Vicar’s Weekly Letter

St Ignatius of Loyola, Friday 31st July, 2020

Dear Friends,

            You open wide your hand O Lord, and satisfy the needs of every creature

As we read in last week’s Gospel the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, and considered how God brings surprising and extraordinary growth and fullness from even the smallest of things, in our Gospel this week, we read of Jesus feeding five thousand + from five loaves and two small fish. We can reflect on the times we feel that what we can offer to a situation in need is inadequate, and yet, when we remember that when a true heart seeks the good of another, that God can add his blessing, making the offering more than sufficient, with more left too ‘twelve baskets full.’ Faith as small as a mustard seed is all that is needed. I wonder how we are thinking and feeling at the present time and the place of our faith in this. What are you finding most spiritually nourishing?

            I mentioned in my last letter that we had successfully appointed a new Youth and Children’s Worker to our benefice, with Helmsely, Kirkdale, and the Byland Group. I’m pleased to let you know that this is Lucy Willshaw, who some of you already know. Lucy will begin her new post early September. As I announce the beginning of this new post, I also write to let you know that my last Sunday in the benefice as Vicar is the 23rd August. I have been especially thankful that the new youth post has been possible, and that the foundations made in our ministry to young people and their families can be sustained and developed. Please keep Lucy in your prayers, along with Helen and Wendy from the WTTC, and Hilary, Rachael, Rosie, Heather, and Ruby from Youth Church.

            As concerns church finances, you can imagine the current situation makes matters difficult as we have been unable to organise a number of key fundraising and community events. As part of making it easier to receive donations, we have so far been able to set up online giving for St Oswald’s and St Hilda’s. Thank you Ian and Strasz for your time on this. We are hoping to get Gilling and Stonegrave set up on this shortly too. To make an online donation is easy (a few of us have given it a go!), you simply need to go to our benefice website and see the link on the right-hand side ‘Donate Online’. This will then take you to a page where you can choose which church you wish to make a donation.

            As you will have heard, face coverings are now compulsory when attending worship services at church. Despite the context of how our Sunday services are taking place, I hold our times of gathering together as the Body of Christ precious, and we hold one another before God in all that we think and feel about the present situation and requirements placed upon us.

            We have a benefice Eucharist each Sunday and we are working to rotate the Sunday Eucharist around the benefice. This Sunday our service is at Stonegrave Minster at 10.30 am. This is also a farewell service for Margaret Timbrell. Please do keep Margaret in your prayers as she makes arrangements for moving. I am aware many in our benefice are still not able to come to church, and that this is likely to continue for some time. The online service material is continuing, and my thanks to Ian for this. I pray, despite the ongoing restrictions on how we can worship – whether at home or in church – that we know ourselves to be loved by God and held in prayer by one another together

Please get in touch if you, or anyone else you are aware of, would like a telephone call from myself or a member of the ministry team. Please also let me know if you would like your name prayed at the Sunday Eucharist. Please be assured of my daily prayer for you and your families at this time.

I am on holiday with Andrew and the children next week but will be here to take the service on the 9th at Ampleforth and David Goodman is preaching. Given that I am away until late Saturday, there is not the usual mail out (hand delivered or email) next week, but I will make sure there are extra copies of the Link Sheet at the Sunday service in church, should some wish to take to deliver to others. The usual online service on our website is available.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion

With every blessing, Catherine
Revd Catherine Reid                                                                                                                 
Vicar of Ampleforth with Oswaldkirk, Gilling East and Stonegrave