Hello everyone,

Firstly, I hope that everyone is keeping well. The restrictions on our lives are starting to ease. From Monday shops will start to open. Newark Park, our nearest National Trust property, opens on Monday with time slots available for booking from Friday the previous week. The estate walks, grounds and gardens will be open but not the house. Importantly the toilets will be open.

Uncertainty still exists. Close to my heart is opening Holy Trinity Amberley for people to be able to sit quietly or pray. It was announced by the government at the weekend that places of worship can open for supervised private prayer from Monday. Earlier this week Bishop Rachel, the Bishop of Gloucester, said in an e-mail to clergy; ‘Please note that we still do not know what ‘supervised’ means in government terms, but we will send out information as we receive it.’ In a (Zoom) meeting yesterday evening the churchwardens (John Gilbert and Henry Parker) and I agreed that we would need to wait for clarification before we can open the church.

There has been no communication about opening the church for worship. As a church community we have a strong tradition of sharing bread and wine through Holy Communion. When we gather to worship Jesus is in the midst of us. We then go out to love and serve the world. For the time being I will continue to send out a service each week. Anyone is welcome to join the Zoom worship which runs at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning, set up at the request of the 8 o’clock congregation. There is also Compline using telephone conferencing at 7pm on Monday evening. Simon Barker set up and leads this.

There are less requests for help but if you are helping people here are some straightforward safeguarding guidelines:

'Volunteers to be advised to practice all government advice, so frequent hand-washing, keep a safe distance (leave things on doorstep). They should collect receipts for any purchases and wait for payment before handing over purchases. Those who need help to be advised of receipt/payment structure and that this is a volunteer operation, nothing formal.

The Gloucestershire Community help hub allow people to post offers of and requests for help. Here is the link
https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/
For the most vulnerable please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The link to the table of local suppliers is below.

Keep safe and keep in touch
Have a good week
Reverend John

The link to the table of local businesses:
https://mcusercontent.com/555e3483e189855b20cf3234b/files/2b3135bf-744f-438e-82ed-d14af8bf1de6/200528_Minchinhampton_Life_Business_Directory_during_COVID_19_.01.pdf