updates at the end of April

Dear friends at St Andrew’s and St Nick’s,

The great survey of the best line of any hymn ever (which you forgot to make a suggestion for!) is now over and the results are in. The way to see the finishing line is to read the May edition of the St Andrew’s Herald under “Notices and Magazines!”

so I won’t give any spoilers. But I did overlook one vote for the hymn that is in first place, so that puts it even further into the lead!

I do hope you are all continuing to keep well – physically, mentally and spiritually – and that you don’t have too many anxieties for yourselves or for others. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if it would be good to talk about things. There are various possibilities of how we might offer support if you need it. We have been so very fortunate in Chippenham to have remained unusually safe compared to similar sized towns.

You won’t be surprised to know that the lock down is causing serious financial concerns for the church as well as so many other charities. Our income from lettings and concerts has stopped, as well as donations from visitors. We are fortunate to have some reserves, but the diocese as a whole will be struggling over the coming months.

Could I ask that, if you give regularly to the church through the envelope scheme, that you change if at all possible to a Standing Order? Obviously there will be many weeks when envelope giving won’t be able to reach us, and therefore the diocese. If you aren’t able to do this from a bank account, you might consider asking a family member to set up a Standing Order on your behalf. It would help us greatly at present. A simple form to complete and send to the Parish Giving Officer is available under the “Enquiries” banner.

What loosening of the present restrictions may be on the horizon is difficult to predict, but I promise you we’ll be the first to offer whatever we can safely offer, in the way of access to the church for prayer and stillness, and gathering for worship in whatever form that might need to be. People of all faith groups have had to make huge sacrifices in terms of closing places of worship – Salisbury cathedral should be celebrating its 800th anniversary this week – and I guess, like me, you could cry out with the Psalmist.

“My soul has a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord.”

God bless and much love,