Our leisurely walking group, the Church Wanderers, is meeting again. On 3 October, we’ll be walking through Wohldorfer Wald from Ohlstedt station (meet at P+R car park opposite the station to start at 11 o’clock). Please let Jo Dawes know if you plan to join and haven’t already said so: mail(at)dawescom.de or 01724058736.
Despite the difficult times we are all currently facing, the chaplaincy council has decided to go ahead with preparations for our annual church bazaar which we plan to hold on Saturday, 21 November 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have to be very flexible with the management and organisation of the bazaar this year.
Eric Lord has been so kind to once more offer his assistance as Chief Organizer. Madeleine Herring, Wendy Sprock, Emma Richter and Valerie Müller will assist him as well as they can under the circumstances.
Eric has made a start on planning the bazaar without any open food and drink on offer (according to the current regulations) but this is an ongoing planning exercise as we move forward in time, and this may change. At the bazaar we may also have to come up with alternate fundraising ideas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so we are grateful for any new ideas on items, stalls or activities we could offer to raise more money. Therefore, please support us and we will do our very best to keep you informed at all times. Should you have any further questions, or if you would like to organise something new this year or can donate any handicrafts, please do not hesitate to contact the team. We are open to new ideas and suggestions.
The final bazaar date will be confirmed as soon as possible.
St Thomas à Becket church will reopen on Sunday 5 July for a short service of Morning Prayer at 10.30 a.m.
As a result of the ongoing crisis, churches are required to offer shorter services for a greatly reduced number of people so that hygiene and safety regulations can be strictly observed. Full Holy Communion services are not yet possible.
Until our locum arrives, Morning Prayer will be led by members of the congregation. If there are too many people for the 10.30 service, it may be possible to offer a second service at 11.15 a.m.
Please read this message from the wardens and council for full details of hygiene and safety regulations.
The Chaplaincy Council met on 6 May (via Zoom) and discussed the reopening in the context of the guidance received from our Bishops and what is permitted in Hamburg. Although churches may open, there are very strict conditions set. The Council therefore decided that the church will stay closed until the beginning of June to allow for proper preparation.
Fr Pete Wright is still our locum until the end of May, however, and will continue until then to film services together with members of the congregation and post them here: see church online.
There is a small group of people working on what we need to do to reopen the church. We will let you know as soon as we can when that will be and how we are going to do it.
We were told already when we were kids: You can pray anywhere. And at the same time people have their favourite spot and also their favourite time to spend some moments in prayer.
When I had a phase where the Daily Office was very important to me I had of course a corner in my bedroom with a candle and an icon. That was my spot for Morning and Evening Prayer. Setting apart a time and a place helped me stay in a healthy rhythm. Now I am rather unstructured. I have suggested reading (or praying or singing) through the psalms. And honestly these days I would just read them lying in bed before sleep. That’s my time and place. And that’s it at the moment.
What about you? Do you have a favourite spot for prayer? Is it at your kitchen table? Is it somewhere in a park? Or do you have a little corner for a candle, or a cross, an icon or some other symbols? Easiest way would be to send in a picture. We’d collect and share them next week!
Yotin Tiewtrakul, Choirmaster
The Arts Society London are running a series of free lectures – one every two weeks – accessible anytime during the two-week period via this link.
The current lecture is by Sarah Dunant on “Venice: Dressed and Undressed” and is available from 21 April. Thanks to Pat Pledger of the Arts Society Hamburg for sharing this news with us.
This morning the Easter Candle was also lit in a short Dawn Service in the church with some parishioners getting together via Zoom while our choirmaster joined from the church.
If you’d like to sing along or listen to some Easter hymns here’s “Jesus Christ is risen today”. Stephen Brown director of music at St Catherine’s in Stuttgart put together a “virtual choir” in which our choirmaster was also able to join.
We have received a new booklet from the Diocese in Europe. It contains the full complement of readings, intercessions and hymns and is meant to support each one of us in our common prayer during Holy Week.
You can download it here:
Every day during Holy Week, starting on Monday, BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a 15-minute programme on wild plants and flowers associated in history and folklore with the key moments of Christ’s Passion. Broadcast daily at 10:45 (9:45 in the UK), ‘The Passion in Plants’ can be found on BBC iPlayer Radio.