Vicar's update 24th FebruarySteve Newbold1

A BIG THANK YOU to all who helped on Saturday with our Big Clean/DIY morning. It was great to see so many turn out and to make a real difference to the building. 
 
There’s lots going on this week:
 
1.    Our monthly Prayer and Praise Meeting is on Tuesday (3rd March) at 8pm – do come if you are able.  This month’s meeting will have a particular focus on our youth ministry.
2.    The funeral of Pat Devereux is on Thursday (5th March) at 12.30pm.  If you are coming the family have asked that you wear something bright.
3.    Also on Thursday, Raising Faith starts for parents with primary school age children. If you expressed interest but haven’t had confirmation from Caroline Newbold or forgot to sign up, please get in touch with her as soon as possible (caroline@ststephens-ealing.org). 
4.    A Women’s Breakfast is on Saturday (7th March) at 10am.  If you haven’t yet signed up, for catering purposes, please let the Office know if you are coming (admin@ststephens-ealing.org).  The cost is just £3 per person payable on the day. 

As well as our usual services next Sunday morning, our former Curate Steve Morris is coming back at 4pm to talk about his new book ‘Our Precious Lives’ – about the powerful effect of hearing and telling stories in the church today.    There will be tea and cake and Steve will read extracts from the book.  Books will also be available to buy if you wish.  All are welcome for what is bound to be an entertaining and inspiring afternoon.
 
Looking ahead, do remember to book on our website for our evening of comedy and magic with Christian entertainer Steve Legg on Saturday 14th March.  It’s timed at 6.30pm so that families can attend.  The evening is free but we welcome donations on the night.
 
Naturally, many of us are worried about the effects of Coronavirus and the Diocese have issued us with advice about Holy Communion.   As you know the best protection is good hygiene by carefully disposing of used tissues and washing hands regularly and thoroughly and clergy will continue to use alcohol based gel before touching the bread/wafers.   The advice for now is to continue as usual but when receiving Communion you are asked not to ‘intinct’ – that is dipping wafers or bread in the wine.  This is because hands can be as much a source of pathogens as lips and intinction can introduce germs into the cup.  Dipping can also threaten those with certain immune or allergic conditions e.g. those with gluten intolerance.  If you do not wish to take the wine, you are welcome to simply take the wafer/bread.
 
A number from our church have already booked to take part in the morning of food packing for the charity Hand to Hand on Saturday 21st March at Haven Green Baptist Church.  It is a great opportunity to invite neighbours and friends who are not connected with church to work together to make a difference. Do sign up if you can.  Details are here.
 
Have a good week.

Steve