lonely. A report from the National Churches Trust estimates that in post lockdown Britain there are more foodbanks in our towns and cities than branches of McDonalds restaurants and that's a worrying but necessary fact.

The report also calculates, for the first time ever, the likely cost of all these church services and it's a staggering £12.4 billion. This is the amount authorities would need to spend in replicating social and community services currently provided by churches at little or zero cost. Some churches have experienced a complete revival when previously closure looked like the only option. Churches throughout the country are now providing seven day a week activities for all sort of physical, mental and wellbeing activities.

The other big question I am constantly asked especially at this time of year is what we are doing for Christmas. It's a question many clergy are confronted by and at a recent zoom meeting hosting the topic "How to do Christmas in Lockdown" 159 clergy and readers logged in. The demand was so great that a repeat session is now planned for all those who couldn't get in on the first date. Clearly a hugely important topic for many of us. All I can say at the moment is that it will be different. Hopefully I will have clearer advice in the December issue but at the moment we need to concentrate primarily on the next few important weeks.

By the time you read this article the clock change will be well behind us and we will have entered the remembering month of November. Getting prepared for All Souls Day on 1st November as we reflect of those who are no longer with us in a physical form but whose memories never leave us. Candles will be lit, and names will be read out at our morning service on 1st November at 10.30am.

The second Sunday of the month 8th November sees another set of names read out as we remember the fallen in two world wars and numerous other serious conflicts around the globe. This year the Remembrance Service will be held as part of our "Drive In" service in the Car Park of the Crown Inn at 10.30am, before moving to the war memorial at the church gate in time for the two minutes silence.

In all the uncertainty that lies ahead, remembering what happened in the past must remain solid ground for our future. I wonder how this present age of Coronavirus will be remembered by future generations. Will there be a special day set aside to reflect on all who have suffered in body, mind and spirit, time will tell.

Whatever your plans are for November and beyond may God hold you and those plans in the palm of his all-embracing hands and give you his comfort and his peace. Above all, can I encourage you to be positive and hopeful for the future. This pandemic will end and we will emerge a richer and more community minded people than ever before.

God Bless

Rev'd Don