OPENING OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS
Our churches can only be opened under strict conditions in accordance with guidance from the government and the Diocese of Leeds.
For details of services ( by phone and by Zoom) see the Services page
Face coverings must be worn in church, along with social distancing and the use of sanitiser. Sanitiser is available immediately inside the churches as well as the means to provide details confidentially for test and trace.
The Rhythm of Life Lent Course ....
Do join us for these Thursday evening meetings from 7.00 - 8.30pm!
Zoom on 4th March:
Topic: Lent meeting - Rhythms of Life #2
Time: March 4th 2021 07:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 867 9826 9113 Passcode: 539712
The 'Rhythm of Life' is a resource from the diocese to encourage us to develop our Christian lives in 7 areas
- praying, encouraging, reflecting, celebrating, resting, sharing and creating.
We'll have the chance to explore five of those leading up to Easter.
Together they fit into the diocesan vision of growing in our Loving, our Living and our Learning.
Each session will be 90 minutes in length, including a 10-minute break, and will include video clips, Bible passages, discussion questions and break out groups for discussion and prayer.
The title is taken from a phrase in 'The Message' translation of Matthew 11:28-29: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
During Lent we have in the past challenged each other to a little extra prayer.
This year, we have the urging of the Archbishops that, as a community of faith, we pray for the nation using this pattern:-
Prayer for the Nation
Sunday - Family, friends and loved ones
Monday - Schools and colleges, children and young people
Tuesday - Elderly, isolated and vulnerable
Wednesday - Businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing
Thursday -The NHS and other key workers
Friday -National and local government
Saturday -All who are grieving, and all suffering with physical and mental ill-health
I am attaching a flyer which some will want to print and retain
Our church buildings are presently open on the following days*:-
Preston under Scar and Wensley - Daily
Aysgarth - daily
Castle Bolton - daily
Redmire - Daily
West Witton - Sunday and Thursday
* the buildings will close for three days before a service or a funeral to allow time for virus degradation.
Aysgarth church -
As, due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are no printed guides available in the church at present and it is difficult to access the war memorial plaque the following are now available online -
War Memorials and Graves at Aysgarth church
The responsibility for keeping buildings clean and the public safe rests with the members of each church council along with myself as Vicar. We show our care for the community by only opening after we have studied the guidance and made a careful risk assessment.
The church (as the family of God), of course, has remained active and alive throughout the health crisis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can be of help.
The Rev Tom Ringland
Scroll down to message of March 21 for tdetails about baptisms, funerals and weddings.
Vicar’s Letter - Februry 2021
It’s said the darkest hour comes before the dawn.
As I write, we are at the toughest time of the pandemic so far, with numbers in hospital still rising daily – though by the time you read this I do pray they will have peaked! We have once again taken the decision to move all our activities online – though our buildings remain open for prayer. Updates and information about online services can be found at penhillbenefice.co.uk
On March 23rd we will mark a year since the beginning of the first lockdown – which we then hoped would be lasting a matter of weeks. During this year we have in many ways put life on hold. We have seen fewer people and spent more time alone. We have not travelled; family and life events have been curtailed. Many of us know people who have died. There has been huge economic stress.
Yet, following the darkest hour comes the dawn – and signs are incontrovertibly on the horizon. The vaccination programme – a vast, global logistical challenge – is gathering pace. The vaccines themselves are looking very effective, and we are hearing of more and more people who have had their first one.
On March 28th, the clocks will go forward and the days will immediately seem brighter! Spring will be upon us, birds will sing!
An old English word for spring is ‘lencten’ – which gives us our word ‘Lent’. As Christians, we are invited to keep 40 days of reflection and attentiveness to God – and to give up some comfort or indulgence (or more!) as a reminder of this discipline. Ash Wednesday this year is on February 17th.
Inevitably, discipline can be hard to maintain. We may wonder why we challenged ourselves in the first place! Under temptation to yield, our discipline may seem like darkness … but the light of Easter beckons!
However, it’s good to think of a discipline as not something negative, but positive. Lent, after all, mirrors the 40 days Jesus spent praying and fasting – as he found his purpose and direction in the wilderness. Mark’s Gospel, on which we focus this year, is typically terse giving just 2 verses to the episode (Mark 1:12-13).
The hardship is useful – redeemable – as we learn from it.
