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From the Benefice - June 2020

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Our church building may be closed, but we are still very active.

We continue to provide pastoral support; to worship (including celebrating the Eucharist); to pray; study and read the Bible; and develop new forms of family-friendly worship.


Please see below for some of the things going on during lockdown:

Benefice e-newsletter
We have introduced a weekly Benefice e-newsletter, which is issued by email, and which contains news of all our services and events, and other important updates from the church.  If you would like to be added to the email distribution list, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Eucharists
We celebrate a Eucharist from home each Sunday at 9:30am and Wednesday at 11am.  All are welcome to join these Eucharists on Zoom.  On Sundays, we enjoy coffee and a chat (on Zoom) after worship.  Please either subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive Zoom access codes, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Oasis – a sacred space for spirituality and stillness – usually Wednesday at 7:30pm
We began Oasis during Lent, meeting first in our churches and then, due to lockdown, switching to live-streaming on Facebook or using Zoom.  Oasis is an informal service.  There are always candles, and a short passage from scripture.  We usually listen to some music and, occasionally, poetry; and enjoy a short period of silence.  All are welcome to join us for Oasis.  Please either subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive Zoom access codes, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lego Church
We held our first Lego Church session, on our Facebook page, on Saturday 9 May.  We heard the story of Creation, from the Brick Bible, then made models, using Lego bricks and other materials we found in our home, in response to the story.  Children and families who joined us enjoyed our first Lego Church and we look forward to meeting regularly, to hear Bible stories and build Lego models, when restrictions on public gatherings are no longer necessary.
If you wish to watch a video of our Lego Church Session, you can find it on our Facebook page @BeneficeGCH.

If you have any Lego, or other building blocks, which you no longer use and wish to donate, please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or leave them outside the Rectory, in Garsington.  Thank you.

Outdoor Church
We held our first Outdoor Church session on Saturday 16 May, on our Facebook page.  We spent some time considering the birds and the flowers, and took part in a scavenger hunt to find various objects in our gardens and homes.  We look forward to meeting regularly, for informal and fun outdoor worship or Forest Church, when it is safe to do so.
If you wish to watch a video of our Outdoor Church session, you can find it on our Facebook page @BeneficeGCH.

Prayer blankets and prayer shawls
Thank you to all those who have been knitting or crocheting prayer blankets and prayer shawls for our new prayer blanket ministry. All knitted or crocheted prayer blankets and shawls will be blessed, hopefully at a special service later this year.  If we cannot safely all gather together for worship for many months, then they might be blessed in a much smaller gathering.  Once blessed, prayer shawls or blankets will be given to those who are ill, housebound, lonely or recently bereaved.  Prayer blankets and shawls often bring comfort and peace to those who receive them, and generosity and kindness are also good for the mental or emotional well-being of those who make the blankets.  I have also heard that knitting and crocheting can be quite therapeutic and relaxing, though I haven’t personally managed to knit anything since I was a child!
There are many patterns and ideas available on the internet for prayer blankets and shawls, but you can follow any suitable pattern.  Prayer blankets should be large enough to cover the lap, legs and feet of a person seated in a chair or wheelchair.  Prayer shawls should be large enough to wrap around one’s shoulders and arms. Please contact me if you would like more information; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 361 146
Thanks

Pastoral Care
The Vicar and Parochial Church Council are attempting to phone all members of our electoral roll to check on people’s health, and well-being and provide telephone support to those who are lonely or alone.  If you are not on our electoral roll, but would like a chat, please phone the Vicar on 361 146.

If you are lonely, and would prefer a face-to-face chat, it might be possible for the Vicar to meet you somewhere safe, outdoors, observing social distancing, if you have not been advised to shield.