Bobservation No. 74: Faith Schools/Recycling/Coronavirus

Faith Schools

I have often wondered why, in a country which needs to integrate its population, how so many diverse religious groups’ faith schools can be encouraged and indeed funded. The recent decapitation in France of the schoolteacher Samuel Paty has once again thrown a highlight on religious intolerance. While this execution did not happen on British soil other faith killings have done. It must surely to true that to achieve maximum integration, the more that children in schools can mix with different ideas and faiths the better. So far as I am aware, here in Fulking, there is no intolerance of any kind. Indeed, a complete lack of interest in which faiths are present in the village seems to exist. As an atheist I find this very praiseworthy and have no desire whatsoever to attempt to convert others to my way of thinking. For me Don Bradman always has been and always will always be the almighty!

Recycling

A very praiseworthy amount of time has been given up by village volunteers in putting together a system of recycling those things that are difficult to classify. The village bus shelter is now the focal point and the Community Skill Swap Whats app site a fund of knowledge and help. Have a look at the Fulking village website under Environment and then Waste Services which gives a very explanatory review of what can or cannot be recycled.

Coronavirus

So far as I know, the number of COVID victims in Fulking is quite low even though we have several villagers involved with National Health issues or coming into contact with the public. The recent surge worldwide makes it even more important for all of us to continue to behave in a responsible manner. Masking, distancing and washing hands should always be carried out. It is quite possible that the creation of a vaccine, when it comes, will not be the end of the pandemic but a useful tool in mitigating its ravages. Whatever happens the world as we knew it will never be the same again and it will be up to us the create something better than we had before.

Downland Churches News

world to end tomorrow
We have been holding our Sunday services on-line during this Covid-19 lock-down. It has been encouraging to see so many people coming together via Zoom; last Sunday 37 devices were signed in, many with two people on board, and guests are joining us from as far away as Spain and Australia. If you would like to join us please do get in touch with your email address so that we can add you to the weekly invitation list.

Closer to home; our church finances are a bit worrying. We had a (virtual) meeting of our Benefice Council this week where we learned from our treasurers that each of our four churches is likely to be down on income by around £4,500 this year as we are not able to hold our usual fundraising events and, of course there are no weekly collections or gifts from visitors to our churches. Unfortunately the savings we make as a result of our churches being closed are very small as most of our outgoings continue regardless – such as our insurance premiums and Parish Share to the diocese.

Rev. Tim Harford

Downland Benefice Video Communion

I very much hope that you will be able to join our on-line Downland Benefice service of Holy Communion this Sunday, 19th April, 2020 at 10:30am. Please bring with you a small portion of bread and wine. To do so, from 10.15 a.m. on Sunday, please click here and follow the instructions that appear on your screen. Please let me know if there is anyone or anything you would like to be included in our prayers of intercession or in my private prayers for you.

Rev. Tim Harford

Downland Benefice Churches Closed

Downland Benefice
You will of course be aware that the Prime Minister has said that places of worship are to be closed; I have been instructed by the Archbishops and our bishop that the buildings are to be locked. I have placed notices in each of our churches to that effect and, very sadly, the doors will remain locked for the time being. The Archbishops have also said that until further notice we may not conduct weddings or baptisms – so please remember in your thoughts and prayers those whose special days have been disrupted.

Rev. Tim Harford

Downland Benefice Services

Downland Benefice
The decision has been made that public worship will be suspended for the time being. The four Benefice churches will remain open for private prayer during normal opening hours. Weddings, baptisms and funerals will still be able to take place but with as few people as possible in attendance. We we hope we will be able to get back to normal as soon as possible but in the meantime please hold one another in prayer in these challenging times.

Stephanie

[Note also that Toddlers (Fulking Village Hall) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.]