A letter from St Mary's Church

A letter from St Mary's Church

Dear Friends

It has been very difficult to do our usual communications during Covid, but we have not forgotten you and have continued in prayer for the village. Since it has been so long since our last letter, I thought it would be good to give a summary of all that we are doing.

Our services

  • Our main Sunday services are taking place in St. Mary’s, Standon, and All Saints’, Little Munden at 10.30 on a two-week rota. These services are also live streamed through our website, www.ubsms.org.uk where our YouTube is available. If you wish to be a member of the congregation, due to the restrictions on people numbers we ask you to contact our administrator Marion Smith ([email protected]). Marion can give you the exact schedule and will book you a place if there is room. It is now compulsory to wear a face covering in Church if you are able to do so. St Mary’s is Covid safe with hand sanitiser available and social distancing in place.
  • We also have our 8.00 am Holy Communion service at St Mary’s on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. There is no need to book for this service.
  • On a Sunday afternoon there is the Centre Community Church which is present on Zoom at 5pm or sometimes meeting in person at 4.30pm. Details of how to access this service can also be found via the website on the Centre Community Church Facebook page.
  • On Tuesday mornings we have resumed the 9.30 am Holy Communion at Sacombe.
  • We are conducting Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals but as regulations change with COVID, so we try to be imaginative about how we help with these services. Please contact me through [email protected] or 01920 739483 (Vicarage) 07495 504433 (Mobile) for further information.

As you can imagine, there is a great deal of effort being put into our services at present. One great joy has been the return of the bells. Sadly we cannot ring a peal, as six people cannot socially distance in the belltower, but we are delighted that one couple, Nic and Sue, are ringing 2 bells on a Sunday.
St Mary’s is open every day during daylight hours for personal prayer or if you just want to visit.

Pastoral care

These last 6 months have been a very difficult time for many of us in our community and we are very aware of the loneliness and isolation that has been a result of this time. We would like you to know that there are many people in the Church family who would be happy to chat or help in any way you might need. Please call or email me or Caroline Franks [email protected] if you would like a contact or know anyone who would. We also have many groups to which all are very welcome; here is a selection:

  • Men’s group
  • Women’s group
  • Small groups
  • Young People’s Bible Study group
  • Children’s and Youth groups
  • Red Balloon Children’s Resources (our partner in our Youth Work ) which includes an interactive Sunday church, virtual groups and materials for families.

For more information about any of these groups and activities, please contact Marion or Caroline (as above).

Looking forward

With Remembrance and Christmas coming up we will be doing all we can to make these festivals meaningful for the village.

Remembrance: We are already working with the police and Parish Council to see what we can do safely and legally for Remembrance Sunday; we will be live streaming a service of remembrance at 10.30am and our website will have all the latest information. Sadly, attendance at the service will need to be by invitation only this year due to current restrictions.

Christmas: We are still working on our Christmas services and these will be announced in PS in early December. But one way or another, either live or recorded or a combination of the two, we hope to have carol, Christingle, Midnight and Christmas Day services. Watch this space.

This is a rather long letter about all that is going on in church life; believe me, there is more, but enough is enough! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

Best wishes
John Chitham, Rector