Moving on into the New Year, many have said ‘good riddance’ to 2020 – and often with good reason. We want to see the back of the strain so many have been under. But we need to notice what we have been learning as well, and not to bed this in and remember it. We have re-focussed on some important things. Family, good communication, new skills learned, walking, reading, the natural world and more.
All these are signs of in-breaking light.
For Christians, this is true to our spiritual experience. The Kingdom of God is described in the books as something both ‘now and not yet’ – the signs are abroad, but it is not yet fully manifested … until the close of the age.
Meanwhile, as we mark Lent and as we approach this anniversary of lockdown, ask God to shine light into your day – whatever it may hold – so that, in all circumstances, we may learn and grow stronger in faith and love!
Rev Tom Ringland
During Lent, and beginning on Thurs 25th, we will be gathering remotely for a series of online Lent evenings which will introduce themes for a 'Rhythm of Life'.
There will be a mixture of Bible passage, prayer, video content and conversation in break-out groups - with provision for a 'comfort break' part way through. The evenings will be 90 minutes in length.
If you want to have a quick check in advance, see https://www.leeds.anglican.org/news/invitation-join-rhythm-life-venture
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19. Please let your family and friends, who are not on internet, know about this. More information at: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/news/free-dial-prayer-service-launched-national-church
MESSAGES FROM THE REV TOM RINGLAND
It’s so good to hear numbers of people are sharing in reading and praying together on Sundays – and for some of you in weekdays too!
In addition, many have been creative in searching the internet for streamed services of worship, either in places you know from the past, or those advertised on the diocesan or national church websites.
Paul encourages us to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”
and continues, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Three things (rejoice, pray, thank) - clear positive attributes - which are to characterise our day to day living, whatever betide.
If we can develop these in this time of isolation, we will be strengthening our own mental health, and will bring the grace of God to bless those for whom we pray.
There are things to lament but also things for which to give thanks.
[ I read today that this is the first time our buildings have been closed for public worship since 1208 – when the then Pope placed England under an interdict for rejecting his appointment of Simon Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury!! - from an article by Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop designate of York. For full article click here.]
We can and should lament … and also for the sufferings of others caught up in this crisis rather more deeply than we ourselves: the sick, dying and bereaved; the NHS, those who's lifework has come to an abrupt end ... But we can also look around and notice where we are now. What is emerging for you?
... Increased support within the community, more frequent contact with family and friends ...
– but also a refocussing on what is important in life and perhaps time to stop and reflect on who we are and where we are going.
Unwelcome and challenging as these days may be, we have an opportunity, perhaps even a responsibility to accept them and use them and learn from them.
Bishop Nick in one of his excellent blogs writes: (March 28th) “When you are in the desert, don’t look for the flowers that grow in the fertile areas; look for the flowers that grow only in the desert”. (see https://nickbaines.wordpress.com/ for more)
Why not begin a record – a journal of your own experiences, thoughts and feelings through this time.
We will continue to adapt, learn and grow - I pray we'll find a deepened connection with God, and that as a society we may learn again to be more generous and compassionate. I gather Andrew Marr began his show recently saying 'maybe selfishness will fall out of fashion'!
We'll also find new ways of communicating and sharing news and encouragement. For a Sunday service see Services.
We remain a people of hope - an Easter people ... and so lets pray for chances to infect others with that positive outlook. Where are the opportunities in this new regimen?
Simple good humour will go a long way to maintaining our spiritual health, so attached is a picture with some good advice...’
Please note the following:
Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible.
Funerals with a small number of people present can be held at the graveside or crematorium and are now permissable again in church. Please contact the Revd Tom Ringland for details.
Weddings can now be held with a limited number of people.
Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digitallabs/labs-learning-blog/beginners-guide-going-live-your-service-or .
See also -
• churchofengland.org scroll down for 13 daily reflections, the #LiveLent materials and worship and prayer resources
• arthurrankcentre.org.uk click on 'Together Apart' for a range of resources for rural churches
• leeds.anglican.org click on Covid-19 (the starry screen) for resources including services streamed from local churches
6. The Church Pantries at Redmire and Castle Bolton churches are now available in Redmire village hall. These provide free food and hygiene products to those in need. You can consider making a financial contribution to these or your nearest foodbank.
The Rev Ringland was licensed as Vicar of Penhill Benefice in November 2019 - scroll down to the bottom of the Benefice Information page for the report.
Click on Aysgarth Church Harvest Flower Festival 2019 to see photos of that event.
See Festival of Remembrance for a report and photos about the flower festival and Remembrance event from November 9 to 12 2018.