Newcomers' After Church Get Together
If you have joined us online since we started livestreaming our services and are thinking of coming along to services in the church building once we can all meet together in person, then you are invited to a special 'After Church Coffee' for newcomers, next Sunday 7th March at 11.20am.
It will be very informal and all family members, including children, are very welcome of course. Unfortunately, you have to provide your own tea or coffee!
The Big Story - Sunday 28th February
The Bible is a big book – but have you ever wondered how it all fits together? Is it really telling one Big Story which makes sense of all its smaller ones?
Week 6 was Sunday 28th February. You can catch up on the whole series so far on The Big Story playlist on our YouTube channel. You can also use the Sermon Recordings page for audio and video recordings.
Finally, if you would like to start reading the Bible, we have a page offering some help.
Shrove Tuesday marked the start of Lent. This was the day in years gone past when people would use up the fat and eggs that wouldn't keep during the following 40 days of Lent. It was believed that denying yourself helped in truly showing God how sorry you were for the things you had done wrong.
Whilst many people still choose to give things up for Lent, we know that because of God's grace, we don't need to earn His forgiveness. So, over time, people have found that it has helped their faith more to take up something - praying daily for a particular thing, or studying God's word together.
As we can't meet in person this Lent, we have chosen to take the time to share with you some personal encouragements of how God has helped us, especially over the last difficult year. So over the next few weeks, we will be sharing first hand testimonies from members of our congregation. We pray that these will bless you, encourage you and deepen your own faith as we look forward to the hope of Easter.
These reflections are also being published on St John's Facebook page.
Today's "Lent Encouragement" is by Dee.
One of the blessings I have experienced during lockdown has been the joy of my regular “walk and talks". As this was limited to one person each walk I have been blessed to get to know people even better than I thought I did. This deepening relationship reminded me of the importance of communicating regularly with God to develop a deeper relationship with Him. My walks have also affirmed the glorious world we inhabit and the intricacies of the simplest of things, from raindrops on a twig to frost on a branch. Indeed, in Genesis 1:31 we are told that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”.
The photograph above is one that Dee took on one of her walks.
To see all the Lent reflections so far, please click or touch below.
Prayer Fellowship and Housegroups
For the second part of this term, housegroups will start reading 'Gentle & Lowly'. We will continue the pattern of alternating housegroups with Prayer Fellowships.
Here is the timetable up until the end of March (all meetings are currently virtual):
- 3 March - Prayer Fellowship
- 10 March - Housegroups - Gentle & Lowly study 2: chapters 2-4
- 17 March - Prayer Fellowship
- 24 March - Housegroups - Gentle & Lowly study 3: chapters 5-6
- 31 March - Prayer Fellowship
If you would like to join a housegroup, or to find out more, please contact the Church Office. Information about Prayer Fellowship is sent to everyone on our mailing list before each meeting, again, please contact us for details.
During the current lockdown, the government permits churches to open for services. Therefore, we are still holding services in St John's church building with limited numbers, following strict COVID Secure guidelines. However, our recommendation is to stay at home and participate online if possible.
Booking is not required if you are attending the building. To reduce delays, please use the NHS COVID-19 Contact Tracing App and scan our QR code when entering the building. Otherwise, you will have to complete a track and trace form - ideally please download it and complete it in advance. Paper copies will be available in church too if needed.
We have further increased the spacing between seats. The Welcome Team will meet you with a friendly greeting and help you through the process. Please expect us to be strict about face coverings, hand sanitising, the one way system and not lingering to chat before and after the service. The Welcome Team have little flexibility when applying the rules, for example you will not be able to choose your normal seat.
Of course, everyone must wear a mask throughout the service if they are aged 11 or over. You must not gather in groups to chat before or after the service.
Please take a few minutes to watch our Returning to Church video.